12 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Back-To-School Style If You DON'T Have A Dorm Room

12 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Back-To-School Style If You DON'T Have A Dorm Room

Who says commuters can't have the makeover fun, too?

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Now that my sophomore year has officially begun and I have a year of college under my belt, I can confirm that being a commuter has its pros and cons. Depending on how you feel about commuting, the pros can include not having a roommate, still being able to sleep in your own bed and big space, and so on. The cons do include making it a bit tougher to make new friends and become really involved on campus, but you can still easily attain these things. One of the things that really make me "aw" for a second, though, is when you keep hearing this infamous pairing of words: "dorm decorating."

I'm probably speaking for most commuters when I say that seeing all the pictures of people's nicely decorated dorms and being tempted to buy the aesthetically pleasing tapestry in Target kind of makes you sad; I may even be right in saying that this makes you second-guess yourself on if you should've actually dorm. So for all the people who want their own corner of wall space to make their own but don't have the official cube dorm room to do it, here are several ideas that more-than-efficiently substitute this. Before you know it, you may be super excited that you commute after all.

1. Personalize your laptop case with stickers.

This may sound silly at first, but this is honestly such a fun way to make your laptop pop amongst all the other MacBooks and Dells. Not only is it a great makeover moment for your tech, but it also makes a great conversation starter for others who spot them, too. Most people get these from Redbubble.com — they literally have so many to choose from that it's impossible to not find a few you don't absolutely love.

2. Go thrifting!

Even though I have never done this before myself, I have heard nothing but good things about this common hobby. It is way cheaper to buy clothes and accessories from these kinds of stores rather than name brands, and not to mention I hear the clothes can be even cuter than theirs! How can you beat this win-win deal?

3. Give your bedroom a new look.

Since you don't have a dorm to decorate and post cute pics of on Snapchat, why not do something to your own bedroom at home? Take advantage of the fact that you have your own space that is bigger than a closet and revamp a bit! Get fairy lights to string around the room or even pick a new paint color for the walls; whatever the change is, it's bound to look ah-mazing.

4. Make your commute playlist(s).

No matter how long or short your commute is, you need to make sure you have the proper jams to listen to on your way back and forth from school. Whether you subscribe to Apple or Spotify — or you still just use CDs — make sure they are all the songs you love and feature a variety of moods. The more the better!

5. Pinterest new and cute ways to take notes during lectures.

Every time I Pinterest tips on studying for school, there are hundreds of posts that pop up about the different ways students can take notes during lectures. This isn't a pointless task either- this will make your notebook way more organized and can even tremendously help you study. These tips can save you in the long run, so don't shy away from at least Googling this one.

6. Get the cutest containers and lunch pouch for your meal-prepped foods.

Any commuter knows the struggle of figuring out what to do about meals during the semester. The questions always consist of whether you want to bring convenient food like pre-packaged snacks or actually take the time to cook healthy meals. Motivate yourself to choose the latter by buying different sized food containers and a lunch bag to match. This may sound kiddish at first, but literally so many commuters (and even people with full-time jobs) do this, too, so just join the trend!

7. Rent USED books instead of buying them.

I cannot stress this one enough. By renting used books instead of buying new, you are saving yourself so much money along with desk space where that book could be lying after you're done with that course (a.k.a. my philosophy book from my first semester of college). Check out your university bookstore or even Amazon and weigh your options- the cheaper the better, my friend.

8. Find the most aesthetically pleasing stationary to match your personality.

This is another one that sounds YouTuber-esque, but if you're just as obsessed with stationary as I am you should definitely treat yourself to this. There are so many different stores now that sell countless different kinds of stationary, so your perfect one is definitely out there somewhere. This will definitely make you more excited to take notes during class as well as get you more organized, too.

9. Clean your social media followings.

No one ever really thinks about this, but this can really make your daily social media scrolling a much better time. Go through each of your social media accounts (Snapchat, Twitter, Insta, whatever else) and look at who you follow. Make yourself unfollow the random spam accounts and people you literally don't really talk to anymore. This will honestly cleanse your brain of the negative vibes and make you feel better.

10. Sell/Donate your unused books, clothes, etc.

This one can help you make money as well as clear a ton of space in your room. Save one Sunday to just clean your closet, desk, under your bed, and anything else and make a garbage bag full of stuff you don't use or want anymore. You can give some stuff to your friends who dorm or even donate it to goodwill; better yet, you can even sell some of the really good stuff online. It may take some time and effort, but this will definitely be worth it.

11. Try a new morning beauty routine.

Every person wants to have a really good morning grooming routine- what better time than now to start one? Think about all the usual things you do, like brushing your teeth and doing your hair, and see if you have time to add in quick yet beneficial tasks. Try that face wash that's been sitting in your cabinet, or practice awesome makeup looks so that you can complete them in under five minutes. Just writing about this makes me motivated to start the day in this fresh, new way.

12. Create a new workout regimen.

I've honestly been meaning to do this for myself lately. If you're like me and are super paranoid about getting toned again, mark in your planner that you want to create your own personal workout routine. Schedule a set time during the week where you can go to your school gym, local track field or even your living room floor to burn those calories. There's nothing wrong with a little exercise.

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A Typical Week In College As Told By The Grinch

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch...
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When your alarm goes off for your first class of the week and you want no part of it.

No. No. NO. NO. NO. NOPE. NO WAY.


When you realize you have 3 exams, a quiz, a project and a meeting in the next 2 days and you get a liiiittle grumpy.

If this hasn't been you at least once since September, you're lying to yourself.


Planning out your day after class.

Priorities, am I right?


When the stress starts to get to you.

Because food is always there for you, ya know?


How your brain feels by mid-week.

College hurts.


When you've been trying to pretend that you don't have emotions in order for you to not have a psychotic meltdown but it happens anyway.

I'm just gonna leave this here.


When your roommate watches you cry and roll around on the floor like a toddler and asks if you wanna go get food.

Because Wings Over is the ultimate mood booster and soul-satisfaction.


When you're done with classes for the week and you think about the killer nap you're gonna take.


No better feeling.


When Friday finally arrives after a week of talking to no one besides your roommates and the questionable voices inside your head, and someone asks you what your plans are for the night.

Let's face it, going out is great, but so is sleeping.


After you've finally gotten out of bed and ready to go out, and you know you look hot as hell.

"Tell me how good my ass looks in this. Seriously."


But then you realize that you don't have shoes to match..

"Maybe I can go out barefoot...that's a thing, right?"


After you finally get your shit together, you call an Uber, and you and the squad show up to the party ready to make bad decisions.

Let's get weird.


When you find someone you haven't seen in forever at the same party as you and you get a little too excited.

"Oh my God, you're just like, the best. Have I ever told you that? Ugh, I LOVE YOOOOU!"


When you wake up the next morning and you and your roommate talk about all of the crazy shit that went down last night.

Hair and make up still on point, because you were way too lazy to deal with that.


And most importantly, when you've been an absolute bitch all week, but your friends still love you anyway <3

Love you humans, couldn't do it without ya!

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College Tours Are More Than Just An Escape From The Classroom For High Schoolers

Touring colleges during high school is very helpful for seniors who just don't have the time to go on their own.

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Recently, the College Coach for Russellville High School planned a day for the juniors and seniors to tour Austin Peay's campus. Our coach and a group of students loaded onto the bus and traveled to Clarksville, Tennessee.

Our busy day began immediately upon arrival.

The tour guide led us from the Ellington Student Service Building on a trajectory to the Morgan University Center. The group was taken to a meeting room where an admissions advisory gave a presentation and answered questions. The total cost for an in-state freshman is around $20,000. Austin Peay offers multiple scholarships to its students and once an applicant clicks submit on their application, they'll automatically be registered for any eligible scholarship or financial aid.

College students can participate in more than 130 student clubs and organizations.

An average class usually has 24 students, so if you're not a fan of the big universities this could be the place for you. Students have a choice of over 53 bachelor's degree programs or 22 master's degree programs.

Once the presentation was over and questions were answered, the group went back outside and met their next tour guide who accompanied us for rest of the day. She was a theatre major which explained her energetic spirit. She led us around campus, telling stories and educating the students about all the buildings and resources they provide on campus.

We were surprised by the ample amount of diversity at the college. The juniors and seniors were even able to interact with a college student and hear her talk about her project to bringing awareness to domestic violence. We continued and toured several residential buildings until they came to the spot from where they began.

It was a fun, enjoyable and educational day for us high school students.

Our coach rewarded the students by taking them out to eat at the highly-recommended Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. All the students were very respectful and showed a lot of interest.

Keep your eyes out because one of our own seniors might attend Austin Peay in the coming 2019-2020 year!

Also last Friday, Gate Students and Book Club members attended the second annual Youth Adult Southern (YAS) Book Con. Ms. Nancy Skipworth, Mrs. Lauren Fynboe and Ms. Jessie Nugent traveled with the students to Western Kentucky University where the event commenced at 9:00 a.m. in the Downing Student Union.

Free t-shirts were handed out to the students before they ventured off on their own to interact with a room full of authors. The authors' genres ranged from romance, fantasy, fiction, crime and much more. RHS students were able to personally talk with authors and gain insight into the world of publishing.

Throughout the day, numerous panel reviews and workshops were held for people to learn about the skills of creative writing. Several students purchased books from authors at the event and traveled back to school with knowledge, books and full bellies.

The event was very beneficial for the students who aspire to become authors themselves or those that just like to read. The students chose to eat at a restaurant on the campus such as Chik-Fil-A or Steak & Shake. Near the event's end, we explored the campus and met new people.

The trip was amazing and then we had an absolutely great time! Special thanks to the teachers that went on the field trip and made it possible for the students going on such a fun trip!

It's always great to experience a good time at school. Most students believe school is boring, but when administrators and teachers make an attempt to make the experience enjoyable it makes students more proactive.

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