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COOL GIFT IDEAS PAGE 8

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Three Girls, a Guy and an Apartment Find out what it’s like to live with the opposite sex while in college. December 2010 | Issue 1

CREDIT CARD 101 p19

RAMEN NOODLE RECIPES p10

CARING FOR PETS p22

December 2010

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SAVE ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL p20


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contents DEPARTMENTS

decorating corner money corner

7. 15 decorating tricks 8. Cool ideas

19. Credit Card 101 20. Save More

cooking corner

pet corner

10. Ramen noodles

22. Responsibilities

for your bedroom

for around the house

for every meal

7.

on your electric bill

of having a pet

FEATURE

20.

11.

THREE GIRLS, A GUY AND AN APARTMENT

Is living in a co-ed apartment any different from living with members of the same sex? Learn just how different living with members of the opposite sex can be.

22. December 2010

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Editor’s corner

EDITOR IN CHIEF Casey Brown

W

Welcome to Off-Campus Magazine! While working on the very first issue of this magazine I wanted to create something that college students could really use and learn a lot from. You can’t find any guide or manual telling you how to prepare for living completely on your own while in college. That is why I decided to create a magazine dedicated to helping out all of the clueless, poor college students out there make their apartment or house a great place to live. This year, I am living in my very first apartment in college. I wanted to learn more about how to save money and spend it wisely. While finding the content for the departments I kept that in mind and learned so much, and I hope you will too. Living on your own or with others in college comes with many responsibilities and tests of character. I hope that Off-Campus Magazine will be a guide for you and help deliver insights on embracing the college experience. Keep an eye out for the next issue of OffCampus Magazine where I will give you even more tips and tricks for living off-campus.

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CONTRIBUTORS

DESIGNER Casey Brown PHOTOGRAPHY Kim Kreuzman DEPT. CONTENT Real Simple The Nest Various Blogs DEPT. PHOTOGRAPHY Real Simple Google Images Flickr.com ADVERTISMENTS Real Simple Google Images Flickr.com SUPPORT TEAM Mom Dad Brandon Riney Ryan Sagar Sarah Emge Erica Stevens Pam Farmen


One for One

December 2010

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Decorating corner

decorating tricks 15

for your bedroom

written by Laura Miligan | photographs by Christa Watson

1. Hanging a graphic quilt is an easy solution to the “big blank wall” issue. Complementary bed linens pull the decor together. 2.Your bedroom should express your personality, so feel free to go a little offcenter.

3. Pile on the pillows, and don’t shy away from mixing patterns. Combine large prints with small ones, florals with geometrics. 4. But prints aren’t reserved for the bed covers. They’re just as arresting when set on a modern-shaped lamp shade. 5. Night stands and adjustable lamps affixed to walls smartly save space in a small room. 6. Gauge the size of your bedside lamp by the scale of your bed: A four-poster would call for a big fixture; for a low bed, choose something smaller.

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7. A printed bedspread does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to décor.

11. A cheery yellow rug is like a burst of sunshine in a low-key room.

8. A wall lamp eliminates any need to juggle items on the night stand. Equip it with a multi-watt bulb to fine-tune the light for reading or relaxing.

12. Don’t be afraid to pair up unlike pieces, as with these bed tables. A short stack of books serves to even up the lamps.

9. Go for saturation with a favorite color. Use a variety of tones and textures to give your room a layered feel.

13. Add character to a plain bed by draping a colorful quilt over its frame by day. At night, pull it on for extra warmth.

10. If you want color without an all-out commitment, inject hits of it with your art and accessories.

15. Top your bed with covers made for snuggling, like a down comforter.

14. Tuck a chair into a corner seat for an instant resting spot. Lush silk draperies turn the room into a cocoon.


cool ideas

Decorating corner for around the house

$50 OR LESS

ELEPHANT SHAKERS, $48 Liven up your dining table with these cute elephant salt and pepper shakers. johnathonadler.com

FLOWER POWER, $7 each These Un Homme and Une Femme 3-D vases hang on the wall – just add blooms. cb2.com

Pillow Talk, $48 “Chalk” in your sleep with these plush message board pillows. Features special smudge-proof pen for doodling or scribbling sweet nothings. uncommongoods.com

ICE CREAM SOCIAL, $20 Homemade ice cream is easy to make with this soft serve ice cream maker. Hamiliton Beach, target.com

SWEATER WEATHER, $22 Get a grip on hot mugs with a sweater sleeve that keeps hands cool and cocoa hot. uncommongoods.com

December 2010

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SAVE HUNDREDS!

RENT YOUR

TEXTBOOKS

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ramen

Cooking corner

for every meal

As a college student, you’re challenged to find cheap but satisfying ways to feed yourself. When you do cook for yourself you’re probably going to turn to the poor college student’s favorite ingredient: ramen.

written by Laura Miligan | photographs by Christa Watson

BREAKFAST Break an egg in with the ramen noodles while boiling. Add seasoning packet as directed and enjoy a filling breakfast soup. Boil just enough water to cover a block of ramen. When water comes to a boil, add block of ramen and then a layer of onion and tomato slices. Top with a whole raw egg. Put the cover on and cook until the egg reaches desired doneness. Boil ramen noodles and one beaten egg for three minutes. Drain all but one tablespoon water. Stir in seasoning packet, cup shredded cheese and a dash or two of hot sauce. Wrap flavored noodles in warm tortillas for breakfast burritos.

LUNCH & DINNER

DESSERT

Pour heated marinara sauce over hot boiled ramen noodles for a meal reminiscent of spaghetti in half the time.

Place three sponge cake dessert cups on a plate. Top with sliced banana, one-third cup maraschino cherries, package of fried ramen noodles and cup hot fudge sauce.

Stir in cup of salsa, cup sliced pepperoni or ham strips, one tablespoon pickle relish, and one teaspoon mustard to one package of boiled noodles, for jail break ramen. Add of a chicken flavored seasoning packet, one tablespoon butter, and two or three tablespoons milk to a package of boiled drained ramen for a creamy side dish. Heat your favorite Alfredo sauce and pour over hot boiled ramen. Stir in diced ham or cooked chicken if you have any.

Place three scopes of ice cream in a bowl. Top with one-third cup hot fried ramen noodles and your favorite ice cream sauce. (Caramel works well.) Mix up one three-ounce package of fruitflavored gelatin according to package directions. Stir in a package of fried ramen and chill until set.

Fork or Spoon? Now you can have your soup, and noodles too! Created by designer Masami Takahashi, this stainless steel combination utensil easily ladles soup and twists noodles in one easy swoop.

Buy yours today for only $14 from uncomongoods.com.

December 2010

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THREE GIRLS, A BO

AND A

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OY

AN APARTMENT written by Casey Brown|photographs by Kim Kreuzman

December 2010

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the apartment

e

Living off-campus can be a great experience while in college. There are many decisions you have to make while searching for a place to live, but probably the most important decision to decide is who to live with. Find out how these four Ball State University students are dong while living co-ed.

Everyday Katie Lawson comes home to her cozy fourbedroom apartment. She checks her Facebook, listens to music on her laptop and does some homework before going to work. As her roommates walk in the door, she greets them—Kaitlyn, Paige, and…Sean. Yes, Sean. Katie’s fourth roommate is a guy. But not any guy, her boyfriend. An increasing number of college apartments are no longer purely estrogen, or vice versa. Many have decided to move in with students of the opposite sex, claiming less drama and a (closer to) stress-free living

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environment. “It was convenient and we needed another person to sign with us,” said Katie of living co-ed. “What makes it really work is that we are all really good friends and get along well.” As with any roommate you will have, cleaning and messes are always going to cause issues. However, when interviewed, all of them say that when it comes to cleaning up around the apartment, they all pitch-in when something needs to be done and do their part. Their apartment is always reasonably clean.


“ “ “ “ Sharing the kitchen and bathroom sometimes sucks. Boys are much dirtier than girls, but I can’t say I’m the neatest person in the world.

Katie Lawson

Well for me, I really don’t mind living with girls because they are much cleaner than guys and one of my roommates is my girlfriend. Sean Guy

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But what if your roommates don’t keep the apartment nice and tidy? The best thing to do is talk with them and let them know how you feel. If you don’t, things are probably going to get worse and you will be stuck living in a messy apartment or cleaning everything up yourself.

What Do Your Parents Think? Many parents are against the idea of their “baby” living in an apartment or house with a member of the opposite sex. This could be due to religious practices, or just being old-fashioned. But others will allow it or they might not even be asked before a lease is signed. “My parents don’t care at all,” said Paige. “I needed a place to live and this is where I ended up. It’s been great so far!” “They don’t have any problems with

Sean, with his dog Bently, Katie, with her dog Sophie, Kaitlyn, and Paige, with her dog Foxy.

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it and the boy that lives with us is in a relationship with my other roommate so it works out well,” said Kaitlyn. If your parents are against the idea, you should talk to them about it and find out the reason behind them not wanting you to live with a member of the opposite sex. Explain why you want to live co-ed and why it’s a good idea. You should also let them meet your prospective roommates. They will feel more comfortable if they can talk with them for a little bit.

The Best of Both Worlds All co-ed roomies interviewed agree that being roommates with someone of the opposite sex adds a new dimension to their living space. Kaitlyn goes to Sean for advice before

she would go to her female roommates. “He has a different take on relationships,” she says, “He’s less emotional and more mellow.” Paige says she would confide in her male roommate also. “It’s a lot different than talking with a guy,” explains Paige. “They bring a different perspective.” Living with both guys and girls is natural. When college is over, you are going to be in a world with both sexes all around you. Guys and girls can become the best of friends and it doesn’t mean you have to be sexually involved. Some of the best relationships you can have will probably be of the opposite sex. When asked if they would live co-ed again, all the students interviewed said yes. “It’s different, but it’s healthy and diverse,” says Stanley. “It brings out all of our best aspects.”


STILL LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT ROOMMATES? Check out this list of pros and cons of living co-ed.

PROS • It's a helpful "real life" experience because the world isn't separated into same-sex spheres. Men and women need to learn to relate to each other, especially in the workplace. • Living with men around can be a safety advantages for female college students -- or at least can make them feel less vulnerable. • Male and female students have the same basic housing needs-- sleeping accommodations, a place to study, and companionship. Why separate people with the same needs? After all, students are now adults.

CONS • Sexual harassment can become a problem while living co-ed. Some guys can make girls uncomfortable with vulgarity and lewdness. • For modest students, coed living is not a good idea. People don't walk around naked, but they do walk around in bathrobes and boxer shorts. • Both males and females sometimes feel more like they can be themselves when there aren't people of the opposite sex around. • Some students have religious reasons for not wanting to live in a coed apartment. Pictured from top are Sean’s room, Katie’s room, and Kaitlyn’s room. December 2010

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the roommates Living with roommates can be hard, especially if those roommates are complete strangers. Whether or not roommates get along with one another can set the tone for the rest of the year, for better or worse. It is important to know if you want to live with other guys, girls, or live with guys and girls. These four roommates chose to live co-ed and are happy with their choice. They

get along great and haven’t had any serious problems. Katie, Kaitlin, and Sean decided to live together because they were all great friends and thought it would be a good match living together. The fourth roommate, Paige, was randomly selected to live with them. She said it was a little strange at first, living with three really good friends, but she quickly fit in.

KATIE LAWSON AGE: 21 Grade: Junior Major/Minor: Fashion Merchandising/ Marketing Hometown: Valporaiso, In Interests: Sewing, Reading, Shopping, Cooking, Listening to Music

PAIGE NORTON AGE: 19 Grade: Sophomore Major/Minor: Social Work Hometown: Richmond, In Interests: Watching Movies, Dogs, Shopping, Road Trips, Singing

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KAITLIN STANLEY AGE: 20 Grade: Junior Major/Minor: International Business Hometown: Valporaiso, In Interests: Napping, Shopping, Traveling, Exercising

SEAN GUY AGE: 21 Grade: Senior Major/Minor: Business Administration/Sales Hometown: Valporaiso, In Interests: Cars, Video Games, Rock Climbing, Volleyball, Baseball

QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD ROOMMATE In order to find a roommate that is least likely to turn into a living nightmare, look for the qualities of a good roommate. Reliability: A reliable roommate won’t let you down on things like rent and utilities and will be more likely to come through on favors. Good communication skills: Good communication between roommates is extremely important

and is the foundation of a good roommate relationship. Roommates need to be able to talk with one another when problems arise in order to work them out before they get out of hand. Trustworthy: You need to be able to trust that your roommate will respect you, your space and your belongings. You shouldn’t have to worry about leaving your roommate alone in your apartment.

Friendly: Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend, but they should be easy to get along with and you should enjoy his or her company. Considerate: You need find a roommate with common sense and decency. Someone that helps clean the house, won’t blast their music during late hours and generally respects your needs.

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Money corner

credit card101 Learning how to use credit cards responsibly now can save you from having to dig yourself out of debt after you graduate. In plain English, here’s everything you need to know before committing to your first credit card. written by Vera Gibbons

Q. I’m tempted to open a lot of store cards around the holidays to take advantage of discounts. Will that affect my credit score? A. Yes: Every new application results in a credit-report inquiry. Each inquiry typically causes your score to drop by up to five points. And the lower your score, the less attractive you become to lenders when you apply for credit, a loan, or a mortgage.

have just one card and it’s almost maxed Q. How many credit cards are too many? out, that suggests (to your bank and And is there such a thing as too few? other potential lenders) that you’re having A. Many experts recommend having no trouble getting credit,” says more than three or four cards. Robert D. Manning, Ph.D., “When people have too many, director of the Center for they tend not to keep track,” Consumer Financial Services, says Howard Dvorkin, the The average founder of Consolidated Credit amount of credit at the Rochester Institute of card debt of an Technology, in New York. Counseling Services and the undergraduate The exception? If one card author of Credit Hell: How to college student. has a particularly low interest Dig Out of Debt (Wiley, $20, rate, you might want to switch amazon.com). Having too all your balances to that one to save many cards can also make you look credit-hungry, which could hurt money. you if you apply for credit Q. I may be late with a credit-card payment. you really need. Since no card is accepted What should I do? universally, you’ll want one or A. Call your bank. It might waive a late fee for a good customer. If you have a day two of the major cards, plus or so before the payment is due, pay by a charge-only card (the balance must always be paid in full) and a phone or even overnight the check. That’s store card if you shop somewhere “usually cheaper than the late fee,” says Ellen Cannon, editor of bankrate.com, regularly. which offers financial-rate data. The best strategy: Pay your bill on Q. Is it better to keep a big balance time, in full, even if your bank doesn’t on one card or spread the balances like it. “In the industry, people who don’t over several cards? carry a balance are called deadbeats,” says A. You’re usually better off keeping Cannon. smaller balances on a few cards. “If you

$2,200

COMMONLY MISUNDERSTOOD CREDIT-CARD TERMS APR: The interest rate for the whole year (not per month) that you will pay on any revolving balance you carry. 19

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CREDIT REPORT: A record of your borrowing and repayment of debt.

CREDIT-UTILIZATION RATIO: The percentage of available credit you’re using compared with your credit limit. It accounts for 30 percent of your credit score.

FICO: The company that develops the majority of credit-scoring models today.


save more

Money corner

on your electric bill

You may know to turn the lights off when not in use, but with these tricks, you can save even more. written by Adam Bluestein

SAVE A LITTLE Use your curtains. During cold months, leave them open during the day to allow sunlight in; in the summer, keep curtains shut in rooms where the sunlight hits. Install motion detectors on lights in all rooms. The lights will never be left on by accident. Change light bulbs. Switching one incandescent for a CFL saves $35 in energy costs over the projected 10-year life of the bulb. CFLs use less energy than conventional bulbs and generate less heat.

SAVE A LITTLE MORE Insulate your hot-water heater. If it’s more than seven years old, wrap it in a precut jacket or blanket (available at hardware stores).

SAVE A LOT

Use a programmable thermostat. Set it to raise or lower the temperature setting automatically when you’re not home. Monthly

Use a low-flow shower head. A low-flow head uses less than 2 1/2 gallons a minute, compared with a whopping seven gallons for old models, which means less water to heat.

Use electronics wisely. Unplug them when not in use; they draw power even if they’re off. And use a laptop on a hard, flat surface, rather than a soft, cushy one, such as a bed or a carpet. The latter can block airflow and lead to overheating.

Enroll in a “cycling” program. Your utility company will use a radio signal to shut off your heating system or airconditioning periodically during peakusage times on weekdays say, for 15 minutes over a three-hour period.

Clean your electric heating system or air conditioner’s filter and fan. It’s best to do this once a month, but even once a year will make a difference.

Arrange an HVAC inspection. Hire a certified technician for an annual check that their home’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

Small Ways to Save 1 Place your desk near

a bedroom window to minimize lamp usage.

2 Never allow furniture or

rugs to block needed vents.

3 Wash everything in cold water

4 When you leave a room

turn off the light and the fan.

5 Keep your thermostat fan

switched to "auto" not "on." December 2010

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iPad

A MAGICAL AND REVOLUTIONARY PRODUCT AT AN UNBELIEVEABLE PRICE. starting at $499

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responsibilities

Pet corner

of having a pet

Adopting a pet is a big responsibility, especially when you are still in college. Check out these important things to consider. written by

I

Laura Miligan |

photographs by

Christa Watson

t can happen to the best of us. You see a cute, tiger-striped kitten with white paws and green eyes, just begging for attention. Or maybe it's a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tails seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket. If you're like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day's work. Adopting a pet, though, is a big decision. Dogs and cats require lots of time, money, and commitment—more than 15 years' worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

GET AN ANIMAL FOR LIFE Many of the shelter’s homeless animals are puppies and kittens, victims of people who irresponsibly allowed their pets to breed. But there are at least as many dogs and cats at the shelter who are more than a year old—animals who were obtained by people who didn’t think through the responsibilities of pet ownership before they got the animal.

Please, don’t make the same mistake. Think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you’re willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ADOPTING Why do you want a pet? It's amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because it's "the thing to do" usually ends up being a big mistake. Don't forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years. Do you have time for a pet? Dogs, cats, and other animals cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Can you afford a pet? The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, spaying or neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly. Are you prepared to deal with problems that a pet can cause? Flea infestations, scratched-up furniture, accidents from animals who aren't yet house trained, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.

Can you have a pet where you live? Many rental communities don't allow pets, and most of the rest have restrictions. Make sure you know what they are before you bring a companion animal home. Are your living arrangements suitable for the pet you want? Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active—they require a great deal of exercise to be calm, and they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting a pet, do some research. Do you know who will care for your pet while you're away? You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service. Will you be a responsible owner? Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible owner.

December 2010

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Expect More. Pay Less. 23

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RELAX WITH A REFREASHING BUD LIGHT LIME. December 2010

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Off-Campus Magazine