College Tips: Packing List

Getting everything ready of college can be super stressful. My younger sister is getting ready to join me at USC and we are counting down the days with less than a month until she moves into her dorm. So in order to help her (and my mom) out I’ve come up with a list of things that I remember packing or wanting. Now some of these things aren’t necessary, especially depending on your dorm style, so of course it can be edited to fit your personal preferences.

College packing list

Some things to consider when packing:

  • Storage. Storage is necessary in any dorm room but what you need will depend on your personal preferences as well as your dorm room itself. Like over the door storage products are great but only if you have doors to hang them on. And plastic storage drawers and bins are great but only if you will have the space for them. So when you figure out what your dorm is supposed to look like consider what will make the most sense for YOU in YOUR space.  Keep the receipts for anything you buy ahead of time and make sure you will be able to return any items you can’t use.
  • Clothes. Closets in dorms are notoriously small so some editing of your wardrobe might be necessary when packing for school. My first tip when editing is consider the climate of your school. For example Columbia, SC is hot. HOT and HUMID. Most female students wear athletic shorts (Norts= nike shorts) and an oversized t-shirt to class everyday. Why oversized? Because when you are sweating 2 minutes in to your walk to class, you don’t want your shirt sticking to you, its very uncomfortable. Also a good pair of rain boots and a rain jacket is an important addition because we tend to have periods of rain. During my move-in day freshmen year, it was pouring so rain gear came in handy. Tip number two, if you are considering going through recruitment make sure you have outfits for that. My school details what the dress code is for each round, so plan out your outfits in advance and have a few back ups. Also once you are in a sorority, some have a dress code, like mine Pi Beta Phi requires us to wear more business casual/meet the parents/church attire, what we refer to as “Snappy Casual”. My third tip is to have at least one “grown up” outfit, especially if you are a business major, have something you can wear to an interview, conference, or other events that may require business or business casual attire. You need to be prepared to dress to impress at these events because this can impact your career. Last but not least some advice for packing t-shirts. We all have t-shirts we love and often a college t-shirt is a favorite gift during senior year but do some major editing of your collection. I have so many free t-shirts from college so only bring 5-10 of your favorites from home. Here at USC you will want 10 simply because you might change shirts frequently when the one you are wearing is covered in sweat, so 10 is a good number to start you off.
  • Shoes. Bring at least 1 comfortable pair of shoes to walk around campus in, whether you prefer flip flops, Chacos or Tevas, converse or tennis shoes. The first few weeks of a new semester are always the worst because of the blisters from walking all over campus so comfy shoes will be your best friend in managing that. Also bring a pair of shoes that are more professional, so cute flats or a pair of pumps that aren’t crazy high. Boots to wear when its cold or rain boots for walking across campus in the rain should also be on your packing list. I also like to make sure I have a pair of cowboy boots, not only because I love them but it’s a Carolina tradition that girls wear black dresses and cowboy boots to football games (obviously its not necessary but many girls do because its cute).
  • Decor. While decor for your dorm room is not the most important thing to think about when packing, its definitely something to think about. Dorm rooms are usually bare, white, sterile spaces so adding personality can help. Not only because decorating can be fun, but because it makes the dorm feel more like your home. It’s probably your first time living away from home, so surrounding yourself with colors and things that make you happy can help alleviate some homesickness and calm you down. One way to add personality is to bring some of your favorite pictures of family and friends. I personally bought some cheap frames at the dollar store and since they were lightweight I could attach them to the wall with Command Strips poster tape. Also if the glass happened to crack during move in, I was only out a dollar. So bring things that will comfort you in your new home away from home but be budget conscious because once at school you can literally find hundreds of other things to spend money on.

A Leap of Faith


This post is courtesy of South Carolina Alpha Abbey O’Brien.

Abbey with Grand President Paula Pace Shepherd at South Carolina Alpha's Installation Weekend Cookie Shine. Abbey with Grand President Paula Pace Shepherd at South Carolina Alpha’s Installation Weekend Cookie Shine.

As South Carolina Alpha’s new Chapter President, I would first like to say that every woman in our chapter is so honored and excited to be a Pi Phi. We have received an overwhelming amount of support from Grand Council, alumnae, LDCs and everyone else involved in our recolonization. I am so thankful for that support, as are all of my new sisters.

I have learned so much during these past couple of months. Not only have I learned about Pi Phi’s incredible history and values, I’ve learned life lessons. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to TAKE A RISK.

I learned about Pi Beta Phi’s recolonization at the University of South Carolina in the Spring 2014. One day a friend asked…

View original post 492 more words


One Step Back, Two Rolls Forward

In life, change is inevitable. For some, it comes slowly and change happens subtly. For others, it’s rapid and change happens in ways they never thought possible. You could easily categorize me in the latter scenario. The past 15 months of my life have been nothing shy of difficult. At 19 years old, I’ve seen more heartache than most people experience in a lifetime. I’ve had people speak for me and prep me in what to say these past months. While this was done out of complete and utter love, it felt so unnatural for me. I’ve always been a little outspoken, so having someone tell me what to talk about has been weird. But I’m at a point in my life where it’s time for me to speak for myself. And that’s the purpose of this blog; to say whatever I want so people understand my journey and get to…

View original post 759 more words

Blogging 101: Introduce Myself

I’ve joined this year’s edition of Blogging 101 with the hope that it will give me ideas to write about and help me become a more consistent blogger. So sorry about posting twice in one day but I’m trying this out and want to stay on top of it.

The first assignment is to introduce myself and why I’m blogging. So here it goes. I’m Haley, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, majoring in exercise science, and a Pi Phi. Most of my previous posts focus on the subject of college and the process involved in applying and later attending. They say to write about what you know and college is a major part of my life right now so I figure its a fitting subject for me to write about. I’ve shared a lot about what I’ve experienced and advice I have for future and current college students.

I’ve also written about some random topics and I apologize in advance for the randomness that might appear in my subjects in the future. I’m not the best at blogging but I’d like to be better because I think its fun and a nice way to put yourself out there in the world.

Pinning for the New Year

The new year has come, and with it that means trying new things. It’s a time of resolutions and fresh starts. Here are some pins of things I found and want to try this year.

1. New Hairstyles. I am guilty of just throwing my hair up into a haphazard bun or ponytail for class and its never cute. These are some styles that I want to try this year, ponytails are a classic easy look, so hopefully a few of these will be simple enough that I can do them in the morning before class.

2. Fitness. Working out or losing weight are favorite resolutions for the new year, its why the gym is always packed in January and February. Yoga is a great way to stay  in shape, especially in college. It helps relieve stress and you usually have enough space to do it in your dorm room so you can do it whenever it fits into your schedule. There are also plenty of resources online that  can give you a routine.

3. Eating Healthy. Another traditional goal for the new year, eating healthy is always a challenge in college. One of my main issues is snacking. I live off campus and usually just wait until I get home to eat lunch but I’m always hungry between classes, or I know I should eat because otherwise my stomach will start growling during class and thats just awkward. So I’m hoping this pin will give me more ideas on healthy snacks that will keep me full longer.

4. Beauty Hacks. Learning better or easier ways to apply make up or care for my skin are always helpful because I know I’m not an expert in that area. There are quite a few helpful hints from this link on pinterest and I am interested to try them for myself to see how they work.

5. Camera Tricks. I recently got a new Nikon camera for Christmas and I’ve been experimenting with the various settings. I can’t wait to have more chances to use it in the future and I’ve been looking at different tips to help me master my new hobby and take some kick ass photos. If anyone has any hints for me please share! I’d love to learn more. 

My Pinterest Profile:

a very merry christmas

It may be a little late in the day but I wanted to wish anyone and everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope everyone got to spend some quality time with their loved ones and that there was minimal stress involved.

CSC_0072Now I hope everyone gets to enjoy that last piece of pie and watch one more cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie before the day is over and we start prepping for the New Year.

Pinning is a Habit {for Pinners like me}

Since I was first introduced to Pinterest in high school it has quickly become one of my favorite social networking websites. It’s just a perfect way to entertain yourself, whether you have over an hour or just a few minutes of free time. You can find things you like or ideas for projects as well as stalk friends’ pages to find the perfect Christmas gift. You can also avoid it for a week and not be overwhelmed by notifications, or have your sister hounding you to “go like her pic”.

I’ve pinned almost 5,000 things on Pinterest and that number grows everyday because its the perfect way to waste those 5 minutes when you’re waiting on your friend to meet you for lunch  or procrastinate doing homework. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Pinterest finds and this week in the spirit of the holidays I’d thought I’d make it Christmas themed.

1. Christmas Mason Jars.

These are super cute and can be used as easy gifts for the many Secret Santa and White Elephant events that occur during the season.

2. Tacky Christmas Skirt

I love tacky Christmas sweaters but I think I love this skirt even more. It inspires me to go buy a cheap skirt to replicate it and maybe make it even more tacky by pairing it with a Christmas sweater.

3. Reindeer Cupcakes

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love making cupcakes so when I saw this one Pinterest I immediately pinned it for future use. It’s cute, festive and looks like a super simple way to decorate cupcakes.

4. Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Who doesn’t love to curl up on the couch, watch a cheesy Christmas movie and sip from a mug of hot chocolate? My roommates and I gave this a try after I pinned it and it was delicious. Plus it’s made in a crock pot which I love using because it makes everything easier.

5. Fun Decor

Decorating for christmas is always a fun event, our family usually does it every year on Black Friday. This canvas is fun, cute and I can’t resist anything that adds a “y’all” to it, my favorite wine glass we own says “Merry Christmas Y’all”, plus it has glitter and I am always up for using glitter in any project.

These are my top pins for this week and some of my favorite Christmas finds. If you want to browse my Pins or follow me on Pinterest here’s the link to my page:

Organic Chemistry: A Science Major’s Hell on Earth

I’d like to be able to offer comfort to all science majors out there who have to take organic chemistry and say its not as bad as you hear but unfortunately it was. Unless organic chemistry just comes naturally for you and it clicks in your brain, you will have to study and do extra work to get the grade you want. I just finished my first, and luckily only, semester of Organic and I just barely managed to get the grade I needed to pass. In fact, after the final I was on the verge of tears because I thought there was a chance I didn’t get the grade I needed to pass the class. So I’m hoping to save some of y’all the trouble and share some things that helped or would’ve helped me with the class.

  1. Choose your class wisely. This is definitely one of those times where I would research my professors before taking a class. Organic has hard enough material as it is, you don’t need to add a hard professor to the mix. So read reviews on, but be thorough, don’t just look at the average rating. Read through the comments and decide for yourself if that professor fits your learning style. Also use your connections, typically you don’t take organic your freshman year, so ask people you know who they’ve taken or what they have heard about different professors. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the best professor but it definitely makes your semester a lot smoother. My roommate and I both took organic this past semester but we had different professors, we compared our tests from over the semester and mine were much more difficult than her’s. Her professor gave them some multiple choice questions as well as let them know what information they would be tested on. While my professor’s tests were all free response which he graded strictly. 
  2. Be prepared going in. I cannot tell you how much I wished I had prepared better going into the class. I especially recommend knowing functional groups backwards and forwards before the semester even begins. Know what they look like, their names and be able to take a large compound, like amoxicillin, and identify all of the functional groups in it. Also be familiar with acids and bases, know the definitions of each for Bronstead-Lowry and Lewis and be able to identify strong or weak acids and bases in reactions. This will provide a better foundation so you don’t get behind and struggle to keep up when you begin learning the hard material.     
  3. Have a game plan and stick to it. If reading the textbook helps you, do it or go ahead and buy extra material to help you out and give you extra practice. I wish I had kept up with doing this, it would’ve made studying for tests much less stressful. Read the class syllabus and see if your professor recommends a certain book or email him or your TAs and ask them what they would recommend. I also recommend using videos on the internet if you still aren’t sure about a topic or if you want to be exposed to the information before you start the class. was pretty helpful for me with reviewing the basics of organic so if you have time before or at the start of the semester watch some of their videos to expose yourself to the material and it’ll  help with remembering it later on.
  4. Take good notes IN A NOTEBOOK. Organic is all about the structures of molecules so you need to be able to draw things out and do it quickly during lecture. If you have a program on an electronic device that will allow you to do it than thats great but in my experience a notebook worked best. I also kept at least one colored pen out to highlight things I felt were important like the arrows showing where atoms or electrons move in a reaction.
  5. Take advantage of all opportunities. Do the homework. Go to class. Get help from TAs. Any opportunity to boost your grade is worth the extra effort, even if you did great on your first test. Usually thats on the easiest material and it goes downhill fast in organic, so keep making any extra effort to help keep your grade as high as possible. Having some extra wiggle room will be nice at the end of the semester and you won’t be like me stressing over the fact that I might’ve failed the class (Happiest day of my life when I realized I passed and wouldn’t have to retake it). 

Good luck with organic and if you have any tips to add let me know.