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residence life

Adulting

5 Tips To Pass Your Cleaning Check This Semester

July 20, 2020

College is fantastic, isn’t it? Well, most of the experience is. There are things we could all do without, like the endless stacks of homework, the all-nighters that you need to pull to get ready for exams, and of course, the regular room inspections. Who wants to deal with that headache?

Fortunately, those who have gone before you have come up with some helpful tips for passing dorm room inspection, even when time is not on your side. Follow these helpful tips to pass your inspection with even the most discriminating resident advisor.

Don’t Panic! It Can Be Done!

Inspection of your dorm room can be stressful, but it is not a time for freaking out and stuffing things under your bed randomly. Believe it or not, they do check that as well. Take a deep breath, make some plans ahead of time to deep clean the bathroom and make your bed, and all will be well. 

Talk And Plan With Your Roommates

You are in this together, so why not plan to clean together? Divide and conquer; split up the workload and get everything ready for inspection at the same time so you don’t have to stress out when your advisor is knocking at your door. If for some reason your roommates are unwilling to work with you, let your advisor know ahead of time and get their support so that consequences don’t fall on your shoulders.

Get Supplies; Prepare For The Big Event

Don’t worry; the Center for Disease Control isn’t going to be at your doorstep anytime soon. You do have to pass certain sanitation requirements to keep your advisory staff happy though. Get the proper cleaning supplies for each area of your living space. For large carpet stains, using a device similar to commercial carpet cleaning machines might be the best way to take care of business. See what your advisor has available for use so that you don’t have to spend too much out of your own pocket to get the job done. Scrub, polish, and be proud of a job well done!

If You Have Contraband, Get Rid Of It!

If you have anything that is against your contract, you should probably have never gotten it or never signed the contract. However, it’s too late to go back in time, so you must get rid of it as soon as possible. Depending on what the contraband is, you may need to deep clean even more to get rid of the evidence of your violation of contract. For example, if you aren’t allowed to have pets but have had a dog for the past few months, it’s going to take some time and effort to get rid of all the dog hair and the dog smell. For future contracts, make sure you follow them exactly.

Once It’s Clean, Keep It That Way

Why do a marathon cleaning session once per semester if you can keep it tidy by picking up after yourself on a regular basis? Make cleaning a regular occurrence, and you’ll save yourself valuable time and energy when periodic inspections come around again. From time to time, advisors are asked to do spontaneous dorm room checks to ensure that students are living in compliance with campus and school law. Keep your affairs in order, and you’ll never be caught in a situation where you have to explain your personal habits or cleanliness to other school staff members.

Your dorm is your home for the length of your tenure at school, and like it or not, it does reflect on you and the kind of person that you are. You are setting up valuable habits for the future care of a home and possessions; maintaining a tidy space now will ensure your success with bigger responsibilities later on. 

Grab your gloves, get your brush, and start scrubbing! Celebrate your unique space, and know that you are learning a lot in the process of being accountable to others and keeping a clean environment for everyone.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Health Other

How Being Eco-Friendly at College Can Save You Money

July 10, 2020

Embracing a greener lifestyle is a great way to improve your carbon footprint and help leave a positive impact on the world. But did you know that it can actually save you money, too? Here are some easy ways you can benefit financially from a more eco-friendly college experience

Avoid Single-Use Anything

If you haven’t already, it’s time to ditch the plastic water bottles and to-go coffee cups and opt for a more sustainable option. Every single minute, the world uses one million plastic water bottles, so do what you can to help cut back on that. Take it a step further with reusable grocery bags and avoiding disposable utensils.

Temperature Control

One of your sneakiest expenses can be hiding in your utility bills. Bouncing back and forth between temperatures can be costly, as well as bad for the environment. During warmer months, you’ll probably be tempted to crank the AC in order to stay cool. Instead of turning down the thermostat, you can keep your room cool without using as much energy by getting blackout curtains. You should also make sure that you’re only turning the light when you’re in the room and need it on. Check your air vents, or talk to your landlord or property manager, to make sure they don’t have any dust or debris buildup that could hinder your home’s cooling efficiency. 

Go Digital

Instead of taking notes on paper, try using your laptop or tablet instead. Not only will this save paper, but you’ll be spending less on notebooks and pens. You can even voice record your lectures and listen to them later on. 

Change Your Commute

Consider riding your bike to work. Not only will you incorporate a fun workout into your day, but you’ll also be helping to relieve stress. It can also help you save money on transportation expenses like gas and auto maintenance. If a bike ride doesn’t work for you, look into other options like carpooling or taking public transportation.

Re-think Your Textbooks

Tired of expensive textbooks that you’ll never use beyond that one course? Look into used book options! Many websites and local bookstores offer buy-back programs on previously-used books. Not only will this help you save money in the beginning, but it also gives you the potential to earn money back once you’re done with it. Another great option is to use digital versions of textbooks. Oftentimes you can buy downloadable copies right from the publisher, for pennies on the dollar of what the paper textbook would cost. An added perk? Many of these include updated annotations or dictation, so you can better follow and understand the content as you go. 

Get Thrifty

Why pay full price on anything when you can get great items for a fraction of the cost? Whether you’re looking for a quirky piece of furniture or new clothing, you can find just about anything in thrift stores if you look hard enough. 

Turn it Off

Turning off or unplugging electronics that you’re no longer using is one of the easiest ways to curb your use of power. Hit the lights when you leave a room, and unplug chargers when you’re done using them. Then take it one step further and cut back on your water usage while you shower, brush your teeth, or do the dishes.

Working towards a greener lifestyle doesn’t have to be an overnight thing. It’s a process, and it’s okay to take as much time as you need to ease into it. Making small changes through the day can lead to lasting effects down the line that your planet, and wallet, will thank you for. 

Health Other

Essential Recipes for College Students

September 6, 2019

As a college student, you are probably already sick of eating at the dining hall and eating out can be way too costly. There is a solution to this issue! You don’t need a full kitchen to have a delicious meal. You can cook something great right inside your dorm room. Here are some recipes that are perfect for college students!

2 Minute Omelette in a Mug

This is the perfect recipe for a student who is looking for a quick breakfast in the morning. You can get a boost of protein from this customizable microwavable meal!

Two Minute Thai Peanut Noodles

This is a recipe that reinvents your typical bag of ramen noodles. Adding only a few ingredients takes a cheap and ordinary meal and turns it into something special! 

Peanut Butter Banana Wraps

This is a simple and easy to assemble recipe! If you have a busy day this is a great option for a meal you can eat on the go.

 5-Minute Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Whether you are a vegetarian or not, this is a great lunch or dinner option for any college student. With only a few ingredients you can assemble a tasty and healthy meal in the comfort of your own room. 

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Mug cakes are delicious and easy to make! It could be fun to invite some friends over to make mug cakes in your dorm on a cold day. 

These recipes are easy to make and will be a refreshing change of pace from dining hall food. Cooking is a fun activity to do with friends or even on your own! Having a few recipes available to make in your dorm for when you don’t want to go to the dining hall will come in handy. Experiment with these recipes and look for some of your own to figure out what works best for you!

Other Transition

Why Should You Have Renters Insurance in College?

June 6, 2019

How much stuff are you bringing with you to college?

In today’s day and age, students are packing up their entire childhood room and bringing it with them when they go to college. With gadgets and appliances getting more expensive, the average student doesn’t have the means to replace their belongings for school right away if they get stolen or ruined. Imagine if your laptop gets stolen while you are at the library; are you able to just go out an buy a new one to replace it?

That’s where GradGuard™ College Renters Insurance comes in! It can be there to help students when the unexpected happens. With useful features such as worldwide personal property coverage and low deductibles, GradGuard College Renters Insurance can help students get back to what matters: their education.

Watch the video below to learn about why GradGuard is a must for college students:

Other Student Life

Picking the Right Renters Insurance Deductible

February 20, 2019

College offers many young adults the first opportunity to live in their own apartment or share one with friends. But living independently can leave you financially exposed to unexpected disasters, like fires or burglary. Renters insurance—sometimes required by apartment complexes—offers a form of relatively inexpensive financial protection from these risks. And you’ll want to pick the right deductible to balance both coverage and costs.

What Is a Renters Insurance Deductible?

When you make a renters insurance claim, the cost of any covered event is split into two parts: the amount you pay and the amount your insurance pays. Your share of the cost is the deductible, with your insurance company paying the balance.

If your policy has a $1,000 deductible and you file a claim for $1,500 of stolen items, you’ll be expected to cover $1,000 of that claim. Your insurance company will pay $500 to cover the expenses of replacing your lost items.

How Deductibles Affect the Cost of Insurance

Renters insurance deductibles can have a notable impact on the price of your renters insurance. When you purchase a policy with a high deductible, you’ll pay a lower rate for your insurance. The reverse is also true: A lower deductible results in a higher rate.

If you file a claim for the theft of $1,500 in personal belongings and have a $500 deductible instead of $1,000, your insurance company will pay you $1,000 to cover the damage. However, your renters insurance policy will cost more, likely a few extra dollars per month.

How to Pick a Deductible

How do you decide between higher or lower deductibles? There are a few things to consider.

A higher deductible will get you a lower premium. However, you’re also increasing the costs of replacing your property should a loss event occur. It is a cost-saving measure in the short term, but in the event you make a claim, you’ll pay more money than you would with a lower deductible.

College students who can afford to pay more money out of pocket and have expensive items to cover may consider a lower deductible. The premiums will be higher, but if you need to file a claim, the insurer covers a larger share of your costs.

Unique Risks for College Students

College students should also consider the risks posed by their location and roommates. If your apartment or rental is located in a high-crime area, you’re more likely to experience a theft. Roommates also represent a risk, as they may be the cause—directly or indirectly—of thefts, fires or other potential losses covered by your renters insurance. The higher your risk, the more appropriate it is to select a low deductible.

College students own thousands of dollars in property, and financial protection for all these items is important. The average cost of textbooks and class-related supplies can be over $2,000, according to CollegeBoard. And even if you have digital versions of your class materials, your laptop and other electronic equipment are high-value items that are at risk for theft or destruction. Picking the right deductible will help you balance affordability with financial protection.  GradGuard offers low deductibles to benefit students the most. Get a quote at any time online on our website!

Other Transition

Dorm Life: Expected vs. Reality

January 29, 2019

What you think about dorm life is probably different to the reality of living in a dorm. One thing’s for sure – you want to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know.

How to get the most out of living in a dorm

Reggae legend Bob Marley could have been giving advice about how to approach dorm life when he said: “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief, and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.”

Good advice, but if you haven’t had an older brother or sister who’s lived through the dorm experience, what you expect from dorm life and what you get is not always going to be the same thing. One thing’s for sure – you want to be prepared for life in a dormitory!

Why live in a dorm at all?

  • Living in a dorm or campus house is the best way to transition to college life – we’ll tell you why.
  • It’s expensive to finance an apartment off-campus for the duration of your stay.

The highs of life in a dormitory

  • Living in a dormitory puts you in the middle of things. You’re part of the university community and just a stroll or brisk walk from classes – now your 8:00 a.m. start doesn’t seem quite so painful.
  • You have facilities and amenities at your disposal – study rooms, the library, and dining hall which means you don’t have to shop for groceries or try to get to grips with mom’s mac ‘n’ cheese recipe. Having access to a gym and laundry’s cool, and your room will already be wired for the Internet and Wi-Fi.
  • You’ll never feel alone. You’ll be surrounded by fellow freshmen all experiencing what you’re going through. Most people will tell you that some of the best friendships of their lives were made in a university dormitory.
  • Living in a dorm means you expand your horizons by meeting people of nationalities and backgrounds you’ve never mixed with before. You’re all one big dorm family united around a new adventure. And there’s always an insomniac to hang out with when you can’t sleep.

How to prepare for the lows of dormitory life

  • Space and privacy are the biggest battles of dormitory life. If you’ve shared a bedroom with a sibling who talks in her sleep, you’ll probably find the experience of sleeping a few feet from a stranger a bit easier.
  • Dorm bathrooms are a whole new experience. You’ll need to assert your right to good hygiene and get used to showering in flip-flops.
  • Quiet time is a luxury. You probably haven’t guessed how much noise a bunch of undergraduates living in close proximity can generate. Make sure you’re never without good quality headphones.
  • Get ready for independence. You might have been dreaming about a complete lack of parental control for years now, but many freshmen find it hard to get to grips with the responsibility of freedom. Yes, you’ll have RAs and staff members keeping an eye on you, but you’ll need to get yourself up and ready for class without your mom’s voice calling softly in your ear.

Living with your dorm decision

It may take a couple of months, but most students count their dorm experience as one of the best times of their life. If you end up hating the experience, keep in mind that it’s only temporary and off-campus living is an option.
Still undecided about which school to attend and the facilities on offer? This report takes an in-depth look at some of the top universities in the U.S. offering aviation and aeronautics courses, including a comparison of the cost, courses offered, course content and duration of study for each.

Regardless of what you decide, remember that GradGuard is here to help with all your Tuesday Tips, college hacks, and to increase your chances of excelling at adulting!

Other Transition

Why Renters Insurance is A Smart Decision for College Students

January 17, 2019

College students are smart to consider protecting themselves with renters insurance.  In fact, a majority of state insurance commissioners recommend college students consider renters insurance.

According to the 2018 Clery Act reports on campus crime, colleges and universities reported 22,469 burglaries. During the same year, campuses reported 2,070 fires within on-campus student housing.

“While property crimes like burglary and campus fires are an ongoing problem on many college campuses, the good news is that there is a renters insurance policy that is designed just for college students,” said John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard, an authority on protecting the investment of college students and their families and a leading provider of renters insurance to schools nationwide.

With so much money at stake, Fees suggests that college parents make a plan in case their student is a victim of theft, their property is damaged by a fire or water damage or if they are found responsible for accidental damages they may cause. As a result, college students and their families are smart to consider purchasing renters insurance before the start of school.

The Top 3 Reasons Renters Insurance is a Smart Decision for College Students:

  1. If you can’t afford to replace your backpack, bicycle or computer – Renters insurance can replace your stolen or damaged property.  Renters insurance can cover those costs and help you get back to classes, without the added stress of a financial loss.
  2. If your school does not replace stolen or damaged property – The majority of schools do not replace stolen or damaged student property. Be sure to check with your school to see what their policy is and how much money is at risk.
  3. If you can’t afford to pay for accidental damages you may cause – True renters insurance includes personal liability protection and can help pay for unintentional damages when a student cannot.

According to Bob Soza, President of College Parents of America, “not all renters insurance programs are the same. We recommend GradGuard’s college renters insurance plan because it includes an exclusive student endorsement that provides affordable coverage that features a low deductible, worldwide property coverage, and no credit check.”

Fees continued, “college students and their parents are often caught unprepared and these unexpected incidents can also disrupt a students’ education.  Fortunately, they do not also need to be unprotected, for about $.50 cents a day, students can secure protection against financial losses making renters insurance a must have consideration for college families.”

This article was updated in July 2020

Other Student Life

8 Pro Tips to Make Packing for College Easier

July 20, 2017

8 Pro Tips to Make Packing for College Easier

Move in time is exciting, but packing is a pain. Instead of trudging through another week of packing for college, use these tips to make the process easier. When you label your boxes and use a strategic packing plan, for example, you can prepare and move in quickly and efficiently.

Write a List & Take an Inventory

Organization is the key to make packing for college easier and that starts with a list. This is the best way to be both efficient and effective—without a list, you’re likely to miss odds and ends and have last-minute items that don’t have a box to fit into. If your college sent you a packing list, go off of that, otherwise, you can create your own or use our Ultimate College Packing List.  Take Inventory of all of your personal property so that you also have an idea of how much stuff you have that might need to be replaced if it is stolen or damaged.  This will make it easier to file an insurance claim.  And yes, be sure to consider purchasing GradGuard’s college renters insurance that has a low deductible and typically costs about fifty cents a day.

Use Labels

Labels make packing and unpacking easier. When packing, you know where to put extras and last-minute items. It’s even more helpful when unpacking if you label any box with essentials as Unpack First: “Rather than having to search through every box for your pillow cases to make your bed that first night back in the fall, refer to your inventory list so you’ll know exactly which box it’s in,” suggests experts at EZStorage.

Go Room by Room

While you won’t be packing more than one room for college, you will need items from the various rooms within your house. As such, this packing technique ensures that you get everything you need, from your laundry basket to a can opener and more.

Don’t Overpack

Heavy boxes are a pain to carry, load and unload. Instead, “Keep the weight of each box under 50 pounds. This will help you in packing and unpacking if boxes need to be moved around. It will also facilitate quicker loading and unloading,” suggest moving experts at Abba and Sons. It may be a pain to weigh each box, so go by feel. If you can lift it comfortably, but it’s not light, you’re good to go.

Keep Clothes on Hangers

The worst part of unpacking is re-hanging all of your clothes. Avoid this tedious task by keeping everything on hangers. Pop holes in the bottom of plastic bags to use them as clothing bags, in case it rains. This is also a good way to keep your hanging items organized, if you like them sorted in a specific way, I.E. Long sleeves and sweaters in one, slacks in another, etc.

Check Last Year’s Stock

 If you’re returning to college, check all your stuff from last year before packing it: “Go through the stuff you threw in your basement when you moved out last spring—throwing out and replacing old or broken items and amenities now will save you the hassle of hauling them all the way to campus and hunting for necessities there,” suggests Sarah Kismet, contributor HerCampus. Check anything electronic, like your desk lamp and alarm clock, along with storage boxes that may have cracked and anything else that was on the brink of breaking at the end of last year. Replace those items now, before packing.

Tape Drawers

In college, organization is all about the plastic sets of drawers that are easy to transport and inexpensive to buy. Instead of taking everything out of these to re=pack in boxes, simply tape the drawers closed so they won’t slide open while moving. Unpacking will be great when you don’t have to remember what goes where, especially if the drawers already organized.

Place All Liquids in Baggies

There’s nothing worse than opening a box and finding that your shampoo has opened and covered everything else in the box. Avoid this potential mess, and move-in day headache, by putting all liquids (including soaps) in sealable bags. If anything spills, it will be contained, making clean up easier. Packing and unpacking doesn’t have to be a pain. Use these tips to make the process easier and more efficient. When move-in day comes, you’ll be unpacked ready to hang with your friends in no time.

 

 

This post was contributed to GradGuard by Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, Lifehack, SoFi and more.Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, new workouts and more.