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Dorm Life


College “Needs”

by Kristen on November 14, 2013

in College Life

As a high school student, I began preparing for my move to college very early. Like, a-year-in-advance-making-grocery-lists kind of early.  Now that I’ve been at school for a few years, I have determined which of my possessions are most vital to my existence as a college student.  If you are reading this post, and you are still in high school, you might want to think about purchasing the items listed below, at least sometime before the big move-in day.  It’s not an all-inclusive list of what you’ll need, but I definitely feel grateful for having these objects.  What would I do without them?  Cry.

Laptop computer:  Let me preface this item by saying that a computer is NOT necessary to a college student, at least not at Fontbonne.  There are many computer labs on campus available for student use; if you cannot bring your own computer to school, you will not fail at college.  That being said, computers are handy to have at school.  I use mine every day to write papers, look up grades, participate in discussion boards, do some online shopping . . . lots of things.  It’s nice to have your own place to save your work.  And, because my computer is a laptop, I can take it with me wherever I want to do homework (which is usually in my room, but sometimes I do go other places—more on that later).  So, I recommend that you bring a laptop to school, but it is not completely necessary.

Flashdrive:  This, for me, is not optional.  I use a flashdrive to back up my homework and picture files.  My flashdrive transports assignments from my computer to the library to be printed for class.  It holds PowerPoints for presentations.   It is amazing.   It is wonderful.  If it were a human, I swear it would be able to juggle while blindfolded.  Flashdrives are that impressive.  Do yourself a favor and go buy one.  I think mine has 4 gigabytes of memory, but I wish it could hold 8, which is what I’d suggest for you.

Winter coat and boots:  These aren’t needed for every college.  And they aren’t only restricted to college students.  But I received boots and a new winter coat as Christmas gifts during my college career, and I’m thankful that I have them.  Missouri doesn’t have the coldest or snowiest winters, but we do get occasional snows here, and the temperatures can drop enough that you need a warm coat.  This week we had several 20 degree mornings when I was happy to bundle up in layers before heading to class.

Vacuum:  Not all my friends have vacuums, so it may seem like you can get by without one.  But when I reflect on my past years on campus, all of my friends who don’t own their own vacuums have borrowed mine, from once a month to once a week.  This leads me to believe that vacuums really are important.  Personally, I can’t stand living in a place that isn’t kept clean.  If you are like me, you should pick up a vacuum for college.  And maybe some Clorox wipes, dust rags, window cleaner, Pine Sol . . .

Lamp:  If you live on campus, and if you plan on ever accomplishing anything between the hours of 9:00pm and 7:00am (or between 5:00pm and 8:00pm right now), you will need a lamp in your room.  Although the dorm rooms all have ceiling lights, I find that they don’t adequately illuminate my room for me to do homework in the evenings, without straining my eyes.  I have a floor lamp and a desk lamp right now, and I use them both daily.  Mine are from Walmart and Target—cheap, semi-fashionable, and worth the small amount of money I spent on them.

Storage:  If you’re living in a dorm room or apartment, you’ll need somewhere to keep your belongings.  Some people I know have storage tubs they keep underneath their beds.  My solution is using cube shelves and plastic drawers.  I think most dorm rooms provide some furniture, like desks and dressers.  But after you unpack your clothes and school supplies, you’ll probably need somewhere to put everything else you own.

Planner:  Every college student needs some organizational system to make sure that deadlines are met and meetings are attended.  I have a dry-erase calendar on my wall that lets me know what big events are coming up.  For everything else, I use a planner.  I use it to keep track of all my homework, activities, meetings, work schedules, everything.  Planners keep me successful; I have rarely forgotten assignments since I have been using them.  Staying on top of your schedule is especially important at the college level, when you are expected to act like an adult and a professional.  My teachers would not be sympathetic if I was missing classes or homework because I “forgot.”

Sticky notes:  Remember earlier when I mentioned making lists?  It’s an obsession for me.  I use several packages of sticky notes over the course of a school year.  Each day, I write a list of all the tasks I need to complete.  I write reminders to myself and stick them on my desk.  I even use sticky notes to decorate friend’s rooms for special occasions (try labeling every object in your friend’s room—it’s mischievous and takes forever to clean up.  Muahahaa!)  Not everyone needs as many sticky notes as I go through, but it will be nice to keep a few on hand.

If you’re reading this and notice I left something really important out, please comment and share!  I’d love to hear what you think college students can’t live without.  Next week, I promise to post sooner.  I had written a post on Monday, but lost it at work.  Hopefully I can find it and share what I wrote with you soon!


Guess what! We have officially made it through half of the semester. I know I’m constantly counting the days until Thanksgiving, winter, spring, and summer break (I would include fall break too, but that’s a joke), but I really do love school. I just hate the stress that comes along with it. Oh, and living in a dorm. I hate living in a dorm and desperately want an apartment next year (heck, why wait? Why not next semester?)
Anyway, tons of stuff happened this week, and I learned a few very important hot tips that I’d like to pass along to you:

#1: Assignment guidelines for projects are often misleading. They make you think that what you’re doing is NBD, and that you have tons of time to do it. WRONG! As soon as you get those assignment guidelines, hightail it to the library or wherever and get to work. Otherwise you’ll be like a majority of my classmates in my Quantity Foods course (myself included!) freaking out Wednesday night before turning in our massive Cycle Menu project the next day. Spending all of that time in the Kinkel Center together was quite the bonding experience.

#2: Never start studying the night before an exam. I like to say that I was conducting an experiment in which I was testing the hypothesis that studying the night before an exam will produce a lower exam score, but honestly, I put off studying because I was just plain stupid. Oh, and because of hot tip #1. The assignment guidelines for my Cycle Menu project duped me into thinking it wouldn’t be so bad (when it was), and so I spent more time on that project this week than studying for Plant Biology.

In other news, today I got my ID badge for the Botanical Gardens! Look at my face! Don’t I look so serious and professional and official? I think so!

Most enthusiastic intern EVER.

Have a great week everyone. And whatever you do, don’t procrastinate!


“Yet Again” by: Grizzly Bear


Alumni Posts


by Alumni Posts on September 20, 2012

in College Life

Hello Everyone,
Well the FLU is about, so watch out! I have, unfortunately, caught the bug and it is one of those colds that stuff up your nose so much you can’t breathe! People usually lay in bed, drink lots of orange juice, and sleep it off. I did no such thing. I had my orange juice, some vitamins, Robitussin, and went on my merry way through classes and various other tasks. I HIGHLY do not recommend this. If you are one of those people out there with your nose running faster than you can walk to get a tissue, get to bed; immediately. Powering through a day ill not only prolongs the illness, but spreads the illness! Sounds logical so do it! I am pretty stubborn when it comes to colds, but I am slowly changing my ways and being more considerate about not spreading germs. And by germs, I mean cold and flu. I do not mean every bacterium we come into contact with on a daily basis.

Just follow basic germ courtesy rules. For instance, when you sneeze or cough cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow. DO NOT use your hands! If you do, simply GermX them or wash them in the bathroom. Runny nose? Keep tissues close at hand or go to the bathroom to clear that cave. No one wants to see the bats escaping. If you feel bad enough, it WILL show on your person. Take your “sick time” to have “you time.” It is a great excuse and will give your body time to rest up for a tougher day. This was my biggest concern this past week, but stay posted for happenings at Fontbonne. We have lots coming your way!!!

Jeanne :)


I remember, way back during last semester, when it came time for my roommate and I to decide what our housing situation would be for the fall semester. We unfortunately did not get a room on the much-coveted third floor of Medaille, but instead had to settle for whatever was left of the picked-over rooms on the building’s second floor. Little did I know during the “hurry up and choose” pressure of the moment that I had picked a room in what is potentially the worst spot ever.

Now, naturally you may be wondering, “What’s so bad about the location of your room?” If you want to experience the badness for yourself, just walk up the stairs to the second floor and open the door. There I am. Front and center. Where everyone can see. That’s what’s so bad about the location. Read on as I enlighten you.

First and foremost, anytime somebody comes through the door, I feel obliged to say “hello” to him or her if I’m sitting at my desk with my door open (which is 99.9% of the time when I’m in my dorm). This becomes quite awkward when I don’t actually know the person who has just come in through the door. What do I do? Stare dumbly at the person who has entered the floor? Pretend that I’m so engrossed in that monstrous beige organic textbook that I didn’t even notice the presence of another individual? Say “hello” even though I don’t know him or her? Aaah, the dilemma. And on top of that, the door squeaks like no other. My case in point: when I call home, my mom can hear the door open and close in the background, and she insists that I have one of the maintenance people come up and fix it. As if I have time to deal with that.

Secondly, I hate that everyone who walks through the door can see me studying, which is, like I mentioned above, 99.9% of the time. This has lead me to hypothesize that the people on my floor think of me in one of two ways:

A.) As the obnoxiously dedicated smarty pants who was dumb enough to choose a room right across from the door.

B.) As the lame girl who was sitting in the same position with that hideous beige textbook when you left for class an hour ago and still hasn’t moved.

Yes, if I had chosen a different room, maybe my fellow residents would have a different view of me.

The final reason my room is lousy, and the reason that ultimately inspired this blog post, is the fact that I can never again make popcorn in my dorm. I unfortunately burnt some a little while ago, and now the whole floor smells crispy. What makes the situation worse, however, are the comments I hear every time somebody walks by my room. Here are a few I have heard over the course of the evening:

“Burnt popcorn! My favorite smell!”

“Hmm..smells like somebody burnt popcorn or something.”

This has led me to not only smirk at the fact that I’m the cause of the less than delicious smell traveling down the hall and nobody can seem to figure it out, but also to cringe in embarrassment for my inability to use a microwave without causing a disaster. I think, for once, I may have to close my door this time.

Have a good rest of the week!


“French Exit” by The Antlers (arguably my favorite band)


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