Browsing Tag

freshman 15

Adulting Other

The 5 Dorm Items You Absolutely Need.

August 3, 2018

This is it. This is the day you move out. Your mom might not be ready to be an empty-nester, and let’s face facts, you might have never done your own laundry before. Maybe you’ve never moved before either. You’ve lived in the same house, in the same town, and went to the same barber all your life. Well, finding a new barber is likely going to be the least of your worries when starting this new chapter. Moving to college for the first time can be a bit scary, but we have 5 things you absolutely need to survive in the dorms this year (Results may vary).

Laundry Hamper: This is a MUST. Sorry to say but having clothes strewn about your room is not a “fun quirk.” Also, have you ever tried to carry an armload of clothes to and from the laundry room without dropping more socks than you knew you had? Pro Tip: The mesh folding hampers made a great space saver and are easy to deal with.

Bedding: Chances are, your dorm room employs an extra long twin and unless you have an older sibling who went to college, you do not have those sheets with the extra length. Be sure to get a few sets and alternate them. Pro Tip: In a pinch, use queen, and just let the slack hang down.

Storage Containers: Whether your taste is a trunk, totes, or folding cardboard boxes, you will need to store all your misc. items that you couldn’t bear to part with but have no actual use. They are also good for storing extra clothes or books. Pro Tip: Plastic 3 drawer containers are also great for storing books, documents, and ramen.

Headphones: This one is very important. PSA: Your roommate may or may not want to listen to what you are listening to 24/7. The headphones are also great when you roommate is talking to their mom for the third time that week about every minor tragedy that’s happened. As much as you love hearing about how the dressing on their kale salad was too sweet, sometimes you need a break. Also great when it is 2am and your roommate is asleep, but you NEED to watch that next episode on Netflix. Pro Tip: Noise-canceling headphones are recommended for maximum success.

Cleaning Supplies: You would be shocked at how many people are totally fine living in filth. A few crumbs on the carpet is acceptable. A little iron and lime buildup around your sink and shower are ok. But when your toilet starts to darken in tint and develops a ring around the toilet bowl, it’s time to clean up. You also need to clean your floor occasionally, and, sadly, the trash fairy is never coming; take it out instead of stacking everything to create the next great modern art piece. It won’t be so bad if you stay on top of it. Pro Tip: All-purpose cleaner will solve the majority of your cleaning problems, make sure you have a bottle (or three).

We hope this list makes packing for school a little easier! Along with these essential dorm room items, be sure that you have the essential renters insurance! GradGuard protects your items in and out of the dorm room. With the new year approaching be sure you are prepared and cover all of your bases. Let us know your dorm necessities in the comments below.

Other Transition

4 Ways To Get Involved Your Freshman Year

July 21, 2018

If you have ever been to a major college campus during the school year you know it’s a buzzing place. The sheer amount of people going around, with their own schedule and agenda, can be a little overwhelming. Your first day will consist of you clutching your campus map trying figure out the location of Science Building D. Upperclassmen scoff as you spin around in circles trying to locate which direction is north. Your first few days on campus can be kind of a crash course, especially if you are new to the area. One of the best ways to become acclimated to college life is to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Jump in the deep end, and become completely involved in your campus community. We are here with 4 ways to get you out of that extra long twin and into university life.

Join Greek Life: It might seem unappealing at first, but rushing a fraternity or sorority can be the fastest way to make friends, and find a group of people to belong to. Many Greek life organizations are connected at the national level and can provide a connection for you when trying to apply for your first job out of college. Just make sure that your fraternity or sorority is enhancing your college experience, not is your college experience.

Play Intramurals: Playing sports just for fun can be extremely beneficial to you in more ways than one. You will be playing games with like-minded individuals that inspire both competitiveness and teamwork. The friends you discover playing on a team can be some of the best you will make, and blowing off some steam on a Tuesday night sure beats that sad pizza day your RA threw.

Join Clubs or Church Groups: There will probably be hundreds of clubs at your school varying from student-run chess clubs, to nationwide competitive trivia groups. You never know what you will find going around your campus, but most have a database of all the activities you can join. Many students will also become involved in church or religious groups, where they can celebrate their beliefs together or discuss the texts amongst one another. Any way you want to do it, you are sure to find some of your interests being celebrated around you.

Be Open Minded: You never know what sort of activities will take place on your campus. From concerts and political rallies to festivals and fairs; you will find your campus is humming with life, and you need only tap into it to change your daily routine. Check out the paintings they are displaying, and talk to the artists about why or how they got started. Walk through the world culture festival, listen to the music, and sample the food. As long as you are willing, your college campus can be one of the most interesting places you will ever be on.

It isn’t easy starting over in a place where you don’t know anyone, but that is the situation for a lot of out-of-state college students. Getting involved in the hive that is a college campus can seem daunting at first, but with these 4 tips, GradGuard is here to save the day.

Other Transition

Resources Every College Freshman Needs Before College Begins

May 12, 2017

Entering college is exciting, and college freshmen often experience a sense of independence for the first time of their lives. However, college presents a number of challenges, and incoming students need to ensure they’re equipped with the resources they need to thrive. Here are a few resources every college freshman needs before college begins.


Computers and Smartphones

Students will still need to use paper while in college, but more and more professors are accepting submissions through computer documents. Furthermore, typing is far faster than writing, and students equipped with computers are better able to keep up with demanding coursework. Although campus computer labs can help in a pinch, having an effective laptop is essential for staying afloat while entering college. Smartphones are important as well. With tools available for organization and communication, they play an essential role in making the most of college life.

Web Savvy

High schools rarely teach students how to find resources on the internet, but today’s college students need to learn how to find information online. It’s common for incoming freshmen to ask “What is Course Hero?” and other questions that are better answered before courses begin. Libraries and other resources will continue to play an important role in colleges, but today’s professors expect students to be able to find online information and incorporate it with their work.

Financial Management Skills

College often represents the first time students have to manage their own finances, and dealing with loans and having to pay bills can feel overwhelming at first. While students are likely to make mistakes along the way, arming them with basic finance skills before they enroll can help them avoid emergency situations. Again, technology can help; showing students how to use computer and smartphone tools for managing bills can help them keep an eye on their finances.

Nutrition and Exercise Knowledge

Although college freshman are generally young and able to bounce back quickly from injury and illness, fitness and diet are still important for maintaining health. Being able to maintain a sleep schedule can lead to better performance in the classroom, and proper nutritional knowledge can help students ensure they’re eating healthful meals. It’s common for freshmen to put on weight during their first year, and a little education can go a long way.

Real-World Knowledge

Freshmen are often forced to handle an array of responsibilities from day one of college, and many aren’t equipped properly. Knowing how to use public transportation, for example, can help students, especially those without cars, get to where they need to go. Students might also experience life in an urban environment for the first time, so knowing how to avoid potentially dangerous situations is essential. Making friends early on can help students learn how to navigate the real world.

Many people regard college as the happiest time of their lives, but proper preparation is critical for getting off to a strong start. Fortunately, there are more resources available than ever before, and students who get a bit of help before enrolling set themselves up for a memorable, exciting and rewarding experience.



Brock Calderon is recent college graduate with a BA in communications and a minor in English. He is fresh in his writing career and apart from writing he enjoys eating at a new restaurant weekly and exercising to burn off all those excess calories from all those restaurants. If he isn’t writing, eating, or exercising he’s probably watching the most recent episode of whatever show is most popular at the time (Catching up on Game of Thrones right now). Originally from Sacramento California, Brock now resides in Culver City.

Health Other

What to Eat on Exam Day

October 29, 2014
What to Eat on Exam Day

Since it’s the middle of the semester our school work is definitely piling up. That means it’s time for exams. Doesn’t it seem as if your teachers put all of your tests in one week?? It sure seems that way to me. The most important thing about exam day is keeping your body healthy and strong. And what is a better way to do that with something we all love… FOOD! Below are some helpful tips to prepare your brain for exam days!

Brain Foods

One of the best foods to eat to increase your mental alertness is protein rich foods. A few examples are eggs, nuts, yogurt, fish, flaxseed, and cottage cheese. Blueberries are also very good brain food. They help reduce any effects of age-related conditions and also is found to help increase your learning capacity. This is extremely necessary for a college student!

Brain Boosting Drinks

If you want to do well on exams these drinks are perfect for you! Staying hydrated is important and the best way to do that is to drink water and tea without sugar. Drinking these drinks will help increase your alertness, concentration, and energy! How awesome is that? Drinking tea can also help other parts of your body. For example, if you can’t fall asleep before an exam you should drink lavender tea to help you calm down. A lot of people get restless the night before exams so this tea will help calm your nerves as well as increase your concentration!

Light Meals

The best way to optimize your brain activity is to eat light meals. If you eat too much food it can make you drowsy. If you’re drowsy, you’re not fully alert during your exam which can hurt your grade. An example of a healthy, light breakfast to eat is steel cut oatmeal and some eggs (preferably egg whites). These foods have choline in it which will help your mental performance and will improve your memory in the long run. Sounds pretty good to me!

Foods to Avoid

Foods with white flour like cakes, cookies, and muffins are bad foods to eat on exam day. You should also stay away from foods with high refined sugar like chocolate or other desserts. These foods are bad to eat because your body processes them quickly and can cause your blood sugar levels will drop. If you’re blood sugar levels drop during your exam, you’ll have a harder time concentrating and staying alert.

Drinks to Avoid

There are also some drinks to stay away from on exam day. Staying away from alcohol and sugary drinks will help you be able to retain information and stay focused. I know a lot of people like to drink caffeine. However, drinking caffeine actually increases your anxiety. Most people get nervous for exams so why add something that will increase your anxiety even more?


Let’s be honest, college students aren’t the best at eating balanced meals. Since this is happening, your daily intake of vitamins and minerals are low. This can hurt your mental health on exam days as well as your every day life. Supplements are a good way to make sure that you eat the required intake. A good vitamin to start taking is Vitamin B. Vitamin B strengthens your brain activity. This is found in soy milk, tofu, beef, chicken, eggs, and cereals. Iron, calcium, and zinc are also good because it boosts your ability to handle stress. This is perfect during exam days! Changing your diets to these simple tips can really make a difference during your day as well as during your exams. Eating healthy foods help create a healthy brain!

Health Other

5 Steps to Healthy Dining Hall Eating

October 7, 2014
5 Steps to Healthy Dining Hall Eating

Your first year at college is always stressful. Stressful from leaving home, stressful from having harder classes and stressful from time management. Because there is all of this stress, we tend to not think about what we’re eating and thus the notorious “Freshman 15” becomes a problem. A lot of people think that eating healthy in the dorms is basically impossible. This is not the case! I’m here to help give you some helpful tips about how to avoid the freshman 15 and be healthy while living in the dorms!

1. Choose the right snacks for your room.

Most people do a little shopping before they get to college of some foods that they can eat in the residence halls that have a longer shelf life. I know a lot of people (and me as well) bought a lot of easy to cook noodles, chips, crackers, canned foods, etc. Buying foods with long shelf life is a good thing to have but you should know which ones are healthy for you, like: nuts, seeds, dried fruit (with no added sugar), rice cakes, multi-grain crackers, and canned fruit in no syrup and with no added sugar.

2. Give yourself time to eat.

A large part of being healthy while living in the dorms is figuring out what to eat at the cafeteria. Most cafeterias love to advertise their not so healthy foods and forget about the healthy foods. This is probably because most unhealthy foods are easier to grab and go. While you’re going to the cafeteria make sure you give yourself enough time to get your food and be able to eat it. Eating quickly is bad for your body because it can cause heartburn or stomach aches and can also cause you to overeat. Not good for anyone!

3. Look for unprocessed foods and snacks.

Everyone probably knows that vegetables and fruits are considered healthy foods. However, they can also be considered unhealthy foods as well. Carrots or celery that is found in a prepackaged container with sauces to dip? Not healthy! Carrots or celery in their raw form? Healthy! Apples in a prepackaged container with caramel sauce to dip? Not healthy! Apples that aren’t precut and in (usually) a basket found with other fruits? Healthy! The key to determining what is healthy and what isn’t healthy is taking the time to question it. If you are thinking of getting packaged food with a lot of preservatives and sauce poured over it, it’s likely not going to be healthy.

4. Beware of less obvious, high-calorie choices.

A lot of people love their sauces and condiments. This includes ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, Alfredo sauce, hot sauce, etc. I know a ton of people who love their ranch dressing and put it on basically everything (salad, pizza, bread sticks). Eating this foods are okay to do but in moderation. There are also other alternatives to these foods that you can choose. If you want a salad with dressing? Use the vinaigrette dressing instead of ranch dressing. If you want to have pasta? Use a homestyle marinara instead of Alfredo or vodka sauce. These little changes can make a difference!

5. At meal times, choose lean protein, not carbs!

For lunches or dinners a lot of people that live in residence halls are tempted to choose pasta or pizza for their meals. While that is okay once in awhile, the best foods to eat at the cafeterias are lean proteins like salmon, grilled chicken or tofu, and vegetables, preferably raw or steamed. Salmon is extremely good for you and is generally a light food to eat if you remember to not douse it in high-calorie sauces or butter. Try adding balsamic vinegar or glaze for a healthier dose of flavor. Grilled chicken instead of fried chicken is the healthy way to go, even when those chicken fingers look so tasty. While looking at the nutrient facts for each, grilled chicken wins in basically all of the categories. The key to good eating in school is… less carbs=more focus and better sleep. It also keeps your body healthy and to say goodbye to the freshman 15!