July 2009

Tips for Surviving with a Roommate

Whether you’re living independently in an apartment for the first time, hitting the dorm for college, or even expecting a relative or sibling to move in, you may be in for your first experience with a roommate. Oftentimes these are wonderful adventures; other times, they can feel like a layer of Hell on earth.

Either way, they do provide great learning experiences, and there are things you can do to help make the situation easier on everyone involved—including yourself! Here are a few tips for surviving with a roommate.

Short Guide to Being a Campus Organizer

Whether you’re into environmentalism or feminism, building houses or working in soup kitchens, there’s bound to be an organization out there that will gladly put you to use. You can bring your passion onto campus by becoming a campus representative or community organizer for that particular organization.

The group may already have a program for volunteers like you to help organize teams of volunteers on campus; check with them to see if they do. If they don’t, ask if they would allow you to be a campus representative or organizer.

Give College Students a Chance

I remember when the Bush Administration started adding more limitations to the Pell Grant and other government aid—including a wider gap for income qualification, which coincided with my own application. A first generation college student, I had only applied in the first place because I knew I had previously qualified—and though scholarships were in the picture, they didn’t cover anything but tuition.

Yeah, George, I’m still mad at you for vastly increasing my college debt unnecessarily—among, of course, many other things…

Today’s college applicants have even more difficulty receiving aid than I did. As costs continue to rise, families are finding it more difficult to pay for an education. My sister had a teacher—a teacher we’d both had, actually, and both are very fond of—just stare at her, aghast that she was attending a community college rather than a state university.

5 Tips for Surviving Freshman Year

You’re finally free, on your own, and a big man (or woman) on campus. You’re all packed, you have your schedule, you’ve met your roommate, and you are ready to finally be your own person, once and for all.

Or are you?

Freshmen dropout rates range from 20 to 25% for a reason. Public high schools often do not prepare students for a rigorous college schedule. Away from home, broke, perhaps on your own for the first time, you may not be as well equipped to handle “life on the outside” as much as you had thought.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to increase your chance of remaining at school and graduating, such as the following tips.

Staying Safe on Campus

Though we’d like to think that our schools are safe places to be, the fact remains that at least 5% of college women will be attacked this year. Sickly enough, 51% of males who have attended college even admit to sexually attacking a woman at least once—and that’s not counting the ones who don’t own up to it. With that many sex fiends on the loose—and with so many women being attacked by men they already know—who in their right mind feels safe to begin with?