4 Lies You’ve Been Told About Sorority Life

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Recruitment season is back in full swing, and you may be wondering whether it’s something you want to participate in or not. Before you make your final decision, it’s time to clear the air. Everything you’ve heard is not true. If you’ve ever been told you’re not the type, it’s a huge time commitment, it’s an easy way to make friends, or that you’re buying them, it’s a lie.

4. You’re not the type At most schools, there is a place for everyone. Step outside of the stereotypical sorority personality you have conjured up in your head. Not everyone is like that. In fact, most of us aren’t. Don’t let the more cookie cutter houses you visit during recruitment make you believe that that stereotypical sorority girl stigma is true.

3. It’s a huge time commitment It is what you make of it. You’ll have to go to weekly chapter gatherings and meet the semester expectations, but those are fairly limited in most cases. You are in no way required to attend every social event or be on time to everything. If you have soccer, a large class load, or student council, there are always excuse forms for you to fill out. Greeks want you to be a well-rounded person!

2. Joining a sorority is an easy way to make friends If you’re shy, joining a sorority isn’t going to automatically make you super outgoing. Joining a sorority doesn’t also guarantee you friends; it’s no different than college life in general. You need be active, participate, and be open to new friendships. You still have to put in effort.

1. You’re buying your friends Going along with #2, you’re not buying your friends, because they’re not even guaranteed. What you’re buying is cute tees, a new house, yummy meals, social functions, and an incredible amount of philanthropy opportunities. You’ll just find that you make friends along the way.

If you have any doubts, give it a try. You might just be surprised.

Surviving the Dining Halls and the Freshman 15

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It’s still up in the air as to whether the freshman fifteen is actually a “thing”. I’ve decided it’s just a rash generalization, and although it does happen to some, it doesn’t happen to all (or even the majority). But how can you make sure that you’re not one of the victims of the freshman fifteen while being at the mercy of the dining hall cooks?

Keep healthy snacks in your dorm – It’s easier to resist those calorie-loaded snacks in the food court if you know that as long as you hold off for a little while longer, you can have a similar low-calorie option in your room later if the craving still persists.

Everything in proportion – Keep in mind that it’s okay to splurge on that soft serve ice cream machine every once in a while. Just remember that you don’t have to fill the bowl to the brim- maybe put it in a cup instead. This rule holds not only for dessert but the main course as well. Decide how full you will fill your plate and what portion of it should be carbs, veggies, protein, etc.

Make it quick – In order to keep your portions down, don’t turn dinner into social hour… or two or three. Lingering in the food court can cause you to go back for seconds even when you’re not necessarily hungry. Instead, leave when you finish eating and socialize elsewhere!

Fruits and veggies – Unless they’re dowsed in oil and butter, it’s pretty hard to mess up vegetables… and the same goes for fruit unless they’re coated in sugar. Keep your plate bright and colorful with fruit and veggies. If you’re worried about how they may have been prepared, keep them fresh and head to the salad bar.

Create a routine and/or plan ahead – Creating a routine is a great way to ensure that you are eating right. It also makes things easy – you won’t have to worry about your nutrition everyday if you are eating the same foods/ types of food. Sometimes the food court doesn’t offer the same items though. In this case, check the menu online (if it’s offered). This way you can go straight for the healthy option you picked out ahead of time and not get side tracked.

How have you combated the Freshman 15? Is it a source of concern for you? Let us know!

How to Prepare for a Successful School Year in College

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Prepping for a new school year is necessary no matter if you’re in college, high school, or middle school. If you think about it, our parents have been preparing us for a new school year, year after year, even before that. There is nothing worse than starting off a new year feeling overwhelmed and stressed. So what really is the best way to get yourself ready for a new school year?

Reset your sleep schedule
Sometimes summer has a way of making our sleep patterns nonexistent. We stay up until the crack of dawn for Fourth of July fireworks, late night camp fires, movie premiers, etc. You won’t be able to just magically wake up for that 8 am class feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day in August. A week or so before classes resume, go to bed early. See how early you’ll need to go to bed to get a full night’s rest. Maybe you’ll discover you’re the type of person who needs 8 hours of sleep… maybe only 7.

Plan ahead
Immediately after I get my planner, I check online to find my university’s schedule, and I write down all of my breaks for that year. Then, when my professors post the syllabuses online before school starts, I pencil in every single assignment I have listed for that school year before I even get to class. There’s no doubt that I have a pretty full planner before I even get to class. I like writing out my schedule ahead of time so that when my assignments actually start rolling in, I’m not wasting time trying to write down my schedule as well. It can be a time consuming process!

Color code
Color coding your planner can help you declutter the pages. I do this myself. Orange is for everyday life – doctors appointments, lunches with friends, etc. Pink is for blog deadlines and my post schedule. Blue is for class assignments and school related obligations. Green is for sorority events. This helps prevent notes from running together and you reduce your risk of possibly overlooking something in the process.

Print out your syllabus
Do this before your first class. It will be helpful to jot notes down in the margins while your professor is going over it the first day. You’ll also be a lot more organized than if you were jotting down notes for all of your classes on loose leaf. The hardest part about this step is making sure you actually keep these syllabi in a safe place so your notes are of use to you! Put them in your binder or individual folder for each class.

Do it the night before
This is a great piece of advice for life in general. Whenever possible, prep your bag and clothes the night before. Go over tomorrow’s schedule and outline your responsibilities. In the morning, you can sleep in a few extra minutes, and you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to go!

Did I miss anything? How do you prepare for a successful school year? Let me know below in the comments!

How to Deal with a Difficult Roommate in College

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I consider myself one of the lucky ones, because my freshman roommate was one of my best friends and still is to this day (shout out to Katie!!), but I have definitely witnessed quite a few roommate relationships spiral out of control in the past two years, and I know it isn’t always easy to deal with. But it can be done.

If you’re dealing with a difficult roommate, there are plenty of steps you can make to take action. Don’t let this relationship suffer, you’re spending months with this person!

1. Address your concerns respectfully. The last thing you want to do in a rough roommate relationship is create even more strife. Remain polite and calm and tell your roommate what is on your mind. Refrain from sounding accusatory or harsh. It will make your roommate much more receptive.

 2. Don’t only state the problem, suggest a solution. In trying to make your issues as simple as possible, tell your roommate what you would like to happen going forward. It can be hard to hear that someone has a problem with the way you’re doing things, but if you give them an idea of what to do instead, they aren’t simply left confused and guessing. Be clear and concise about what can be done to fix the issue.

3. Try to distance yourself. Yes, your room is your room just as much as it is theirs, but it can be hard to spend so much time in such tight quarters (let’s face it, dorm rooms are small) and never get space between you. Learn to step away if things are tense. A little space to breathe will keep things from escalating to an unnecessary point. Take a walk through campus or visit a friend in a nearby room.

4. If the problem persists, don’t be afraid to consult your RA. They’re trained to deal with these situations and more likely than not have had experience with your type of roommate drama. You are only one of the many, many college students that find rooming with a complete stranger a (sometimes) stressful time!

There are several different types of difficult roommates, and you can’t always deal with them the same way. Have you ever had to deal with a not-so-easy roommate? How did you handle it? Let me know below in the comments and help others going through an experience like yours.

Moving into Your First College Apartment

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Moving into your first college apartment is a relief for most students. By the time you get there, you’re done with sharing a bedroom, tired of food court meals, and you’re ready to live with your best friends and have freedom and space. In order to make your first experience the best it can be, I’ve rounded up a few tips:

During Apartment Tours

  • Take pictures: Photos can help, especially if the apartment website doesn’t have great interior shots. You’ll be thankful when you’re trying to pick out decor. I can’t pick out decorative pillows, because I can’t remember what color the couch that comes with the apartment is!
  • Ask about utilities and fees: Just because one apartment may sound like the cheapest, doesn’t mean it is. Some apartments have special monthly fees attached to their price that might not be advertised online (or may be in the fine print).

During Shopping Time

  • Buy quality: There’s no doubt that buying all of the necessities for an apartment is expensive, but most of the things you buy (pots, pans, silverware, etc.) are going to be used again post-college and can easily be taken with you to avoid having to buy them all over again. Buying quality will ensure you can keep these apartment essentials around for the long haul.
  • Make a checklist of what you need: Using pre-made checklists can help you get started on your own. I’m using an Excel sheet to categorize items and leave a check-mark box next to each. It’s working well! Consider using Google Sheets if you want to share your list with your future roomie – that way you can both easily mark your name next to the items you have bought.

While Packing

  • Label your boxes according to room: You may remember what you put in the little box and in the big box, but your family helping you unpack won’t know, and this will keep things moving smoothly on move in day.
  • Remember you actually have to lift the boxes: Don’t get oversized boxes thinking you will be able to shove everything into one, because when you go to pack up the car, you won’t be able to get it off the ground. Aim for a medium sized box that you know you’ll be able to carry.

On Move In Day

  • Make note of any damages: To avoid fines during move out that weren’t your fault, take plenty of pictures even if they don’t seem like a big deal at the time. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Realize it is going to take time: You will have forgotten items you never would have even thought you needed. Things will pop up within the first week or two that you discover are essential. It will take time for you to really feel right at home.

Have questions about your first college apartment/college life? Tweet me @aliinbloom, and I’ll help you along the way!

Sorority Recruitment Tips

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Preparing for sorority recruitment can be a stressful and nerve-racking process, but actual recruitment doesn’t have to be! Recruitment can be a fun and exciting time if you don’t let your negative emotions take over. Here are a few sorority recruitment tips to help get you through your experience and make the most of rush…

Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in It’s noticeable when a girl is fidgeting with the hem of her dress or wobbling in her heels. If you feel good, it will show! Don’t feel pressured to wear something that you normally wouldn’t just to impress.

Realize you’re not the only one who is nervous Some girls that you meet will radiate confidence, but most girls are nervous on the inside, because it is just as important to them that you like their house as it is to you that they want you in it.

Take detailed notes Your leaders will likely advise you of this before you start, but boy did I ignore their advice. Depending on the number of houses at your school, it can be hard to remember every conversation you have at every house. Writing down funbrunette, silly will not help you remember your conversation three days later as much as you thought it would. In order to make your final decision easier, take this tip seriously! Details, details, details.

Be cheery and excited even if that’s not how you feel There’s no doubt about it. The days are long, and by the last house you visit, you are going to be tired of talking. Unfortunately, sometimes your favorites are last, and that means that you still want to show your game face.

Be unique and take initiative Girls ask potential new members the same questions, so make yourself stand out! Don’t be afraid to give a detailed answer or share a story. Talk for a few minutes and be yourself. She’ll be happy not to have to force the conversation with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either! It is a welcomed break.

Stay optimistic Houses that you like may drop you. It happens ALL THE TIME – more often than you would even think. But on that note…

Your first instincts may be wrong The house that you think you are in love with, may not be what you’re making it out to be in your mind. If you give other houses a chance, you may come to realize that your first instincts were wrong. The sorority you thought you loved and that dropped you wasn’t actually the best fit for you.

At the end of the day, just breathe and be yourself. This process can lead to great things and a whole lot of memories. You want it to be an amazing experience! Have more questions about sorority recruitment/ college life? Tweet me @aliinbloom, and I’ll answer them next time!