Graduation Nation: Time for a Celebration!

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graduation‘Tis the season for college students all over the US to be graduating!  CONGRATS TO YOU!!  No more homework, no more books, no more professors’ dirty looks.  Now, what comes between the day you throw your cap in the air and the day 9-5 takes full effect (besides moving back in with your parents)?  Your Graduation party! For your last acceptable college party, the three major things you need to focus on: invitations, decorations, and FOOOOOD.

Now, lets be honest.  No one will show up to the big event if they don’t know an affair even exists.  The invitation sets the tone for your invitees, so make sure you pay attention to the details – whether it’s adding a picture of a top hat for a fancy fiesta or a handkerchief for a graduation hoedown!  It should include the 5 W’s in a way that exemplifies the theme of the party so that guests know what to expect.  

With the innovation of Pinterest, you can get invitationphotobooth ideas in a cinch.  Even more so, you can get detailed decoration ideas that will leave your guests in awe.  One of my favorite ideas (so much that I did it at my own party), is doing a photo booth with some great props.  With a great backdrop, this simple station creates a fun aura for everyone from your college roommate to your great grandma!  For the added FOMO effect (Fear Of Missing Out), create a sign with a unique hashtag for your friends to use on Instagram or Twitter.  That way, you can see all of your party pics in one spot…and so can everybody else! #GraduationStation

Finally, the big enchilada – THE FOOD!  At a graduation party, it’s easiest to stick with simple entrees since you don’t know who can eat what when you’re feeding the masses.  But that doesn’t mean it has to look simple.  Adding a black ribbon around rolled up utensils in a napkin, imitating a diploma, is one simple idea that adds a little somethin’ special.

While planning your party, don’t forget to breathe!  It can seem overwhelming from time to time, but don’t sweat it.  Just stick to these three main ideas and remember how hard you’ve worked it – you deserve it!

 

OCM Presents: Off to College with OCM!

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Join this student and her family on their journey to college and beyond! What they bought, how they prepared and just how OCM was an integral part in their transition to campus.

 

You’re Almost There; Hang in there!

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Hey college student! Great job at almost successfully getting through the semester. If this is your first year on campus, you might have experienced your first “I’m behind” moment. Don’t worry, everyone goes through it whether it’s at work, school or even at home. Instead of giving up and giving into the stress, here’s a few pointers to keep you on track.

The first thing to keep in mind is that college is stressful for a reason and it’s not supposed to be easy. Learning to divide your time up wisely and focusing on what’s important is the best way to stay on track. Make sure that you create a calendar of what’s due and what dates you have exams on so that way you won’t ever miss a beat. If you aren’t into traditional wall calendars, try a dry-erase board calendar, a fabric foam board to pin important reminders on, or even keying in all of your important deadlines into your phone. Your smartphone doesn’t just connect you to the world; it also is there for you to set reminders and alarms so that you’re never late or behind.

The second thing to remember is not to beat yourself up over one bad grade or a late assignment. You’re working really hard at school juggling extra curricular activities, new friends and surroundings, and on top of that, class and exams. Just because you turn one paper in late or get one C on an assignment doesn’t make you a bad student. Give yourself some credit for all of the great things you’ve accomplished since you’ve arrived on campus and use those positive thoughts to motivate yourself and get back on track.

Once you start feeling like you’re getting behind and you’re overwhelmed, it’s often tempting to want to hide under your XL Twin comforter and sleep your day away. Although this sounds like it could fix all your problems, it will only make them worse. Instead, try talking to your professor and seeing if they’ll let you turn in somethings late or re-do them for full or partial credit. If you feel like there’s just too much work that you don’t understand, take a deep breath, and take a walk around campus. Not only will you get in some cardio that will get your endorphins running to raise your spirits, but you could also find a number for a tutor or mentor on a job board. If the problem is simply that you got a bit lazy and got behind, don’t get mad at yourself for it and give up. Use that to motivate you to buckle down and get it all done. Your professor will notice you trying and may even offer some assistance in getting you back on track.

Once you’re all caught up and where you need to be, take a nap and reward yourself for your dedication and motivation. It feels great to know that you can overcome anything once you really focus on getting it done, right? But you’re not done quite just yet. Before you close the file on this issue, first evaluate what made you get so behind. Were you overwhelmed with too many classes? Were you having problems dividing your time between extra curricular activities and class? Are you not getting enough sleep or missing home? Finding out what made you so upset and behind is the key to preventing it from happening again. As long as you really try your best to stay on top of your work and ask for help when you need it, you’ll get into a habit of getting things done and you’ll feel much better.

What other suggestions do you have about falling behind? Have you ever been in this position? Answer below and tell us your thoughts!

Forgetting Class Essentials; Don’t be THAT Guy

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Delfonics makes pretty pens and pencils

A pencil. A pen. A piece of notebook paper. Flash cards. A Calculator. An Eraser. Even a paint brush. This is a growing list of everyday items that almost every student needs on a day by day basis for their classes. And even though this is a common list that’s been used since we could actually attend school there’s always that one guy (or girl) in the class who still manages to forget one or at least 2 of the items on this list every single class. If you don’t mind lending out a pen here or a piece of paper there, wait until your classmate comes unprepared for every single class and asks YOU to lend them their forgotten items the entire semester long.

Usually, these people are so scatterbrained that they ask you if they can borrow the item for the rest of the day and give it back to you during the next class. You say yes to be nice, but you know you’re never going to see that item again. That is, unless it’s in another class where your classmate is gnawing on it and covering your pen cap in saliva and teeth marks.

When you lend something to someone, you’re pretty much giving it to them, or at least accepting the fact that there’s a high chance you may not get it back. You end up spending more money that semester buying things for other people to borrow from you than you do actually buying supplies for yourself. And most the times (from my personal experience) those people that borrow stuff all semester long will show up one day with a plethora of all things class materials; pens, paper, erasers that smell like your favorite candy, even highlighters. If you just happen to forget your pen that one day (maybe you accidentally lent your last one out to someone in your last class) and you ask your usually forgetful friend to borrow an essential, they’re always very cautious about their belongings and are more likely to not let you borrow one.

What?

That moment when the person you’ve been lending pens to all semester suddenly denies you even their least used pencil with the chewed off eraser.

Suddenly, you’re the one material-less and the one person you’ve paid taxes too won’t chalk up a measly pencil. Call me protective or just a plain ol’ hoarder, but I like to keep tabs on everything I have. I hate being that one kid in class who has to whisper during the teacher’s lecture asking everyone for a pencil. It’s embarrassing and makes your professor distracted. If your professor has to stop their teaching because you can’t find a writing utensil not only will you make them a bit mad, but you’ll also look unprepared. Make sure that your bag is packed every night with everything you need for class the next day. If you’re allowed to bring laptops to class, make sure you charge your laptop the night before just in case you can’t get a seat near the wall outlet. Don’t forget to pack your charger, and bring a pen and paper just in case. Also always handy to keep around is an Ethernet cable for internet connection and a USB drive to back up or retrieve saved files. While you’re at it, you might as well stuff your backpack with an umbrella, gas mask and two weeks rationed off food. You can never be too safe!

Nine Questions to Ask your Friends Home from College

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No one will be more honest with you than your friends. So, if you’re heading off to college this fall, or preparing to apply to university take advantage of your friends’ knowledge. Track down anyone you know from high school or sports programs that’s in college already and get the inside scoop this summer. You’ll be surprised at how much information your friends have to offer, and they’ll love talking to you about their experiences.

1)What should I expect in the dorms?

Will the dorms be like the movies? Is independence as cool as it seems? Your friends will be able to tell you plenty of stories about their roommates and experiences living in a residence hall.

2)Is college really harder than high school?

We’ve all heard scary stories about college grades and professors, but are they really worse than your Spanish teacher who assigns two essays a week and refuses to let you speak in English, even when you have no idea what’s going on? Your friend will be able to give you a better picture of what college is like, especially if they went to the same high school.

3)What’s the best way to meet people?

Someone who shares your interests (and knows you) might have some great insights on the best way for you to meet people on campus, which will help you settle into your university easier.

4)What’s the food like?

Just remember that not all cafeteria food is made alike, and your university might have way better food than your friend’s school

5)Should I do anything to prepare for college now?

Aside from purchasing all your dorm room essentials, my answer to this question would be a definite no, but your friend might have a different opinion.

6)Do you like college

Make sure you get an explanation for her answer. Also, remember that opinions are shaped by your perception of your experiences. If you head to college with a positive attitude you’ll probably love it more than you will if you expect to be miserable.

7)What advice do you have for me

This is the best question, because it opens the floor for your friend to tell you anything about college. There are probably things that your friend wishes she had known before her freshmen year, and this is a great opportunity for her to share them with you.

8)What activities would you recommend

Did your friend have the time of her life in honors society? Did she find an internship through her membership with the Women in Science and Engineering? (WISE) Ask your friend about opportunities available to you in school and remember the ones that interest you.

9)Do you have any tips for how to live with a roommate?

Your experience will be different from your friends, but it never hurts to get some advice from someone who has lived through the journey you will soon embark on. So get their advice on how to meet your roommate for the first time, and how to deal with the inevitable arguments and issues.

Senioritis

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It’s a common affliction. There is no cure for it, there’s no pill to relieve your symptoms, and you can’t just brush it off.

The affects can last for months; from the moment you receive your first acceptance letter to the moment you walk out of your high school.

The only solution takes a lot of hard work and determination. So remember:

1)What you do now matters

You do not have a permanent contract with your future university. If you slack off in your senior year they can retract any scholarships you’ve received and your acceptance. That wouldn’t be cool.

2)Next Year will be a lot harder

Don’t get in the habit of slacking off. Your first year of college will be harder than all four years of high school put together. So focus and get ready for what’s coming

If that isn’t enough to get you motivated than think about all the free time you’ll have if you get everything done ASAP. There’s nothing more stressful than putting off homework, so get it done and just relax.

Choosing a Living & Learning Community

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Living and Learning Communities give students the best opportunity to make friends and find a home at their new university. If you’re nervous about fitting in or adjusting to the college lifestyle a living community might be perfect to help you make the transition. And if you just want a close group of friends to do stuff with, it’s still perfect for you.

Floor Specific Communities:

In floor specific living communities you’re housed with a group of students who share the same major or interests as you. Every school has their own variety of living communities, and they often change from year to year. Some of the common communities include Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Students in Arts and Sciences. Aside from major specific communities there are also communities that focus on interests such as writing or exploring your new city.

Honors Dorms:

If you’ve been accepted into the honors program, the honors dorms are the best way to spend your freshmen year. Honors students often have access to a variety of programs and benefits that other undergrads don’t have the opportunity to participate in. Living with other students that share those opportunities makes it easier to take advantage of them. Plus honors students are often spoiled with the best dorms on campus. Don’t miss out on it!

Freshman Dorm:

Every college has at least one freshmen dorm. Overloaded with young freshmen, eager to make the most out of their college experience these dorms often become the party dorms. If you’re looking for the traditional college experience, you know, the one Mom and Dad always brag about and you’ve seen in every movie, than the freshmen dorm is the way to go. You will meet a lot of students in these dorms and you will have a lot of opportunities to get involved on campus.

Foreign/Transfer Students:

To help make the transition as smooth as possible, many universities have living communities for both foreign and transfer students. These dorms often have programs set up to help you get to know other students and to explore your new city. So if you’re nervous about the change or you just want some help adjusting this may be perfect for you.