5 Things to put in your roommate contract

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The last thing you want to worry about as a new college student is unnecessary stress. Most universities encourage new students to take compatibility quizzes in the hopes they will be matched with a roommate who is a good fit for them. Regardless of these matchmaking attempts, not everyone gets along swimmingly. This is where the need for a roommate contract comes up.

By creating this agreement with your roommate, you will have a set of rules and/or guidelines to follow. The hope is that by negotiating these terms, you will be able to avoid unwanted conflict. After all, you may be quite different from your roommate in terms of your hobbies, acquaintances, and personal schedules (both academic and social).

Here’s the top 5 things we think you should put in your contract!

1) Defining your Personal Space: First and foremost – which bed do you get? If you are living in an apartment style dorm room, which bedroom and/or bathroom do you get?  What can you two share? List the rules for anything you will be sharing (i.e. TV, fridge, microwave). Are you sharing food? Will you be splitting the cost of groceries  and shopping together? If not, what are your rules on sharing what is in the refrigerator?

2) Chores: Who cleans what, and when? Making a chore chart is an easy way to avoid unnecessary conflict regarding housekeeping. Split the responsibilities. Come to an agreement on how clean the room should be in general, and divide the cleaning into a list of chores for each of you. Remember, you can always take turns to keep it fair.

3) Respecting your roommate:  It’s best to avoid bringing back distractions to the room that could interfere with your roommates schoolwork (i.e. loud music, TV, friends, etc.) Decide on a general “Quiet hours” schedule for the week so you and your roommate can prioritize your studying.

4) Guests: Are there sleepover rules? If so, what are they? You might be in a serious relationship, but it’s imperative to keep your roommates comfort in mind. They may find it disrespectful for you to have your significant other over without discussing it with them first.  Come to a consensus on who is allowed over and how many people can be in the room at a time.

5) Moving out: Make sure you give your roommate advanced notice in the event that you need to move out earlier than scheduled. If you need to break your lease, try to find a replacement roommate to take your place.

More importantly than it being legally binding is what the contract represents: a physical documentation to ensure respect towards each other.  Still, it is important to make sure the roommate contract/agreement is clear, with no room for error . This will help you steer clear of coming to vague interpretations and conclusions from confusing verbiage. When it comes down to it, the most important aspect of a good  roommate contract is that it be fair to both parties.

the top 10 college movies

Sometimes college feels almost like a movie and you’re the leading role. Weird, yet funny things happen all of the time and people are going through a phase where they are searching and finding themselves. Directors and writers have seen the obsession the outside world has with the outrageous college lifestyle ideals and have made so many movies based on the “college experience.” Here’s 10 of our favorites.

#1 National Lampoon’s Animal House

What is it about? A group of misfits join a rowdy fraternity and challenge the dean who is trying to shut them down.

Who is in it? John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert and Tom Hulce

#2 Old School

What is it about? Three friends in their 30’s live out their glory days by joining together and creating a fraternity with an odd bunch. They experience some bumps along the way when the dean disapproves.

Who is in it? Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson and Jeremy Piven

#3 Revenge of the Nerds

What is it about? A few nerds get evicted out of their dorms when a fraternity house gets burned down and needs a place to go. After relocating to a dumpy house and being made fun of time and time again, the nerds group up and make a plan of revenge.

Who is in it? Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Ted McGinley and Bernie Casey

#4 Accepted

What is it about? After being rejected by college after college, a senior in high school decides to trick everyone in his life by starting his own University. After building a website, taking over a location and having a someone pose as the dean, word gets out about the fake college and tons of students enroll.

Who is in it? Justin Long, Blake Lively and Jonah Hill 

#5 Legally Blonde

What is it about? A blonde and bubbly college student is in love with her boyfriend who is soon entering Harvard Law, but he breaks up with her because she is “too blonde.” She pulls all of her resources in order to gain entrance into Harvard and win back his heart.

Who is in it?  Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Luke Wilson and Jennifer Coolidge

#6 Pitch Perfect

What is it about? A college girl with a love for music goes to college reluctant about being apart of a group and joins an a cappella club.  The unique group of girls harmonize all of their styles together to try to win the national a cappella college championship.

Who is in it? Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin and Anna Camp

#7 22 Jump Street

What is it about? In the sequel of 21 Jump Street, two undercover agents find themselves enrolled in college and trying to act like young adults. They have to solve their crime and fit in to prospective groups, while still maintaining their partnership.

Who is in it? Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice cube

#8 Waterboy

What is it about? After being fired from his job at a successful college football team, a water boy joins their rivals and gets discovered as a talented player instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Who is in it? Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler

#9 We Are Marshall

What is it about? After a horrific plane crash, killing 75 people including the a small college’s football team, coaches, boosters, athletic director and trainer, a new football coach arrives the next year to revive the team and help the town grieve in the process.

Who is in it? Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox and David Strathairn

#10 Neighbors

What is it about? After two new parents move to a suburban neighborhood, a fraternity moves in next door and trouble arises. The couple tries to be cool and fit in by attending their parties but after they call the cops on a party the fraternity has, a back and fourth war begins.

Who is in it? Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne and Dave Franco

 

How to Avoid a Stage 5 Clinger

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There seems to be a few different interpretations of the definition of a “Stage 5 Clinger.” For the purposes of this article, we’ll define it as a person who gets just a little too attached to someone else, boy or girl, in a creepy sort of way. To understand the origin of the term, it may be time to watch Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson again.

All of us at one point or another might find ourselves in the awkward situation where we have somehow picked up an unwanted friend. We don’t mean for it to happen. It could be that we were just a little too polite or friendly. We gave them a courtesy laugh at a joke they told that wasn’t funny, or we just happened to be the last person in the room, left alone with the clinger. We had no idea that our years of practicing the Golden Rule was going to somehow come back and haunt us.

Once you’ve picked up a Stage 5 Clinger, it can be a pretty tough job getting rid of them, especially when you’re most likely going to have to resort to tactics that go against the grain of your “nice-guy” grooming. In most cases, it’s easier to learn how to avoid clingers in the first place. However, this can be tricky as most of us are unaware that we have a clinger until it’s too late!

To help, here are a few signs to watch for:

  • Too Much Self-Deprecation

If you find yourself with someone who is constantly talking about all of his or her flaws and shortcomings, beware! This is a common sign of a potential clinger. The next step is them wanting to rely on you as the answer to their problems. That’s when you’ve got troubles.

  • Too Much Texting

Take a strong look at the texting ration between you and the suspected Stage 5 Clinger. Are they responding to your one sentence text with a paragraph? Count up the number of texts between you and the person over the last few days. If their text messages are twice as many as yours, watch out!

  • Showing Up Where You Are Without an Invite

You finally break down after several texts and tell your stalker where you’re going tonight to hang out with your friends only to have them show up at the same place. Now things are moving from a general “creepy” status to more of a “psycho” stage.

One of the best things you can do to avoid a creepy friendship with someone who is just too clingy is to be as upfront and honest as possible. This may seem rude and harsh, but unfortunately, it is the only way to get your message across. Steer clear of personal disparaging remarks – they might make things worse for you.

Things to do in the snow

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It’s still snowy and cold outside so you can either hide out with a cup of noodles and watch whatever series you’re obsessed with these days, or you can go out and frolic in the snow. I don’t know about you but I’m choosing…SNOW!!! Here’s a few things to you can do in the snow this winter.

1. Sled- You’ve probably been doing this activity since you were little and the best part? It requires practically no skill or coordination. Just grab a sled, saucer, snow tube or anything that resembles what a sled is like and head out to the nearest hill.

2. Build a snowman- Since you’ve only seen Frozen 100 times once, you may not be a professional like Elsa, but making a snowman is a pretty fun activity where it’s not necessary for you to have tons of practice. Try skipping the buttons and carrot nose this year, and spice up your snowman by adding some fun, realistic accessories.

3. Ski/snowboard- Chances are there is a place to do both of these sports close, or semi close, to your school. It’s probably worth the drive and you can make a whole day or weekend trip out of it! If you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before, you may want to book a lesson or have a friend whose a pro give you a few lessons before going out there on your own. If all else fails, there’s always hot chocolate and a fireplace at the lodge.

4. Snowball fight- Okay, your mind automatically went ‘how lame,’ but if you can think far back to when you had snowball fights, you probably just remembered that they’re awesome! Get a group of friends out and make teams. Come up with your own rules and make it interesting.

5. Snow angels- Who doesn’t love a good snow angel? This isn’t exactly an all day activity, but if you live on a campus that has a pretty hefty amount of snow you can’t miss out on laying in it. Just plop down and start moving your arms and legs in an out and in motion.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re bundled up and ready to have fun!

3 reasons to take a break from your computer

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Studying, checking social media, surfing the web and streaming TV and movies from your computer can be great, but what percentage of your day do you think you are starting at your computer or tablet screen? Chances are that percentage is pretty high. All of the things listed above may be in your daily routine, but have you ever thought about taking a much needed break from your computer? If you’re not already convinced, you need to read on.. Here are our top 3 reasons to put that computer down!

#1 Health- It’s not a secret that sitting in front of a computer all day can have an affect on your health. The most common thing you probably hear about is strained eyes. Make sure that if you are prescribed glasses or contacts, you always wear them when looking at your screen. Other health affects associated with sitting in front of your computer all day include neck and shoulder aches, as well as blood flow problems. Be sure to walk around and stretch every 30 minutes to get your blood flowing and body moving.

#2 Face to Face Communication- Using the internet and your phone are both great ways to communicate and maintain relationships but if you’re having a conversation using technology with someone whose sitting right next to you, you may want to reevaluate. Engaging in human interaction is important in our daily lives and some argue that it’s the best form. Try using your time away from the computer to go down the hall and have a conversation with your friends.

#3 Appreciate your surroundings- Put  down your your phone or tablet next time you walk to class and look around. Everyone around you will probably be on their phones, distracted by Snapchat or Instagram. You can take the time to fully embrace nature and appreciate the people you’re with. You’re only in college for a few years, so really take these moments to soak in the university and all it has to offer.

5 ways to spice up your ramen

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Ramen is pretty much known as one of the main food groups when you’re in college. It’s cheap, easy, filling and many argue, delicious. If you’re not familiar with the meal, packaged Ramen Noodle Soup comes with uncooked noodles and a flavor packet. The basic practice is to boil the noodles, add the seasoning and enjoy, but what if you want to spice it up? Eating Ramen day after day can get boring, even if you vary from shrimp to beef and chicken flavors. Here’s 5 ways to upgrade your Ramen.

#1 Veggie tales- Whether they’re frozen or fresh, adding veggies to your Ramen is simple and will take it to the next level. Typically Ramen isn’t known to many as the most nutritious meal, but integrating healthy veggies like broccoli, sugar snap peas and shelled edamame will help to balance the meal a little more.

#2 Protein please – The flavoring packets of beef, chicken and shrimp may give you the allusion of protein, but may leave you craving something more. Try adding rotisserie chicken or diced ham to your bowl for that extra boost.

#3 That’s amore!- Although Ramen is typically an asian dish, there’s no need to be basic. Venture outside the Sriracha sauce and miso paste you were going to add, and change the type of cuisine. Just buy (or make) a tomato, bolognese or Alfredo sauce and add a touch of parmesan! Bon appétit.

#3 Crunchify me- Everyone needs a good snack mix while they study. Ramen goes great with peanuts and dried peas, so mix everything together with the seasoning and get to studying! The recipe does suggest baking the ingredients, but people also do a no-bake mix as well.

#4 Go green- Just because ramen has a bad rep for being unhealthy doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. Get inventive and make a salad using the noodles. They will add a delicious crunch to a healthy lunch.

#5 Ramen fiesta!- Whose says you can’t use Ramen noodles to have mexican food? By just adding some taco seasoning, tomatoes, corn and cilantro, you can have a fiesta in your dorm room! This recipe calls for a pot to heat your ramen and tomatoes up, but it’ll work perfectly in the microwave too!

Whether you’re preparing Ramen the old fashioned way, doctoring it up or changing it’s identity completely, happy cooking!

How to deal with your messy roommate

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Whether it is in a dorm, apartment or house, living with a roommate can be a sticky situation. Everyone has their own idea and definition of what words like clean, neat, tidy, messy and dirty mean. So what is the line between tidy and messy, and how do you deal with the situation when someone crosses that line?

#1 Set out clear expectations from the beginning- Don’t wait until a problem starts to talk about this situation. When you first move in with someone, make sure they know how you like to keep your place. Setting some sort of guideline ahead of time shows that it is important to you, and they can’t claim they didn’t know you liked your home clean if they become a messy mate later on.

#2 Talk to them- This is the first step when your roommate gets super messy. If you put it off and don’t tell them how you feel, how can you expect them to change? Your anger and frustration will continue to build and you may just blow up at them over something small and they will have no idea what caused it. Sometimes one simple conversation can fix everything.

#3 Share the responsibility- Okay, we know that you aren’t the one to blame for the messy room, but your roommate doesn’t have to know that. Telling your roommate what he or she is doing wrong may make them feel attacked and cause an argument. Instead, make it like you both have some work to do. Most of the time, the messy roommate doesn’t realize they are being messy in the first place and will agree to do some work. Come up with a list of chores for each of you to do every Sunday so it’s a bonding activity.

#4 Helpful Hints- If this isn’t done the right way it can come off a bit passive aggressive. For some it’s hard to gain up the courage to talk to someone about an issue so it’s easier to just work around it. Cleaning the room in front of your roommate may make them feel bad for leaving the mess in the first place and they could even join in. Helpful other little hints like leaving toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet or cleaning supplies on their desk on “accident” may help them get the picture too!

#5 Flaunt your cleanliness- Just because they’re messy doesn’t mean you have to be messy or act like their mom. Keep your parts of the room clean and if they have something dirty on your property, pile it on their side. They may get jealous of how great your side looks and want to match that. Once other people come over and note the difference, they will be too embarrassed not to clean up.

Dorm room ballers – pro athletes that went to your school

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Take a look at many of the famous NBA players currently competing at the highest level of their sport today and remember that many of them share one common fact in the history of their rise to stardom…they all started out in a cramped dorm room at one time or another.

The list of NBA stars that once lived in dorm rooms as college players includes many, from Ray Allen to Wilt Chamberlain and so many others. It’s hard to imagine these players who now live in posh and stylish homes worth millions of dollars used to deal with the same cramped living situation that many college students fact today. We look back at old pictures of them studying at a desk or lounging in their beds shooting crumpled up paper balls into a waste basket and it makes them look a little more human…a little less distant from where we are now.

While it could be easy to assume that these dorm rooms were the places of wild and crazy parties that lasted through the night, the pictures and reports we hear paint an entirely different picture.

Take Wilt Chamberlain for example. Considered by many to be the one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history, Wilt Chamberlain is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game. That is just one of his many NBA all-time records that remain intact and unbroken even today. But before he became the legend he is known to be in the NBA, he started by playing basketball at the University of Kansas. There are even pictures showing Wilt studying hard in his Kansas dorm room circa 1956, sitting at a desk that is much too small for his 7 foot 1 inch frame. His desk and dorm room look similar to what they look like today.

Then there is “His Airness” Michael Jordan from the University of North Carolina. Most of us are familiar with MJ’s accomplishments over his long career in the NBA. Even more prevalent in today’s world is talk about his fame and wealth that has made him one of the most successful sports figures in the history of the world. If you were to visit Michael in his dorm room back in 1983, you would see firsthand his humble dorm room beginning. One thing that stands out about Jordan’s dorm room is how tidy it was. Pictures show a very small and cramped dorm room that is clean and well organized.

So the next time you walk into your room after a tough day of midterms and lectures in the middle of a long semester that feels like it may never end, consider what you, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan all have in common…your wonderful, little dorm room.

How to avoid moving scams

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I’m sure you’ve heard from friends and family, or have read online some of the moving horror stories. Picking a moving company can be a tough decision and you want to avoid scams at all costs. We’ve comprised a list for you to help you do just that!

1. Do your research- If the company you’re looking at is reputable, they will have a local address and phone number. Try driving by their address and see if it’s a real place. You can also see their reviews and complaints on their Better Business Bureau profile.

2. Insured- If you have a bad feeling, ask them to give you their information about their insurance, licensing and make sure they are bonded. Any company that is trustworthy will be able to give you this information right away and should be insured and bonded.

3. References- It is best to go with a company that someone you know personally has used in the past. If they had a good experience with them, you will likely too. If you can’t find any referrals from your friends, ask the company for references. They should be able to give you people in your area that have used their company in the past year.

4. Estimate- Demanding an on site estimate won’t allow movers to price you lower when on the phone and raise it when they see how much stuff you have. You will have a better idea of what the price is if the movers give you the estimate after they have seen you’re items.

5. Contracts- Double check that your contract is completely filled out and don’t sign a contracts with any blanks because additional costs could be added afterwards. Make sure to read the fine print and that the price you were promised is listed on the contract. Many companies will have a clause in the contract that states they can raise the prices if you have more items than they estimate.

6. Payment-Most reputable companies will not ask you to make a large deposit prior to moving day. If the company you are interested in booking is asking this, you should take that as a red flag. If you choose to move forward, make sure not to pay with cash. When you pay with cash, there is no paper trail of the move.

7. Claims Policy- Ask the company if you can see their claims policy before signing or booking the move. It is important that you read this carefully as they could possibly damage your items and not have any policy about fixing or replacing them.

8. Shop around- You could go with the first company you find, but you’re probably not going to get the best price. It is best to call around town and get different estimates to compare against each other. This will ensure that you are getting the best deal for the highest quality.

If doing all of this work doesn’t sound that great, you may want to look in to using a storage or local move service. Dorm Room Movers’ movers are insured and bonded, and we have an A+ BBB rating. Our service includes free insurance and you know our prices up front with no hidden changes at the end!

How to have a Low budget Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s day is supposed to be a romantic and fun day, but often it winds up being a pain because you’re locked in to spending a ton of money. Just because you’re running a little low on cash from the beer books you just bought, doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great night with your someone special. Try keeping it low key with your date this year. Here’s our top 5 ways to make this V-Day inexpensive…

#1 Put on your apron- Just because you don’t want to pay $80 per person at an overcrowded restaurant for a fancy 4 course meal, doesn’t make you a bad boyfriend or girlfriend. Try something romantic like cooking for your date. Hanging out at home will be more intimate and you can even recreate your date’s favorite meal.

#2 Get crafty- Instead of buying them something, try making a gift, like a book of vouchers. This will show that you want to spend time with them. College budgets can be tight and it’s the thought that counts.

#3 Keep it sentimental- If you’re not a crafter and want to buy your date something, but don’t want to spend an outrageous amount of money, get he or she something with a deeper meaning rather than something over the top. You can buy something that reflects an inside joke between you two or something that they’ve been talking about that you picked up on. It shows them that you have been listening to them and that you really care.

#4 Use your words- You don’t have to have a fancy Valentine’s day to show how you feel. Simply writing a letter, poem or card that says those three little words can make all the difference this year.

#5 Reminisce- If your going out with someone you’ve been dating for a while, do something fun and special to the both of you. What did you do on your first date? Planning something like that, or something similar, will show that you remember and care about the start of your relationship.