Academia, Blog, Style

College Gameday Outfits

In the South, college football is considered a religion. So, you better believe that game days are an event that you dress up for. Not all colleges have a big football program or even consider it to be a big deal. For instance, my sister went to a private school in upstate New York and her friends thought it was odd when she asked, “What are you wearing to the game?” But, for most schools that have a football program that the whole school gets excited for, gamedays are the days to dress to impress.

I grew up as an SEC fan which meant you wore your LBD, sundresses, or anything semi-formal to the game. Sometimes you could get away with wearing a jersey, as long as you dressed it up cute. Keep in mind that not all schools have the same “football culture”… My first football season at Florida State was a bit of a shock to me. I went in thinking that girls dress up for the game by wearing classy dresses or cute outfits…but I was wrong. Most girls were wearing bralettes, crop tops, and high-waisted booty shorts to tailgate in (and most weren’t even in school colors!). While these are trendy and can be cute, it definitely is not my style, nor would I feel comfortable wearing so little! So you can imagine the looks that I got when I wasn’t wearing the same.

I knew I had to re-strategize my gameday outfits, but didn’t want to compromise my own style and comfort. My rule of thumb when putting together an outfit is feature one body part. Whether it’s your legs, stomach, booty, or cleavage, just show off one! Leave people wondering about the rest and have them focus on the best! Putting all of your “goods” on display (in my personal opinion) is not the best way to present yourself. For my gameday outfits I usually will find a super cute dress or will pair a crop top with high-waisted pants. I usually shop the local boutiques for my outfits. Usually boutiques will carry your team’s colors! I also do a lot of my gameday shopping online at Impressions, Lulus, or Mint Julep. Don’t forget to accessorize with jewelry and wear comfortable shoes! Below are some pics of my past gameday outfits. I hope you enjoy!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: Declaring a Major

Going to college is such a rewarding experience in so many aspects of your life. However, the main purpose of going to college is to gain the knowledge necessary to prepare you for your future career. Thus, declaring your major is an important part of the college experience. The thought and task of choosing your major can be overwhelming. But, fear not! College is the arena and time to discover who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you want to be. In this post, I will tell you about my own experience with changing majors and will offer some thoughts on the process and when to declare your major. Please keep in mind to not change your major several times like I did! I will discuss the cons of doing so!

First off, let’s address what exactly IS a major?  A college major is a subject area that a student specializes in. There are a group of college courses that should be taken in sequence during their associates or undergraduate studies. Most curriculum require core classes that all students take, with specialized courses tailored to your major that will be taken later on in your college career.

From Graphic Design to Child & Family Sciences

Now, let me tell you about my exploration of majors… When I first started college, I KNEW that I wanted to be a graphic designer. I loved drawing, painting, and designing, so I was absolutely CERTAIN that this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. As I started going through classes, I realized how time-consuming and expensive It was to be an art student. I should have looked up careers before declaring to be an art major. Instead, I did this post-hoc and learned that snagging a career as a graphic designer isn’t the easiest and most fruitful. I told myself, “You can always do your art as a hobby, but maybe not as a career.” So, instead of seeking advice from an academic advisor, I decided to switch majors on my own to marketing (my second semester of my freshman year). My thought was, “If I can’t design the ads, I can totally sell It!” HA! Looking back I see all of my mistakes by not seeking help and not really looking into what was required course-wise for making this switch. I learned VERY quickly that I was not cut out to be a business major. There are just some things that you think you would be good at, but once you get into It you realize that It’s just not for you. All of the math and economy jargon went COMPLETELY over my head, so I went back to the drawing board…

This time, I was a bit wiser and sought help from an academic advisor when I wanted to change my major. After chatting a bit, I expressed an interest in sports medicine and possibly being an athletic trainer (complete 180 from graphic design). I really enjoyed some of the classes I had taken, so I figured that I would give It a shot. For most athletic training programs, It is best to decide that you want to do that VERY early on in your college career. There are several other majors like this, too. The reason why is because of the course progression—meaning that the sequence of courses must be taken at certain times and you have to have a certain grade to move on. Everything is a prerequisite for all other courses, and some courses are only offered in Fall or Spring. Basically, you have to pass everything and get It all right! This can be very stressful! On top of that, you also have to do some “clinical” work and observe or practice in the field.

I was an athletic training major for more than a year, but I really didn’t feel like It was right for me and I was super stressed over course progression. So I went back to my academic advisor in distress around my Junior year and asked what I could do at that point. This meeting is really what changed the trajectory of my college and life career and I wish I could go back and hug her. She suggested that based on the courses I had already taken and rather than starting all over again, that I should consider Child and Family Development. It had the same core curriculum as athletic training and some of the courses I took overlapped. Once I declared my major, I fell in LOVE with this major. I met some of my best mentors in that department who encouraged me to go to graduate school. Since then, I have a bachelor’s in Child and Family Development, a masters in Child and Family Sciences, and I am now finishing my Ph.D. In Human Development and Family Sciences.

Disadvantages of Waiting to Declare Your Major

Again, I DO NOT recommend changing your major as many times as I did or changing It so late in the game. Some majors require a rigorous application process in which admission into the program isn’t guaranteed. Students (and mostly their parents) want to graduate college in 4 years. This can be accomplished by choosing a major and sticking with It, rather than switching over several times or waiting too late. If you wait too late to change your major, there may be a semester or two worth of courses that you have to take to catch up on the core requirements for that major. It is not imperative to declare your major during your first semester of college. It is better to wait and explore your options and interests so you can avoid getting behind on classes. It is best practice to have declared your major by your sophomore/junior year.

Benefits of Waiting to Declare Your Major

Studies have reported that about 80% of students change their major at some point in college, and 25% of students change their major after their freshman year. This is the time of your life to explore your interests. A lot of core classes are the same, so I recommend taking an intro class in the field that you are interested in to see if that’s something that you want to stick with. A great thing about college classes is the diversity of instructors teaching the classes and the students in those. A lot of amazing professors teach core and intro classes, so if you have a class that you really enjoy the instructor do not hesitate to reach out and start a conversation with them. Ask them about the field, their job, etc. You would be surprised how helpful small conversations can be! Explore your options and talk frankly with your academic advisor to determine the major best suited for you. Keep in mind that you can always choose to minor in a subject, too! Whatever you choose, and whether or not you stick with it, choose something that interests you to motivate you to keep going and to make the grades. Furthermore, when you do choose or consider which major to choose, think of why you are choosing. Is it because it’s what your parents want? Is this something you have always wanted to do? Just think of the reasons behind your decisions before making one.

From Fashion to Law

I can’t emphasize enough that college and this time of your life is meant for you to explore the world and learn about yourself enough by now. Sometimes late in your college career you may realize that you want to pursue a different field or attend graduate school in a similar/related field. But, you may be so far along in your major that you may as well just graduate rather than setting yourself back in courses and having to pay more money. In those cases, just know your chosen major does not define who you are or your career path. Life is about using the opportunities that have been presented to you and making the best of them. My husband was a fashion major in college. When he met me, my roommate was in law school and after hanging around us and starting to calculate what his next move in life was going to be, he decided that he had the potential and opportunity to go to law school. We always get funny looks when we tell people that he was a fashion major in college and is now in law school. Most students we have met in law school were business, criminal justice majors, etc. Regardless of his undergraduate major, I can proudly say that my husband is in the top of his class in law school.

While this post is a bit on the anecdotal side, I do hope you found this post helpful and informative! I would love to hear your experiences with declaring and changing majors in college!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: Roommates

Unless you shared a room with a sibling, college will be the first time that you encounter the experience of having a roommate. For many freshman, your roommates will be randomly selected unless you specifically requested to be paired with someone. Typically after the first year, many friendships and relationships have been made so a lot of students request to live in the same dorm with or look into getting an apartment with their new college BFFs. Regardless if your roommate is a new face or someone that is your best friend, you never truly get to know someone until you live with them. You will learn a lot about their personal habits for hygiene, eating, responsibility, organization, etc. There are several things you can practice to have peace and harmony in your home with your roommates.

Respect

Having and showing respect for yourself and your roommates is probably the most important thing to practice. We all come from different backgrounds, families, places, and all have different life experiences—these are the things that make us who we are! Respect your roommate’s space, belongings, their schedule, and their beliefs. Remember that your roommate may not feel comfortable doing all the things that you are comfortable with. The Golden Rule applies here—do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So, don’t gossip about each other and never make fun of or belittle each other. A few other things to keep in mind: Be sure to clean up after yourself; respect quiet time; never wake a sleeping roommate (unless they ask!); don’t use their stuff without their permission; maintain and respect privacy; be reasonable about visits from friends; and be reasonable about inviting over “special” friends you intend to be intimate with.

Communication

It is so important to communicate effectively with your roommate. Talk about any issues or concerns instead of hoping that they will go away on their own. Do NOT be passive aggressive if something is bothering you (like leaving Post-It notes everywhere). Be sure to trade numbers so you can chat throughout the week. To help with communication, set up a roommate calendar (whether on a big wall calendar or through an app on your phone) so you know when each other has important dates, tests, projects, etc. so they can quietly work or study. I have heard of some roommates developing a contract, stating specifically what is and is not accepted and who has what responsibilities in the home.

Along with this, perhaps set aside a day each week that you both get together to tidy up the dorm/apartment, do laundry together, or even cook/eat out. This will give you time to do things together and catch up on each others’ lives. Remember, your roommate may not be your best friend, but It will make It easier for you if you communicate with each other to live harmoniously.

Cleaning

Through all of my years in college and graduate school, and talking to other people, It seems that cleaning/cleanliness is the main issue that cause conflict between roommates. Remember, we are all unique people with different experiences which means we don’t all have the same idea of what “clean” is. The best rule of thumb is to clean as you go, and to not let little things pile up and get out of control. It is understandable that we get very busy and stressed sometimes and, as a result, we tend to get a little messy. Staying on top of cleaning is important to not let things get out of control! This is especially important for those who live in a small dorm room. Remember that your dorm is not only your living space but your work space as well. Keep It tidy and organized so that you can do your best in school!

Handling Conflict

No matter how hard you try, conflicts may still arise. In that case, consider the importance of effective communication. First, focus on the problem, not the person. When resolving conflicts, be sure that you are addressing the conflict instead of your roommate. When you attack your roommate this will cause further conflict. Next, validate your roommate’s position. Let them know that you understand where they are coming from and offer empathy. Put yourself in their shoes to better understand their point of view. Also, give positive feedback! We all like positive feedback and compromise when possible. Compromises are great, but be sure to stand your ground in a mature way. Finally, once the conflict is resolved, keep It to yourself. Avoid the temptation to rehash all of the details with your friends. Remember, this isn’t high school anymore and college students are expected to manage conflict in a mature way! Sometimes you just have to pull up your boot straps and move forward!

I would love to hear your experiences (good and bad!) with your roommates!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: Using File Storage for Class Organization

We live in the digital age where everything we want or need is at our fingertips. Most professors allow students to bring their laptops to take notes during class, so making sure that all of our work is saved in a location that is secure and can be accessed from anywhere is super important! When I was an undergrad, I used to either save all of my files to a jump drive or I would email the file to myself. The issue with a jump drive is that you HAVE to keep up with it! In this post I am going to talk about the benefits of having a file storage service and tips on how I organize my folders.

Now there are three main file storage services: Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive. I have only used Dropbox, but if you want to compare these check out this article which does an awesome job comparing these.

Late into my undergrad I was introduced to Dropbox and ever since my whole life lives in my Dropbox folder. Essentially, Dropbox keeps all of your files in one place, and it’s synced across all of your devices. The absolute best part about having this service is that even if you don’t have your laptop with you, you can sign into your account from any computer. You can download the app to your phone and access your files from there, too! Also, you get more storage if you refer it to someone and they sign up using your email! You can also share folders with other people if you are working on a project together.

How to Manage Your Files

The most important tip of using a file storage service is USING it and making sure that you store/save all of your files under the folder. When you decide which service that you want (let’s say you choose Dropbox), you’ll want to download the application to your computer. Once it is downloaded, you can start making folders for different subjects and start your filing system. As you can see below, I have several folders with different topics, but for the purpose of school I will show you how I have managed the files for my own courses.

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So, I have a broad folder labeled FSU (Florida State University), and within that folder I have organized it by each semester. I used to have all of my courses in just one folder, but managing it this way has helped me to keep everything even more organized, neat, and clean.

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Under each semester, I have labeled folders for each class that I took during that semester.

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Then, in each class, I organize the folder by weekly topics, papers, projects, etc. You can never have enough folders to help you stay organized!

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I feel that having specified folders helps me to easily locate what I am looking for. So, let’s say that you’re working on a paper for PSY 1101 this semester. You would create a folder for that project under that course for said semester and would store all of the related files, articles, rubrics, etc. in that folder as well. You can also create a folder for your lectures (whether it be on a weekly basis or by chapter/topic).

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Again, the only way to get the most out of using a file storage service is getting in the practice of making sure that you save your files in the correct place! I honestly would be a wreck if I did not have Dropbox and I highly recommend looking into a file storage service if you don’t have one already. I hope you found the method to my madness helpful for helping you to manage your own courses!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: 7 Tips for Scheduling Classes

*Don’t forget to pin this to your Pinterest board!*

In high school, you most likely didn’t have log in to a system and schedule classes yourself. In college, the process of scheduling can sometimes be somewhat of a daunting task, but if you have a good strategy then it makes it so much easier! Throughout this, I will talk a little bit about declaring your major. I plan to have a separate post about declaring your major soon!

1. Meet with your academic advisor

The most important step to scheduling your classes is meeting with your academic advisor. Typically, he/she will be based on your declared major and will give you an outline of the course progression you should take. Meeting with your academic advisor is SO important! If you are interested in taking any classes outside of your major, mention to them. They will be more than happy to help you explore different areas of interest and keep you on track for graduation and towards your goals.

2. Take your core classes first

Core classes are best taken first. As a general rule, these are the classes that all majors have in common. Taking these classes will help in deciding and declaring your major. These core classes provide an opportunity for you to explore your options and interests. College is a time to discover who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you want to be. If you find a core class very interesting, consider checking out other similar courses in that major.

3. Make a mock schedule

Once you have met with your advisor, you can start searching for classes that will be offered for the semester that you are trying to register for. You need to meet with your advisor a few weeks prior to when the registration window opens so that you will be prepared to register and won’t have to fight to secure a seat in a class. Trust me, preparing early is essential because sometimes registering for classes can be like the Hunger Games!

I typically would get a sheet of paper and draw columns for each day of the week. Then when I would find the class that I wanted I would write it in the mock schedule. Knowing exactly which classes you want helps for when the registration window opens so you can quickly add those classes without having to search and figure things out.

When searching for classes, there are a few things to consider:

4. Choose classes with professors that will best meet your academic needs

When looking up the courses that you are considering taking, it is important to look into who is the instructor for the class. Universities post semester evaluations on their site, but most students aren’t familiar with this. Instead, a lot of students use www.ratemyprofessors.com to learn more about instructors. Rate My Professors is an online database that compiles comments (both good and bad) from other students about professors. This will give you an idea of what the work load is, how they teach, what to expect from lectures and exams, etc. Talking with other students about professors is also a useful tool.

5. Time of day and days

When you schedule your classes, consider if when you are the most productive during the day. Are you a morning person? If not, then don’t sign up for classes early in the morning. Sometimes you won’t be able to avoid early classes because that is the only time that it is offered.

Also, some classes are offered Monday, Wednesday, & Friday for 1 hour, and some are offered Tuesday and Thursday for about an hour and a half.

6. Timing between classes

It is also best to not schedule classes back to back during your first semester. Give yourself an hour or so break to review over materials for the next class or grab some food. You also don’t want too big of a gap between classes. In my own experience, having a large gap does allow you to go home and do things there, BUT it sometimes makes it very hard to convince yourself to go back to campus! If you’re motivated then this shouldn’t be a problem.

7. Distance between classes on campus

It is very important for you to become familiar with campus. Know which buildings your classes will be held in and the determine the amount of time it will take you to walk, bike, or ride the bus to your next class ahead of time. Get a campus map and use it!

Hopefully these tips will assist you in scheduling your classes. Remember to not overload yourself with classes and take too many hours. Always consider how you will balance your life when scheduling classes. Good luck!

Cheers,

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: 5 Tips for Packing for College

^^Be sure to Pin this to your Pinterest board!^^

I would say that packing for college is probably the most exciting (and sort of stressful) part of moving off to college. The thought of having a new place and getting to decorate is (most) every girl’s dream. But…what about everything else? Clothes? Toiletries? Kitchen supplies? It seems that the list builds and builds, and It get get a bit overwhelming to decide what exactly to bring. So, I have a few tips and basic lists to help get you started!

1. Plan Your Packing Early!

First, do NOT wait until a few days or a week before to start figuring out what you need to bring! The worst is being rushed when you’re packing because you tend to either overpack or forget to pack the essentials! I would recommend start planning what to pack as early as possible, that way when It comes time to pack you will be most prepared.

2. Make a List

This is probably my most important tip! I LOVE making lists. Scratching things off of a list brings me so much satisfaction. I literally make a list every day of things I need to do or things I need to grab at the store. Making a list for packing is no different! I always do this whenever my husband and I are planning a trip. So what do you include on this list?From the time that you wake up until the time that you go to bed make a list of every thing that you use throughout the day (just make a list on your phone!). Do this for a few days to about a week. I know It seems silly and a bit tedious, but you would be surprised by how much stuff you use and need every day. Let’s using getting ready in the bathroom for example. You get in the shower, use the shower, dry off, then use your after-shower products. Seems like it would be a short list, right? Well, think of it this way: When you got in the shower you pulled back your SHOWER CURTAIN, turned on the water and used your SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, BODY WASH, LOOFAH, (and whatever else is from your shower routine). Next, you stepped out of the shower on your BATH MAT and grabbed a TOWEL. You dried off, used a BLOW DRYER for your hair and your STYLING TOOL (as well as any HAIR PRODUCTS), then put on your MAKEUP. Do you see what I mean? That’s a lot of things that you just used and you don’t even think about it on a daily basis! From this list, you should be able to see what items you use most often and are essential and items that aren’t as essential, but if you were in a bind you would need It!

3. Consider ALL Weather Conditions and Activities for Packing Clothes

Unless you aren’t able or don’t plan on going back home on your breaks, I wouldn’t suggest showing up to move-in day like Elle Woods did in Legally Blonde. Think of where you’re university is… For instance, I am in Florida where there are two seasons: mostly hot and cold. From April until maybe October, the weather here is pretty warm (depending on what part of Florida you’re talking about). So, I would pack accordingly for having mostly warm-weather clothes with a few pullovers, sweaters, yoga pants, etc. for the cooler days. This is assuming that I would be able to go back home and grab some clothes for the colder days. HOWEVER, you need to plan for ALL weather conditions! What happens if It rains? You’ll need a rain jacket, an umbrella, and rain boots! A lot of times there are some classrooms on campus that feel like the arctic. So, when the weather is too warm outside for long sleeves, but unbearably too cold inside to focus, what do you do? Pack a light jacket or a light pullover that you can carry or toss in your bag.Also consider different activities that you will be doing. For example, you’ll need work out clothes, sleepwear, casual outfits, dressier outfits for more formal occasions (you would hate yourself if one came up and you didn’t have anything to wear!), etc. And don’t forget your shoes, socks, bras, swimsuits, and underwear!

4. Containers Are Your Best Friend!

When you pack, of course pack some things in a few luggage bags that way when you have to travel you’ll have a bag! But for everything else, buy some cute storage containers and drawers to pack everything in and then use once you’re moved in. Depending on the space of your new dorm or apartment, these will definitely come in handy to keep your space organized and tidy, and help when you move out! Containers that are thin and can slide under the bed are great, and those that you can stack! Little pull out drawers are awesome for small toiletries like hair ties and bobby pins, as well as small office supplies like paper clips, pens, etc.

5. Remember the Little Things

Now that you have an idea of the major things to pack, consider the little things that you don’t use on a daily basis (or things you don’t realize that you use), but would be in a bind if you didn’t have them. For example, I knew that I had a closet in my first dorm that I moved into and brought all of my clothes…but I completely forgot to pack hangers! There have been several times that my clothes ripped or didn’t fit right and I needed a safety pin, so be sure to grab a box of assorted safety pins just in case! Also, I know most everyone can agree how frustrating It is when you need a hair tie or bobby pin and you turn your entire house upside down to find one, knowing that you had a thousand just last week! Be sure to pack those! And most importantly….TOILET PAPER! I know this list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s just to give you an idea of things to consider!Remember, you can always run to the store to grab the things that you need once you move-in. Trust me, you don’t realize the things you need until you don’t have them! That’s why I think It’s important to make a list and think ahead of time about the items that you need to pack. Also, It seems that the stores are out of EVERYTHING during move-in week, so to save you and your parents stress, go buy most all of the things that you don’t have BEFORE you pack up and move off to college!

Cheers!
Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101 Series: A Guide for College Students

Although summer officially started only a few weeks ago, It wont be long before the back-to-school commercials and ads start reappearing. This got me thinking about how I can make the most of my blog, my experience, and education to offer advice to those just entering college or those still navigating the waters of college. When I first entered college I, like all students, went in wide-eyed and ready for the college experience. However, looking back there were several things I wish I had known or prepared for going in. Sure, college is the place to learn about yourself and figure things out for yourself, but it surely would have helped to have several tools in my bag to best help navigate the academic and social waters in the college setting. At an internship I developed this program called College 101 and it was tailored towards incoming freshman. From this, I hope to take the topics I addressed and offer fun, light, yet informative posts not only for freshman, but for all college students. First, let me give you a quick background on my experience and credentials…

After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree (in Child and Family Development), I went to pursue my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. While I was there, I worked as an academic advisor for my graduate assistantship. While I worked with all students, I mainly worked with freshman. I decided that clinical work wasn’t for me and I wanted to do something more researched-based, so I took a leap of faith and started my master’s degree all over in another program (Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University). I have since completed my masters and I am now working on my Ph.D. In Human Development and Family Sciences still at Florida State. While I have been here I have worked as a teaching assistant every semester and have taught a few classes as well. I am also a Family Life Educator which means I teach programs on important topics for individuals and families across the lifespan. For example, I take a topic like sexuality education but tailor It towards a specific audiences. Although it’s the same topic, the class for teenagers would look very different than one for an older adult. Why? Because they’re at different points in their lives and need different types of information!

This has given me a great hands-on experience working with college students. Most importantly, It has given me great insight to the needs of college students and getting to know and understand their experience and how I can best promote their learning experience. Also, It has made me aware of what some students need more help and guidance with–things that I, too, wish I had known or had support with when I was going through college.

So, this is where I need your help. I already have a list of topics that I am going to cover, but if there is anything that you would like to know more about please comment and let me know! Think of this as an inside look to academia and the college setting! I really hope to hear some feedback!

Topics for College 101:

Scheduling Classes

Declaring a Major

Roommates

Budgeting

Social Activities

Class Organization

Simple Survival (i.e., washing clothes, sewing a button, etc.)

Packing for College

Again, please let me know your thoughts!

Cheers!

Kelly