Page 1


Fall 2019

Students How 2

A newsletter for you, the college student who wants to learn how to do everything better, easier or cheaper. Newsletterby Breyonna Lawrence


photo by Daria Shevtsoa via

How to get adjusted to dorm-style living by Jenna Juliano

t’s move-in day freshman year. You and your family pack into your car that’s piled high with all your belongings and head off to embark on your college journey. Freshman year comes with many changes, including your way of living. Instead of living in a house where you have your own room, big kitchen and private bathroom, you are now sleeping arm’s-length away from someone else, sharing a shower with all the people on your hall and relying on the campus dining hall for all your meals. Getting adjusted to this new type of living can be rough, but here are some pointers on how to survive the dorm life. Spend as little amount of time in the hall bathrooms as possible Purchase a shower caddy so that you can easily transport your toiletries to and from the bathroom. Only go to the bathroom for necessary things, such as using the restroom, showering and brushing your teeth. Spend the rest of your time getting ready in your room, away from the steam and smell.

Add decorations to your dorm room

Make your dorm room feel cozy and homey. You would be surprised what adding a rug and string

A dorm room decorated with lights, a teddy bear and a plant

lights can do. If you tend to get homesick, bring a couple items to remind you of home. There is no shame in missing your parents and hometown. The majority of college freshman are right there with you. “Make it your own, really, because it’s your home for the next year,” Erycka Anderson, a residence assistant at East Carolina University, states. “Add some LED lights, plants, a good mattress, anything really that gives it that hometown touch.”

Put effort into meeting the people on your hall

Making new friends is one of the best parts about college. Don’t be afraid to go door to door in your dorm, introducing yourself to everyone. Cont. on page 2


Dorm-living cont. from page 1 photo by Sarah Brown via

“As an RA, I encourage them (freshman) to break out of their shell early to be able to enjoy college life more,” Anderson states. “I emphasize that academics are important but being involved is how you get the full experience out of college.”

Figure out the best time in your day to wash your clothes

Make sure you are around when your clothes are in the wash. Nothing makes people more mad than when they are waiting to use a washer or dryer, yet none are available because people have left their washed or dried clothes just sitting in the machines. If you do this, do not be surprised if you find your clothes taken out and sitting on top of the machine. Be courteous of other people and set a timer so you know when your laundry is done.

Set ground rules with your roommate early on

How to be a better RA


by Lacey Ballard

As are not always well liked, and they are not the college stars, but they are there none-the-less, they do the hard work and get the job done. Resident Advisor responsibilities vary from school to school but the core few stay the same: do bulletin boards, talk to your residents and monitor the building. Some of these things come easily to them and some do not. Here are some ways to master the art of being an RA.

Bulletin boards

For some, bulletin boards are an exciting job. It allows them to stretch their creative muscles and show what one can do with just their two hands. For others, it is a nightmare. Take resident advisor Parker Mitchell, for example. He hates doing bulletin boards because he is photo by Zacke Feller via

Having that awkward conversation with your roommate is dreadful, but laying it all out on the table early can solve potential future issues. Living in such close quarters with someone can take some getting used to, but open communication will help the process. Delaney Hogg, college blogger and full-time student at East Carolina University, states that being open and having honest communication with your roommate is important. She mentions that college is a learning period and living with someone else can really teach you a lot about yourself. Always remember to be considerate of each other’s belongings and personal space.

A student folding their clean laundry.

Most importantly, have fun.

Dorm-style living is different than any other living arrangement you will encounter in your life. Becoming friends with the people on your hall, attending the activities your dorm hosts, and leaning on your residence assistant for support when you need them are recommended. Remember, you will most likely never get this type of living opportunity again.   Young students dancing at a party

Cont. on page 3

RA cont. from page 2

3 photo by Lacey Ballard

photo by AbsolutVision via

self-proclaimed “not the most creative guy around,” however, over the past three years of being an RA he has picked up some tips and tricks on how to be creative without looking sloppy. The first tip is to die cut patterned letters. A die cut is a machine you put paper in and it will cut out a letter or shape for you, no scissors required. Most colleges or universities will provide a die cut machine, so don’t worry there.

Parker Mitchell, an RA for Jones Residence Hall at ECU

A sticky note reminder of a great idea.

“The issue most people have with die cutting patterned paper is they go out to the store and spend the little money they have on buying packs of patterned paper that may or may not go with their theme of their bulletin board,” said RA Mitchell. “The trick is to print out the patterns. They can be anything you find online, and die cut that. Boom, patterned paper!” However, when searching for different patterns to print, be sure to check with your supervisor on your school’s policy on copyrighted image


Duty can be scary and overwhelming for new and even experienced RAs, but when it comes to duty, graduate assistant Cody Allen has got your back! Cody has been an RA for three years and a GA for two. In this time, he has racked up some seriously helpful tips when it comes to going on duty. His first piece of advice is, “Never go alone, bring an RA friend of yours; they don’t even have to be an RA in your building. It helps to have someone else there to be a credible eye witness to every-

thing you say or do in case a resident wants to twist your words.” He says it’s also important to that if you need to call for backup, they are already there with you. In addition to bringing a buddy Cody always makes sure to use his phone as an asset. “Take pictures of everything! Take a picture of IDs, damage done, messes made, anything that could possibly be used later when your writing the report.” Ah yes, the dreaded report. The keep you up all night when you have a test the next day report.

The report

When it comes to writing that report there are some tips and tricks that will make it go along much faster. Have your opening already written. Most universities or colleges will have a specific way they want you to write the beginning and to cut out the time it takes you to type that for the 100th time just have a document on your computer with the beginning and type your reports in that document before copying and pasting it into your school’s submission form of choice. Just make sure you do not save the document when you are done to avoid compromising your preset document. Also, have a folder specifically for pictures you need to upload to a report. This makes it easier if you need to show them to your supervisor or if they did not upload correctly. I hope these tips and tricks will help you through this crazy job and that maybe you can pass some of these down to the younger RAs on Cont. on page 4

RA cont. from page 3

your staff. The tip I will leave you with is, ask for help. No one expects you to do this job all on your own. Ask your older RAs for their tips and tricks; I am sure they have a few up their sleeves.

How to prepare for graduate school photo by Vasily Koloda vis

by Breyonna Lawrence


Graduate students throwing their caps in the air

our senior year as an undergrad can be the most exciting time of your college career. The turn of your tassel can be the start of a new goal, adventure and opportunities. Some students have a set plan for what they want to do after they graduate with a bachelor’s, while others may be unsure about this new chapter in their life. Graduate school is an option some students may consider after graduation. Thinking in an academic and financial perspective can make the process easier and more effective. This article will allow undecided or decided students to learn more about the preparation for graduate school and the beginnings of adulthood.

Gap Year

Taking a year off or going straight into grad school both have some financial and academic. Benefits include enhanced education, career opportunities, the potential for future promotions and more. Students who are thinking about taking time out for themselves should consider a “gap year.” According to The Princeton Review, a gap year is a year spent taking time off between various life stages. Students who may consider attending graduate school after their undergrad career should think through their career goals realistically and carefully. Be passionate about your

4 field of study as well as your future career.

Application Process

Students should be familiar with the graduate school application procedure when applying for a master’s level college. First, students should consider an area before applying to graduate school. Attending the same or different institution both have benefits. Applying to the same school will allow you to be comfortable on campus and in the classroom, whereas, applying to a different school can open a student to new opportunities and a different environments. Also, undergraduate students should decide if they would like to do graduate school online, on-campus or a mix of both. Dr. Laura Prividera, professor and Associate Director of the School of Communication and Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at East Carolina University said, “The decision is based on the student’s preference.” She elaborated saying that completing graduate school on-campus can lead to campus employment, opportunities to display leadership and engage in classroom material. Completing graduate school online may allow students to save money and work on assignments and other projects on their own time. After deciding on a location, students should prepare the general documents required for admissions. Documents such as transcripts, statement of purpose, resume, completed application, letters of recommendation and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test scores are necessary for acceptance. Brittany Wood an academic advisor in the School of Communication for East Carolina University, said, “Students should continue work on their resume and ask professional staff or colleagues for the letter of recommendations during their application process.” Depending on the program, students may complete a different type of test. Students pursuing law will complete the LSAT while students in business complete the GMAT. Students can use test prep books, take practice exams or enroll in a GRE course to best prepare.

Financial Perspective

Cont. on page 5

Graduate School cont. from page 4 Funding your education is very important and should be the number one priority. Students are responsible for paying their tuition, loans, books and other fees to accomplish their goals in their higher learning. Loans are the most effective way to pay for college. According to, the most common sources of federal graduate student loans are Stafford loans, Graduate PLUS Loans and Perkins Loans. Wood said, “Students must pay back all loans in order to remove any form of student debt.” Wood also elaborated saying that students should do more research on grants, scholarships and on-campus employment to help pay for their education. Dr. Prividera also states, “There are many opportunities for money. Students should work during the summer or look into assistantships to earn income while attending graduate school.” Assistantships are paid educational work graduate students.

What to Expect

photo of Kamile Harris via Instagram Profile

Students should expect smaller class sizes, frequent classroom discussions, research and participation in seminars while attending graduate school. Kamile Harris, a graduate student obtaining her Doctorate degree in psychology at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, said, “Graduate school allowed me to take advantage of my potential and to acknowledge opportunities that will be beneficial to my education.” Harris also

Kamille Harris, a graduate student obtaining her Doctorate degree in Psychology at Radford University in Radford, Virginia

5 advises students to accept opportunities, network with professors and colleagues, and to make time


$tudents How 2


Contact Information Both the content for this newsletter and the design are created by students enrolled in COMM 3310 Copy Editing and Design in the School of Communication at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina during the Spring and Fall semesters under the direction of course instructor Barbara Bullington. We welcome suggestions for article ideas for future issues. For inquiries, please email

Profile for breyonnalawrence

Students How 2, A Newsletter for You, the college student who wants to learn how to do everything be  

A newsletter including tips and tricks for on-campus living students, resident advisors and future graduate students (Fall 2019). The newsle...

Students How 2, A Newsletter for You, the college student who wants to learn how to do everything be  

A newsletter including tips and tricks for on-campus living students, resident advisors and future graduate students (Fall 2019). The newsle...