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College Life

Bulimia Recovery Isn’t a One-Off: I Live With my Eating Disorder

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A brunette young lady with a grey tank top and jeans looking outside at the beach.

It starts small.

“I have to get to class, so I’ll just grab coffee for breakfast.”

“Right now I need to study, I don’t have time for lunch.”

“It’s been a long day, I’d rather just go to sleep than make dinner.”

You skip one meal one day, another meal the next, and before you know it, you’re on the floor with the teacher staring down at you because it’s been almost a week since you’ve eaten and you fainted during class.

Before you have time to wonder how you got there, everyone seems to be shoving food down your throat. This only prompts you to shove your own finger down your throat as well.

It hurts. All of it hurts.

Not just the part where your stomach is wracked with hunger pains and your throat burns from vomiting.

It hurts when you come home from school for the weekend, and your mom has to pretend she doesn’t know that the bathroom sink has been running for so long to cover up the sounds of bulimia.

It hurts when you go to family dinners and your grandpa cooks all of your favorite things, and you have to look him in his sweet eyes and pretend you enjoyed every last bite even though half of it is already down the drain.

The moment when it finally hits is when you have to say the words “eating disorder” out loud for the first time. Until then, you can pretend it’s not true, and that you’re just too busy or too stressed or too tired to eat.

There are a lot of excuses to hide behind in college—trust me, I’ve used about every single one of them. And there are resources, too. University employed people will tell you that counseling and psychological services are everywhere to help you get through anything.

But how do they expect me to tell a stranger that I feel betrayed by my own body when I can barely even admit that to myself?

College campuses are filled with walking examples of why I’m not good enough: beautiful sorority girls with perfect bodies, free access to the gym where I spend hours every day and somehow never lose a pound, and dining halls and restaurants reminding me of all the things I can’t have if I want to look like them.

It’s crazy. It’s all sad and maddening and scary and exhausting and just crazy.

And then you wake up, which is the craziest thing of all.

Because you say, “I need help,” and for the first time, you mean it. It feels like you’re being weak, but once you’ve survived the first few days of putting food in your body and actually keeping it there, you somehow feel stronger than ever.

There are school resources, sure, but there are also friends and family who love you and see you and want to give their all to help you.

They say that the key to more self love is acceptance. I used to think it meant accepting your body, and I could never do that. But now I think it really means accepting help.

And that… that I think I can just about manage.

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College Life

College Move-In Day Hacks -The Comprehensive 2021 Guide

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A stack of books, a mug, pillows, and mini plants

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Whether you’re an incoming college freshman, a sophomore who was never able to move out of the house last year, or just a college student excited to see their friends again in person, it’s more important than ever to begin preparing for your momentous college move-in day now.

From move in day college essentials all the way down to what you should wear the day of, preparation is key to an efficient, stress-free move into your dorm or residence hall.

College Move-In Day Tips

The biggest problem with planning for your big day always lies in where to start. Should you organize packing first? What about your roommate(s)? Wait, is parking even available near your dorm?

With all the anticipation that comes with move-in day, remember to take a step back and a deep breath.

Everything will get done on time, and, if not, it’s okay! Before you know it, you’ll be moved in and enjoying the excitement of your new college space.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here are 10 college move-in day tips, ordered chronologically! Treat it like a move-in day schedule of sorts, and feel free to print this article out so you can check everything off.

1. Plan With Your Roommate

The first major thing you’ll need to do is check in with your assigned or chosen roommate(s). Better yet, if you know who you’ll be sharing your entire suite or apartment with, it would help tremendously to get into contact with them, too.

A lot of colleges provide contact information on their housing websites, so feel free to reach out. After all, you’ll most likely be living with them for the next year (or more!).

Creating a group chat with everyone helps with setting up a consistent mode of communication.

As an undergraduate senior at the University of California, San Diego, I’ve heard enough horror stories of miscommunications with roommates. You can easily avoid all the drama by talking with them now. 

As for important questions to ask or discussions to have with your future roommate(s), I’ve provided a list of valuable topics below:

  • Who wants which bed/closet/desk? Be sure to check with your college for a layout of your room.
  • Who’s bringing what? You don’t want everyone to bring Brita filters when you can all just share. Consider and ask which items can be shared among all of you to save money and time.
  • When is everyone planning or scheduled to move in? It can be helpful to compare with your roommate(s) so that you can easily coordinate move-in times. Moving in at the same time might create a bit of chaos with your families squeezed into the same dorm room.

2. Prepare Necessary Information & Documents

Review all the personal information you need to check in on the day you move in. Many colleges post a list of documents on their website, so be sure to double-check before you leave your house.

Usually, college move-in day volunteers will ask you to show some form of ID and then require you to fill out registration paperwork.

It would be beneficial to have emergency contact information on hand as well as any confirmation or ID numbers the school might have emailed or sent to you in advance.

It’s especially important to know and stick to the specific schedule that your college might have personally laid out for you.

If your school doesn’t provide that, plan out a timed schedule for yourself according to your designated move-in day and time.

Colleges often assign a move-in time for students in order to prevent them from arriving in huge droves and overwhelming volunteers. 

A student sitting on the floor on her computer

3. Location, Location & Parking!

When you first arrive on campus, getting lost is the last thing you want to deal with.

Researching or even printing out multiple maps (in case you lose one) of the college campus can easily help you to trace out the path you and/or your family can take.

If you already know which building or general area you’ll be living in, you can also start planning for where you might park or where your family can drop you off and unload some items.

Remember to check your parking or drop-off zone with reference to your dorm. That way, you won’t be lugging your items across a huge stretch of campus.

4. Order/Ship Items You Don’t Need Right Away

While this tip can especially help out-of-state or international students, it also applies to those preparing for a road trip to campus.

Before you even leave for college, you can start organizing what items you want to take on the trip and what items you can buy and ship ahead of time. 

For bigger items like fans, lamps, extra drawers or cabinet space, you can choose to ship them or even order them for in-store pickup.

If you choose to do the latter, be sure to check how far away the store is from campus and whether or not you can take a car or bus to pick it up.

Also, look online or call your school before you ship to ask if the campus mailroom will be open during the delivery dates.

You don’t want to have the issue of returned or undeliverable packages along with the stress of moving in everything else.

5. Pack Smart

It’s a well-known fact that, if you don’t plan to pack smart, your desire for a quick, efficient unpacking will definitely go to waste during your college move-in process.

That said, I’ve written a list of packing hacks and recommendations you should consider before you start:

  • Prioritize what you know you’ll actually need and use. If you’re attending a school in the north but are originally from the south, you should make sure to pack and/or buy thick winter coats and boots. If the opposite is true for you, perhaps leaving behind those thick coats will leave space for swimwear and flip-flops.
  • Rid yourself of any extra packaging that might take up unnecessary space. Maybe you can fit multiple items in the box for your lamp, or perhaps the Brita filter can sit on its own in the backseat.
  • Keep hanging clothes on hangers. This hack was something I had never heard of until now, and it’s genius! Rather than packing away all your clothes and then having to hang them all up again, keep your hanging clothes on their hangers and hook them to a pole or stick. That way, when you move in, all you need to do is hang them in your closet space.
  • Pack like items together. This way, when you arrive and start to unpack, you won’t be scrambling from one container to the next searching for your toiletries or kitchenware.
  • Organize your vehicle. This goes along with the tip above as you’ll want to plan for what you might need to unpack or use right away instead of the items that aren’t as urgent. Things like tools, cleaning supplies, bedding and essential clothing should go in the back of your vehicle since they’ll be the first items you can access.
  • Protect your stuff! Tape the lids on storage bins and drawers so that they don’t accidentally open and spill onto the street when you pull them from your vehicle. Protect other fragile items with bubble wrap or secure them in a tight space.

Another genius idea that I’ve decided to leave as the very best and very last packing smart hack is to pack an essentials bag.

Whether it be in your backpack or a duffel bag, pack a few nights’ worth of clothes, toiletries, and other items in your essentials bag.

That way, after moving in, you have direct access to items like your toothbrush, phone charger or a change of clothes so you don’t have to rummage through your boxes for them.

6. Bring Snacks

Even if you plan to arrive on a full stomach, the process of moving into your college might still cause you to grow hungry or thirsty from all the physical work.

Rather than losing your parking spot just for a quick lunch, bringing snacks and/or water will surely help you in regaining some of your energy.

If you want, you can bring a little extra to share with your roommate(s) later down the line, too!

7. Ask Questions

So, you’ve prepared all you can, and you’re finally on your way to your college campus.

The next thing you can start preparing is a list of questions you’ll want to ask the move-in volunteer staff about anything concerning your registration or move-in process that you couldn’t figure out otherwise.

I’ve also come up with a list of potential questions if you’re still having trouble:

  • When/where do I get my key?
  • How do I access my dorm? Depending on the college, some dorms might have an extra code to type in or a specific security lock system.
  • Are there any move-in resources available to me? Some colleges provide move-in carts or even have volunteers assigned to help you with your items.
  • Where is the nearest bathroom?
  • Do you have a map?

And, as always, you should ask for directions to your dorm, even if you know it already! Not only can your map be a little outdated, but the volunteers might know of some shortcuts you can take to avoid the crowds.

8. Get the Lay of the Land

Once you finally arrive on campus and check in with the volunteers, it’s important to get the lay of the land before you start unpacking your vehicle.

Do a quick run from your parking lot or drop-off spot to your dorm. Keep your eyes peeled for bathrooms, trash dumpsters and any potential shortcuts you and/or your family might be able to take.

It’s better to be at least a little more familiar with your space instead of getting lost or trudging through unknown paths.

9. Unpack Strategically

Before you even open one box, you should strategize your unpacking process by placing containers and items in “zones” of your room(s).

For example, you should leave your toiletry boxes in the bathroom, kitchenware in the kitchen space and bedroom essentials in your dorm room.

This way, you won’t be rushing from one place to the other to put things away. Plus, you can then decide where you’d like to start and spend time unpacking there.

Another tip is to start with unpacking larger items like lamps and/or drawers first. Once you’re able to set them up, you can begin adding all the little things.

Many people have also suggested making your bed first. This way, you can lay out other items on your bed to free up space in your room.

A overflowing red suitcase on a bed

10. Give Yourself Grace

Last but not least, remember to give yourself grace in the process. It’s okay if things don’t go exactly to plan.

Moving into your college dorm can be stressful, but it’s the first step in beginning your exciting college experience. 

College Move-In Day Essentials

Are you stuck with figuring out what else you should buy or bring to ensure your college move-in day goes as smoothly as possible?

You’re in luck! I’ve curated a list of move-in day essentials that are sure to help. (All items are from Amazon.)

  1. Cart or Dolly

It’s definitely true that moving your boxes with wheels makes the work much less tiresome. In terms of choosing between a cart or dolly, consider using a cart if a lot of your items don’t have lids or might easily fall when stacked. You can use a dolly for large boxes or stackable materials.

If you’re looking to use a dolly, I’d recommend bringing bungee cords to secure items and prevent them from falling off.

Though most colleges offer students move-in carts to help transport materials, it’s honestly so much easier just to bring your own. That way, you can avoid waiting or having to return carts at the end of the day.

  1. First Aid Kit

Whether it’s accidentally tripping over your luggage or cutting your finger on your registration paper, a first aid kit can come to the rescue with its extra bandages or antiseptics.

  1. Fan

Check the weather the day of because move-in days are often at the end of the summer! Bringing a fan along can keep things cool and less sweaty as you move around to unpack.

  1. Door Stoppers

I don’t think you even want to imagine getting accidentally locked out of your dorm while moving in! Grabbing these door stoppers and sliding them underneath your dorm room doors will save you time and energy (especially if your doors are as heavy as mine were when I first moved in!).

  1. Cleaning Supplies

While colleges usually hire a cleaning crew to clean the dorm before you move in, bring your own cleaning supplies just in case the dust has been settling a little too long for your taste.

Items like paper towels, Clorox wipes, bathroom cleaners, and Swiffer dusters can clear and freshen up the space before you officially begin unpacking. Plus, it’ll save the hassle in case you accidentally break or spill something while moving in.

  1. Trash Bags

All the cleaning and unpacking is sure to leave you with a ton of trash. So, you don’t want to be going back and forth to the dumpster or using your dorm room’s small trash can. Save time by bringing your own large trash bags so that you can throw everything out in one go.

  1. Toolkit

Whether it’s tightening some loose screws or prying open a stuck drawer, taking a toolkit along with you helps a ton! If you can’t afford buying an entire toolkit, you can also bring along scissors or a rubber mallet (for readjusting your bed).

  1. Stackable storage bins

Since dorm rooms tend to be such a tight place, you can save space by packing notebooks or other items in stackable storage bins that can be easily placed on top of closets or underneath beds. Plus, these bins can be reused for other storage later down the line or can make moving out easier, too!

  1. Labels & Markers

If you haven’t done so already, bringing labels and markers with you to your move-in can help you label and organize unpacked items more easily.

  1.  Surge Protectors

Let’s say you’ve been on your phone the entire ride to campus, and it’s on 10% battery when you arrive. Many college dorms’ outlets often require a surge protector to prevent them from accidentally burning out your devices’ batteries.

Save the trouble of searching for one on-campus or waiting for one to arrive by having it on hand. You can also use it to power extra lighting if you need it.

  1. Command Strips or Hooks

While also a must for those who like to decorate, setting up a Command hook can also help save space for purses, bags or other outerwear you want to easily access! 

What to Wear on Move-In Day

The number one thing to know about what to wear is to dress comfortably! But I don’t mean comfortable in terms of flip-flops. Dress in clothes that allow you to move around easily.

You’ll be carrying lots of items and might even have to climb a few stairs or so to your dorm, depending on your college. That said, tennis shoes or sneakers are your best bet for shoes.

In terms of clothing, it all depends on the weather. For example, you don’t want to wear a tank top and shorts if the forecast calls for rain.

Check the weather a few days beforehand so that you’ll know if you can work with just a shirt and sweatpants or if you might need an umbrella and extra raincoat.

It’s also advised to bring a change of clothing. This is so that you can change from your sticky, sweaty clothes into something more comfortable that you can go out with (or snuggle up in your new bed with).

Some colleges also might require you to take your ID pictures on move-in day, so having a change of clothes can help you look a little more freshened up.

A girl wearing a red dress

How Long Does it Take to Move Into a Dorm?

I know you’ve been wondering this age-old college move-in day question all throughout reading this article.

So how long will it actually take to move in?

Well, it all depends on how much you ultimately bring and how efficiently (or inefficiently) you’ve packed and prepared!

For those who plan well beforehand—maybe by using all the listed recommendations I’ve provided above—it shouldn’t take longer than about two to three hours to move in depending on how big your college is. 

To avoid longer wait times that might extend your move-in, opt for arriving 15 to 30 minutes before your designated time. That way, you can account for traffic and any other bumps that come with the trip.

If your school allows it, you should aim to arrive at lunchtime, since there’s usually a lull in the middle of the day (because most students choose to arrive as early in the morning as possible).

And that’s it! I hope all of these college move-in day tips and tricks help to make your process as easy and stress-free as possible. Good luck!

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College Life

The 2021 College Bucket List: 55 Things To Do Before Graduation

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4 college students are smilling

Are you experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) on things you haven’t done during your college years?

You are not alone. College is a very busy period of our lives that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything that is going on around us.

Fortunately, I have compiled a college bucket list of the best 50 activities that will help you complete the full college experience.

I hope you have fun and create memories that will last forever.

1. Decorate your dorm 

The feng shui of your dorm is a huge aspect of your college experience, especially since the pandemic has caused us to spend more time in our rooms. While a few posters are nice, adding a few cozy adornments will make your room feel more like a home, and will seriously improve your day-to-day experience at school.

2. Join a club

You may be unmotivated to join clubs, especially if you are an upperclassmen. But talking to your peers about shared interests is a great opportunity to make new friends and pursue your passions outside of the classroom.

3. Take a “fun” class

We often feel that we can only take classes that will support our major, but most people have academic interests that don’t fall into this category. Every student deserves to take a college-level class on a subject they are personally interested in. This will also help broaden your education and worldly knowledge, outside of your specialization.

4. Volunteer

We spend a lot of time in college thinking about ourselves, but giving back is an important way to help others. This also fuels individual growth and strengthens community ties. Most schools offer volunteer opportunities on campus, but there are also great websites that help connect you to local opportunities.

5. Walk through your entire campus 

We spend a lot of our time walking from classes, to dining halls, to dorms, but we tend to disregard the places on campus that we don’t necessarily need to go. Try walking from one end of campus to the other, and you may find amazing buildings that you would otherwise never notice: coffee shops, dining halls, a building with a perfect study nook.

6. Shoot your shot!

We’re not all gonna find our true love in college, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Make it a mission to tell your crush how you feel about them, before you leave for grad school and never see them again.

7. Reflect with your friends on your college experience

College really does go by fast, and if you don’t stop to look around, you might just miss it. So take a day to just sit down in the quad and reflect with your friends about your time together.

8. Read a book or two completely for your own enjoyment

As we get older, the opportunity for reading comes far less often, so spend some free time reading a book you genuinely are interested in, before you graduate.

9. Crash a party and make a new friend

It’s easy to stay with the same group of people throughout your time in college, but this wouldn’t be a college bucket list without some semi-risky activities. Walk into a party that you may not have been invited to, and you might just leave with a new friendship, at least for the night.

10. Sneak into somewhere restricted on campus 

There are many restricted areas on campus that are supposedly off-limits to students, but taking one little visit isn’t going to hurt anyone. Plus, you’ll have a great story to tell your kids one day, to show them how cool you were during your college years.

11. Throw a themed party

Either throw or attend a themed party, where you have to dress up in goofy costumes. These parties really do only happen in college, and they’re worth experiencing before you move on to the benign office Christmas party of your mid-20s.

12. Skip class

You probably have done this one already, but it goes without saying that the feeling of sleeping in during your 9AM class is truly incredible. So, if you haven’t already, make sure you miss a class before you graduate, and experience the joy that is two extra hours of sleep.

13. Dance like no one’s watching

It is easy to feel self-conscious about dancing at parties, but at the end of the day, you probably won’t see most of these people ever again, so just do it. Go crazy and dance like you are jamming out by yourself in the kitchen, because why not?

14. Spend all of the campus money on your account

College is really, really expensive, so make sure that you use every single dollar to your advantage. If you have campus cash or a meal plan, make sure to squeeze it ‘til the last drop, because that’s what colleges do to your pockets.

15. Work on living more sustainably

It is hard to think about being environmentally friendly with all the other stresses of college, but there are easy ways to lower your carbon footprint, without building a wind turbine on top of your dorm. Try reusable tumblers, bamboo toothbrushes, or shampoo and conditioner bars.

16. Senior road trip with friends

Go on a road trip, because road trips are awesome, and it’s a great way to bond with your friends from school, while you still have the chance to all be in the same place.

17. Go to a sporting events (even if it’s ironically)

College sports are not everyone’s cup of tea, but attending a game can actually be a lot of fun, even if you’re secretly laughing at everyone else’s team spirit for your D3 football team.

18. Participate in one of your schools’ traditions 

Every college has some weird tradition, whether it’s embarrassing, hilarious, or both. While this is one of the more obscure tasks on the list, you definitely can’t complete a college bucket list without participating.

19. Get a great grade in a hard class that you’re proud of

College is a lot of work. Compared to high school, it’s more difficult to get a great grade in a class. Challenge yourself to take a difficult class, and push yourself to your limit to succeed. If you can succeed in that environment, it will give you the confidence to challenge yourself in the future. 

20. Try not to stress out during your final weeks at school

Finals are really scary, and can often be a large part of your final grade, but stressing about them accomplishes nothing. Try your best, and remember that this is not a life or death situation… unless you have a really crazy professor. 

21. Study Abroad

Learning in a different country, and possibly even in a different language, is truly an eye opening experience that every student deserves to have before they graduate. 

22. Take a silly photo in front of a mascot/statue

This one is just great for memories, and even if it feels cheesy, you will thank yourself for doing this down the line.

23. Pull an all-nighter

One of the less fun activities on the college bucket list, pulling an all nighter is an exhausting activity that may save you from failing a test or essay. It is a harrowing experience, but you cannot say you have truly lived in college until you have seen the sun rise while finishing an assignment due hours later.

24. Show up to class looking like a mess

We spend a lot of time in college trying to look presentable, while also studying five hours a day and running on even less sleep. So just relax for a day, and walk out the house in your pajamas, exactly how you woke up. Don’t worry, everyone has been there.

25. Explore the town that your college is in

Many college towns feel sleepy and uninteresting, but if you have the time, exploring your town can help you discover some great restaurants and shops for when you leave campus.

26. Get a disposable camera and capture memories

Smartphone photography can only go so far, and the memories captured on film are often some of the best. Head to your local CVS, get a disposable camera, and shoot a roll of film at least once.

27. Bond with a professor

While we may not love every professor we have, there are many that are extremely friendly and intelligent. It is worth the time to get to know them outside the classroom, over lunch or a cup of coffee.

28. Stay up late and nap during the day (for the last time)

The ability to sleep in and nap during the day is something that young people tend to take for granted. After college, this is almost impossible, so take every opportunity to wake up at noon while you still can.

29. Day drink (also for the last time)

Another activity that doesn’t happen after college is getting drunk in the middle of the day. This isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it is 100% worth a try, and is a staple for the college bucket list.

30. Go out with friends and eat great food, while intoxicated

After you have gotten drunk, or perhaps on a different drunken occasion, go out and eat some great food. Drunk meals with friends are some of the happiest moments of our youth. 

31. Express your gratitude

We often think our friends from school will last forever, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Make sure to let everyone know that you appreciate them before you graduate.

32. Travel to a different climate (if possible)

Depending on where you go to school, the weather can be quite dreary. Try to travel somewhere nice and sunny, at least once, while on winter break. 

33. Make sure to take advantage of your college library

Libraries are not everyone’s favorite place to hang out, but the resources they provide are extremely helpful. You won’t have access to this amount of literature ever again after college, so just keep that in mind for your next visit.

34. Make sure you know how to write a dope resume and cover letter

Looking for jobs can be a grueling process for recently graduated students, so set yourself up for success by learning how to write a great resume and cover letter.

35. Cook an awesome meal for your friends

While your college diet may consist mainly of ramen and cereal, there is something special about cooking for the people that you care about. Make a dish for your friends and eat it with them, and they might even do the same for you.

36. Find internship opportunities for the summer after senior year!

Internships and jobs can be a stressful thing to think about on top of the workload of college, but it is essential to have something lined up for the summer after your senior year. It doesn’t have to be your dream job, but make sure to work, so you can keep the moment you have built up in college.

37. Make a mark on campus 

Writing your name on a tree feels played out, but try to  find a mark you can make on campus. You can come back in five, ten, or twenty years later, and look for it. Trying to find it will be a fun challenge, and it will also bring back all the memories surrounding your college days.

38. Push yourself to try a new activity that takes you out of your comfort zone

We only get a brief opportunity to try new things, and you will regret it if your shyness overcomes your new experiences. Even if it is something simple like learning a challenging game with your friends, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a big part of what college bucket lists are all about.

39. Use every student discount available while you still can

Many museums, restaurants, and forms of public transportation have student discounts that save you a significant chunk of change. Take advantage of these while you can, because you end up saving a ton of money. Your older self will thank you.

40. Find a tall building and enjoy a good view of campus from above

College campuses can often be really pretty from above. Find a way to look down at all the buildings (and students) to have a great experience. 

41. Go to an All You Can Eat Buffet With Friends

Spending the day eating without worrying about running up the tab is a quite a unique experience especially for your average college student. Whether it’s Chicken Wings, Sushi, or Tiki Missala, you will end the day extremely stuffed but also extremely satisfied. 

42. Rush a Fraternity or Sorority on campus

By no means am I saying join one of these organizations, unless you really want to, but the rushing process is a fun way to meet people, and go to a bunch of parties. Also, you’ll never know if Greek life is right for you unless you try.

43. Try a Campus Specific Dating App

Many schools have a yearly dating ritual in which all students send information about themselves and receive a “perfect match” on campus. This may seem like a silly way to find “the one”, but it is definitely a fun way to meet new people, and like many other College Bucket List activities, you’ll only know unless you try. 

44. Learn a new language

College is one of the last times you have the time and resources to learn a language, outside of the one(s) you have grown up speaking. If you have already taken a language throughout high school there’s no reason to stop now, and if you focus hard enough, you might graduate with a degree as well as a new language under your belt.

45. Go to a concert with friends

This hallmark experience of college life has been put on pause due to the pandemic, but once it is safe to go see your favorite artist, take the opportunity to jump up and down for 3 hours while you’re still young enough that you won’t feel it for the next week. 

46. Live in a house with friends or anywhere off campus

While dorm living is convenient, it is also cramped and noisy. University housing is a great opportunity to live with your friends, and get some privacy from the rest of campus.

47. Talk to your campus employees

The staff who clean the dorms, serve your food, and help maintain the campus are a huge part of our college experience, so treat them with respect and kindness. If you see the same person everyday, say hi or start a conversation, just like you would with another student or professor. 

48. Wear an outfit that you would never wear as an adult

Your future job might have a strict dress code, where your personal sense of style is taboo. That’s why college is a great place to take fashion risks, and try on outfits that wouldn’t be appropriate in a cubicle.

49. Play an intramural sports

Sports may not be your thing, but intramural teams are a friendly and low stress environment where everyone is welcome. They’re an easy way to get exercise, and it’s more fun than the gym.

50. Make a cool graduation cap

You don’t want to just be another head in the crowd at graduation. Customize your cap so that your friends and family know it’s you that’s graduating. 

51. Find a body of water near your campus and jump in!

Most schools are close to some sort of pond, lake, or beach, so on a warm day, go find some water and jump in. It’s a refreshing break from college life, and way better than the campus pool.

52. Find the best restaurant (on a budget) in your college town

Even if you feel like the college town is practically a food desert, make sure to find one spot that you can always go to, when you are in need of a delicious meal. 

53. Buy a pet fish

Having a little fish is an easy pet to keep you company in your dorm, without the maintenance of having a dog or cat on campus.

54. Go bar hopping with your parents

Parents’ weekend is the perfect time to show your family what you’ve been up to at school, and there’s no better place to do this than the local bar. You might even see a side of mom and dad that hasn’t come out since they were your age.

55. Graduate!

All of these ups and downs won’t be worth it without that degree, so make sure you graduate, and cross that stage!

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55 things to add to your college bucket list
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College Life

10 Reasons Why Being a Working Student is Actually Good

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Being a working student in college can feel like an insurmountable amount of work. Long shifts at late hours, tough customers, scrutinizing managers, and homework stress are all struggles that students face while balancing work and school.

What we need to acknowledge, however, are all the benefits that students gain from working alongside their studies. From social opportunities to higher post-college salaries, here are a few reasons why being a working student in college is actually a good thing. 

1. Work experience

Whether working at a coffee shop on campus, or in an internship related to your major, you are gaining valuable work experience. Not only are you adding to your resume, but you are also gaining skills for later down the road.

Chaili Trentham, a program coordinator at Azusa Pacific University states, “a job in college provides the opportunity to put your learning from your classes into practice, or gain practical skill sets that may not be directly linked to your coursework, yet rounds out your experience.”

While it may feel like an additional burden at times to have work on top of your studies, it is important to remember that you are also learning at your job.

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2. Potential friendships

Work is a great place to make friends, because you are constantly interacting with customers and colleagues, who tend to be other college students.

These friendships act in tandem to motivate working students to keep pushing, when they are struggling to manage work and school. After all, you are surrounded by people who are in the same boat as you. 

3. Budgeting skills 

Working students have a fairly small salary, given on a biweekly or monthly basis, which makes it essential for students to become expert budgeters.

It’s dull work, and can often mean missing out on better food or luxury sneakers, but it is an invaluable life skill. Budgeting is essential to helping young people transition into the adult world and the expenses that come with it. 

4. Networking connections 

If you are doing an internship as a college student, it is important to take advantage of networking opportunities. These can be more valuable than the modest salary that most college jobs offer.

If you’re working within your major and would like to make a career out of it, then be sure to leave a good impression.

It will grant you great references and potentially a job. Alternatively, if you are working in a field that doesn’t feel relevant to your future, then it’s still a good idea to show your employers that you are punctual, helpful, and reliable.

These are universal skills, and can be referenced to future employers. 

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5. Looks great on resume

Regardless of where you work in college, the mere fact of working during college is impressive. Employers will see that you have the ambition and responsibility to maintain good grades and work at the same time.

The real world experience and time management skills give you a leg up against other students, who may have focused solely on academics. 

6. Improves time management

Every working student knows that it is nearly impossible to work a job and get homework done without superb time management skills. If you don’t have these skills, you have to learn them quickly, or your performance in school or work will be negatively affected.

While this is an unfortunate reality for working students, this pressure also teaches students to balance their responsibilities. In adult life, one has to juggle their job, friends, family, and hobbies.

That task becomes increasingly difficult with time, so learning these skills in college gives you a headstart on being prepared for life after graduation. 

7. Boosts future earning potential

Being a working student increases your earning potential— not just in school, but after graduation, too. According to a 2019 Rutgers University study of 160,000 public university students, those who worked in college scored an average income $20,000 higher than students who didn’t.

This is most likely due to the experience working students have as both students and employees, which provide skills that their non-working peers miss out on.

8. Can actually make you a better student up to a point

Studies have found that working to a certain extent actually makes you a better student. According to a study published in Economics of Education Review, students who work are more likely to graduate.

Many other studies also show that students who work 10 to 20 hours per week have slightly higher grade point averages than students who don’t work.

The responsibility and motivation required as an employee carries over to being a strong student. The only catch: “All the research on this topic found a negative correlation with grades and graduation rates for students who worked more than 20 hours per week.”

This meaning students working full-time jobs during college can be held back academically, because they have to spend so much time on non-academic work. 

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9. Flexible hours compared to post-college job opportunities

While balancing work and school can feel like an insane task, it is important to recognize that campus jobs are still a lot more flexible than full-time jobs in the real world when it comes to hours.

Campus employers usually are willing to work with student schedules, whereas most other jobs give you a rigid schedule that you must always follow, regardless of what’s going on in your personal life.

10. Some extra spending money

While salaries in college are not always amazing, it can be very nice to have some extra spending money in your pocket at the end of a long week. Being able to buy food off-campus is always a bonus, as well as other amenities you might need for your dorm. 

It’s not always ideal to juggle school and work at the same time, but if you are in this situation, you can still reap the unique benefits of being a working student.

As long as you are able to balance your mental health and keep your performance level high in your work and academics, then you will come out the other end with a leg up on your peers and valuable experience. It is a difficult ordeal, but definitely worth it.

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