I thought it would be good, in this impending season of moving, shifting and experiencing, to go over some basic advice from 2 people who have ‘been there and done that’. Ok? My guest blogger today is my Bonus-Mom, Becky (The Wise) and the remaining advice is from me, Paige (The Wishful). Becky is highly qualified to answer any questions I may have as she has been on Earth longer than I, and as she has sent several kids to college, dealt with a menagerie of problems we have come to her with and successfully walked us through the joy and pain of solo living in a college environment. I hope this is particularly helpful for college students moving into dorms, out of dorms and into apartments and even for people who have been settled for a good-long-while.
So lets kick it off. I asked Becky the following questions:
How do you get cigarette smoke out of a leather couch?
“Get a leather cleaning product that can camouflage odors. Wash the leather down with that. It probably won’t eliminate the odor, but it may help to mask it. Then get your hands on some Febreeze and spray it with that for a nice odor masking finish.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to a college student moving out of the dorms into their own place?
“Always make sure that wherever you’re moving:
- Is safe.
- Is affordable.
It’s less of a joy if it is a financial strain.”
What is the number one thing that can brighten a dank dorm room?
“Paint. And if you can’t paint: Large bright colored art work. Even a stretched fabric over a canvas. Big mirrors are another one. They reflect light and color in the room and give it depth.”
In dorm rooms 2 things can happen in the way of dishware.
- The dishware is VERY matchy-matchy.
- The dishware is not matched at all, and it is a mixture of cups, bowls, plates and cutlery in the plastic, paper, porcelain and metal varieties.
Matching plates and glasses: Yes or no?
“They don’t have to match but they need to coordinate.” I think that she said it all right there. You don’t want your dishes to be EXACTLY the same. But if you want them to look nice they should at least coordinate.
What is the best care procedure for getting a stain out of a carpet?
“‘Always use hot water first. Never use soap. Don’t soak it, get it damp. Then pour on a lite, thin layer of baking soda. Let the baking soda dry completely and vacuum it up. Avoid carpet sprays and cleaners because they tend to leave a residue that collects more dirt that the rest of the carpet at a faster rate. If you have to use a carpet cleaner use Folex.”
“Don’t forget to have fun.”
Advice from Paige The Wishful:
What are the staples of a college student?
College students need to be well versed in the word ‘staples’. Now, contrary to popular belief and opinion, meat is not a staple. I’m not a vegetarian but I am on a budget and meat is exceptionally expensive. If I do decide to have some meat in my diet I choose to get some deli turkey because it can go on sandwiches, on breakfast beagles and it’s just delicious. If your budget allows you to purchase meat please remember this: Poor quality meat is a waste of your money and your time. If you spend more time trying to de-fat the meat than actually eating it, you need to spend more money on a better cut or you need to not spend money on meat.
As far as other staples:
Milk, cheese, eggs and coffee. Yes, Coffee. While we are on the subject, make sure you have a coffee pot, will you? Coffee is very expensive. $3.00 for a coffee drink 6 x a week = $18.00/wk. One bag of coffee at Fred Meyer costs: $8.99 for 33oz. of Yuban ground coffee. Coffee mate French vanilla creamer is somewhere in the ballpark of $4.00. So for $13.00 you could make your own vanilla latte, yes?
Let’s do the math folks:
It takes me 2.5 tablespoons of coffee to make my coffee in the morning. 8 tbsp of ground coffee=4 oz vol.
8 tbsp/2.5tbsp= 3.2 cups of coffee. 33oz/4oz=8.25
8.25×3.2=26.4 cups of coffee.
$13.00 gives you 26.4 cups of coffee. That’s 49 cents a cup.
Let’s say you get coffee 6 days a week. At $3.00 a pop. 6×3=18 and 18×4(weeks) is $72.00
Let’s go the ‘cheap coffee’ route: .49×6= $2.94 and $2.49×4(weeks)=$11.76. Congratulations: You just saved yourself $60.24 for the month and a grand total of $602.40 for the entire year. Your wallet will certainly thank you. And you will too, in 4 years when those loans become a reality 😉
Fruits and Veggies:
Get some. Each week. Bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, blueberries, etc. Get. Them. You may be in college but you need to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. (Thanks mom!)
Make it a priority to cook 6 dinners a week at home. Or at a friends’. This will save you money, time and your sanity. It will encourage you to spend time with friends, learn to cook alone and how to keep a budget.
What NOT to do:
DO NOT depend on the Grocery Outlet or a place called ‘Deals Only’ as your main food source. You will regret this, if not in illness, then in too-quickly rotting food at the bottom of your brand new mini fridge.
Do NOT take out a credit card. (I know that this has nothing to do with food but it had to be said)
Do NOT assume that because you ‘rinsed’ your plate, you’re safe. Scrub that plate. I say, SCRUB!
Get some Christmas lights around Christmas time and put those bad-boys up!
Get a budget and learn to stick to it. Your future-self will thank you.
Make yourself the proud owner of a pair of rain boots. These days they have some cute ones so you really can’t go wrong. Dry feet=less chance of sickness=better chance at good grades. They all work together. In college everything always works together. Whether for benefit or destruction is up to you.
Get some flip-flops. They are good for a quick outing and also good for walking around on a tile floor that needs to be swept. Quick and Easy foot protection: Check your local Old Navy Store.
Always eat breakfast. It will make your day a bit fuller. And you a little less distracted at 9:00am when the professor is calling on you and you WEREN’T thinking about your stomach. 😉
If you are living with roommates, learn how to constructively problem solve. Figure out how conflict is handled biblically and make that a practice in your life. The habits that you develop now will follow you. So if you scream at your roommates every time dishes are left over night, you will probably scream at your kids when a dish isn’t cleaned properly. Learn how to relinquish control and honor the people you live with. The definition of honor is this: ‘To put someones wants and needs above your own.’ That doesn’t mean bottle it up and don’t deal with it but it does mean that the situation needs to be dealt with appropriately. You are not their mother, nor are you their record keeper.
Get your bible out. Read it daily. Make it a priority. I promise your college experience will be much more pleasant.
Cheers to a new school year,