How to be a Successful College Freshman

So, I started college two years ago this fall, which first of all blows my mind. And secondly reminds me of how absolutely nervous I was as my parents helped me to move into my room. (And I even knew my roommate from high school!) So I thought I’d send this out there to all those terrified new college kids or maybe just the ones who have questions about the basics. So maybe I’ll start with roommates.1-16

1. Roommates. No, it will not matter if you room with your best friend, a stranger, or an acquaintance. In the end, you’ll either have a really good friend, or someone you never talk to again. And that’s okay. College is about being you. Not pleasing someone else. So, if you find someone to room with great. If not, that’s okay too. Most colleges match you to someone they think you’ll get along with.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

2. Respect. On that note….respect your roommate! If you’re a poor roommate chances are your roomie will retaliate in unpleasant ways (like hiding the toilet paper or locking everything up). So be nice, establish rules and boundaries, and don’t do anything that could be offensive to someone else. Honestly, not everyone grew up like you did. And that must be remembered.

3. Move-in Day. My recommendation is to ask at least a couple family members to help. And definitely use the trolleys and helpers provided to speed the process up.move in day

4. STUFF. Make sure to know ahead of time what room amenities are. And yes you really will want a microwave and fridge and probably a TV. If they aren’t provided, contact your roomie and set up who brings what. Chances are you’ll have an extra of everything lying around for you two to share in your new dorm room. I could talk forever about this, but everyone one has their own personal taste.

5. Meal Plans. Unless you’re an athlete with a huge appetite, you probably don’t need 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. So, start small and take into account eating off campus and in your room. Or maybe you aren’t a breakfast person. You can always add more meals later.

6. Books. GO ONLINE FIRST. Bookstores on campus are outrageously expensive and you’ll never get the full price back. So be sure to buy and sell you’re books online through places like Amazon as much as possible. Additionally, look for downloadable books for your computer/ Kindle/ Nook/ Ipad/ etc.

7. Classes. Print off your schedule and map or use your phone app if your school has one. A few days before classes, preferable not a weekend in case they lock buildings, go find your classrooms. Trust me on this one. It’s pretty different from high school. You only have so much time to get to classes. So know where they are. If you need a bike or skate board to get there on time, now you’ll know. But that’s not to say that there are some very lost people on day one of classes so you won’t be the only lost sole. And you can always ask for directions. 9/10 times someone will help you.2-14 snow

8. Be open. Meeting new people can be so hard. But, it’s actually pretty easy at college. There are always people around. And if you’re in a dorm or have roommates you are already half way there. If not, talk to people in your classes or that you randomly run into. The best time to meet new people is the first week of classes. Talk to whoever you sit down next to and be chatty. Take numbers and emails for homework.

9. Get involved. Now, I am NEVER the one to get involved in too many things. However, in college there are many clubs and groups and living communities….you’re bound to find something. Personally, I lived in a dorm where you went to classes about service and volunteering and learned to make a difference. And we also did community service together. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in college thus far. Usually there are involvement fairs at the beginning of every semester!SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

10. Professors. Suck up to them. Email them with questions. Go talk to them. It can be about a reading assignment, for help on something, or just because you’re interested in their work. You don’t have to be that person who talks all the time in class but it definitely helps if your prof knows your name. For example, I once disagreed with a grade on a paper…and talked the TA into giving me so many points back that a C became an A. They are human and make mistakes. Show them. And 9/10 times you’ll get a grade boosted.

11. Parents. Call them. Let them know you haven’t died. What your classes are like. What you did for your weekend. They want to know you’re safe and having fun. But even if you don’t think so, they miss you. Besides you might just need their washer and dryer one of these weekends. Also, your siblings appreciate the calls as well.

12. Supplies. Welcome to college, you can now take notes however you want. Whether it’s on the computer, or in a notebook, or completely and utterly disorganized. Do it your way. Now is the time to find out what works for you. I do recommend if you use a computer… remember that you can’t really draw those chalk board diagrams with this. And, turn off your wi-fi in class for your grade’s sake. Anyway, use what you want and do what you want. Just do what works for you. On a side note, it is basically a necessity to own a lap top in college. You can find them used or for cheap. But definitely be sure to invest in one. It will be your life in college. Homework assignments, grades, papers, research, books, quizzes…..they’ll all end up online.IMG_20130824_1354201-16 reading for school

13. Papers. Be prepared to write a lot of them. Especially as a freshman. Your intro classes will require it a lot. In order to get a good grade, I recommend following the directions exactly, writing a 5 paragraph essay, and editing it more times than you think necessary. I find that most teachers grade grammar more than content. So long as your content is relatively logical.2-4 computer and coffee and museum

Ask me for additional advice on anything you want to know about college!Boulder campus


Natural Tanning Tips

So you decided to be tan this summer… now what is the best way to go about it? So the following steps are my personal routine for tanning plus a few extra things you can try if you are interested.

Step One: Gather what you need

  • A beach towel or chair on which to be comfy!
  • Sunscreen (preferably at least 15 spf). Tanning and burning are two different things. One is healthy and one is not. A tan is just the melatonin in your skin reacting to protect you. A burn is what happens when your melatonin doesn’t have a chance to protect you leading to skin damage or cancer. And yes, this can still happen if you are already dark skinned. Fun fact: they make sunscreen for the scalp as well! And don’t forget your face and lips!
  • Sunnies! Sunglasses are an absolute must in order to protect your eyes as well as your skin.
  • Water! Because we all know that we sweat when we tan and all that sweat is lost water.
  • A timer. Whether it is a kitchen timer or your phone or iPod, use it. It is useful to make yourself flip over and tan the other side, as well as for keeping you from sleeping too long and burning.
  • Optional things that you might like to bring: iPod and speakers, book, fan, chapstick, snacks, spray bottle or mister, face cover, or whatever keeps you occupied that you like to do.

Step Two: What to wear

Now personally, I like to just wear a string bikini since that is comfortable for me. And some women choose to tan in the nude to avoid all tan lines. But other options include Brazilian styles, bandeau bikini tops, or microkinis. Here are some links to places that sell these types of styles:

Step Three: Set Up

Now it’s time to lay everything out and apply sunscreen! Choose your spot and time of day carefully. If you want optimal sunlight lay outside between noon and 2 pm. If you burn easily go before or after this time. If you are tanning nude choose a very private place you are certain no one can see to avoid awkward talks with neighbors or peeping toms! If you’re tanning in a bikini, choose a place with direct light like the lawn or a deck or the roof. And definitely try to keep your body facing the sun to tan your front and back evenly. If needed lie on your sides as well. Now plug in that iPod or crack that book spine and set your timer for 5-30 minutes per side, starting with less time for fairer skin.

Step Four: Clean up and moisturize

            After an hour max, go inside and at least take a break from the sun and the heat. Give yourself a chance to cool off and reapply sunscreen. Or if you are just starting out tanning, just pick everything up and be done for the day.

Whenever you are done, it is important to shower in cool (but not cold!) water. You don’t want to pass out or anything. When you get out MOISTURIZE! This will make your tan last longer. Especially if you use a body oil like baby oil first before your lotion or an after tanning lotion. For sensitive skin use an aloe vera based lotion.

Other Options:

  • Stickers! Stickers or a piece of paper and tape can give tantoos or sun tattoos! This can be a fun way to add a non permanent body alteration. Just put the sticker on and tan and take it off after. You will have the outline of the sticker in that shape. If it doesn’t show as much as you’d like, reapply it in the same place the next time you tan.
  • Lemon juice! Lemon juice is a way to lighten your hair naturally at home. See the tutorial on my previous post!

Now I hope this was helpful information about tanning at home. Happy tanning everyone!

How to Lighten Hair with Lemon Juice

Sometimes it’s just fun to change your hair and a way to do this without using chemicals is with lemon juice! The citric acid in the lemon juice reacts with the sun to bleach your hair in a less harmful way. This can be a fun thing to do at home, or before heading out to the beach or pool or anywhere sunny. Plus you get to smell like lemons. J

How to:

  1. Mix about ½ cup water and ½ fresh lemon juice for normal hair. Mix ½ cup conditioner and ½ cup fresh lemon juice for dry hair. This half and half mixture can be adjusted to fit the amount you need.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. If you are going to apply all over your hair, put mixture into a spray bottle. If you want to highlight it, put into a small bowl.
  3. Spray all over hair for a dyed look. Spray on ends, for an “ombre” or natural summery look. Dip a cotton ball or tissue into mixture and apply to specific strands from root to tip for highlights. Really just put it where ever you want it. I tend to highlight it then run my hands over it to rub the excess into my ends. Note that if you follow your natural highlights, such as around the temples, and take smaller pieces the highlights look more natural.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. Put on some sunscreen and sunglasses and head outside.
  5. Let hair sit in the sun for roughly an hour to take effect.20130722_143953
  6. When your time is up, head home and wash the lemon out. I recommend using a strong conditioner or even a leave in conditioner after this as lemon juice and sun can be very drying to the hair.
  7. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOnce your hair is dry you should see the lightening. However, if you have dark hair it might take a few goes to get the effect you want.beforeafter

I hope this explains the process well enough! Enjoy the sunshine!