Learning to Dress yourself

Oh you think you've been dressing yourself but college is about to be a whole new experience. It's not that what you wear put you in a clique like it did in high school, it's that people judge you... openly openly judge you. I know, because I do it.

So the important thing first is to get some basics for the start of school. This is important in april because you need to start amassing the RIGHT wardrobe... READ: not a BIG wardrobe because your living space is roughly the size of your dining room table and your storage size is even less.

dress up for the first day of class- this will not only draw stares but it basically tells your classmates and professors that you're new. If anything, keep it simple. Jeans and a tee shirt are never a wrong choice.

over do the make up/hair gel- Girls, less is more applies at college because SURPRISE you will actually see people outside of your classes at parties, downtown, wherever... if you ruin the surprise by piling on the make up every day, you will look high maintenance and no one will want to be your friend. Boys, the same rule applies to that fauxhawk you're rocking. I have one... but use hair putty, not gel.

wear something you love- that should be obvious. The better you feel about yourself the more you'll smile and talk in class. If you act like the shit, scared freshman (read: not the readers of this blog) will flock to you and then YOU get the pick of the litter.

bring a backpack (but leave the books)- we get it, it's your first time OWNING your textbooks. That coolness will wear off when your $500 chemistry textbook is non-returnable at the end of the year because a new edition came out. Dicks. What type of bookbag you pick is up to you, but make sure your laptop fits in it and that you can run in it. You will need to catch a bus at some point and I hate to break it to you, but it is impossible to look cool while running with a bookbag.

Now, college doesn't have cliques per se, but there are still styles. Embrace yours... it will not limit your friends the way it did in high school as long as you wear it instead of letting it wear you. It is important to pick a style because otherwise your wardrobe will look a little schizo and be hard to actually wear...6

Greek- So you decided to rush. Or you're a wannabe. That's not really for me to judge (at least not unless you go to UGA and I see you walking around, then all bets are off).
Girls: gone are the days of pearls and full skirts (except during rush but those rules are way over my head). You're looking at stick straight hair, either down, in a ponytail or up. The key is to make it look like you roll out of bed looking like an angel. How long a messy bun takes can be our little secret. I hate to say it but around here tee-shirts and running shorts are going to be your every day attire and probably leggings. Jeans, Northface, and blouses you bought downtown for horrendous prices. At football games you need to be in a tea length dress of your schools colors. This isn't about sports, it's about being better than everyone else.
Boys: Not much has changed in the past 40 years for you. You will need a suit and probably a blazer, definitely some slacks... it's just how it is. You will also need to stock up on tee shirts (that fit, not too tight and not oversized), polos, darkwash jeans that FIT, and cargo shorts. Your hair should be short or fauxhawked... once again you're supposed to look like you poop coolness and wearing labels makes it look like you want it too much.

Outdoorsy- Clearly these are the people who place functionality over fashion, but it doesn't mean they aren't judging each other. I hate to be a label chaser, but there are some things you just need if you want to make it with the kids who do things like slack lining and eno'ing. First: Chacos. No matter what else you're wearing if you've got these on, a little outdoorsy street cred is headed your way. And here is a plug for the amazing new friendship bracelet style. A Northface jacket and rain jacket are also high on your priority list. If you can, rustle up some old tee-shirts from summer camp and khaki shorts. A wrist full of friendship bracelets is a nice touch. I would seperate boys and girls out here but the rules are pretty much the same. Boys, short hair... girls short or long doesn't matter as long as you can go a week without washing it (if need be). This look doesn't follow many trends, but stays resolutely absent of glitz and glamour, although you can still look good in it, it's all about fit!

Art Major- Everything you read about greeks and outdoorsy kids... do the opposite. Boys, make your jeans and shirts as tight as possible. Girls, huge skirts, floppy crocheted berets, unrealistically proportioned shirts and something from a thrift store. It's important that everthing you have be one of a kind so shop in unconventional places, better yet... make your own clothes! Skip the regular bookbag and opt for a messenger bag, or just your portfolio case. if you HAVE to buy something at a normal store then accessorize with intricate, unique or gaudy pieces... it's all about standing out. Some other trends to watch are retro red lips, high wasted skirts with floral prints and cardigans (guys that last one is you too)

Science Major- We're back to function over fashion for the science majors. you are basically the opposite of art majors. Jeans, chucks and tee-shirts are your go to style. If you have tee shirts from science olympiad, ap classes or anything with the periodic table of elements, your set. I won't say that when these people walk around campus they are the envy of everyone they know, but they blend in well. Clearly studying and getting to the library is more important than time in front of your mirror. Just don't get too casual, you want to look put together always so don't wear jeans to shreds ( better to hem them than to walk off the backs) and don't be afraid of a little make up or hair gel once in a while... basic will do just fine for your no-nonsense take on your classes, and your professors will appreciate that you don't look like your in class to find a date.

Hipster- Realistically, to be truly hipster you'd have to the opposite of whatever advice I could possibly give you because hipsters... well whatever they like is simply too obscure for outsiders. But I dabble in some hipster (when I'm not being outdoorsy) and my boyfriend is obsessed with it. To the point of me counting my jeans when he comes over. Boys: your looking at longer hair or a fauxhawk and facial hair. Flannel shirts are excellent, tight jeans, chucks or toms. Beanies, beanies with brims or those sweet hats with ear flaps are all great choices. Peacoats are always in style for this crowd and anything vintage or thrift store. A healthy supply of band tee shirts cant hurt and boys, a white belt is a surefire win. Girls, your look is similar to the art students, but slightly less over the top and jeans and flannel are definitely encouraged.

Now that you've got your basic look, let's talk about partying it up, we'll start with clothes but there's a LOT more to college partying than what the movies let you in on.

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How to get your "group"

Let's start with the basics. If you ever refer to your friends as a posse... your computer will get a virus that will ban you from my blog. Permanently. Why? Because this isn't an ABC Family drama.

Now that that's out of the way, let's figure this shit out.

Last blog we talked about being yourself, and being honest with yourself. If you want to rush, don't watch all the girls in their white dresses on bid day with a sinking feeling in your stomach because you probably just missed your group. If that isn't your scene however, your friends aren't going to come pre-labeled with neatly defining greek letters and we have to try something different.

First, figure out what you're interested in, college is a cool place to explore things that you might not otherwise do, but let's avoid some rookie mistakes.

The Freshman overload:
At the student activities fair, everything looks cool. Every club has sweet pictures, cute members, and some exotic trip during the school year. A max of 2 or 3 activities is best, make sure you have at least one night a week to yourself. If you start out with an activity or two every day of the week, your grades will suffer and you won't have any time to hang out with your cool new friends. You may also end up skipping things... and skipping clubs is a gateway drug to skipping classes... which we'll talk about later...

The key here is to pick one or two things you've done before, or know interest you, and only one that is a bit of a stretch. You can almost always join a club later, but if you start all new things not only will you end up investing in 18 different kinds of equipment and supplies you don't need, you won't meet people you actually want to hang out with... Don't join the french film club if french people and black and white bother you... or if you like plot when you invest 2 hours in a movie.

Taking a friend with you
Not that having A wingman isn't great but if you go into your new activities surrounded by your roommate and every other living breathing freshman on your hall you won't actually MEET anyone. Remember in high school when you got to take classes with other grades? Remember how cool that was!? This is that on steroids... don't pass up the opportunity to meet cool people, the more diverse your group the more fun you'll have... promise! Go solo or close to solo... everyone will be nervous and if you lead, they'll follow.

So now you've met some people. Maybe even gotten some phone numbers. Here is where the mass text becomes your friend. "How about some pizza?" sent to 20 people at 11pm is a recipe for awesome. Now take the 20 friends and over the course of your first semester or two you'll figure out the 5 or 6 people you like most and there is your group.

Great places to get the group together:
Dining Halls-who doesn't love food? At UGA we get unlimited entry and unlimited food so dining halls area pretty driving force.

The Quad- every college has at least one, and everyone loves to be outside in good weather. Play frisbee, or a board game, or have a dance party. Who cares? Others will watch, maybe even join in!

The nicest dorm in the group- Be it defined by biggest television, best gaming consoles or most seating, there's always that one room that's cooler than the rest. If that's your dorm, invite people over! A movie is a classic. I will warn you off playing drinking games with energy drinks. We thought "legal way to play drinking games" as it turned out we ended up wired and ill.

Other things that never go out of style:
lighthearted sports like basketball and ultimate.
guitar. someone in your group will play it, your job is to either be that guy or enjoy
baking. delicious and there's the opportunity for an icing fight.
movies. also prime time for cuddling if anyone in your group is into that.
swimming. Every college has a place, be it a river lake or pool.
drinking. which if you're reading this blog is not legal so I won't condone it.
thrifting. the cooler hipster gets, the more this becomes a contact sport.

What's hipster you ask? Don't worry next week we'll be going over how to avoid dressing like a freshman.

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If you're in the market for a roommate let's talk about things to look for and things to avoid:

Look for:
Someone with a similar sleep schedule. Right now you think "oh, hey, I can sleep through ANYTHING and still get up at 6am for my daily run" or perhaps you think "No amount of blow drying at 7am will wake me up." I hate to break this to you, but you are an idiot. Sleep will be your saving grace your first year of college... don't risk it.

Your best friend. I know, you sleep over at each other's house all the time and it would just be SO AWESOME if you shared a room but think of it this way: if you do not live in the same room, you meet two new people AND if one of you gets sweet housing and the other gets shitty freshman housing, the whole group isn't stuck in your crappy shared 6'x10' jail cell. Also, being roommates is a sure fire way to set your friendship up in front of a firing squad, at least until you get apartment style living.

Look for:
Someone with a major similar to yours in intensity. I have been the roommate who was making a coloring book while someone studied for an Ochem final. I have also been the girl who rolled off her bed at 6 am to write a paper and landed on a naked guy left there by my roommate who had recently dropped her pre-pharmacy major...

Someone with drastically different values. Not into sex? Don't pick someone who is going to be 'experimenting' in college. Not into the Greek system? It's totally okay to cross off potential roommates because they are rushing. Now, I'm not saying to pick your identical twin because both of you will change and college IS a time to grow and surround yourself with new ideas but remember your dorm is a place to go to get away... not a place to battle it out.

Some other good tips:
A good number of colleges have a lot of ways for you to pick roommates, someone you knew before, a sort of online dating system or random... but be sure you apply for your housing early. I got stuck in a girls-only high rise with rooms approximately the size of my closet at home. Everyone else I knew was in somewhere cool, why? Because I waited until I had a roommate to put in my application... April is too late, you will pay for it later.

Talk about who's bringing what... and hold them to it. I had to walk down the world's longest hallways, into a lobby, take a left walk into a different hall and stand there for 4 minutes any time I wanted popcorn. That's effin' ridiculous. Also, be sure you provide the things you'll want to take with you... for instance, who owns a flat screen t.v.? I do! Who doesn't own a mini-fridge and doesn't need one? Yea, I outplayed her...

If it's wrong, leave. No matter how perfect your roommate looks on paper, it's possible that college will not be as kind to them as it is to you... you have this wonderful blog to help you out! If they turn out to be spawn of satan, or even if they're just not your cup of tea... go to your housing office. I stuck it out an entire year with my freshman roommate. What a terrible choice. There isn't anything wrong with you or your terrible roommate, you may just need to swap with two another pair to find a better fit.

Here's the crappy adult advice that I'm going to repeat more than anything else... be honest with yourself. If you are not a stay up all night party down type don't think that by saying you are one on your application you will magically become one in college. College is one of the few places where if you are EXACTLY who you want to be, you will find at least 5 or 6 people who love you just like that... and 5 or 6 close friends.. well we'll get to HOW TO GET YOUR "GROUP" next time

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Let's be AWESOME at College

I get it. I've been there. You got your acceptance letter, you're applying for housing, your parents whimper and cry (or do a little dance) every time you mention things like "When I move out..." and "This fall, when I'm in College..." and you, you float between the Sea of Excitement and The Ocean of OHSHITOHSHITOHSHIT!

High School is new with it's lockers and schedules, marching band and football games... maybe even your first run in with Goths and emo kids. Let's be honest here though, your parents, siblings and friends were still around if shit got real. College won't be like that. If you're plan is to be that kid who calls your mom whenever you have to do anything besides sleep or party, or who is still hanging out with the exact group of friends four years post-pomp and circumstance... This blog isn't for you.

We've all heard the "seniors, what advice would you give to freshman" talk but how many times can you hear "make new friends" and "study abroad" before you want to actually leave the country and change your name just so people stop bothering you? This blog will touch lightly on those topics, because they are pretty important to the COLLEGE EXPERIENCE... but we're going to hit up some more realistic answers to some questions you're far more likely to actually ask yourself while you're trying to be Awesome At College.

I can't promise that this blog is going to be helpful to everyone, but let's start with the basic rule: just because you're offended, doesn't mean it's offensive. My opinions are my own and my college experience is/has been to my liking but you'll hear many a story of failure and just as many stories where I think I was successful and others thought I was bat shit crazy. You can judge for yourself. This will probably also be more helpful for girls because I am a girl, but there will be guest appearances by the boys that hang around with some helpful advice as well. Also, this should be generally applicable to all of you awesome people coming into higher learning... but there will be helpful tidbits for UGA kids because... well that's where I go...

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