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College Survival Guide

Tips for Living on Campus

by Taylor on November 15, 2016

in Uncategorized

Hi everyone! As a Resident Assistant, and a having lived on campus my entire 4 years at Fontbonne, I would say that I am now an expert on how to be a campus resident. I have seen it all, and through my own trial and error have managed to master living in a dorm. Below are my top 5 tips that I wish someone had told me before I moved on campus.

  1. Only bring the basics– Seriously, as cute as all the “dorm essential” items are at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, you really do not need any of them. Save your money and only bring things that you’ll actually need (i.e., bedding, mini fridge, clothes, microwave). Anything else will sit in your room unused all year and it’ll be a major pain in the butt to try move out at the end of semester. Trust me.
  2. No one cares what your room looks like– This sort of goes hand in hand with the above rule. Yes, bring things that will make your room feel like home. Pictures, your favorite poster, that cute bedding you found at target. Whatever. But don’t drive yourself crazy trying to decorate your room so that everything is color coordinated or you follow a theme. You’ll waste energy and money, since you’re only going to live in that room for a max or 9 months, and most likely you’ll be bored of all the stuff you bought by the time the year is over anyway. No one really cares what your room looks like, and chances are you ‘ll be so busy with school and extracurriculars that you won’t be in your room very much anyway.
  3. Attendance is necessary. You know those programs your RAs put on throughout the year in the res halls? GO. They’re designed to get people out of their rooms and socializing, and honestly, they’re the best way to meet the people you’re living with. Also, 10 out of 10 times there’s free food, and we all know how good food tastes when you don’t have to pay for it.
  4. Dorms are LOUD– The walls are thin, and the buildings are crammed with people, which makes your business everyone else’s business too. There is no such thing as a quiet dorm, which actually makes things fun most of the time, but you’re always going to be able to hear other people walking, talking, snoring, hanging out, whatever. Think again if you thought studying in your room or having a private conversation was something you could reasonably do. That’s why we have a library and cars. Use those instead.
  5. Your space is not your space– This one is mostly for freshmen who have roommates. You are going to be sharing a tiny room with a potential stranger for 9 months of your life, as well as a bathroom with 30 other people on your floor. Be considerate, and remember that it’s not just your room or your bathroom. Other people live there too, so keep it clean, and learn how to work out issues and problems with each on your own as adults, since your parents are no longer there to do it for you.

Choosing to live (and stay) on campus was one of the best choices I ever made as a college student. There’s always someone around to hang out with, and when you live on campus, it’s so easy to find your place and get involved. If you can live on campus, do it, enjoy it, and remember that there’s no place like dorm sweet dorm.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!



Hey everyone! It’s already November which means it’s getting close to finals and the end of semester. With that comes stress, and with stress comes the potential abandonment of the healthy habits that may have been keeping you going all semester, as things like eating healthy and getting exercise are put aside for studying and finishing up projects. I’ve been there before, but now more than ever is the time to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and giving your body the fuel and rest it needs to truck through the last few weeks of school. I’m here to help, with the top 5 things I always use to stay in a healthy routine.

1.) Water bottle– You can use a fancy Swell bottle that will keep your water cold for 5 years, or you can buy a normal bottle from literally any store in America. Pick one you like that you don’t mind carrying around with you everywhere and get your drink on. Dehydration will only slow you down and cause fatigue that definitely won’t help you when you’re trying to study. Take the bottle with you and set it in front of you during class so that you’re reminded to take a sip every few seconds.

2.) Jump rope- You can buy one at Walmart for literally $5 and trust me, this will revolutionize your workout routine. Jumping rope is a simple and effect cardiovascular exercise that can help you increase both speed and stamina and keeps your heart rate up to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. You can also take it anywhere, and it’s a really easy way to get a quick workout in a small space like your dorm room.

3.) Earphones- I find it impossible to work out, or even just walk across campus really, without music. Grab yourself a pair at the bookstore and make a workout playlist that gets you motivated. They’re a great thing to have when you’re not feeling the music that is usually blasting in the campus gym, and they’re also awesome when you’re in public and just need a moment to yourself to relax. Plug them in, find a song you love, and you’ll feel your stress levels drop by the second.

4.) Meditation apps- There are plenty of these to choose from. Pick one you like, and try to meditate every day, even if t’s only for 1 minute. Mediation can help reduce your stress and anxiety, and has even been shown to improve people’s focus and outlook on life. These will especially come in handy during finals week when your stress levels are at an all time high.

5.) Fruits and Veggies- If you live on campus and have a meal plan, make sure you eat at Ryan at least once a day. No matter what they are serving that day, they ALWAYS have steamed veggies, a salad bar, and fruit, usually berries. Fill up at least half your plate with fruits and veggies and you’re going to be loading yourself up with things like fiber to keep you full, and vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. If you don’t have a meal plan, find out what produce is in season right now and go grab some. Produce in season is usually more readily available, and therefore will be cheaper when it is in season than any other time of the year. My favorite easy, cheap, and go-to fruit right now is apples, which can be eaten as they are or cut up and put in things like oatmeal and cereal. My favorite vegetable right now is carrots, which I love to dip in hummus for a snack!

I hope you find this list helpful and that you try out some of my healthy suggestions! Have an awesome week everyone.



I’m sure by this point in the semester, we’re all starting to grasp the difficult truth that college can be a little overwhelming. Your parents have probably called you recently to ask how your year is going, and the conversation is likely to have gone something like this:

Parental unit: “How are classes going?”

You: “Great. Fantastic. I am totally fine.”

You (internally): f95bde6c18808a09b31ad21e173c27751cd51c3924c46f8e302154d7a92d248e_1

I get it. I wholly understand your pain. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day for everything that needs to get done. That’s why I’ve written a very basic survival guide to help you get through the following months of seemingly endless papers, tests, and late-night cram sessions.

Five Essential Items You Need to Survive in College


  1. Coffee. Embrace it. The summer before my first year of college, I was completely free of a caffeine addiction. That totally changed about a month into freshman year. There was a Starbucks on campus, and it was all too convenient to stop there between classes – especially after my frequent 8 ams. Some days, it was all I could do to drag myself to the student center, keep myself upright for five minutes in line, and successfully communicate my order to the barista before he or she handed me that glorious cup of life. Thankfully, pretty much every worker in that Starbucks had my order memorized within a few weeks. Yay.
  2. Friends. These people will keep you sane. You will need someone who understands the agony that studying can cause. You will need someone to vent to and cry with. And you will need someone to go get that celebratory scoop of ice cream with when you’ve finally conquered that test you stayed up all night studying for.
  3. A good place to study. The upper floor of Fontbonne’s library is pretty nice, but if you’re like me and prefer to get away from campus, Kaldi’s on Demun and Starbucks at the Cheshire Inn are both convenient to Fontbonne and worthy places to cozy up with your textbook (bonus: they both have delicious food + that glorious asset we discussed earlier, coffee). I’ve also recently been bringing my schoolwork to the Art Musuem – they’re open until 5 pm most days and have plenty of places to sit quietly with your work. It’s kind of inspiring to be surrounded by all that loveliness, tbh.
  4. SLEEP. I’m horrible at this. I drink too much coffee and stay up too late and wake up too early. I’m trying to fix this. I promise, you’ll feel much better if you’re rested most of the time (although sometimes it’s essential to skip out for good times with your friends). Just try to get at least seven hours a night, and if you can’t, nap the next day.
  5. A planner. I 100% double-book plans. Sometimes, I triple-book. This is okay if plans aren’t in stone or you have understanding friends. It’s not okay if it involves obligations for class. During my first two years at college, I wanted to do ALL OF THE THINGS ALL OF THE TIME and I had zero time for recuperation. Do not make this mistake. You will be so exhausted you can’t enjoy anything. Planners help, a lot. Keep up with it and you won’t regret it.

Keep your chins up. You will get through this, I promise!

Keep moving forward.

xoxo Jess



Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.