Dorm Time!

Kelsey here! I am so excited to finally be able to stretch my legs in my new dorm room. Even though I have the same roommate as last year (by deliberate choice, we get along so well!) several things have changed. I live in a newly renovated portion of the dorm, have a lofted bed instead of a pull-out, and there is SO MUCH SPACE! Everything just feels like an upgrade from last year. We may be surrounded by a lot of freshmen, but I can’t wait for this year.

Since I worked my job until virtually the last possible minute, I left myself only about three/four days to prepare for the move. I had to buy a new duvet, lamp, and some food-related stuff; however, a lot of what I brought last year I was able to take it with me this semester as well. This move was also much smoother because I took so much less.

I started by packing my clothes, leaving out only enough for me to wear in the days leading up to the move-in.

(Side note: living an hour away from home gives me the luxury of keeping my winter clothes there! That’s why everything fit so nicely into a mere two containers.)

Next came all the “stuff”: essentially, anything that wasn’t grocery-related. Notebooks, paper, lotion, my Keurig…you get the gist. This process was a bit…messier.

Needless to say, I had a pretty full trash bag at the end of that day! After all of that, my mom and I went grocery shopping and picked up some necessities – K-Cups for coffee, tissues, soap, etc. Then I moved everything downstairs and processed to condense this…

…into 5 Rubbermaid containers, one small rolling cart, and a very large Space Saver bag (which I TOTALLY recommend!). My dad was sure to bring along our own dolly – another heavy recommendation, as any rentable moving carts are likely limited and first-come-first-serve. We got everything up in two short trips, and then it was just a matter of setting up our room!

I have a little more set up than is pictured, as I took these pictures briefly after moving in, but this gives you the general feel for my room.

Speaking of which, I am aware that some incoming freshmen or first-year dorm-dwellers are probably uncertain about what their room may look like. To add some perspective, although I am a sophomore, this dorm is considered a “freshman” dorm, as a majority of first years at my school are housed here. It is VERY large (something like 3,000 students) and my particular floor is one of a select few that are newly renovated. I lived on a non-renovated floor last year, and though this is a definite improvement from such, I had no problem with the 40-odd-years-old room for my first two semesters. The closet is small, the storage space is somewhat “odd”, but everything is totally doable. My best advice would be to simply keep an open mind about what you can expect, and ultimately, prepare for the worst! Better to be pleasantly surprised than mortified. Besides, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t like it – at the end of the day, it’s not your forever home, it’s just a room.

Chaos!

Alison and I have been very bad about updating! This is mostly due to the fact that we’re both in the process of either moving in (A) or getting ready to go (K). Personally, I just finished up my last day of work on the 18th, and this past week I worked almost 60 hours; Alison, on the other hand, has been prepping to move to an apartment hours away from her current home and has done so in a very brief time span. That being said, we’re both very excited to start posting more and more frequently about our personal journeys. If you’ve stumbled upon us, then thanks for reading this far, and we hope you continue to check back in the future! You can look forward to new posts about eating right, exercising, and making the most of college from two girls as they experience all of the above firsthand.

A Satisfying Meal

Hey you guys! It’s Alison. I wanted to give a little break from our mass posting about school prep.  We will have more of those coming soon though so get ready!

Last night Kelsey and I were invited over to our friend’s house for dinner. What this actually meant what that Kelsey and I would be buying and cooking dinner. We knew that we would all be starving by the time dinner was ready. We wanted to cook something that would leave us satisfied but not feeling disgusting.

Together we headed over to the grocery store and bought ingredients for stuffed jalapeños and honey-coconut shrimp.

I’m a big believer in treating yourself in the right ways.  We wanted food that would be savory, sweet, and all together delicious.  While heading to the nearest fast food place or going out to a restaurant might be easier, in the end you will be left not feeling your best.  It’s okay to have that little bit of sugar that will be on the shrimp or the fat-free cream cheese/cheddar cheese in your jalapeño.  The answer is portion control!

Stuffed Jalapeños 

  • 1 package of fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of  reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 8 jalapeños (you may need more depending on how many people are being fed)

Cut the jalapeños in half and scrape the vein/seeds out.  In a bowl combine the package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, and your choice of seasoning (we used garlic powder). Mix well and fill eat jalapeño half with the mixture!

  • bake in the oven at 350 for 18 minutes

Baked Honey-coconut Shrimp  

The one thing I LOVE about this recipe is that no oil is needed!

  • 1 pound of shrimp (frozen is okay but fresh is preferred) – it’s okay to have leftovers!
  • honey
  • coconut flakes

Remove the tails, shell, legs, etc. of the shrimp and wash in a strainer. Dip each shrimp into a bowl of honey and let the excess honey run off when you pick it up.  Coat the shrimp in coconut and place on a cookie sheet.

  • Bake in the oven at 350 for 18 minutes – if you want the coconut to be extra crispy, turn the oven to broil and leave the shrimp in for another minute or two.

This dinner was so easy to make and was so delicious! I know Kelsey and I were both left feeling full but in the most satisfying way. Taking the time to cook your meals is going to be worth it to your body and your taste buds.

Enjoy and let us know if you make either of these dishes!!

All Boxed Up – Dorm Style

Packing time is just around the corner…aaah! Lord knows I’m nowhere near ready to go; it feels like just yesterday Alison was over helping me unload and organize everything I took back from my first year of school. But that first year – and the menagerie of unnecessary things I brought with me – have taught me so much, and so I’d like to share a little about what I feel is necessary and unnecessary when it comes to stocking up your dorm room.

Ultimately there will be a long list of items you’re bringing, no matter how you spin it. No expert is going to appear in your bedroom and tell you what to take and what to leave. Personally, I took way too much my first year. I brought along my entire Harry Potter book collection, a set of containers I failed to ever use, and like ten purses that remained in the corner of my closet for two semesters gathering dust. My advice would be to save the effort of lugging these things around and just leave them at home.

First of all, your clothing is a necessity, but you may not have a lot of space to store it. Prioritize what needs to be hung up and what can do to be folded away, and look at potentially investing in a “space-saving” rack to hang in your closet. Keep one small container in your closet to store off-season clothes, and rotate out what you do and don’t need as the weather changes. Don’t forget to donate those clothes that you don’t wear anymore – there’s no point in you keeping them if they’re just going to take up that precious space, and someone else could get much better use out of them!

Next, focus on the very necessary items. You’ll need your printer, computer, maybe a fan, a decent desk lamp…try and go through your day-to-day life and think deliberately about all of the things you use on a daily basis. Then, think of all those things condensed into a 12’ x 15’ room that is occupied by two beds, two desks, and two grouchy students. Chances are you’re going to start wondering how to make it work…the only solution is to keep things minimal.

Subsequently, all those little extraneous things you THINK you want…think again. Do you reeeally need your book of different Celtic knots? Are you ever going to wear that weird headband you got five years ago? Will you be able to find the time to use every single scarf you’ve ever owned??

Some people find it necessary to over-prepare for school, and while I see the draw and benefit of that, ultimately I will advise against it. You will not have a lot of space in a dorm, and will probably find yourself at the end of the year packing up things you’d forgotten you had with you. Bottom line is, if you don’t absolutely need it, you should REALLY want it if it’s going to take up space on move-in day – especially if you’re lugging it up several flights of stairs. (P.S. – not all dorms have elevators. Ye hath been warned!!)

The Never-ending Apartment Checklist

The task of moving into an apartment can be daunting.  Compared to a dorm, there is a lot more that you have to consider packing when moving into your apartment.

The two biggest tips that I can offer is to buy in bulk the items that you use the most and to buy those items EARLY.  Many people will move into the apartment complex you chose on the first day that they are allowed.  These students will move all of their belongings in, then head straight to the nearest grocery store to buy those necessary items (toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, etc) that they realize they have forgotten.  You will have a very hard time finding all that you need and the last thing you want is to start off the school year stressed that your residence is not well-stocked.

Items I suggest you buy in bulk:   Toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher fluid/dishwasher pouches, laundry detergent.

These are all just suggestions. I find it much easier to have these items stocked up and hopefully have them last until the semester change.  After these bulk items you will need to go through each section of your apartment that you personally will be using.  Kitchen, Washer/Dryer, Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room. This BB&B checklist pretty much covers everything that you might want to considering bringing (keep in mind, you will not need this entire list).

It’s best to be realistic with what you are bringing but also don’t forget the items you will most likely use throughout the school year.  Bring items that you will use and ones that will best aid you in your healthy lifestyle at college. Good luck!

Preparing for your Dorm/Apartment

Prepping for a dorm and prepping for an apartment can be two very different experiences.  Dorm life doesn’t offer the space to bring your entire life with you and while an apartment might, you still want to be selective with what you do decide to bring.

Kelsey
Prepping for Dorm:

Be ready for cramped quarters and uncomfortable limitations on what you can bring. Okay, for real, you’re either stoked because you’re headed to an Ivy League school with fantastic living spaces, or you’re bummed because you caught a glimpse of the dorm and it is not your dream (…not even close). Long story short, the PB Dorm website is not a good indicator of what you will likely be encountering. But fear not! Here are some pointers for where to start and what to bring.

First of all, scout your school’s website for a list of what sorts of appliances are and are not allowed. For example, my school has a .PDF manual that details what is and is not allowed on campus. For me, things that are allowed include coffee pots, hot pots, and blenders. What’s NOT allowed are things like Crock Pots, hanging lights, and firearms (in case you hadn’t already guessed that). The list of “banned” items is, in reality, so much longer. Be sure to read over yours very carefully.

I might purchase a small Magic Bullet-esque blender for my room so I can make green smoothies as breakfast alternatives. I already own a Keurig, which I definitely recommend! I brew myself coffee to avoid stopping at Starbucks ($$ back in my wallet), and my roommate likes to make hot chocolate since she isn’t much of a caffeine drinker.

It’s also important to remember that you will likely have little to no surface area for leaving these devices out and about. You’ll have to store them somewhere! Keep in mind that you have to clean them after use, too, so if you don’t have a sink in-room, that could become a pain. It’s important to remain realistic! Prepare for the worst, and remember, it’s not the end of the world if you forget your hot pot. There’s food out there somewhere, you may just have to step out of your room.

Finally, most dorms will have some sort of microfridge built in, but check before you go because there’s a possibility you may have to bring your own! It’s smart to negotiate with your roommate (should you have one) before move-in day who will be bringing what; you could potentially say that you will bring the t.v. if they bring a fridge, etc.

Alison
Prepping for an Apartment:

If you are going to live in an apartment then congratulations and welcome to feeling like an adult. Living in an apartment will be a completely different story than living in a dorm. Most universities have apartments that are close to campus and affordable. You can still get a dorm feel by having 1-3 roommates but the amenities will be significantly greater.  With amenities, however, comes the task of buying supplies for such.  While most apartments won’t allow candles or certain decorative lights, you will still have the option to bring much more than you would if you were living on campus. You will additionally have to consider buying supplies for cooking, cleaning, and other more extensive tasks than an on-campus residence would require.  Just today I started making a list of all the supplies I will need for my apartment (will share in a future post) and I feel like I’m taking my entire home with me.

You can decide for yourself what you want to bring and what you find is not a necessity.  I love to drink fresh juice in the morning so bringing a juicer is a great investment for my time at school.  If you end up having a roommate, it’s best to discuss with them what all you have before moving in. The two of you will most likely have come up with some similar ideas and you won’t need doubles of certain items (can opener, strainer, coffee pot, etc).

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There will always be pros and cons to both living quarters listed above.  While an apartment allows you to cook however you want, have your own washer/dryer, and have your own bathroom, it is not on campus like a dorm is. A major pro of living in a dorm room is being so close to campus.

Overall an apartment may mean more space than a dorm, but it can also mean more responsibility. Living away from home may be in itself challenging at times, but there will always be resources for you at your college or university to help you live a healthy lifestyle (nutritionist, gym, healthy cafe options, etc).  It’s all about your own personal choice to stay clear of unhealthy decisions and to take the necessary steps to make your years at college both a healthy and positive time.

Welcome to our blog!

Hey all! Kelsey here!

This coming year, Alison and I will be entering our sophomore years in college at separate universities. Alison will be living in an off-campus apartment, while I will be staying on-campus in a dorm. Because of our mutual desire to be healthy, but from two different perspectives, we can offer varying points of view on living a fit lifestyle in college. This will be our trial-and-error approach to getting healthy. Basically, as we experiment with what works for us for a healthy college lifestyle, we will share it on this blog!

That being said, we will never claim to be professionals. We won’t ever do anything drastic or dangerous to our bodies, and it is up to you as a reader to determine what – if anything! – you apply to your own life. Our view is that, if your goal is to live a healthier life, then you should make changes that can be permanent – not temporary “quick-fixes”. We will always suggest seeing a doctor before making any drastic changes in your diet or exercise, and we will also always support only healthy dieting.