A Survival Guide To FSU's Dorm Life

A Survival Guide To FSU's Dorm Life, It's Not Always As Bad As It Seems

Don't spend your time there being miserable!

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After committing to FSU in the spring of my senior year, one of the things I became most excited about was decorating my dorm! I began online shopping almost instantly and fantasized about how cute my room would look.

I mapped out where I would hang my tapestry, and even started deciding what pictures I was going to cover the walls with. However, as many of us know, living in a dorm is not all that glamorous.

After spending my first semester on campus, I can safely say I was unprepared. Everyone warned me that dorm life comes with a host of inconveniences, and now that I've experienced them for myself, I decided to put together the ultimate guide that will assure the best possible experience for those of you living on campus!

1. Be open with your roommate.

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Whether you know your roommate from before, or met for the very first time on move-in day, forming a relationship with him/her is key. Learning to live with another person and giving up your own privacy can definitely be a struggle, so communicating with your roommate about your concerns can lessen the burden on both of you. Chances are you both have habits that bother each other, so be open about it! Communication truly is key.

2. Stay clean and organized.

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I've always been somewhat of a neat freak, but it wasn't until I moved into my college dorm that I really understood the importance of keeping things clean and organized. When you are living in a tiny room with another person, things get messy, dusty, and dirty much quicker than you think. Keeping your closet, bed and desk area organized will assure that you have a calm and stress-free place to study and do work. With so much else going on, the last thing you should worry about is finding a clean shirt in a mountain of laundry you have piled up on the floor!

3. Stock up on healthy snacks.

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For me, living on campus often meant making the (not so) long journey to the dining hall anytime I got hungry. Being lazy, I quickly fell into the habit of going down to the vending machine on the first floor and buy a bag of goldfish instead of walking across campus. Don't be like me! We all know college students hate spending money, but once a month, go to your local grocery store and stock up on fruit, granola bars, and anything else that can keep you full and healthy. If you're into couponing and finding good deals, this won't even break the budget!

4. Get to know your RA.

Although you may not have much interest in bonding with your resident assistant, getting to know them can be a great way to make living in a dorm a better experience. Your RA has been in your shoes, and they are there to help you! Talking to them about roommate issues, or anything else you have going on can make it easier to find solutions. They are a great resource that you can use to find out ways to become more involved on campus, ways to improve your study habits, and especially ways to reduce conflict between you and your roomie.

5. Spend time outside your dorm.

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I saved the most important tip for last! Living on campus, I often find myself bored and sick of spending time cooped up in my room. Finding other places around campus to study and do work is an excellent way to reduce distractions that you may have in your room, which often make it hard to focus. Aside from studying, spending time at the gym, with your friends, or at other campus events are excellent ways to switch up your routine and spice up dorm life!

Even though living in a dorm can have its challenges, following these steps, and remembering to keep a positive outlook will ensure that you have a great first year of college!

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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