Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tiger Spirit!

Ok, I know I said my last post was going to be my final post but I wanted to share one final picture!
These are my Mizzou vanity license plates!

Anyway, they were fun so I thought I would post them!

For those who have just recently stumbled upon my blog, my best advice is start reading from the oldest entries to the newest!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Final Farewell

I'd love to hear your feedback about my blog. Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought. What you liked or didn't like. What you would want to learn more of. You can leave anonymous comments too, so don't feel like you have to leave your name!

Seriously though, this has been a lot of fun! I hope all of you get involved your first year, enjoy college, and do well! If you want advice or someone to talk to (the transition can be stressful) don't hesitate to contact me. I love hearing from all of you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Packing List

This is the comprehensive packing list I made before I went off to college. Looking back it was pretty accurate but there are DEFINITELY some things I forgot and some things that were a huge waste of money/space. 

• Flip-flops
• Shower caddy
• Soap case
• Body wash
• Shampoo
• Conditioner
• Bathrobe
• Electronic toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Hairdryer
• Makeup case
• Razors, nail clippers, tweezers
• Tampons
• Prescription medication
• Nail polish
• Hair ties
• Headbands
• Kleenex
• Cough drops
• Advil
• Midol
• Cotton swabs

• Wastebasket
• Desk lamp
• Whiteboard
• Bulletin Board
• Pushpins
• Laundry hamper
• Laundry bucket (for supplies)
• Hangers
• Full length mirror
• Iron / Ironing board
• Rug
• Photos

• Alarm clock
• Phone charger
• Surge protector
• Television
• Camera
• Headphones
• DVDs

• Tupperware
• Mini-fridge
• Dishes
• Utensils
• Plastic Wrap
• Microwave
• Paper towels
• Dish towels
• Blender

• Formal Dress
• Swim suit
• Shoe rack
• LOTS of underwear
• Bras
• Shirts
• Dress shirts
• Jeans
• Shorts
• Gym shorts
• Pajama bottoms
• Khakis
• Black pants
• Skirts
• Winter coat
• Spring jacket
• Tights
• Socks
• Shoes
• Sandals
• High heels
• Flats
• Gloves
• Scarves
• Mittens
• Hat

• First-aid kit
• Tool kit
• Double sided tape
• Power strip
• Extension cords
• Removable hooks/adhesives
• Sewing kit
• Flashlights

School Supplies:
• Laptop
• Printer
• Planner
• Notebooks
• Binders
• Pens
• Pencils
• Highlighters
• Post its
• Index-cards
• Stapler
• Tape
• Dividers
• Ruler
• Flash drive

• Wrapping paper
• Cards
• Ribbon
• Address book
• File cabinet
• Fan
• Electric blanket
• Festive decorations
• Scissors
• Mini-vacuum
• Broom / Dustpan
• Forever stamps
• Envelopes
• Computer paper
• Windex
• Fabreeze
• Other cleaning supplies
• Laundry Soap
• Fabric softener
• Quarters

Guys: Tampons are probably not necessary for your list, same with Midol. You can probably take both of those off. :) 

Other things that I NEVER used: a blender (who was I kidding?!), plastic wrap, and a formal dress (some girls might actually use this, but I wasn't one of them). 

Some things I couldn't live without: VACUUM! Multiple trash cans (you'll get sick of emptying the one provided one every two days, so make sure you and your roommate each bring your own). Bulk amounts of toothpaste, soap, and shampoo/conditioner (these things are expensive if you buy them on campus, so just come prepared with extra). 

Things I wish I had: RAINBOOTS and two umbrellas (one will guarantee to break or be left in someone's car). 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Boring? Stressful? Think Again!

Quick post about how fan-tastic Mizzou is. Finals week may be known as “hell week” at other schools, which is just sad and lame, but at Mizzou it’s filled with energy boosting events that give you the motivation to make it through.

Beetle Bailey showed up to the pancake breakfast during fall finals week in December

Like the pancake breakfast held at the beginning of finals week to kick things off right!

Or, the first annual (hopefully continual) FLASH RAVE. Yeah, that’s right. Flash Rave. I got a few event notifications on facebook, but then all the sudden there were over 2,000 confirmed guests!

This year hundreds of Mizzou students flocked to speakers circle to all simultaneously burst out into dance at 11:00 pm for twenty minutes. Just enough to get all the stress out, get your blood pumping, and then get out. For those of you who haven’t been to the campus, Speakers Circle is also right by the library so a lot of students just dropped their books, busted a move, and then went right back to their flash cards!

Emily, Katie, and Me at the FLASH RAVE

Glow sticks and beach balls scattered the massive crowd that assembled. One thing I love most about Mizzou though, is that it’s big enough for enormous crowds to come out for a single cause, but you can still find your friends amongst them.

That’s all, time to go back to studying for my Spanish final. iMe desea suerte a mi!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eat Right, Stay Fit

With the go, go go, lifestyle that college inevitably brings you’ll need to stay energized, and with that comes eating right. The Mizzou Campus Dining is set up to be all-you-can-eat. This means you pay one flat fee, figured into your student bill, and get X amount of meals per week.

You can get 7, 10, 14, 17, or 21 meals per week. Let me just tell you right now: DO NOT GET THE 21 MEAL PLAN. Unless you’re a 300 lb line backer or a wrestler trying to boost your weight up to the next weight class, there is NO way you will eat 21 meals in the dining hall. Not only will you just not have time to get breakfast every day, but there are so many opportunities for free food around campus, you don’t need to eat in the dining hall 21 times a week.

When it comes to the food on campus, there are no mystery-meat Mondays. All the menu’s are published online, which is great. This way you can look ahead and pick where you want to eat based on what is being served. There will always be an open grill for lunch and dinner, so hamburgers and grilled chicken are always an option. It’s the same with the salad bar. Besides those staples though, various main entrees are served, which vary daily. The great thing about Mizzou is you’re never eating the same thing over and over again unless you want to!

If you don’t make it to the dining hall during the normal hours, there are other alternatives. Rollins Pizza To-Go is open 8:00p.m. – 11:00p.m. You can get any toppings you’d like, in various sizes. Recently they just added chicken wings and stuffed nachos to their menu. There is also Eva’s To-Go which offers food fresh from the Grill.

So what do you do with meals you don’t eat? If you have extra meals  you can redeem them for points at what is called the Emporium. Basically there are all sorts of snacky-snack foods that are worth X number of points. You get 7 points per meal. Pop-tarts are 2 points, cookies are 1 point, a bag of chips are 2, cinnamon rolls are 3 points, etc. You get the picture. While the emporium is nice if you have a couple meals left over or are leaving early for the weekend, try to pick a meal plan that minimizes the number of meals you’ll have left over each week.

With all this eating though you’re bound to gain a little weight. You’ve probably heard of the freshmen fifteen, right? Well we don’t have that at Mizzou. We have the Mizzou Twenty-Two. Because the dining hall food is so good and all-you-can-eat it’s inevitable that you’re going to put on some poundage. I’ll admit it – I did!

     Luckily, there is a solution: the Mizzou Rec. Center! The Rec. Center was ranked the best in the nation by Sports Illustrated magazine in 2005, and for good reason. Here are just some of the best points to highlight about the Rec. Center:

  •  All of the treadmills have T.V.s built into them with cable television. Some even have DVD players!
  • There is a Juice Bar where you can get energy shakes, Gatorade, and other work out necessities!
  • There are three weightlifting rooms for various levels. There is a quiet room, which is the unofficial beginner’s room. The normal weightlifting room, which has circuit training. And then the Pump Room. The Pump Room is on the lower level and is designated for the heavy lifters (there are over 14,000 lbs of free-weights). This is where the most macho men on campus go
  •  There is an indoor track that overlooks the basketball and volleyball courts below.
  • Scroggs Peak is our 42’ climbing wall. A year-long pass is only $30. If you like rock climbing, this is for you!
  • There are numerous racquetball courts that you can use.
  • The Tiger Grotto is the indoor pool center, which features a hot tub which fits 20+ people, a lazy river, a whirlpool, a waterfall, a sauna, and a steam room! This is one of my favorite places to go on a Sunday night. One weekend I saw Quarterback Chase Daniel there!
  • During the beginning and end of the school year you can head out to Truman’s Pond, which is the outdoor pool complete with the big screen television and fireplace.
  • If you’re into lap swimming Mizzou’s competitive pool area is enormous! The floor depth is adjustable, as is the length. There is also a 16’ diving well with various diving boards and platforms.

And that is just an overview of all the great things the Rec. Center has. If you like taking workout class you can get an all-access pass for $49/semester which allows you to take all the Tiger X classes you want. This includes things like Ab-solution, Tiger Tease, and a multitude of others. If you’re going to take a lot of classes it’s a great deal, otherwise classes are just $7/each.

If you’re into competitive sports I’d suggest looking into Rec. Sports, which are intramurals. They offer fun competition but not cut-throat. Sign up with your floor or with friends. Some examples include soccer, volleyball, and basketball. There are also club teams that you can join like fencing and swimming.

Now if being inside isn’t your style, Mizzou has great outdoor facilities too. Stankowski Field, known as Stank, has a track surrounding inside playing fields. It’s lit up at all times, so if you feel like a midnight game of soccer, you’re able to play there. There are also sand volleyball pits, which always have something going on.

So while you might indulge in the great campus dining food, you definitely have plenty of opportunities to work it off around campus. I highly suggest checking out the Rec. Center website at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time Flies By - Make it Count

iCal will save your life: put everything you need to do in there and check it daily so you don't forget!

I’m currently writing this blog at 6:11 a.m. The reason I’m telling you is to let you know that even the early-birds reading this will NEVER be awake this early by choice once you arrive at college. The reason I’m even awake right now is because I zonked out at 8:00 p.m. last night and woke up too early!

As you transition to college a lot of things change: your sleep schedule, your eating habits, and generally all of your daily routine. For the most part high school has had a comfort zone of consistency and regularity. Get up by 6:45, get out of bed by 7:10, shower and breakfast by 7:45, school starts at 8:25, leave school at 2:50, snack at home, dinner at 6:15, bed by 11:00. Because you design your own schedule at Mizzou there is a lot more flexibility. Having the choice in when you want classes is great because you don’t have to take early classes if you like to sleep in or you can chose to just have a full day on Monday Wednesday and Friday, with free days on Tuesday and Thursday.

There is a lot more to time management in college than setting aside an hour for homework every day like you might do now. Here are a few tactics that I’ve found helpful this year:

• Get your sleep!!! My friends make fun of me for being an “old lady”, but I have to be in bed by 10:00 or 11:00 to be functional the next day. While sleeping might not seem beneficial to time management if you don’t get a good nights sleep you won’t use your time awake effectively.

• Mark when exams are on your calendar! This is HUGE. While I personally have never had too many tests to handle at the same time, just last week my roommate had four exams and a paper due over the course of 3 days. She was able to talk to her English teacher and get an extension on her paper, but that shows how you need to be on top of your classes’ syllabi.

• On that note, figure out your final exam schedule too. Those dates are published way in advance as well, and it helps to know when you can go back home!

• If you have breaks in your schedule during the day use them as study breaks! It’s easy to just go back to your residence hall and nap or watch T.V. Instead, go to the library and type your notes or get some reading done! You should study 3-4 hours for each CREDIT taken per week. I’ll admit, it’s entirely unrealistic to study 45 hours per week, but you do need to study a solid amount.

• Plan social events that double as academic events. For my journalism class this semester I have to go to five school events, some of which are movies. Make it fun and bring your friends.

• Start studying for a test a week before hand. You might need more or less time, but that’s the ideal for me. Make sure you do your reading over the course of the semester and not jam packed at the end. Then its just recap for study! Also, don’t be afraid to use past exams if posted!

• College isn’t routine, there is always something fun and spontaneous going on. I encourage adventures by all means, midnight runs to Mizzou Market are the best, but try to keep your life in order! Don’t get wrapped up in one aspect and forget about the rest. It’s all about budgeting your time and leaving room for social life, eating, sleeping, GOING to class, and studying.

You’ll find out once you get to campus what works best for you. Maybe you’re more of a night owl than me and staying up till 4:00 a.m. is when you study best. If that’s the case, ignore most of what I said!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Workin' 9 to 5 (or maybe just 10 - noon)

I’m willing to bet that you and your parents have had this discussion at some point and it still may be unresolved: to work or not to work. With expensive tuition (especially out-of-state) and high interest rates, working may seem like the right road to take. That way you prevent taking out an extra loan, maybe get some spending money, or just save up. However, on the flip side, you’re in college to learn and typically that’s priority number one. Whether you choose to work or not is definitely a personal decision and dependent on financial need, credit hours, and involvement I’ll give you some possibilities to consider.


This seemingly simple program has so many misconceptions that it’s difficult to get to the truth. While I STRONGLY suggest you consult your financial aid representative, a.k.a. your Best Friend Forever (BFF), I’ll give an overview of how Work-Study actually works.

You must income qualify for Work-Study, which comes from filling out your FAFSA. There is usually a limit to how much you are awarded as well. For some, that is as much as they will work and once they reach that earning potential they stop working. Others will continue to be paid by the university. It depends on the department you select and if paid student workers are a part of their budget.

The name comes from the idea that you can work and study, but not at the same time. Don’t assume that you’ll just being doing some desk job and can have your textbooks out during your shift. Typically, that’s not the case, and usually you won’t want it to be.

Work-Study can be a great way to gain informal experience. There are jobs all over campus that you will be able to select from, but, in my opinion, you should choose something relevant to you. (For example: I am currently working in the Strategic Communications department in the Journalism School. I’m gaining practical skills that I can actually use on a resume. My friend is working in the Journalism Dean’s Office and making good contacts.) This can be an enhancing experience, but it is what you make it. I have other friends who chose jobs that didn’t fit them, and aren’t having as much fun.

While you’ll get a certain amount for Work-Study it will be divided over two semesters. I chose not to work first semester and instead decided to focus on my grades, so I lost half of my Work-Study allotment, but you can still accept a job offer second semester. I had friends who did both work study and school and did great – so it’s possible to manage them both. When it comes to getting paid, you only make what your award grants. You don’t get that award PLUS hourly – that’s what I originally thought and that’s wrong. You get paid hourly, which ADDS UP to the Work-Study money.

Finally, the great thing about Work-Study is that they work around your schedule. This is something you won’t find most other places! This gives you a lot of flexibility and typically shorter shifts.

Other Campus Jobs:

If you don’t qualify for Work-Study, don’t get down and out. I have friends who weren’t qualified, and they still have campus jobs. Campus Dining Services is a great place to work because you also get cheap meals – something that you’ll adore come next year.
I suggest going to the career center and talking to your financial aid advisor again – remember they’ll be your BFF for four years!

Working Off-Campus:

To be blunt and completely biased in my own perspective, as a freshman I would not suggest working off campus for several reasons.

• You have to deal with the whole car situation, which can be more of a hassle than it’s actually worth
• You don’t get to hang out with campus kids as much. Of course you’ll see Tigers all over Columbia, but it does create some distance.
• Typically those jobs are harder to work around your schedule.

My bias being stated though, I do have friends that do it and make it work. Many companies will transfer you if you work at a national chain, which makes the transition easy. It is also nice for waiters and waitresses because those jobs simply aren’t available on campus. (There are nice restaurants downtown though that I’d suggest.)


When it comes to figuring out how many hours you want to work I would make a general rule to cap it off at 15. Anything more than that just becomes too much. I work about 7-10, which is just enough to maintain spending money but not overload myself.

Alternative Solutions:

So lets say you want some way to reduce the amount of debt you’ll incur through student loans, but you’re not sure you want to work. A great solution is a job through Residential Life! (Keep in mind you won’t be eligible for these your freshman year, but it’s a great thing to keep in mind)

• Community Advisor (C.A.) – These staff members are in charge of the floor and overseeing resident conduct, floor functions, and other areas of interest. At other schools you’ll hear them referred to as Resident Assistants. C.A.s go on rounds (which mean checking to make sure everything is OK after quiet hours) a few times a month and are the go-to person for residents. These are generally in non-sponsored (FIG-less) areas.
• Peer Advisor (P.A.) – They do the same things as a C.A. but are also responsible for teaching a FIG class one hour, once a week.

These are very brief descriptions and there is a lot more to these jobs than just those paragraphs, but that provides the general idea.

For compensation, staff members receive free room and board (17 meal plan which can convert to EZ-Charge).

These opportunities aren’t for people who just want free room and board. It is a JOB and it is a time commitment. Typically student staff members should be very friendly and personable and engaging in the floor community.

I am currently applying to be a Residential Life staff member and the application process may seem a little intimidating at first. There will be informational meetings around December, which I suggest going to just to get a feel for the position. From there you fill out a simple application with a few essays. You then attend a group candidate class (4 sessions), which also entail homework assignments. The culmination of the process is with an interview with a Hall Coordinator (H.C.). While the spots are very competitive the process is something that you will walk away from with life skills no matter if you get the job or not. During your first year talk to your own P.A. and C.A. to determine if Res. Life staff is actually something for you. I’m mentioning it now so you can go into the school year thinking about it!

Ultimately, working is something that you should figure out with your parents. It’s not for everyone and you come to college for an education. Don’t try to do too much that you can’t handle the most important aspects. Always consider volunteering if working isn’t for you either. That’s a great way to stay involved and make a difference!