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February, 2016

  1. Once you get here…

    February 17, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    Now that I’ve poured my heart out to you about what to bring and what not to bring to school, realize that once your family says their final goodbyes, it will be sad and you will probably cry. I promise everyone does on that first time. It will get better but the first goodbye is the worst. I didn’t want to let go. It felt like being dropped off at Pre-K all over again. But, every time they come to visit, each time will get better.

    So…now that you are alone. Hopefully you have a good roommate. I didn’t luck out in that department but I honestly hope yours is wonderful. Talk with them and get to know them! Don’t just put headphones like my roommate always does.

    Your Resident Assistant who lives on your floor (your RA) will come around soon if they haven’t already and try to alleviate the awkwardness. Just be nice. They will probably be weird but it’s okay! Just go with the flow. They will invite you to a dinner with the girls on your floor and to Convocation with the President. Don’t skip it! You’ll regret it because you will get in trouble with the Housing Department. Also, it is the only time that you will be with your entire freshman class EVER. You will graduate with your specific college and major and never with your entire class because there will be ten thousand of you.

    Then, during the welcome week. Don’t sit in your bed and watch Netflix! Go to everything that sounds interesting. Welcome Week at Penn State starts with Convocation at the Bryce Jordan Center. Next, you’ll have a group meeting with your RA where you will meet all of the girls on the floor and play ice breaker games and such. It is actually enjoyable. I met my best friends on my floor in Wolf Hall in Pollock. We played games that seemed pointless but I actually found things in common with other girls such as a shopping addiction and love of Netflix.

    The week goes on to include the FAMOUS involvement fair in Alumni Hall at the HUB. It will be overwhelming because there will be hundreds of people in the room like fish in an ocean. There will be endless posters for a million different clubs. Just take the time to find some interesting clubs to sign up for and give your email to. Go to the first few meetings of a few different clubs. I found my favorite clubs from my fall semester involvement fair. Also, go to your specific college’s involvement fair. I became a Science LionPride,  which is the club that is the ambassadors of the College of Science at Penn State. In addition, there are numerous events in each section of Residence Life to allow you to become acclamated to your new home. Go! I ate a lot of free Creamery Ice cream during that week. It was great. Honestly you won’t regret going to these events.

    Until next time…

  2. Organizing for the move to college…

    February 9, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    As you take in the final days of high school, don’t wish them away. Cherish them. Time flies and before you know it, you’re already moving to University Park to start your life as a Penn State freshie 🙂 While, yes, it is incredibly exciting. It is also very new and similar the millions of words that I described the year with in my first blog post. It’s lit but first you need to get here.


    Moving Tip #1          Be organized!           If you are like me, you’re are organized to the point that  you schedule your day down to the half-hour and you love lists. I can’t survive without them. So, in mid-April, I had already started (because of my excitement for school to begin in June). I have attached my College Shopping List that I came up with to hopefully help you as well! It will save you time because you won’t have to check your pile of “Stuff to go to college” every time you want to buy a few more things for school. It will put your mind at ease, when you get in the car to leave, because you will be confident in the fact that you aren’t forgetting anything important. Also, you’ll save money too. My sister and I are complete opposites. My Mom told her that she needed to have a list and such. She ended up needing to take a $400 trip to Target on the day she moved in. While my parents could thankfully foot the bill, no one wants to spend money on the college budget at the last minute. Also, she arrived to school with two pretty sets of desk organization things and three shower caddies…No one can shower three times at once. Who needs two sets of desk organizers when you only have one desk? You don’t want to make these mistakes and forget important things. Also, to be efficient when you are out shopping in the month leading up to going away, save the document on Google Sheets to be able to access it easily and mark off items that you purchase. This way, you’ll always be able to add items to the list that you think of on the go.


    Moving Tip #2      You sadly can’t bring everything but don’t forget the important stuff…              I had a difficult time realizing this as my parents and I needed to make almost three trips with full laundry carts full of my stuff. In the summer, my clothes were thinner, smaller and took up less space. Also, I had a double without a roommate and took up all of the drawers along with my closet. We don’t have much room/space. You don’t need to bring EVERY high school t-shirt. You won’t wear them all. Keep the storage in mind. Come fall, I had to send a ton home. There isn’t enough room here for my entire closet to come along from home.

    While you can’t bring everything, don’t forget the things that you can’t buy at Target or will be expensive to send by the mail. Jewelry, makeup collection, hair tools, and your technology (iPad, Laptop, Chargers, Headphones, etc.) Bring lots of headphones. I use Apple headphones while walking to not look like a fool. I wear my Beats in the HUB. (You’ll realize that it isn’t the quietest place during the day but it is often very convenient). While they aren’t too expensive to replace, numerous pairs of wire headphones add up on the college budget.

    Until next time…

  3. This I Believe: Low-Key Nerd

    February 3, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    In junior high, finding myself wasn’t easy. In ninth grade, I started taking multiple math classes because I told my parents that I was bored in school. That didn’t have any of that. So, taking senior high classes took me out of lunch with my “friends” and into a senior high schedule. I felt like Super Nerd couldn’t find her place. My “best friends” weren’t my friends for a year or so and I went back and forth between friend groups.

    In tenth grade, I found myself when I realized that every group of friends is diverse and its members each hold a unique role such as the funny one, the helpful one, the party animal, the mom, the glue of the group and the list goes on and on.

    Perhaps the most underrated (but what I believe to be the best) role you can have in a group, or in life, is the low-key nerd.

    You may ask, What is the low-key nerd? Well, the low-key nerd is the person embodies the best qualities of a nerd, without being like Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory.”

    Low-key nerds aren’t geeks. These people may be “cool” but know deep down that the loser is within them… and they’re perfectly fine with that. Usually, they genuinely have their “you know what” together, and are kind of “cool,” but they probably have the highest IQ’s amongst their friends.

    If these qualities sound like you, you may, like myself, be the low-key nerd:

    You’re like a Human Encyclopedia

    Your friends are always wondering where half of what you say comes from. Your brain is like a sponge and you somehow remember random things that you learned throughout school. I mean who doesn’t know the first piano was the harpsichord?

    You can ignore petty conversations by diving into your own brain

    While everyone else is talking about how Jake didn’t answer a text or how Sam is being a “you know what” this week, you can just sit there, pretend to listen, and think about the new integration technique you just learned.

    You’re like a mullet

    You look like a good time, and you probably are, but for the most part, deep down you’re on a different level. You could be the girl that’s drunk, out at 3 am, dancing down Gardner Street carrying her heels, but still probably hold a conversation with someone sober about something normal.

    You are the spokesperson of the group

    Whenever you walk in front of adults, you are always the first one to talk. Because you have effective communication skills and they all look up to you and trust you, you always speak for the group or explain for everyone.

    You probably have a unique taste in music

    Since you are smart, odds are you probably played a musical instrument at some point in your life. Because you are constantly seeking new things to excite your brain, you probably have a wide array of music you’re into. You appreciate all types of music: Classical, Jazz, Rap… just maybe not Country.

    When someone you think is cool or attractive makes an obvious error, you know better than to correct him or her

    This is one main differences between high-key and low-key nerds. Despite wanting that person to like them, a really nerdy nerd will demean someone by correcting them.

    Guys like smart girls, but they don’t like to feel stupid. Low-key nerds know when smile and nod as their dates tell them why Benjamin Franklin is their favorite president…

    You usually know what you’re talking about and you don’t have to fake it.

    This is the best low-key nerd trait! Real nerds will make it known that they are intelligent, and wannabe scholars will try to make themselves look smart even though they just embarrass themselves.

    You on the other hand, can quietly relish in your intelligence without throwing it in everyone’s face.

    All in all, I believe that being a low-key nerd is awesome.

  4. Bringing High School Boys to College.

    February 3, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    Hello Ladies…

    Now that you’ve decided that Penn State is right for you. I hope to prepare you for your freshman year, before you get here! While my freshman has been a fantastic experience so far, I’ve already learned so much and my friends have as well. We all have made a few mistakes but most of them were made because I was never told about the situation and its possibilities.

    So, I’d like to start with something that is near and dear to many hearts.

    Don’t come with a boyfriend unless it IS THE TRUEST and, in the words of Iggy, “the realest” relationship possible. Once again, DO NOT come to college with a boyfriend. Many girls learn this the hard way.

    There are many fish in the Happy Valley sea. This was advice that my friend gave me before I came to school. I’m so glad that I took it. Towards the end of my senior year, I took some time for a bit of self-reflection. While I thought and thought about how great my relationship had been, I realized that it wasn’t the same as it used to be when we were younger and that I felt like it was a friendship and not a relationship. Nicely ending a relationship is incredibly difficult but it was what I had to do, knowing that I was coming to Penn State in a month.

    I was afraid of feeling tied down to anyone at that point. I wanted to have the freshman experience. I knew that if I were still in a relationship, I would be too busy worrying about him, how he is doing and when he would come visit, instead of living up the short time I have here in college. Freshman year is the time to live it up simply because of the fact that everything is easier. Freshman year lacks commitment and it lacks difficult classes. If you want to attempt to go out three nights a week, freshman year is the time to do it because it will be virtually impossible at any other time in college. You have a completely clean slate. Prepare yourself for new experiences with new people who have no idea who you are or where you’re coming from. Take advantage of that. If you want to make a change, there will be no better time than your freshman year.

    Guys come and go. A dear friend came to Penn State with a long distance boyfriend. He was rude but claimed that he was an angel in college, hours away from Penn State. He always hated on Penn State too (tisk tisk). She soon realized that he had been taking advantage of the distance and cheated on her, after years of being together. He broke her heart. It broke my heart to watch it all happen. We always think those things don’t happen to us, until they do. So, we all learn that most guys are as perfect as they seem.

    If you want to come to school with a boyfriend, simply talk it over. Consider the seriousness of your relationship. Be 110% sure that you have a plan to make it work. Prioritize your college experience. You wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the freshman year fun at Penn State.

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