Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Feature: Matt's Dorm Room

Happy Friday, lovely people!  I've decided to try a bit of a series of features here on the blog, and as it conveniently happens to be Friday, I'm calling it Friday Features.  Yep, I am just that talented.

For the first feature, I would like to introduce you to my lovely friend Matt.  He's a junior here at school and he's a resident advisor (RA) in my old dorm.  He has his own YouTube channel, MattNazario, where he makes videos about college life and traveling and whatever else strikes his fancy.  He's got a super funny, quirky way of putting things, so I'd highly suggest checking him out.

Anyways, for those of you who have followed the blog for a while you know that I attempted a few different decoration ideas during my time in the dorms, which you can find here.  Once I moved in with my grandparents I also decorated that room, and I think it's safe to say that my decorative skills have definitely improved.

But I have nothing on Matt.  He's a three-time dorm room survivor, and his room always looks fantastic!  After weeks of bugging him about it, last week he uploaded a tour of said amazing dorm room, which you can find above.  I'm still in awe.

Do you guys have any tips for decorating a small/dorm room?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Movember!

So, remember when I said I would be posting weekly LSAT prep updates and lots of content?  Well, obviously that was a lie.  This month has been far more crazy than I was anticipating, and I literally have not had time to get out my tablet and draw up a little check list.  Suffice it to say that prep is going well, and that I probably should stop using it as an excuse to not do my actual homework.

This past Friday, however, I let myself have a little fun by going to my university's basketball game.  It was a very special game in that the basketball team decided that they wanted to show their support of No-Shave-November (aka Movember).  They did this by attempting to break the world record for the largest gathering of people all wearing false mustaches.  Yes, this is a very strange world record (kind of makes you wonder who decides what to actually record, doesn't it?).  They passed out free mustaches and wristbands at the door and we recorded our attempt on video during half-time.  It was a really fun event and I have to admit that I don't look half-bad with a 'stache.

Happy Movember, everyone!  If you guys would like to know more about the mustache-movement and their quest to raise awareness for men's health issues, you can check them out HERE.

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to Not Go Broke in College

Last weekend, I went shopping for the first time in a long time, and I will admit to getting a little over-zealous.  Granted, most of my purchases were gifts as part of my early holiday preparation, but I still felt like I had spent more than I wanted to.

I know that being able to manage their own money is not a skill that most kids bring with them to college.  Personally, I definitely over spent during my freshman year and have since learned to be more money conscious and responsible.  So, in the interest of helping you guys learn from my mistakes, I thought I would compile a few pieces of advice for how to have occasional shopping weekends like I did and still not go broke while in college.

*Please keep in mind that I am in no way a financial professional, and I am not being paid by any of the mentioned companies to pitch their services/products.  I'm simply sharing tips from personal experience.

The Amazon Student App
1. Sign up for Amazon Student
Seriously, Amazon is a lifesaver.  Not only do they sell practically everything (seriously, everything), but Amazon Students gives you all of the free, two-day shipping benefits of Amazon Prime, but at half the cost.  As I've mentioned before, I highly encourage everyone I know is attending students to first try and purchase their course books from Amazon and their affiliated sellers before buying from their campus bookstores, where book prices are often astronomical.  If you'd like to sign up and help me out a little, you can do so through my referral link HERE.

Walgreens Balance Rewards Card
2. Sign up for a local rewards program.
After the first month or so at school, you'll know the stores that you go to most often and have the best selection of products.  Most grocery and drug stores have a rewards program that is free to sign up for, in which you get special discounts and sometimes cash rewards.  I personally have signed up for the Walgreens Balance Rewards program because that is where I do a lot of shopping for food, health items, etc.

Everyone loves Starbucks cards!

3. Limit your off-campus expenses.
If you live on campus and have a meal plan that is included in your tuition fees, use it.  Think about it: you or your parents have already paid that money, so you're really just wasting it if you never eat on campus.  If you do need the occasional off-campus treat like a drink from Starbucks, try this: buy yourself a Starbucks card with just $25 dollars on it and limit yourself to one card a semester.  If you only buy Starbucks when you have money on the card and are not allowed to refill it, you will stop wasting money on expensive coffee and save it for weekend trips and events instead.

Along the same lines, if you live off-campus and don't have a meal plan, pack yourself a lunch.  Consider this: a loaf of bread costs me $3-$5 and will last me at least 2.5 weeks.  Fresh sandwich meat for the week is about $3.50 and my favorite mustard is also $3.00.  Now compare that to the $5+ dollars you could end up spending a day if you buy lunch.  Yeah.  Pack a lunch.

Bank of America Mobile Banking App

4. Download a mobile banking app.
Most banks now have some sort of a mobile banking application for all smart phones, and it's a really easy way to keep track of how much money is on your account at any given time.  Just make sure that you keep a close eye on your phone and never save any account information outside of the secure app.

5. Get a part time job.
This is honestly the best advice I can give you.  Even if you didn't qualify for work study, ask around campus about assistant, TA, and reception jobs.  Work in the cafeteria or the admissions office as a student ambassador.  You don't have to work 14 hours a week like I do; even a few hours a week can help pad the inside of your wallet.

And when you get that first pay check, be sure to put a least half of it in your savings account.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Wrap Up & Favorites

Yes, I will be taking a bit of a break from "Booktube" for the next month or so in order to focus a bit more on school.  Wondering this is suddenly necessary?  Refer to yesterday's post.  However, writing up and creating images for blog posts does not take half the time of planning, filming, and editing a video, so expect plenty of content here!

What have you guys been reading and loving this past month?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

LSAT Countdown: Week One

 photo lsatweekone_zps9d421457.jpg

There are exactly five weeks until I take the LSAT exam, which means I have to step my preparation into high gear. For those of you who don't know, the LSAT is the exam that is used to determine acceptance into law school, and it has been terrifying potential law students for years.

For my part, I feel shockingly calm about the whole event.  However, in order to push myself to stay on top of things, I thought I would share my last weeks of preparation here on the blog in order to remain accountable.  Yes, I realize that this isn't the most exciting thing for you all to read about, but it will really help keep me on track.  And I will be posting other things as well, never fear.

Well, I'm off to keep studying!