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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “Tips for College Living”

Tips for College Living: Schoolwork

Though Butler’s fall semester started only three weeks ago on August 25, we have already received a lovely vacation. Thank you, Labor Day. I labored a bit, appropriately, reading a book for my Financial Fictions English class called The Incorporation of American — so learning about laborers. The homework load still is not too bad early in the year.

What was true in high school becomes even more so in college: There are periods of madness and stretches of relative calm. The beginning of year is especially strangely peaceful to the dance major, because rehearsals have not begun for The Nutcracker. The underclassmen had their auditions today, and the cast list should be up soon enough. Then rehearsals begin in earnest. Add the month-in English paper deadline, and soon I’ll be busy.

Another high school-translates-to-college fact: Procrastination. It gets worse, not better, so try to stay on track your senior year! Because I have some down time, I blog more infrequently. When I get a bit busier, the blog posts will pick up (unless it’s production week, when we push aside even productive procrastination in favor of pancaking shoes and spacing ballets).

Unlike high school, a college schedule affords you the time to complete schoolwork during the day. No longer do you work for six straight hours, break, then do homework. Instead, you might have an hour or two free in the morning (unless you are a freshman or sophomore dance major — then you are busybusy). The common tale? Go to the campus Starbucks to work on that paper… and talk the entire time with friends.

This freedom is both refreshing and challenging. As a new college student, find what works for you, of course. I would recommend, however, you luxuriate in the calm moments, avoid procrastinating in the truly hectic moments, and at least try to get some schoolwork done before 9 pm.

Tips for College Living, #3

It has rained pretty much every day this April. Okay, maybe not every day. But if you look at the month calendar, you might notice that the longest stretch without any measure of precipitation is three days. That’s pretty rainy.

Steph wrote a great post last week about the six necessities of a college student. I would like to add one more item to the list. When it rains, I like to wear my rain jacket because I don’t have to juggle an umbrella. (And we all know how good my juggling skills are.) But umbrella, rain jacket… all good items, all items you know you’ll need.

This is common-sense stuff. What you, prospective student, might not know is that Butler’s sidewalks frequently morph into small creeks when it rains. You also might underestimate the increase in walking from place to place outside each day. Even in tennis shoes, my feet tend to get wet. Call this another episode of Tips for College Living: Own rain boots.

Sometimes it pours while I move all my stuff from my freshman dorm room to the ResCo basement, where I stored some items over the summer break. Then it clears up for the long drive home. Sometimes the weather is nice and holds off while I pack up everything to leave. Then, as we drive back to Virginia, enter the deluge.

Which situation is better? And should I really try to ride my bike in the rain if my brakes get slippery when wet? Will you remember to bring rain boots to college? Most importantly, should I take up juggling practice again?

Tips for college living, #2

Ah, the out of state student. How envious are you of your friends who can drive home with a basket full of dirty laundry, a bin of papers and textbooks, and as many sweatshirts/sweaters as will fit in the trunk of a car!

I feel for you, out of state students who take to the airport–not to the road–when holiday time rolls around. I therefore offer forth this list of travel tips.

Tips for college living, #2: The airport edition

1. If you wear your college gear, expect strangers to strike up conversations with you concerning your school, your major, and your hometown. If you are in the talkative mood, go for it! If your flight is exceptionally early in the morning or late at night, perhaps skip the Butler sweatshirt.

2. If you sit in an exit row, expect the flight attendant to ask your age. One must be over fifteen to sit in an exit row; I still get inquiries. Go figure. Aaaand… this is not really a tip. Next!

3. Bring an empty water bottle through the security checkpoint. This avoids going over the 3 ounce limit on liquids and still saves you the cost of buying overpriced drinks once in the gate area. You can fill the bottle at a water fountain. As a typically-money-strapped college student, I approve of all budget-friendly tricks.

4. Backpacks make excellent carry-on items. As a college student, I have several backpacks from which to chose. Also, you can pack dirty clothes to take home and wash and wear… you should simply be a bit more selective than your “I’m driving home this weekend” friends.

5. Obtain a luggage scale. Most airlines place a 50 pound limit on checked baggage. If you are checking a bag, weigh it ahead of time so you won’t have to shuffle items between bag and carry-on. If you see you have room, try to think of items you no longer need at school. For instance, I had extra space (by “space,” I mean “weight”) in my bag this trip home, so I brought back some books I no longer need at Butler.

Now if only I could find a spot for them on my overstuffed bookcase…

Right, I suppose those tips were not overly helpful. Some were more comments than tips, and other don’t apply just to college students. By all standards of goodness and light, I should delete this entire post and spare you the pain of reading it. Then again, if you are still reading this far, it is of your own volition.

Tip 6. Choose a seat near the front of the plane. It’s much faster when deplaning! The further up, the better, I say. Randall Munroe, creator of webcomic  XKCD, agrees with me. So it must be true.

Tips for college living, #1

We call the campus and its immediate environs the Butler Bubble. (Not to be confused with the tennis facility of the same name.) Inside the Butler Bubble, life sometimes picks me up and carries me along into a whirlpool of academic and social events. When I leave the Butler Bubble after a long period of immersion, it’s like a splash of cold water in the face.

Do you like my aqua references?

Today’s tip for college living: Set your homepage to a news website. No, Access Hollywood doesn’t count. Neither does BUMail, the Butler email system, though I can tell you I check my email with embarrassing frequency.

I personally prefer the BBC front page because its scope tends to be more international, but CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are also good choices. If you like podcasts and audio, NPR NPR NPR. But obviously, it’s up to you. It’s your homepage.

I think it’s important to remember that we–attending a liberal arts college–are preparing to add value to the world community. We cannot forget about life off the campus. It’s hard. There’s always, always something to do, and I often hear people wishing for a twenty-six hour day or an eight-day week so they have more time.

Setting your homepage to a news site is an easy way to keep somewhat abreast of the world beyond the quad and the dining hall, beyond the dorms and the classrooms. Even if you only have time to glance over the headlines, it’s a little reminder of the object of all your work… the real world.

(By the way. The BBC has a sense of humor, albeit a semi-creepy one.)

Notice the clown with death in his eyes? Notice the flames? Notice the TERROR?