Roommate Agreement + Printable

Happy Monday! Today I’m sharing the first of a series of college/ResLife related posts. While many of the resources in this series will cater to either college freshmen or Resident Assistants (RAs), I think a lot of tidbits can be useful for almost anyone in college or even beyond.

Today’s post is on roommate agreements. I know many schools actually require students to fill out roommate agreement contracts, and since my school doesn’t I will be providing my residents with a psuedo-contract to fill out if they would like to. This list is adapted from personal experience and from several lists I found online. It may not work for everyone or every situation, but hopefully it can give you at least an idea of where to start from.

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Download as a PDF: Two L Allison’s Roommate Guidelines Worksheet

If I’m being 100% honest, I’ve never actually used a roommate agreement myself or even thoroughly discussed the details of how we should cohabitate, but I’ve regretted not doing so every semester. The beginning of the year with a roommate is always a little bit awkward and usually conflicts don’t even arise until several weeks into the semester or even second semester which makes this a difficult topic to approach. I’m hoping to eliminate the awkwardness of these conversations by rewarding my residents for participating and so that no one is alone in approaching the topic. I think everyone has a conflict with their roommate of some sort at some point in the year and establishing guidelines from the get go can mitigate things early on.

While the details of using your roommate’s property and sleep hours are really important, my favorite part of this agreement is the last section regarding conflict resolution. It’s difficult to understand how others are used to communicating re: conflict, and I am hoping this section will help mesh communication styles early on.

Let me know if you think I should add anything for my residents! I would love to hear if anyone has ever used a roommate agreement before and if you feel like it was beneficial at all. Until next time!

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Roommate Agreement + Printable

Have a great weekend!

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We’re heading back home, tanned and refreshed after a week in Florida. (Above is a picture of me in perhaps the best wardrobe purchase I’ve ever made.) I’m looking forward to starting on some work next week prepping myself to be an SRA in the fall, figuring out some blog stuff, and moving! Just kidding. I am not excited about moving. I hate moving.

Happy Friday!

Have a great weekend!

Blog Lovin’

Reading blogs has become my favorite internet past time since last fall. I have always loved reading about other people’s lives and didn’t really understand that the blogging community existed prior to that time. I feel lame sharing a list of blogs on here that are big name blogs rather than trendy up-and-comers, but I’m just beginning to delve into finding other WordPress blogs that speak to me, so this is my honest-to-goodness daily repertoire.

Thought my title was just clever? This website has been the source for quite a few great blog finds.
Thought my title was just clever? This website has been the source for quite a few great blog finds.

love taza // A friend showed me this blog almost a year ago now, and I think I’ve read most every post from the archives and continue to read daily. This blog is actually what got me interested in reading blogs, which eventually led me to think of starting my own as a way to document my life. I thought loving Taza (aka Naomi) and her adorable family would mean that I would fall in love with every Mormon family blog I’ve found, it hasn’t proven to be true at all. While I love a lot of Mormon family Instagram accounts, this is the only mama blog I continue to read on a daily basis. I think it’s the colorful photos, adorable children, and the fact that I cannot convince myself that these people are anything but incredibly kind.

A Cup of Jo // This is probably my favorite blog ever. I could spend days just clicking through and reading old posts. It’s intelligently written, insightful, and I appreciate that Jo and her team make posts that are somewhat journalistic in nature, such as her “Motherhood around the World” features. This is a must read.

The College Prepster // In trying to find popular blogs for people my age, I came across this gem. At first glance, I was annoyed by Lilly Pulitzer loving Carly, but when I started reading I found a million posts that were super relatable. Her advice on organization, found throughout her blog and especially in the archives from when she was in college, are very useful.

Peanut Butter Fingers // I came across this blog around the same time as I started reading Love Taza and I eventually realized healthy living blogs are probably not for me. It’s cool that they post really frequently, but I don’t really care to hear mundane details of most people’s lives. However, I randomly checked the blog again in February or so and found out Julie was pregnant and started reading again.

Olive + Tate // This lady is awesome. She tells it like it is more than any other blog I’ve found. I have no idea how I came across this one, and while I don’t relate to her completely, I enjoy every post I read.

Oops. I probably seem like a freak reading a bunch of blogs by 30-something mothers. I swear I’m normal. Mostly.

Until next time!

Blog Lovin’

Un-Dorm Your Dorm

Most college kids break out of a dorm room by junior year, but my position as an RA has brought me back to a freshman dorm for year three. I was in an on campus apartment last year and (obviously) a freshman dorm in a different building my first year, so I’ve had a bunch of different experiences, and I’m starting to find trends in what I love to do with my dorm rooms.

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This was originally going to be a “5 tips for dorm decorating” post or something similar, but in my mind it has quickly transformed into…a plea. That sounds too harsh. Maybe a word of wisdom?

Anyway, you know how Target comes out with their ~awesome~ college section every year? And how you can be tempted to buy literally every item for your dorm room from there because they carry Twin XL and because everything coordinates? I would recommend thinking twice because it turns out when you get to college five other people on your floor will inevitably have the same comforter as you do. It’s not that Target dorm decor is a bad thing. There’s just so much more out there to choose from.

Try Ikea or World Market for bedding, a comforter, or a throw. Buy some potted plants or grab a vase from home for fresh cut flowers to brighten your room. Remind yourself of home by bringing old linens your parents have hung onto for absolutely no reason. Stay away from Pinterest boards on dorm decor and veer toward generic bedroom decor. While you can’t change your paint or furniture, you can change about everything else and the inspiration is much more mature.

I don’t mean for this post to sound judgmental and bossy because really if you would like a Target comforter, go for it. But think outside the box. You’re going to be spending a ridiculous amount of time inside these walls for the next nine months. Make it you, don’t make it Target. (I love you, Target, don’t take this all the wrong way!)

In the next few weeks, I’ll share my ~ultimate~ college packing guide that I used to shop my first year. Until next time!

Un-Dorm Your Dorm

Burnout

burn·out ˈbərnˌout/ physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.

I think most of us have been there. You know, that realization in the middle of the night that you absolutely can not go on any further. Even though you haven’t memorized all 300 vocabulary words, it’s definitely time to turn the lights out and go to bed because not only can you not cram any more information in your head, but you also feel like you literally cannot push through any longer without having some sort of mental/emotional breakdown. And that the feeling won’t go away after you take this exam tomorrow because it’s become a part of your life.

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I’m a little afraid for a lot of college students. That a lot of us experience burnout too frequently and that some of us experience burnout so drastic that we literally cannot continue. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great to constantly push yourself further to be all that you can be, but when it becomes exhausting to a point of misery, I don’t think it’s okay anymore.

Every summer of college so far, I’ve been thrown a million opportunities. Study abroad! Paid research! Live for free on campus as a Resident Assistant! Do an internship to build your resume! I filled myself up with these opportunities last summer. Partially because I felt like going home would be miserable, but also because I felt like I needed to do so in order to keep up with everyone else. I went for nearly two full years with virtually no extended break and it seemed great at the start, but I quickly learned that I was living an unsustainable lifestyle. (Note: I know there are no breaks in the real world. But in the real world people aren’t expected to juggle all of their extracurriculars, the pressure of success, and a full time job, especially not when they’re 20 years old. The ones who do all of that experience burnout, too.)

As a result, six or seven months ago I made the decision to leave the second half of my summer untouched. To make sure I was doing nothing except relaxing. This time, it meant going home to be with my family, going on vacation with them to Florida, and going to Austin for a week to visit John. I’m almost halfway through my self-mandated break, and I think it was one of the best decisions of my life so far.

It’s not sustainable to have every single break (summer and winter) shortened by a week or three because of RA training. It’s not sustainable to work a full-time job, complete 50 hours of community service, fully participate in extracurricular activities, and be a functioning resource to my residents all at once. I needed some time off.

It wasn’t easy, though. I was still thrown all of the same opportunities as last summer and I almost took some of them. There’s still a little part of me that feels like I might be behind when I go back to school because I didn’t fill up my time. Or, more likely, that I will be judged by my peers or mentors for “wasting” some of that precious time relaxing.

A bigger part of me knows that I should start encouraging others to take the same kind of breaks. Do a semester in DC or abroad to take some time off of extracurricular activities. Limit your “other stuff” load during the semester that you’re working a full-time job. Clear your plate off and get some peace of mind. Prioritize reading books over attending meetings or socializing with friends over adding an internship.

This may seem impossible for some. Many engineering or health field programs are basically year-round. My RA friends who are pharmacy majors get basically no break because they are required to take classes in a sequence and classes are only offered once a year, plus they have to be back at school weeks earlier than their peers because of RA training. Giving yourself a break doesn’t look the same for everyone, but I think it can be done.

We, college students, need to prioritize taking breaks. To make this a less intensely competitive place where we stop enjoying ourselves because we’re trying to keep up with each other and impress professors. We need to tell everyone no. We can’t take any more on our plate. But mostly, I think we need to tell ourselves and our internal desire to achieve not to put anything more on our plate.

Burnout

Beach Reads

I used to be an avid reader. “Used to” as in I was an avid reader through grade school, and virtually stopped reading for pleasure when high school started. Sure, I’ll go through spurts when I make time to read and fall back in love, but these are short lived. Life feels too busy and I’m too much of an extrovert to spend my time doing introverted things. However, I’ve found that the week my family spends at the beach (almost) every year is a way to get hours of uninterrupted reading under my belt to make up for lost time.

 

Beach Reads

 

I tried to pick a mix of books to read this week. The bottom row of books above was chosen based on my historical beach reads rule of “pick the most feminine book cover,” which usually means the lightest, easiest, and most romantic reads on the shelf. (The feminist in me just cringed.) In all this time I’ve almost run out of Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin books that I haven’t read, so the fact that I managed to find two more is impressive. The selection for light reads on the shelves at Half Price is slimming. Perhaps I should find a new vacation genre.

I’m a bit prouder of the top three. The House at the End of Hope Street was chosen by my mom on our trip to Half Price Books for my light reads. It looks more enriching than my other choices, and I have some pressure to read it quickly because I think she wants it next. I’ve been partway through Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects for ages now. I spent about a month reading regularly back in February and March when I was taking the train to and from work, had just seen Gone Girl, and was hooked on Gillian. I read Gone Girl and Dark Places first and while Sharp Objects hasn’t hooked me as much as the others did, it’s still an enticing read. Finally, top middle: I’ve been meaning to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for ages now. Like before the movie came out…which apparently was in 2011. As I said, I’m behind on my reading.

Now, you’re probably thinking: six books in one week seems a tad ambitious. Just remember I started one book long before the trip and the light reads basically count as half books. With hours on hours spent reading this vacation, I have confidence in myself that I can get it done!

What are some books I should add to my lengthening reading list for next time I rekindle my passion or for next time I hit the beach?

Beach Reads