Do’s and Don’t’s of College Packing

Summer is almost over which means it’s time to start packing for school. My first year at college, I definitely overpacked and filled my dorm room with a bunch of things I never touched. At the same time, there are some things I didn’t bring that I really wish I had. If you’re going into your freshman year of college and you have no idea what to bring for your dorm room, here are some do’s and don’ts.

DO bring a rain jacket and rain boots.

Initially, not only did I not bring either of these things, and I didn’t own them either. In high school I never would have been caught dead in rubbery rainboots, but in college when you’re walking around campus they are essential and will save all of your cuter shoes from being damaged.

DON’T bring a ton of books.

You might think you’re going to read them all, but I assure you, you won’t.

DO bring medication.

Create a little first aid kit for yourself with your vitamins, Advil, bandaids, etc.

DON’T overdecorate.

Decorating your dorm room is fun and decorations might look pretty, but the truth is you’re being put into a very small space with limited room. Too many decorations will just make your room look cluttered.

DO bring a full length mirror.

You’re going to want to check out your full outfit, and a little vanity mirror just won’t do.

DON’T bring a ton of jewelry.

Odds are you either won’t wear it or you’ll end up lending it to someone and not getting it back. Bring a few key pieces you know you’ll wear, and that’s it.

DO bring reusable water bottles.

Instead of wasting money on plastic water bottles, bring a reusable one that you can fill up with water fountains.

DON’T bring multiple pairs of heels.

You’re not going to want to wear heels walking from class to class and no one really wears heels to frat parties. Bring one neutral pair in case of a special occasion.

DO bring one or two nice outfits.

Bring one nice dress or a pencil skirt and blazer because you never know when you might have an interview or a formal occasion.

DON’T bring a ton of school supplies.

Most of your college work will be done online, so there really isn’t much use for a ton of binders. Instead, bring a few folders for loose papers and a notebook or two.

DO bring two sets of bedsheets.

When you wash one set of sheets, you’ll be able to replace them with a new, clean set.

DON’T bring an iPad.

An iPad isn’t necessary in college as long as you have a cell phone and laptop.

DO bring a steamer.

I used my steamer a ton in college. It’s a useful thing to have in case all of your folded tops get wrinkled.

Packing for college is exciting, but stressful all at the same time. It’s exciting to know college is so close, but if it’s your first time leaving home you might not know exactly what to bring. Hopefully you find these do’s and don’ts helpful. Good luck!

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6 Things I Miss About Being Home

Time spent away at college makes you appreciate the little things even more when you visit home. As fun and exciting as college is, there are some things I really miss. I love college, but every once in awhile I find myself feeling a little homesick and really missing these seven things.

1. My dog- Probably the thing I miss most about home is my favorite little companion, my pup. My dog is my best friend and the cutest little cuddle buddy. The first thing I ask when I call my mom is, “How’s Sadie doing?”

 

2. My mom- Although we argue most of the time, I truly miss my mom more than anyone. I miss our nightly talks at dinner and gossiping to her about the drama going on in my school and at her work. I miss being able to tell her about anything and everything going on in my life and seeing her face every day.

Andrea Mazzola

 

3. My own room- In college, you are almost never alone. Privacy becomes a true blessing when you have a roommate. Don’t get me wrong, having a roommate can be cool, but everyone still needs their private time. It’s the little things I miss, like being able to make a phone call without anyone overhearing, or being able to study in my bed. It’s easy to get distracted in an environment where you are constantly surrounded by people.

Andrea Mazzola

4. Home cooked meals- Dining hall food gets old really fast. Not only are you eating pretty unhealthy, but you’re also eating the same greasy pizza every day. College will make you appreciate your mother’s cooking so much more than you thought you ever would.

 

5. My car- Just as soon as you get your license, the privilege of driving is taken away from you. Being stranded on campus really sucks sometimes, and things like Uber can be kind of expensive. Word of advice: If you can, bring your car on campus.

Andrea Mazzola

 

6. Clean bathrooms- If only I could take a shower without wearing flip flops, and if only the the toilet seats didn’t have pee on them. It’s honestly just really hard to feel clean when your shower is infested with drain flies.

Andrea Mazzola

 

As awesome as college is, there are just some things I didn’t appreciate enough at home. Everyone gets a little homesick at times, but still, I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything.

College, Philanthropy, Internships, and Bloglovin’

HELLO! What’s up everyone?? I feel like it’s been a super long time since I last wrote a simple post on what’s going on in my life.

If you keep up with my blog posts, you know I had a very difficult summer. I had the biggest shock of my life that changed my life forever. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts for awhile, you know I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Basically, the two of these put together have had a really unhealthy impact on me.

But I’ve been making it through and I am slowly getting better, although my heart might hurt forever. As of right now, I’m doing the absolute best I can in school to make a promising future in order to support my mom. My classes this semester are the most difficult classes I’ve taken thus far so of course, I am struggling. But after all, it is college so I should have never expected it to be easy. I’m doing my best to stay balanced, but that is definitely the toughest task of all in college.

Halloween is next weekend which I am SUPER excited about. Guys please don’t think I’m some sort of party animal or anything because I promise I’m not, but I’m going out 4 days next weekend. Listen, I work super hard so I think I deserve to go a little crazy for Halloweekend. I have a costume planned for each night… stay tuned to see what they are.

I’ve also been very busy with my sorority. I am constantly doing philanthropy events and I have to tell you how much I love it. Sometimes I’ll be sitting in bed and I’m just like “ugh, I don’t feel like doing this” but then I go, and I’m just in awe about how incredible the experience is. For example, I worked a breast cancer walk last weekend. Initially I sooo did not want to go because it meant waking up at 6am on a Sunday, but then I went and I had the most amazing experience. I had the chance to speak with hundreds of survivors and it made me feel so inspired. It was such a great experience.

I’m also beginning to apply for summer internships. Crazy right?? School literally just started, like it’s only October. BUT it’s never late to start looking! I definitely need some work experience (and if it’s a paid internship.. even better).

Also, one last thing. I’ve been using this site for awhile to keep up with all of my favorite blogs and I recently added my blog on there as well. It’s called Bloglovin’ and you can find my profile here. It would mean so much to me if you guys would follow me on Bloglovin’ to keep up with my latest blog posts!

I’m so grateful for all of you that follow and keep up with my blog! If you have any questions, comments, or requests, please do not hesitate to leave them below!

xoxo

Andrea

Thinkin’ Bout You (Freshman Year)

And just like that, my freshman year of college is complete. It’s so absurd to me that I already have completed one year. It’s so weird- it feels like everything has changed, yet nothing has changed. I left for a whole school year. I’m back. I’m still the exact same person. My morals haven’t changed, and neither have my dreams. I definitely learned a lot about myself this past year. I gained a ton of new friends and encountered many new experiences. In a nutshell: It was awesome.

It all kicked off with a little carnival Rutgers through for us full of bouncy houses and pizza. This was a great way to start off the school year. I met a ton of people at the carnival, and while most of them I haven’t seen since, it was cool to go around and socialize. It was also a great bonding experience with my roommate!

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Rutgers offers this thing called a Flex pass- it’s pretty awesome. Basically you spend $45 and you get a full semester of unlimited classes of almost anything you can imagine (fitness related, of course). I bought one for my first semester and did yoga, ballet, and zumba every week!

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There’s always something going on at the Rut. In the fall, there was a huge bonfire that me and all of my floormates went to. This was one of the first times I bonded with everyone on my floor. Although the bonfire itself was a bit lame, I’m glad I got to get to know all of these awesome people. And look how cute we are twinning!

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Thanks to RUPA, I had the opportunity to see some awesome comedians! This year I got to see Nasim Pedrad which was amazing since I’m a huge SNL fan. I also got to see Dave Coulier. My childhood self would have been FREAKING out… or slightly disturbed. Either way, I was happy.

Going to a school with a football team in the Big 10 is pretty cool I must say, especially for someone whose high school didn’t have a football team. I was really excited to go to the football games every week with my friends. Little did I know, football is actually pretty boring. But the tailgates, however, quite a good time.

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There were also the cute little visits from my friends back home that made me oh so happy.

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As much as I love my friends from home, it was great making new friends in my dorm. I met some amazing people this year, and a few new friends I know I’ll have for life. Shoutout to these people for making my freshman year as incredible as it was.

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Getting close to these people was all thanks to bonding experiences like getting tattoos and crepe dates on College Ave.

And let’s not forget when I got my belly button pierced with my future roomie for her birthday and it hurt like a bitch, but was definitely worth it considering all I wear are crop tops. (ps that’s not my future roomie)

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Halloweekend: A weekend where you  are pretty much forced to buy three different costumes so you can go out Thursday-Saturday. These costumes could cost as much as $50, but cover little to no skin. This year I was a playboy bunny, Little Red Riding Hood, and Luigi. All for around $40. Not that bad.

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Along with Halloweekend came frat parties in general…

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And with frat parties came themed parties #hello1980

ps that IS my future roomie

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and some days, there were even dorm room parties

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One of my favorites would have to be dages, aka parties during the day. I love being outside in nice weather, what can I say?

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The snowstorm was dreadful. Having to trudge all the way to the dining hall if I wanted food, or starve other wise wasn’t that enjoyable. But when I eventually did take the adventure with my floormates, we realized it wasn’t that bad… and that next time we’ll just starve.

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During finals week, Rutgers puts on this thing called midnight breakfast where the dining hall opens at midnight and they put out breakfast and also all of the good fruit (aka strawberries) which they never seem to have on normal days. All of my floormates and I took a break from studying and went, but we made sure to go in style.

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Rutgers has many different campus’s and all are full of fun stuff to do. Like Cook has a farm, Busch has the football stadium, Livi has cute restaurants, and College Ave has one of my personal favorites, the Zimmerli Art Museum.

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I wrote a post solely about this experience in the past, but I can’t write about my freshman year without mentioning it. Dance Marathon. Truly one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking part of. It took a lot of hard work and some money, but it was genuinely so rewarding.

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Rushing was ridiculously stressful. Between putting together the perfect outfit and worrying what you’re going to talk about, recruitment is scary. But if you truly just relax and be yourself, you’ll end up exactly where you belong. I know I did.

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Once rushing is done and you get your bid, it’s time for pledging. The eight week long process is pretty dreadful because it takes up so much spare time. Really, all your time is going to philanthropy and bonding with your sisters, so its not as bad as you may think it is. But still, all you want is to be able to call yourself a sister. You’ll definitely have to put in some time during the pledging process, but it’s worth it. I’ve grown so close to my sisters because of it. I have absolutely no regrets.

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One of my favorite memories from my freshman year- big/little. Getting my big was SO exciting. Although I already had a good guess at who my big was, it was still a great feeling to open up that slip of paper and see her name inside.

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And then initiation and finally becoming a sister. All of that hard work paid off. I’m officially in a sisterhood full of my amazing new friends supporting a philanthropy I love. What’s better than that?

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Shoutout to one of my best friends for bringing me to his date night because I really wanted to wear this dress. It’s from Forever 21 in case you were wondering.

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Also, shoutout to the cute Australian boy I met for hanging out with me for the final two months of school. Thanks for being a great formal date, you will be missed 😦

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My floormates and I ended off the year with a nice family dinner to the Cheesecake factory. It was my first time ever going there, and definitely not my last. Yeah, sure maybe my mac & cheese cheeseburger was a bit overpriced, but it was probably the best burger I’ve ever had. And the Godiva cheesecake? To die for.

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I’m missing these people more and more each day. I’m so happy I can look back on my freshman year with nothing but positive thoughts. This was truly the best year of my life with such amazing memories I will never forget. Thanks to these guys for being with me through it all. Here’s to three more years! Hope they are as amazing as this one.

What Santa Brought Me This Year

Hey everyone! As you all know, I’ve been away at college for the past few months and I’ve only been home for four days now. Since I’m away at college, I’ve been super busy and I figured I’m too old for Santa to be bringin’ me presents.

BUT I’m fortunate to be lucky enough to have gotten a few presents under the tree.

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First off is this gorgeous yellow raincoat from New York & Company. It’s a must have for college because walking around campus in the rain is so not fun.

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Along with the rain coat is a pair of black rain boots. I’ve always hated rainbows, but rainbows are so important to have in college because walking in the rain in your nice shoes will ruin them! Plus, I actually do like these ones. They’re a nice classic black that will match any outfit and they really just look like standard tall black boots.

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A friend from work gave me this book, Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. He is one of my all time favorite authors and I’ve heard amazing reviews about this book. I can’t wait to read it!

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My brother gave me this pretty purple fountain. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll put it, but it’s so pretty and purple is my favorite color (I sound like a 5 year old).

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I told my mom I needed slippers and she bought me a super comfortable, high quality pair from Bearpaw. I’ve always been a huge fan of this brand because it’s literally the same quality as Ugg, but much cheaper!

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My mom also bought me a cheaper pair of slippers. This pair is not as high quality, but is equally as cute and comfortable. I love the knit look!

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Sorry it’s so hard to see in this picture, but this is basically just a winter hat with matching fingerless gloves- more must-haves for college! The fingerless gloves make it easier to text (priorities)

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My stocking stuffers include lip balm and lotion, and Nars Laguna Bronzer (aka my holy grail)

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One of my favorite movies of 2015 definitely had to be Kingsman- and now I own it! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Basically, it’s a James Bond movie for a younger audience (but not that young because it’s still rated R!) Also, the main character is a hot British boy so why wouldn’t you wanna watch it?

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My final, and most expensive, present was a Tablet. I didn’t even ask for one, but I’m pretty hype to have gotten it. I could use this in college to take notes and to buy my textbooks instead of having to carry around my laptop and heavy books.

 

That’s all I got for Christmas and I have to say, I think I did pretty well! What was your favorite thing you got? Lemme know in the comments!

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday! xo

Miss Bloggin’

Wow. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to sit down and write my thoughts. I’ve been in college for two months and I haven’t once been able to sit down and write freely. I’ve just been so busy and with having to write so many papers, there isn’t much left in me to be able to write more.

But the reason I love this blog so much is that I could write literally whatever I want and not have to worry about what others think. I can write it for my own personal satisfaction and not have to worry about grades or anything. And if other people enjoy reading it, then even better.

I’m not able to write as much as I used to, but I’m going to try writing more because I find myself going insane if I don’t.

College has been insane. Lots of work, lots of parties. My life has completely changed within the past two months. Absolutely nothing is the same. I live somewhere new, I have a whole new group of friends, new classes, new clubs, and new interests.

I absolutely love my friends. My roommate and I get along super well and I think we’re a pretty solid combination. We’re both slobs! And my floormates are AMAZING! I could not ask for better floormates. They have so quickly become my best friends.

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I’ve been taking journalism and communication classes. It turns out, journalism is actually pretty hard. I think it’s just my professor and his teaching style. He gives us a lot of information to study and the only grades we get are our exam grades. And he doesn’t give us any kinds of ideas of whats on the exam. So yeah. I’m strugglin. Communication is better though, which is good since it will probably be my major. I’m thinking about double majoring in Communication/PR and English. I’ll probably even minor in something but that is tbd.

I’m trying to get involved which is hard because I’m already so busy. I spend so much time studying plus I work. But right now I’m involved with my schools radio station. I really wanna be a DJ. I’ve always loved all the different aspects of journalism and I’ve never done anything involving broadcasting before, so this seemed like a great opportunity. Who knows, maybe it’ll be my calling.

Life is pretty good. Of course I miss home sometimes. I miss my friends even though most of my closer friends have already come to visit me in these past two months. Keeping in touch is hard since we’re all busy doing our own things now with our new friends. I can’t complain about my life right now, but sometimes I think about it and it makes me sad. I’ll never sit in a classroom full of the kids I spent the past four years with. I definitely wouldn’t want another year of high school, but I wouldn’t mind one more day. It sucks knowing there are some people I’ll never see again, but there are also some people I don’t need and who I’m better off without. So far the friends I’ve made have been nothing but awesome. I know all my best friends from high school will keep in touch. It may be hard sometimes, but I know everything will work out in the end. My life is going the best it’s gone in awhile, and that’s all that matters.

Random Post Bc I am Happy (^:

So these past few days for me have been AWESOME and basically I just wanted to write about how happy I am.

The happiness all began with a great sale.

Because I mean, who doesn’t love a sale? But this wasn’t any sale, this is by far the best sale I have ever come by.

So every season, Plato’s Closet has this sale where you stuff as much stuff into this tiny bag and get the bag for $10. What’s annoying about this is the bag is really small and rips easily (but they will replace it for you if you rip through it. I went through about ten), the dressing rooms aren’t open so you aren’t really able to try stuff on unless you do it in the middle of the store, and it’s absolutely packed (definitely not a sale for the claustrophobic.) However, this sale was totally worth it. I rolled everything I wanted and had $141 worth of stuff! All for $10! Plus, my cashier was super nice and let me go back to pick up a dress I couldn’t quite fit in my bag. It was pretty awesome.

I went home and tried everything on and I was bummed to find out the dress my cashier let me steal was too big along with this other stunning cutout dress by Bebe. There were two other dresses that were a little big as well but I’m hoping I could fix them with a safety pin. Still, I got a ton of stuff I love and it was all for only $10! I wore this one outfit I bought at by Rutgers orientation the next day.

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While I bought this outfit from Plato’s Closet, the top is actually from Urban Outfitters and the brown corduroy shorts I found with the tags still on them from TJ Maxx. But on that note, on to orientation!

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I went to orientation with the girl I’m rooming with and we had both planned to just hang out with each other the whole time because neither of us thought we’d make friends. We were so wrong! We had different orientation groups and both made a ton of friends in our groups so I ended up not seeing her at all. While it sucks we didn’t hang out at all, I’m really happy we both made friends! I absolutely adore the girls I met and I hope we stay friends when college starts next month! We’re all in a group chat and we’ve added each other on basically every social media site so I think we just might!

Orientation really was a great time despite all the boring lectures. There was a dance party and a bunch of fun activities. My new friends and I all painted pictures. I’m not really artistic, so mine didn’t come out nearly as great as theirs. But still, it was so much fun and it went way better than expected. (Even though I did get locked out of my bedroom and had to call for help.) I can’t wait for college!

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The day after orientation, I went down the shore with two of my best friends and that just added to my whole ‘good vibes’ thing I got goin’ on. I love the beach so much and I haven’t been since prom weekend! So I went and it was the perfect beach day! The weather was beautiful and we sat close enough to the ocean so we could feel a cool breeze.

Basically, life is so good right now that I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more. Except for maybe a cheeseburger because I’m pretty hungry.

But my computer is about to die and I’m too lazy to plug it in so that’s all for now!

Thanks for reading!

-Andrea

End of the Year Festivities: Graduation

I am officially a high school graduate! That’s pretty insane.

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Darn, that picture would’ve been so cute if I didn’t mess it up.

So for graduation, everyone decorated their caps. Most people decorated it with where they’re going to college or by using funny quotes from their favorite movies. I decided to do something a little different and make a collage of my best friends.

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Isn’t it so cute?! I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I go to a trade school for business and my business class has really become a family. I decided to make a collage of all my favorite pictures with these kids (plus the one with Rob Lowe in the corner because I mean come on.. I met Rob Lowe!) The hardest part about graduation for me is having to leave these people. I truly love them with all my heart and I’m going to miss seeing their faces everyday.

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On that note, graduation couldn’t have come at a better time. Although I really am going to miss my class, there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll keep in touch. But for me, it’s about time I go out and meet new people. I’m tired of living at home and I really need a change in my life. I’m beyond ready for college.

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So what’s next for me? I’ll be attending Rutgers University in the fall, so that’s exciting. I’m rooming with a girl from my school so at least I won’t be completely alone. I don’t know what I want to major in.. I don’t know what I want to do with my life to be honest. I love to write and if I could build my ideal future, I’d write for a fashion magazine. So maybe I should major in journalism? Or should I major in public relations.. similar to journalism but a bit broader? PLEASE feel free to give me your opinion on this! I need help lol

Part of me also has an interest in psychology. But I feel like so many people major in psych and never really do anything with it, ya know?

I’m pretty lost at this point in my life, but I still have time to figure it out. I have faith that everything will end up okay.

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That’s it for my “End of the Year Festivities!” Now.. onto college!

Thanks for reading! xo

Reunited and It Feels Soo Good!!

What’s up guys?!

Sorry I haven’t been on in a few weeks, but I’ve been pretty busy. Luckily, the school year is winding down and senioritis is kicking in!

Good news– I got accepted into Penn State and Rutgers! I haven’t quite decided which school I will be attending yet. I really want to go to Penn State, but Rutgers is a lot cheaper. Either way, I’ll be pleased with attending either school. If you’ve attended either of these school, I’d love to hear about your college experiences!

Other then that, life’s been pretty normal. I should start thinking about prom although I’d really rather not. I literally have no idea where I’m supposed to get a date. I have 0 options. Dress shopping should be fun though.. or stressful. Usually I find it pretty stressful.

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Isn’t this dress adorable though? It’s black velvet and I love it! It can be worn casually or you can dress it up! I bought the dress from Plato’s Closet for $18 and it’s in perfect condition! But in case you’re curious, the dress is originally from Garage.

The red heels I bought from Burlington Coat Factory awhile back. Red and black is the perfect combination!

SOS

As I have said many times before, I am a senior in high school which means I have been looking a lot into colleges lately and am beginning applications and all that unfun stuff. I’ve always had this dream of moving far away for college. My freshman and sophomore year I wanted to move all the way out to California which is very far from where I’m living now in New Jersey. Once junior year came along and I began to look into colleges more seriously, I became a little more realistic. There is no way in hell I’d be able to afford any college in California. And I’d never be able to afford to come home! I would be stuck out in California whether I liked it there or not. And I’d have absolutely no one but myself.

So as you can see, the California dream died down. I figured a good alternative would be to study abroad there one year to see how I liked it. Studying abroad is something that’s very important to me in college. I was looking at a small little school in Pennsylvania called Arcadia University, and if I played my cards right, I’d be able to study abroad every single year. How awesome is that?! I could stay in the country and go to places like California, or I could travel to all different countries around the world! And the best part? It wouldn’t cost anything extra! Arcadia ranks #1 in study abroad. Not to mention, it’s not that expensive. In fact, Arcadia is cheaper than most in state schools for me. Which makes it seem like less of a scam compared to other colleges.

Unfortunately, I know a few people who have gone to Arcadia, and came back home. I did also visit Arcadia’s campus and it’s beautiful, but I’m not so sure it’s for me. But in all honesty, I don’t really know what school is.

I’ve looked at schools like Monmouth and Rider. Both in state schools that I should be able to easily get into. The problem? SOOO expensive! Monmouth is absolutely stunning, but so far out of my budget. Unless I got amazing scholarships, I don’t think I’d be able to afford either school. And why should I go there if I can go to a school, like Arcadia, for less money? I don’t want to be drowning in student loans. This is why I think college is a scam. We’re paying so much money, but when we go to apply to jobs, will it really make a difference if I studied at Arcadia or Monmouth? If it’s an Ivy League school, then sure it will. But for some schools, does it really make a difference?

Senior year is supposed to be easy, but it’s actually a lot of work. All of my spare time has gone into studying for the SATs and ACTs, writing college essays, applications, and looking for scholarships and aid. And everything is just so much money! $100 to take my SATs and ACTs. And people spend thousands on SAT tutors, something I could never afford, but desperately need. Then to apply to a college, there’s an application fee! Application fees usually range around $50-75. It’s ridiculous!

College is stressing me out, and I’m not even in it yet. But on a different note, I feel it’s necessary to mention my top 2 schools. Penn State and Rutgers. Both pretty well known schools with football teams in the Big 10. I’d prefer to go to Penn State, which has a tuition near the same price as Monmouth, but Rutgers is more affordable. Most people who graduate from my high school end up going to Rutgers and there is a possibility I will be the same way. But at this point, I have no idea where I’m going to college. To be honest, I could end up going to community college at this point. It seems like a better, cheaper idea.

Alright, well that felt nice to finally let out my thoughts on this whole college process. I’ll definitely keep you updated with everything. But before I end this post, I could really use your view on college. Where do you go/have you gone to college? What was the whole college process like for you? I would love to hear about your experiences!