Dorm Room Request Tips

It’s that time of year, guys! If you plan to live on campus next year, you will have to fill out a form with your room request. Those forms usually come out around now or in the next few weeks. Whether you are an incoming freshman or a returning student, room requests are something you have to do.

Killer Harmony | Dorm Room Request Tips | In college, if you want to live on campus, you have to fill out a room request form. Here are 6 tips for filling out your on campus housing application.

It may seem annoying to have to fill out a room request form, especially with all of the other forms related to college. If you want to live in a dorm (or have to), then you need to fill out a room request. Here are my tips for increasing your chances of getting what you want.

1. Apply Early.

This tip can be applied to almost anything, from college itself to your dorm room assignment. As soon as you decide to live on campus, get online and see if the room request form for your school is up. If it is, apply ASAP. If it is not up, check to see if you can find out when it will be up.

Applying early helps increase the likelihood of getting the room assignment of your choice. Most colleges have different housing options, from single rooms to suite style rooms to themed floors. If you want a specific room type, the earlier you apply, the better.

2. Read the Directions.

This may seem obvious, but reading the directions when filling out any important form is necessary. You don’t want to fill out an entire housing application only to have missed an important detail.

The directions will also have information on how and when you can make changes to your room request. If you decide that you want a different room or to live off campus, you need to know those important dates.

3. Mark any and all Preferences.

Each college will have a different housing application, so your school won’t be the same as mine, but there are some general things you can mark. Obviously, you will have to rank your housing preferences. You might have to rank your choice by building, room type or some other factors.

There might also be a section on roommates. Even if you request a single room, you still have to give information about your roommate preferences in case you don’t get your own room.

For my housing application, I had to answer yes or no to statements such as:

  • I plan on having class before 10 am
  • I go to bed before 11 pm
  • My roommate can smoke (outside the dorms)
  • etc.

Your housing application might have those sorts of questions or different ones, or you can even request a specific person as your roommates.

4. Be Ready to Pay.

In most cases, your housing application won’t be accepted unless you pay the housing deposit as soon as you submit your application. Yeah, it sucks to have to pay a fee for housing when you won’t even move in for another six months, but that deposit will reserve your spot.

The earlier you submit your application and payment, the higher a priority you will be to the people or system in charge of housing assignments. If you decide to live off campus, you can usually request a refund of at least part of that deposit, so the risk isn’t super high.

5. Pay Attention to Housing Costs.

Not all rooms are created equal. Single rooms, new dorms and some specialty rooms will cost more. When looking at housing options, take note of the prices and see if there are any options that are totally out of your price range.

As yourself if a single room is worth the extra money. Are you even eligible for a single room? Some colleges reserve them for upperclassmen.

Do you want to live on a quiet floor so you can study in your dorm? If you are 21 or over, do you want a “clean” dorm or are you okay living with people who have alcohol?

Those are some questions to ask when putting in your request. If something, such as a quiet floor, is important to you, make that known in your application.

6. Stay up to Date.

After you submit your application, check your school email regularly. You never know if you might get an update on the status of your application or if you need to submit more information. You will also probably receive some sort of confirmation email with your housing request and payment information, so keep that for your records.

Most housing assignments won’t come out until summer, but it’s still a good idea to stay up to date with your email and contact your school if you have any questions.

So…

Have you lived in a dorm? What are some things you wish you knew when filling out a room request form? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele).

Thanks for reading!

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Writing on an iPad

Welcome to the second installment of my “On an iPad” series where I talk about how to be productive on an iPad. I currently use an iPad mini 2 as my main computer and while that may surprise you, there are a lot of benefits. That is another post, though.

Killer Harmony | Writing on an iPad | An iPad is an amazing portable computer, and it gets better every year. Here is how to make writing on an iPad easy for you.

Writing (or typing) on an iPad is not as hard as my might think. I have completed class assignments, posted social media updates and even written full blog posts (like this one) using my iPad.

Now for the good stuff!

Apps

I write with a lot of apps. I write short pieces that are only a sentence or so to post on social media, and I have also written blog posts and even college papers. The apps I use to write the most include Microsoft Word and OneNote as well as Google Drive/Docs.

There are also a lot of writing apps that will create a simple place to just write. I haven’t used these, but I have heard great reviews. There are tons of apps to choose from to make writing on an iPad much easier.

I also write using Safari if it is something quick, like editing a typo for a blog post. Typing is involved in a lot of iPad apps, even if it is short. You have to type to search on Google or YouTube. And the on screen keyboard is actually pretty good.

If you do a lot of typing on an iPad, it is recommended to get an external keyboard to make typing easier. I have not made that leap yet, because I can type fairly quickly with my thumbs. And with keyboard improvements such as autocorrect options and the ability to create shortcuts, typing is really easy.

If you think you might use you iPad for typing a lot, give the on screen keyboard a try. You might want the feel of a real keyboard, but if you like the on screen option, you can save a lot of money.

How I Work

As I said, I do a lot of typing and writing on my iPad. I have even used a stylus and a notebook app to “write” on my tablet. Overall, I love using the on screen keyboard, because it is there when I need it and not when I don’t.

I use my iPad mini in portrait mode and type like I do with my iPhone. If you hold down the keyboard button, you can split or undock the keyboard to make reaching the keys easier. I tend to use the regular docked keyboard.

You can also use Siri and dictate what you want to type, or switch between languages (good if you want to write in multiple languages).

I love being able to type almost as fast as with a real keyboard, because it means I don’t have to lug my laptop around for a lot of work I do.

Does it Work?

Writing on any tablet is certainly not easy, and not everyone will like it. If you do try it and like it, it can make your work much more portable.

You can use an external keyboard if the on screen one is not your speed. The external keyboards will be smaller then normal keyboards, but they can still give you the touch typing experience.

You can get the Apple Bluetooth keyboard or another brand and connect it to your iPad. If you do a lot of typing, a keyboard case is nice. If you don’t type a ton or you want the option to have the keyboard not be there, then an external keyboard is great.

Should you Write (or Type)?

I think it depends on how you like to work. If you are an on the go person, using a more portable computer to write with is smart. If you like to sit at a desk or you need more power than an iPad has, a laptop might be better. Typing is always going to be a little easier with a physical keyboard, but it is doable with an on screen keyboard when you don’t have anything else.

Think of your needs and go from there.

Up Next

Next up in this series, I am going to talk about using social media. You can do a lot and manage social media really well from an iPad. I will explain the apps I use and how I keep up with social media from my iPad.

So…

That is how I write on an iPad. Have you written a lot with a tablet? What did you like or dislike about it? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

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The Pros & Cons of Starting an Etsy Shop

When it comes to making money, people often look for easy options or get rich quick schemes. That is not what this post is about. It is about making money from home (or anywhere really) yes, but it is about starting an online business that has the potential to change your life. That is why you should consider starting an Etsy shop.

Killer Harmony | Pros & Cons of Starting an Etsy Shop | Starting an Etsy shop is a great way to make some money from home or even create a full time career. It's pretty flexible and cheap to set up.

If you like to create things, then starting an Etsy shop is a good way to make some money doing something you enjoy. If what you create can be sold as a digital download (such as photos or digital designs), the selling process is even easier, because you don’t have to worry about shipping.

In today’s post, I am going to talk about the pros and cons to starting an Etsy shop.

The Pros

It’s Easy

Starting an Etsy shop takes almost no time at all. You can create a free account, create your shop and list items within a few minutes. Just be sure to chose a shop name that you really love, because you can’t change it later.

It’s (Almost) Free

You don’t have to pay for anything when you create your shop. You do have to pay 20 cents for each item you list. Overall, there are no monthly fees for hosting a store on Etsy, which is great if you are low on cash. If you want to try out an Etsy shop and get 40 free listings, click here.

It’s Well Known

Etsy has a ton of built in support and fans to bring views and sales to your shop. People have heard of Etsy and know that it is a great place to shop for handmade items. This means that you won’t have to work as hard to get people to see your shop.

The Cons

It’s Work

It takes time to build your shop, fill it with listings and get paying customers. When you do get customers to your shop, you have to work even harder to push out orders. If you sell digital products, you won’t have to ship your items, but you will have to help customers who have questions about downloading and using your products.

It Costs Money

While it costs almost nothing to list an item on Etsy, you do have to pay for any supplies or programs you might need to create your products. You can’t start selling knitted scarves if you don’t have yarn. When you do sell an item, Etsy will take a small cut of the profits, so you have to account for that in your prices.

It Has Competitors

Since Etsy is a common place to sell products, that means you will find a ton of competition on there. You will have to find a way to make your products stand out from the competition. It is possible to have a lot of success on Etsy, but you can’t just set up shop and expect to make money.

Luckily, Etsy has a lot of information to help you learn how to be successful. They have a whole guide dedicated to selling on Etsy, you can join Etsy teams to get advice and share your work and you can subscribe to the Etsy Success newsletter. Etsy can be a great way to sell stuff online and make money, but you have to make it work for you.

Final Thoughts

Etsy is a great place to get started in the world of selling stuff online. You can even sell services on Etsy, too. I have yet to have a ton of success on there, but I haven’t been as active as I should be. When I start to have some success, I plan to write a post about successful selling on Etsy.

An Etsy shop is a great way to start a business from home. You don’t have to pay rent on a store front, listings are cheap or even free and the transaction fees are small. If you want to work from home, an Etsy shop is a great income stream to have.

If you want to see if an Etsy shop is for you completely free, you can use my link to get forty (40) free listings!

So…

Those are some pros and cons to starting an Etsy shop. If an online business is something that interests you, Etsy is a great way to test it out.

Have you started an Etsy shop? Did I miss any pros or cons? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

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We Have the Power: Inauguration 2017

Well friends, it is Inauguration Day. It is the day that some people have been waiting for for eight years; it is also the day some people have been dreading. I, personally, relate more to the second group of people.

With the new presidency, I wanted to talk about what we as citizens can do to help progress this country. We have the power to get some good out of this.

I don’t normally blog about political issues, but since it is a special day, I thought that I would share my thoughts with you about this new era. Trump’s victory was definitely a shock, and while I am not a fan of his, I do hope that he can do some good.

Here are some things to think about with the new administration, whether you voted for Trump or not.

Remember the First Amendment

If you live in the United States, you probably know about the first amendment. It gives us freedom of speech, freedom of the press and other related rights. If it weren’t for the first amendment, I would not be writing this post.

America has its problems, but we are lucky enough to be able to speak up and say what we think. In so many other countries, people are afraid to speak the truth due to the chance of being punished. I think that’s a right that should not be taken for granted.

You Are Not Alone

Many Americans are afraid of what will happen now that we have a new president. I’m afraid, terrified to think of what might happen to me and to many other people. It’s not wrong to be afraid, and it’s not wrong to not be afraid.

Either way, remember that you are not alone. There are people who are afraid of being deported, of not having access to quality medical care, of being forced to wear a badge identifying them based on their religion. You are not alone.

If you do feel like you are alone, you are more than welcome to message me on Twitter or to send me a message through my contact page on here. I want to provide a safe space that is free of judgement where you can be free to be yourself.

Impeachment is Not the Best Option

As with any president, there will be people who think that they need to be impeached. I heard it with Obama; I heard it with Bush. I’ve heard it with Trump. However, impeachment should not be the first thing we think of.

There will always be people with whom we disagree, and those people will continue to be elected either as president or as a senator or other public office. We can’t just throw out candidates that we don’t approve of, especially because that will only cause more polarization between the two main political parties.

There is Power in Numbers

The president only has so much power. Trump will need to be able to work with the other branches of government to make stuff happen. Now, with a Republican controlled congress, that will not be too difficult. But, Trump will not be the only person in power.

I’m not going to say that congress will block Trump’s ideas to build a wall or revoke Obamacare or whatever else he has promised to do. What I will say is this: the power is distributed between numerous people, and we have power in numbers.

We Need to Educate Ourselves

Now is a great time to be alive and an even better time to be a young person, because we have access to the internet. We can learn almost anything at the touch of a button. With voice assistants, we don’t even have to type anything.

If you are unhappy with the election results, for the president or otherwise, you have the ability to learn about the candidates and the issues and to contact the appropriate officials when you want your voice to be heard.

There will be an election in November 2018, and while it will not be for the president, it will be for various representatives and senators. You have the power to vote for the people you like and against the people you do not like. (Provided you are 18+, of course)

We Have the Power

We have the power to make change happen. If enough people want to see something change, and enough of them act upon it, change will happen. As Americans, we have the ability to elect the people who run our government. We don’t have to deal with a one party rule or another system we have no control over.

We have a voice, and we need to use that voice to our advantage. The recent election can be taken as a learning experience. It goes to show that even with the electoral college, every vote counts. There is no such thing as a safe election. We can’t rely on other people to speak up for us; we have to take charge.

If there is one thing that I have learned from this election, it is that anything can happen. Change is inevitable, good even.

So…

Did you vote in the election? How do you feel about the new administration? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele).

How to Use Your Syllabus

It’s the beginning of a new semester, which means that you have a whole new schedule of classes and a new set of syllabi/syllabuses/whatever. Your syllabus is one of the most important handouts you will ever receive for a class. You need to make sure you keep it, and that you use your syllabus.

Killer Harmony | How to Use Your Syllabus | In college, your syllabus is the most important document you will get from your professors. Here are five tips for how you can use your syllabus to succeed.

Throughout my four+ years in college, I have learned how to use your syllabus to help you succeed and get the best grades you can in a class. Obviously, using your syllabus is no guarantee of good grades, but it is still a great resource.

Here are my tips for using your syllabus.

1. Pay Attention that First Day.

The first week of classes is sometimes referred to as “syllabus week,” because that is when professors go over the syllabus. Each professor is different, and they might take only a few minutes on it, or they might take a whole class or two.

However long they take, pay attention to what the professor says about the syllabus. Yes, you do have a copy of the syllabus for your records, but there might be things that your professor left out. Class schedules can change, or your professor might have forgotten about a conflict they had.

Be sure to make note of any missing information such as test dates, days your professor might be gone or any wrong dates listed in the syllabus. Sometimes professors forget to update the dates from semester to semester, and they might only make those announcements that first day.

2. Read the Syllabus On Your Own.

More likely than not, your professor is not going to go through the syllabus word for word. You’re in college, and you are more than capable of reading it on your own. Figure out what information your professor gives you about their contact information, office hours and test dates.

Familiarize yourself with the attendance policy. There’s this myth that professors don’t care if you show up to class. In my experience, professors care. Attendance is almost always part of my grade, even if it is a small part. Those attendance points are easy points that you don’t want to miss.

Also, be sure you know what constitutes an excused or unexcused absence so that you can plan for days that you might have to miss class.

3. Write Down Important Dates.

Get out your planner and write in any test dates, project due dates and other important dates you need to know. Yes, your syllabus is important to keep on hand, but having information for all of your classes in one place makes things really easy.

Writing things down also help solidify them in your mind. Once you have gone through and written out all the important dates related to your class, it will be easier to remember when you have something due.

Also, if you are involved in activities, like sports or the arts, that might require you to miss class, this is super important. Once you know your schedule for those activities, make sure you alert your professors to the absence so that they can help you make up any missed work.

4. Put Your Syllabus in a Safe Place & Get Organized.

Your syllabus is an important piece of paper that you need to keep safe. It has almost everything you need to know about the class right there in one document. One of the things that is in that document might even help you get organized for the class.

If your professor happens to have a requirement for a specific binder or notebook, you can start using that specified method immediately. If your class is going to primarily be a lecture, you can stick to a notebook with maybe a separate folder. For a class that has a lot of handouts, you might want to use a binder or a couple of different folders.

Using your syllabus to get organized is a great way to make sure that you are setting yourself up for success. Not every class will require the same organization method, and your syllabus will usually tell you just what you need to organize your notes and information for each class.

5. Look at Your Syllabus Regularly.

Throughout the rest of the semester, make sure you look at your syllabus. Even if you followed my previous tip and added all of the assignment dates to your planner, you might have let something slip by.

Some classes will even add specific assignment requirements to the syllabus. That way, professors can avoid repeating themselves all the time. I had a class where the syllabus had some basic information about the term paper we had to write. You never know what might be in there.

Also, if any questions come up, your syllabus is a great first place to look for answers. Sure, you can email the professor or ask your classmates, but the syllabus will give you your answer immediately. You won’t have to wait for your professor to email you back, especially if all they say is “it’s in the syllabus.”

So…

That is how I like to use my syllabus to help me succeed in my college classes. I love being able to have a document that describes the class in depth and can give me answers to quick questions. Your syllabus is the most important document, and I cannot stress that enough.

Using (or losing) your syllabus can make or break your grades, so you need to make sure you do what you can to stay on top of your assignments.

What do you do with your syllabus after you get it? Do you actually read the thing? Let me know in the comments! Also, be sure to read this post about preparing for the spring semester and follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss future posts!

Thanks for reading!

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