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BTS Series: A guide to move in

The first real day on campus. Hauling your entire life up a ton of stairs [maybe with the help of an elevator if you’re lucky]. You’re sweaty, tired, and moving as quickly as you can to get moving in finished up. While I can’t do anything about tired and sweaty, move-in doesn’t have to be miserable!


Pack like items together

My biggest flaw freshman year was throwing whatever square items together in boxes surrounded by smaller items to fill in the gaps. When I got to school, I unpacked these desk items, but the things to hold my desk items were three boxes deep and I had crap out in my room until I unpacked every single box. I know it may seem easy to throw it all together, but you’ll thank your past self on move-in day when everything is in its place [labeled even] move-in day won’t seem like a big deal at all.

Coordinate move-in times with your roommate

If your roommate is moving in at noon, don’t also move in at noon. Having a room filled with boxes of one person is a shit show, but two? Absolutely not. Ask your roommate what time they plan on heading over to school and plan accordingly by coming two hours before or after they are getting there. That way when the second roommate gets there, the first roommate’s things are set up, put away, and the other roommate can work on filling the room with their boxes.

Get there early!

Be the first roommate !! Be !! The !! first !! roommate !!!! Getting there early will save you so much time and effort! You get good parking, no lines, extra help from move-in crews [if you have them] plus you get all the hard stuff out of the way in the morning, have time to take a good nap and then work on organizing and making your room your own.

Use those move-in bins!

If your dorm is lucky enough to have move-in bins… use them! Whether or not you have an elevator these will help you, especially if your car is parked super far from your dorm. Instead of making tens of trips back to your car, with the help of these bins, you’’ make three trips max. Also, with only one bin, your parents can make the trips to and from the car while you get a head start on moving your stuff in. When your parents come back with trip two, give them empty containers you’re sending back home to clear out space in your room. Just remember to give them back when you’re done, there are hundreds of other new students in your dorm wanting to use them as well!

Do the big things first

Do you have things like shoe racks or futons to build? Build them first! Are your clothes taking up half of your dorm? Put them away first! Little things like shower caddies, bedding, and décor do take up a significant amount of space but they can spend the early part of your time for move-in on or under your bed. Do bigger things that might require your parents help and you can save those smaller and time-consuming tasks for once your parents are gone.


I hope these tips help make your move-in day easy peasy!

❤ Alicia ❤

BTS Series: Things not to bring to college

I am the absolute queen of overpacking. I’m also the queen of packing lists. When I was preparing for my first year of college, I definitely overpacked. I also knew that there were a lot of things I shouldn’t have brought in the first place, so I didn’t. Today, I want to use my mistakes and my ability to read posts similar to this one to make a list of things that I believe are unnecessary for college [especially when living in a dorm].


Your entire closet

When I moved in my freshman year, I think I filled three suitcases with clothes and shoes. My sophomore year I bought 50 hangers and filled everyone. Did I wear all of these clothes? NO. I brought so many clothes I didn’t wear at home [which I’ve talked about before], which guess what? I didn’t wear at school. I brought a ton of T-shirts that I never wore [you get a bunch of free ones or you buy ones to rep your school at sporting events] because when I got to school I wanted to dress better than I did in high school and only wore T-shirts when lounging in my dorm or at the gym. Also, don’t bring non-seasonal clothing. Bring a few heavier items for those rare chilly October days but just swap out your warm clothes for cold clothes when you go home for Thanksgiving [or anytime around that].

Appliances

Not only is there not much room for appliances, but most universities prohibit any sort of appliance from your dorm room. Most dorms also supply you with a micro-fridge [microwave, fridge, freezer combo] so you have room to store and heat food. Don’t bother with bringing another fridge, toaster, blender, etc. because it will be taken from you during room checks. Always check university guidelines and only bring what you’re allowed.

Full-sized vacuum

Do you have space? NO. Do you have carpet? NO. Do you need a huge vacuum? NO. Most [if not all] dorms are tile [do buy a Swiffer you’ll NEED that] and even if you get a rug for your floor, buy a hand vacuum for when you spill popcorn at 2:00am and need to clean that up. A full-sized vacuum isn’t practical and 100% unnecessary. Don’t even pack it to begin with or your parents will be taking it right back home.

Pots and Pans

Microwave meals and dining hall food will be your life. Not only do you not have the longing to cook or the skills, you don’t have a kitchen. Some schools offer communal kitchens in dorms for students to use but these usually include pots and pans and baking sheets… the works. If you do plan on cooking for yourself a bit, make sure you check what your dorm // school offers kitchen wise as well as appliance wise. Then go ahead and purchase a few kitchen items if you need to.

Things you roommate has already bought

Before you go dorm or apartment shopping make sure you shoot your roommate a text message asking what she is bringing for the room and what you were planning on bringing. This prevents two printers, two Swiffers, two coffee makers, etc. It also saves up extra space in  your car for other things and in your dorm for the year. Texting your roommate is a win win!


Did you find any of these items to be necessities? Or are there any other items you found to be useless?

❤ Alicia ❤

BTS Series: Buy this, not that

There are hundreds of options for ‘things to buy’ for your college home. When making these decisions, here are a few things you should buy contrary to popular belief.


Buy a French Press, Not a Keurig

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One of my biggest regrets is buying a Keurig. They take up a ton of space, I only drink hot coffee in the dead of winter, and they can produce a TON of waste. Op for a more sustainable and small coffee maker such as a French Press. French Presses make a cup or two of coffee, they have zero waste AND CAN BREW ICED COFFEE. Once you perfect your perfect French Press cup of coffee, there is ~no~ turning back.

Buy Decomposable K cups, Not non-decomposable

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If you already have a Keurig [hi, me too], try to minimize that waste by buying compostable K cups. I get mine at Costco but Amazon has them too [same brand] and I’m sure with a bit of searching you can find your favorite blend of roast and save the planet at the same time.

Buy a Reusable Water Bottle, not a Brita Filter

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I bought a Brita for my freshman year of college and used it once. Then, I discovered the water bottle filler station on my floor and just used my reusable water bottle for the rest of the year. Then, that Brita sat on my fridge for the final 9 months of my time in San Diego. Before you buy things that are ~optional~ wait until you’ve moved into your dorm // wherever you’re living to see what luxuries you have. Then, you’ll save some money and space and will still be hydrated.

Buy Tide Pods,  not Liquid Detergent

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In high school [and today still] I watch hundreds of college dorm tour videos where YouTubers boast their new rooms. In every one of these videos, these girls had Tide Pods. Being 17 and very persuadable [and wanting to be trendy] I knew I had to have them. I love Tide Pods and I still use them today. They are quick and easy to throw right into the washer when you’re in a rush!

Buy a Wired Printer, not a Wireless Printer

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Both years in my dorm I had no printer for the first few weeks of my Fall Semesters. The reason for this, a wireless printer. Wireless printers need wifi to work, however, you cannot connect them to dorm wifi for some reason unbeknownst to me. So, until the USB cord came in the mail, my roommates and I were paying for printing. Just think ahead and get a wired printer to start, so you aren’t stuck without a printer for weeks like I was.

Buy a Mesh Shower Caddy, not a Plastic One

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This is something that a lot of people overlook. Shower caddies are necessities for communal showers and saved my butt during my first two years. The problem my freshman year, the plastic shower caddy took up so much space in my dorm and got everything wet. My sophomore year I decided to size down [about half the size] and opted for the mesh caddy. Not only can a mesh caddy be folded to fit wherever you need, but it is also full of holes that get most of the water out before you leave the shower so that you don’t have puddles in your room and aren’t slipping and falling in your room.


Obviously, to each their own, but these six things, while minor, greatly improved my dorm life and I would recommend them to everyone! What are some college item you would buy in replace of traditionally popular items.

❤ Alicia ❤

BTS Series: Prepping for back to school

Back to school can be stressful. Back to college can be even worse. Having to fit your whole life into a tiny dorm room or apartment may seem impossible but with these quick tips can make a hard day [or week] a breeze.


Make a packing list

In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is start willy-nilly packing the day before you leave for school. A well-thought-out and organized packing list is what every college student needs in order to have an easy move-in day. Once you’ve accumulated all of these products you’re bringing, group them together [bathroom items with other bathroom items, all of your clothes together, etc.]. This way you’ll know where everything is on move-in day and you’ll be able to unpack and organize your dorm or apartment with ease.

Don’t pack things you don’t use at home

My most toxic trait as a person is when packing for school, packing a shirt I’ve worn one time in the past two years ‘just in case.’ If I don’t wear it at home, why am I going to wear it at school? Don’t do it with clothes, shoes, books, etc. If you do not use something at home, don’t bring it to college.

Contact your roommates

Things you don’t need in a college dorm or apartment: 4 printers, 2 Brita filters, 45 rolls of paper towels, etc. When you find out who your roommates are [if you didn’t pick them or sign a lease with them] make sure you shoot them a text, email, or Facebook message to talk about what things you are bringing and what they’re bringing. That way, everyone is spending less money, packing less stuff, and will have more space in your new home to put things you really want.

Get into a routine

I know that as a college student you take advantage of having no commitments those following Monday mornings. That being said, I also know you’re staying up until the sun rises and sleeping the days away. Unless your first class is at 3:00pm [not likely] you have a big storm coming. By working on your sleep schedule and creating a daily routine [gym, homework, class, studying, eating, and everything in between] you’ll have a much better chance of transitioning to your school schedule instead of sleeping right through both of your classes on the first day of school.

Check all of your syllabi

Depending on your school and your professor, you might start using books [or having assignments due] on the first day of class. To prevent an Elle Woods moment, make sure you’ve read all of the syllabi for all of your classes, contacted professors with any questions, copied assignments and exams into your planner, and get to work on completing those summer assignments if you get them.

Explore ways to get involved

When I transferred to OU, the biggest thing that kept me up at night was that I wouldn’t make any friends or find an organization or job that clicked for me. I explored every single student org before deciding on a few, as well as jobs until I stumbled upon my current place of work. I applied for the job and joined the clubs through the school before school even started so that I could start making money and getting involved before I even started my first semester.


What tips do you have for preparing for a seamless back to college season?

❤ Alicia ❤

Back to School Series: Intention setting

Hi all, for my last year at OU I wanted to do another Back to School Series. I did one two years ago and it was really successful so for my final year of undergrad, let’s end my Back to School seasons on a high note, shall we?


If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I’m a goal-setting girl. Through my favorite org in the world, CHAARG, I’ve learned to change the word goal to intention because intentions are something you can build upon, not something you cross off your list all the time.

I think setting intentions [or goals because why not??] for a week, month, semester, school year, etc. can be extremely beneficial. Once I’ve created my intentions, I print them out and hang them on my wall or write them in my planner so that I can always be reminded to be working on my intentions whenever I can.

A big tip I have with setting goals or intentions is not to reach for the stars. If you’re a straight B student, don’t set a goal for a 4.0. If you’re just getting into running, don’t set a goal to run a marathon, etc. Start small + build up. If you’re a straight B student, set a goal for 2 As this semester or to take a certain amount of time out of your week to study. If you’re starting to run, set the intention to run three days a week. Then once you can do that, build upon the intention and run for 5 days a week [aim for three As, etc] until one day you do build-up to those initial goals you wanted. Always keep those in the back of your mind but don’t get disheartened when you can’t achieve something right away. Hard work and patience will get you where you want to be.

My Intentions for this semester are:

  • Follow through on things I begin.
  • Get stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Try to live in the moment when with others.
  • Pour my heart into the things I am passionate about.
  • Write & read; as much as I can, when I can.
  • Make an effort to use less screen time, especially during the week.

What are your intentions for these upcoming months?

❤ Alicia ❤

If we were having coffee [2]

Hi all. I realized I’ve only posted a handful in 2019. From “Hi I’m in Spain” to “Hi, my life’s a mess” I’ve been struggling with the whole posting thing. I’ve been struggling with the whole writing thing as well. I wrote here and there for the blog with my friends [shameless plug] but I do miss sitting in a coffee shop, blank word document in front of me, with an iced coffee in my hand, which is something I haven’t done in MONTHS. So, as I sit here, in my favorite coffee shop at home, I want to take a bit of time to share with all of you my latest life update. Grab a coffee, a pastry or two, and listen to my whole life from the past few months.


If we were having coffee I finished my junior year of college! I’ve posted since this, but I never really talked about my semester from hell. Eight classes, a job, two exec boards, and the most stress I’d ever been under AND I FINISHED STRONG. I finished with 7 As and only one B+, a second job, and a lot less on my plate for the fall. I’d also mention that this will be my last semester on OU’s campus but I’ll get to that in a little bit 😉

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you about my other blog with my two best friends! I’ve mentioned my other blog LVNG Limitless in the past but I want to talk about it more! I absolutely adore my two friends and this blog that started with a text message. My two friends Grace and Hannah and I now manage a team of 10 other ladies, edit blog posts and photos, and put out weekly content [every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday]. I love this blog and Live Pulchritudinously will ALWAYS and forever be my child but it is nice to have this blog as well with some of my favorite people.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about my trip to Spain! I spent eight weeks in Toledo Spain with 22 of my new best friends. I took three classes, explored Spain on the weekends, improved my Spanish, and just furthered my longing to travel the world. I cannot wait to go back to my third home, Toledo.

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you how I spent my 22ndbirthday in Paris, the best birthday I’ve ever had. I hate birthdays usually and I always dread my birthday. I always make up these scenarios for my perfect birthday and then get so disheartened whenever they don’t come true. This year though, WOW. I spent my actual birthday with a two-day celebration [I KNOW] surrounded by over half of my new best friends with Italian food, drinks, and so many laughs. Then, the day after my birthday I headed to Paris for an amazing weekend of art, history, and BREAD. I could easily live in Paris and it has taken the cake for my favorite city I’ve ever been to.

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If we were having coffee that I got bangs! I’ve been wanting bangs for about 10 months now and I finally got them! I am obsessed with them and might keep them for a while. Hot take: bangs actually look good on everyone and people say they’re ugly because they just get flashbacks to fifth grade when they didn’t know how to style their greasy rat’s nest and remember those bangs instead of the super cute bangs that I am now and forever rocking.

If we were having coffee I’d let you all know that I’m going abroad again next Spring! As I mentioned above, this fall will be my last semester at OU. That’s because I will be completing my student teaching abroad: I’m not sure where and I’m sure the exact days but I will be finding out sometime this fall and will update as such. I can’t wait to cross another country off my travel list as well as teach Spanish in another country!

If we were having coffee I’d share that I’m doing the best mentally that I have in years! I don’t know if it’s visiting a new place [Spain] or making a drastic appearance change [bangs] or what but I’m doing so well + I’m stoked!! It’s been years since I’ve been this genuinely happy + I’m hoping this sticks around for a good while.


If we were having coffee, what would you share with me?

 

Spain Recap Vlog

Hi all! I want to make a final wrap up on Spain in writing, however, I’m also trying to work on my editing skills to hopefully one day run a YouTube channel. So, for now, enjoy this video of my Spain trip [while you’re on my channel check out my Peru vlog too 🙂 ]

Much love,

Alicia

Read my most recent post on LVNG Limitless!

When the Fourth of July comes to mind, the first thing I think of are all the different foods: burgers, brats, hot dogs, cole slaw, potato salad, apple pie, corn on the cob, etc. However, once I went vegan my food options at family cookouts went from seemingly infinite to roughly two: watermelon and butterless […]

via Recipes for a Vegan-friendly 4th of July — LVNG Limitless

​Home again home again jiggity jig

Airports for me have become quite a solace. They’ve become one of my absolute favorite places in the world: sitting at a café, coffee to my left and a blank word document staring back at me. Airports have definitely become one of my favorite places to write and so if anyone wants to hire me as a travel blogger to make this a common thing that I can do…. Let me know ;).

I am officially done with my study abroad trip and am sitting in the airport, belongings attached to me, so I don’t become a victim of another robbery in my last few hours in Europe.

Today is absolutely bittersweet. Saying goodbye to 22 of my new best friends was absolutely heartbreaking. I saw these people 5-7 days a week for the past 2 months, shared secrets, made memories, and in the end, we became a little family. To now not see them at all for 2 months ??? I’m not 100% sure if I’ll survive.

One of the girls in my group remarked at how we were basically Glee [which I am finally able to relate to because I started watching it this past semester]. We all had our own lives in Athens, our own friends, our own homes, our own hobbies. However, we shared something. We shared these 2 months in Spain. Therefore, these 22 people probably won’t be integrated with our friend groups back at school, however, they are still some of my best friends and I cannot wait for our times together as a group when we return to school.

As I sit here, reflecting on my time abroad, I feel ever so cliché. This trip really did change my life.  I have seen some of the most amazing sights, met some of the most kind and caring people, improved my Spanish in more way than one, and more than anything, step out of my comfort zone every single day.

I visited 7 cities, 2 countries, tried new things, learned to cook traditional Spanish dishes, learned to Flamenco [sort of], and got TAN. I’m so grateful for Spain and all that it did for me as a person.

Until I see you again, Spain, te quiero mucho.

 

 

 

No pasa nada​

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking recently. Not that I’m not always doing quite a bit of thinking, but more now than usual.

My study abroad time is coming to a close and as sad as I am to leave this incredible country, I couldn’t be more ready to get home.

Usually, I do not miss home. And to be perfectly honest I didn’t miss home until this past Sunday. On Sunday, as I was waiting and studying in a Taco Bell [yes of all places] in Madrid with some friends during our two-hour layover there, my purse was stolen. I always preach about safe travel – keep your belongings on you at all times, zip pockets, only carry the necessities, etc. Yet somehow I was the idiot I always talk about. As much as I’ve loved my time in Europe and all of the people I’ve met and things I’ve done, there’s nothing like having belongings stolen that makes me want to wrap myself in a blanket burrito and watch Netflix in my own bed with my dog.

Everyone and their brother is losing their mind over this, asking to help in any way they can, saying they wish there had been another outcome, etc. Obviously, I feel the same but that’s not the case and no matter how much we dwell on this, my purse isn’t going to be returned.

A few weeks ago, my new friends and I were talking and somehow the topic of holding grudges came up. One of the guys said that girls hold grudges far longer and far more severe than guys do. To which of course we all agreed. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noted this and realized how ugly holding a grudge makes you.

Yes, I wish my purse hadn’t been stolen and that I didn’t have to head back to America a week before I had planned and that I had been able to go to Ireland, Scotland, and England. I wish I could get all of my money, cards, inhaler, birth control, etc. that was in my purse. Alas, I cannot do any of that.

And honestly… that’s 100% ok. Everything in that purse is replaceable. The only thing really causing me any sort of grief is my inhaler as I have been relying on it here with all of the people who smoke in Spain. Besides that… I can get a new driver’s license, a new school ID, another pair of Ray Bans, new Chapstick, etc. None of that is important.

So, this Saturday I will be heading back home. Not all bad though. I get to see my dog a week earlier, enjoy a nice bottle of ice water, and reacclimate to the US before spending a long 10 or so days in Minnesota with my dad’s family.

Things we are doing in 2019: enjoying the little things. Things we are not doing in 2019: dwelling on the things we cannot control.

And in the wise words of every single person on my trip: No pasa nada, when in fact, everything is pasando mucho.