How To Pick A College According To A College Freshman

According to The New York Times in 2014, 65.9% of high school graduates will attend college. Though I’m still in my first semester, I think I made the right decision in what college I chose. For me at least, these are the factors I had to think about before applying for schools.

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College is expensive, and it’s continuing to become more expensive. When looking at colleges you need to consider what kind of education you are getting for your money.

Today most high schools offer dual credit classes that for the most part can be transferred to colleges. While in high school, I was able to get 33 credit hours (a little over one year) done before I even graduated. Where I’m from a lot of students attend a 2-year community college before transferring to a state college or larger school. They can save thousands of dollars this way and get their general education courses done so that when they transfer they can start taking classes towards their bachelor’s degree.

Contrary to popular belief, you are getting almost an identical education at a community college to a state or private school. Students also need to explore opportunities that aren’t their first choice schools. You should apply to multiple schools, but you need to think about the money you’re spending. Sure, going to a big college with successful sports teams and parties is all fun and games… until you have to pay it back. Doing research on schools around you is an important part of deciding where you should apply.

Scholarship opportunities should also be a factor in your choice. Free money is free money. Look at financial aid packages too. Getting loans from the school is easier than getting private student loans.  


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For many, the location of the school plays a significant role in school choice. The decision of going to college close or far away from home isn’t the easiest to make.

The setting of the campus is essential as well. Do you want to attend a traditional college town, be in a city, or attend a rural county college?

My favorite thing about sticking around my home is that on the weekends I get to see my friends and family. Even though I’m living on campus the first year, next year I’ll be able to commute back and forth. My school is in the largest city in my state, but it doesn’t feel like a college town. Most students are from around here and commute everyday. Plus, I don’t have to learn a whole new city, and I already know the hot spots.


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Another topic to consider is the student population of the school. With small schools, you can most likely get more hands-on training and help from teachers. Also, these schools normally are more focused on the education and you get to know people better.

Traditional large schools are mainly lecture classes. Larger schools tend to have more diversity in the students and staff and offer a more extensive range of majors and activities on campus.

I’ve found a middle ground in a mid-sized state school. Though I do have some large lecture hall classes of 70+ students, my major based classes are smaller (usually less than 25 students a class).

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You might want to go to the same school with your friends or a party school. None of that matters if the school doesn’t offer your major.

For me, I could’ve chosen almost any state school for my anthropology degree. Luckily my school that’s only 30 minutes away from home is the best in the state. Look for schools with unique opportunities for your degree. For example, my school offers hands-on experience working at a museum on campus.  


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Is it close enough for you to commute? Does the school offer on-campus living? Living on campus is awesome but does get expensive.


I’m sure I’m missing a few different factors, but if you have any suggestions leave a comment below.




Dorm Tour/ Haul

If you didn’t know already, I’ve moved out and I’m off at college. This week I thought I’d share my dorm room with you. Maybe if you’re going to college soon or heading back for the fall, you can find some inspiration from my room. The majority of what I bought I was able to find a link for most of the things. For some items I couldn’t find, I linked to similar items online. Also, I should say that I have an above average dorm room. My roommate and I got a two person private suite, which means we both have our own rooms. I included our shared living room as well.



Computer- Best Buy

Marble Sticky Note- Target—nate-berkus™/-/A-51791681

File Sorter- Walmart

Pencil Organizer- Target

File Organizer- Ikea

Marble Tape Disperse- Target—threshold™/-/A-51931344




Poster-  Local Boutique



Poster Frame- Ikea

Everything else I already had 




Makeup Drawers- Walmart


Makeup Brushes- Target

Salt Lamp- Amazon


Ring Holder- Icing


Llama Bookends- Target—threshold™/-/A-50940526

Mirror- Bed Bath and Beyond





Small Hamper- Target

Chair- Target


Rug- At Home





Mirror with Storage- Target—room-essentials™/-/A-15120921


Memo Board- Hobby Lobby



Neon- DIY

Three Drawer Storage- Target ( They are inside)



Mini Fridge- Walmart


Dry Erase- Target—5.5%22-x-10%22/-/A-50410347


Dino Plant DIY


Small Canadian Flag- Disney World



Printer- Walmart


Step Stool- Ikea

Trash Can – Home Goods (It’s besides the step stool)





Comforter- Target–queen—-xhilaration™/-/A-51389315

Sheets- At Home start=1

Mattress Topper- Bed Bath and Beyond

Similar &ie=UTF8&qid=1503172728&sr=1-2&keywords=mattress+topper+twin+xl+4+inch



Bird Pillow- Ikea



Blue Circle Pillow- DIY

Standard Pillow- Ikea


Body Pillow- Bed Bath and Beyond


Rest Pillow – Target


Blanket- Target—xhilaration™/-/A-51394772




End Table- Target—vintage-oak—threshold™/-/A-50479919

Lamp- World Market



Lamp Shade- World Market

Fan- Target



Living Room


Black & White Pillow- Ikea


Blue Dot Pillow- Ikea



Shelf- Ikea


Baskets- Target tab preselect=50662750


Record Player- Amazon




Keurig- Target tab preselect=16934541

K Cup Storage- Target

Amazon Dot- Amazon

Microwave- Walmart

Similar FieldId=actual_color


G Mug- Anthropologie

Black & White Mug- Ikea


Lamp- Lowes





Coasters- Amazon–led-720p-hdtv/5326401.p?skuId=5326401
Tapestry- Online


A Letter To Myself Four Years Ago

In one week I will be graduating high school. During the next four years you finally decide what you want to do with your life. Going into sophomore year, you will realize that getting a marketing major sounds boring. Soon enough you will find out there’s a world out there that needs to be explored, and there’s more to life than just Kansas. Prepare for this wild ride you’re about to embark on because high school will throw you through the ringer.


You thought things couldn’t get better than what they were like in 2013; you’ve already seen The Avengers (aka the greatest movie of all time) and Matt Smith was the Doctor. I hate to break it to you, but rewatching the Avengers kind of sucks now. Also, in a few short months Matt Smith will announce he’s quitting Doctor Who, and his replacement makes you stop watching the show entirely. Besides our current national government, 2017 is pretty awesome. There’s hoverboards and there’s a new Star Wars film.


Your musical taste will change completely and it’s for the best. Trust me when I say stop listening to Katy Perry; her music today is total garbage. Please apologize to your best friend for calling Lady Gaga untalented. Literally, she’s a triple threat now and her super bowl performance brought you to tears. Then you discovered classic rock isn’t just for old people. Bands like Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Queen will be your anthems during your junior and senior years.


Now we have to talk about your fears. Failure is inevitable, and you can’t win everything. Though we are a type A personality and an extreme micro-manager, we can’t control everything in our life. You can give it your all and still be not enough, but that’s just life. Other times you will give no effort, and that will reflect in your grades and personal life. Later on, you will come to love driving. It’s a freedom that allows you to create experiences with your friends that will stick with you forever. Finally, don’t waste your time trying to impress people, in particular guys. You’re just wasting your time. Luckily, you fall in love with a 5-pound yorkie named Skipper.


Remember to study hard, but don’t expect to get straight A’s. As I am yourself from the future, I should encourage you to study hard, but I know that’s not going to happen. We love procrastinating too much. Still take school seriously, but don’t forget it’s just high school. We aren’t going to an Ivy League college, and WSU will take you if you don’t have a 4.0.

High school will be a new start for you. You will get involved with many clubs and activities that will shape who you are. Through Color Guard, you will learn what it is to be a leader, and it isn’t always about getting a good score. You also learn how to deal with all different of types of people and how to keep peace in the workplace. Somehow you get involved in journalism too. You become a better writer and learned kids are baby goats. (It’s an inside joke.) In newspaper, you will get the chance to travel to Indianapolis and have the best week of your life.


So here you are, about to enter high school. You are scared of graduating because you know that you will have to grow up after you leave. News flash! You have seven more years of college following high school, and you should be more afraid of student debt. I think you’d be proud of me. I’m going into college as a second-semester sophomore, and I own Star Wars bed sheets. The road ahead of you will be the time of your life, and go ahead and make a few mistakes. Just remember to be true to yourself and everything will be alright.   

10 Things To Do Before Buying A Prom Dress

Here in the States, prom season is quickly approaching. That means millions of girls are going to be looking for formal dresses. From experience, I found doing these things before I went shopping is helpful in finding the perfect gown.

1.) Established A Budget

Who is paying for your dress? If your parents are, ask them what their limit is. Keep in mind you might have to pay for shoes, hair & makeup, tickets, dinner, etc. If you are paying, how much can you save until you have to buy a dress? Unless you buy something you can wear to other events, you are only going to wear this once. I’ve bought formal dresses in every price range. From this, I’ve learned you don’t have to buy a “traditional” prom dress. Second hand, vintage, and renting are also options that are budget friendly; it’s almost certain that no one else will have your dress this way.

2.) Find Inspiration

Looking through the prom tag on Pinterest is always a good starting point in finding a dress. Typically these kinds of dresses are crazy expensive, but they can still provide inspiration. Each year I pick up a few prom magazines, such as a Seventeen’s prom issue. They are fun to look at and can show you how to style different kinds of dresses.

3.) Check Your School’s Dress Code

Lucky for me, my school’s dress code doesn’t apply to prom. With schools with stricter codes, it never hurts to ask. Typically, either the counselor or Vice Principal can help you with these questions.

4.) Allow Plenty of Time

You can’t always walk out with your prom dress after you purchase it. I would start looking for dresses at least two months in advance. This is to make sure you have enough time for alterations. In some cases, the dress you try on is just a sample dress, and they have to order it.

5.) Buy Dresses During A Sale

Department stores have sales all the time, usually happening around holidays. Also, buying out of season can get you huge savings as well.

6.) Buy Undergarments

Before you head out looking, wear the appropriate undergarments. This can cause a dress to look completely different on you. Maybe even try a body shaper. My current favorites are the ASSETS by Spanx available at Target and Kohls.

7.) Keep An Open Mind

You might walk into a store thinking you know what you want, but end up leaving with a completely different idea. It’s important to try on every kind of dress, because you really don’t know if you like something until you try it on.

8.) Don’t Go Alone

Honestly, it’s no fun trying on dresses alone, and it’s good to have a second opinion. Bring a parent or a few friends, but don’t bring a huge group.

9.) Don’t Buy The First Dress You Try On

It’s very tempting to just buy the first dress that you try on that fits nice, but you need to keep looking. If you’re worried that someone might buy it before you come back, put it on hold. You never know what the next store might have.

10.) Buy A Dress That Fits You Now

Don’t buy a dress that you have to lose 20 pounds to fit in. Just buy a dress that fits, and you can always have it altered.


Things To Do Now Before Graduation

Senior year should be your most exciting year of high school. For me, it’s all about having a shortened class schedule and having only two core classes; however, come August I have a full course load at college. Still, I got a hell of a lot to do until graduation. This guide is directed towards seniors who have already been accepted into a college or intend to trade schools. Since I’m no expert, the best thing to do is to sit down with your school counselor or a parent and go through your game plan if you haven’t already.

1.) Fill out FAFSA
This financial aid application is needed for most schools and helps you figure out how much financial aid you can receive. The process of filling it out takes less than an hour, but you will need your parents’ tax returns from last year. According to the FAFSA’s official website, you should submit your FAFSA by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying. This is usually by early February.

2.) Take a final set of ACT/SAT/standardized testing

If you’ve already been accepted into college, you’ve already taken at least one set of a standardized test. Most colleges require a score of  21 on the ACT OR over a 1070 on the SAT to be accepted. Taking the test more than once can increase your test scores, which only means more money and scholarships in the end.

3.) Start filling out scholarships
Everyone likes free money. Start off by applying for local scholarships when they come available. Then start looking for scholarships online. A few great websites for this are Scholly and Unigo. ** Never give out personal information such as a SS number for scholarships.

4.) Buy cap and gown
If you haven’t already, BUY YOUR CAP AND GOWN. All schools I know of require you to buy one if you want to graduate.

5.) Go to prom or your formal dance equivalent

Even if you have just some smidge of interest in going to prom, go! Sure, it’s kind of cheesy, but if you go with your squad I promise you will have a good time. You can always leave halfway through and go to IHOP or a friend’s house.

6.) Buy a yearbook
Your school’s yearbook staff, or whoever creates your book, puts a lot of time and effort into trying to capture your senior year. If you wait longer to purchase it, the price typically goes up.

7.) Send out graduation invites and announcements

Just send them out! You might get money from your relatives.