A Note of Encouragement for Graduates

One of the scariest moments in life is college graduation. It seems like every bit of schooling, stress, and tears comes down to the moment they hand you a diploma and you start in the adult world.

Heavy, huh?

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As someone who was in your shoes only a year ago, I know that stress and worry. But I’ve also seen the results of that stress and worry and have some words of encouragement for you.

You’ve got this!Read More

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A Letter to My College Self

As a recent college graduate, I decided to write a letter to myself of everything I wish someone had told me before starting university. Earnest, a student loan refinancing company, is encouraging recent graduates to reflect and share their lessons learned with others. Here is what I learned in my three years…

a-letter-to-my-college-selfRead More

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What It's Actually Like to Be Post-Grad

Is post-grad life all it’s cracked up to be?

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As a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, I spent three years counting down the moments until I was done with homework and tests for life. That’s right, I even graduated early so I wouldn’t have to deal with four years of it.

And after all my hard work and stressed out nights, here I am in the post-grad life. Is it everything I thought it was? Yes and no.Read More

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10 Recipes Every College Student Should Know

This week I went back to babysitting the kids I used to watch when I’m in high school. I feel like the older sister who came back from college and is now here to impart wisdom upon my younger brother and sister.

In reality, they think I’m their best friend and like to try the cool things I tell them, as I am a decade older than them and seem very hip with my cropped skinny jeans and penchant for chai lattes.

While making them lunch they asked what I ate in college and it made me realize how much I blossomed in making easy, cheap meals the last three years. It’s truly an art as a broke girl who loves fine cooking.

I thought today I’d impart on those heading back to school this month the recipes that got me a fantastic GPA – and through very boring lecture halls with 200 students.Read More

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What I Learned From My College Experience

In two weeks I will be walking across that stage and moving my tassel to the other side. That’s right, I’m graduating.

It’s been an insane three years of college. From making new friends to exploring new interests to taking classes I never would have imagined taking, I truly have enjoyed my college experience. Of course, I am taking a summer class or two, but what better time to reflect than now?

Below I have compiled the best lessons I learned in the last three years, and I think they are things that can be applied to everyone, even those not higher educated. Enjoy!Read More

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7 Skills I Gained in University

University is a time to explore your interests and gain talents for your future career.

Oh, and to gain absolutely ridiculous skills you didn’t even know people could have.

I’m currently taking a summer class (Women and Gender Studies 101 is by far the one university class I’ve taken that makes me leave class feeling like everything I’ve been taught is a lie. But I love it.) and during my four weeks in it, I’ve realized that there are quite a lot of skills I have gained in my two years so far at university. Yes, they are ridiculous skills that no one told me I would learn, but they are nifty in most situations. So, if you’re going into university, hopefully these skills will benefit you.

7 Ridiculous Skills I Unexpectedly Learned in University (Instead of Career Advancing Knowledge)

Writing an essay worth 20% of my grade in less than an hour and get a good grade

I used to spend all week writing essays. But university has expertly taught me how to spend the least amount of time on essays and still get the grade I want. Such as the essay I spent 30 minutes on (because the teacher moved up the due date) and still got an A on. It’s all about managing your time, having a good outline, and already being good at writing essays. Save extra time to proofread – that’s the trick to this method.

Sprinting long distances in short amounts of time

Whoever thought that putting dorms on one side of campus and most general ed classes on the other is a bigger moron than the person who made finger aerobics trendy. And if you have class until 12:50 on one side of campus and another class at 1:00 on the other side, you’ve got to get quick at speed walking. But lucky for me, living in the dorms made me make a regularly 15 minute walk into six. That’s right, six.

Which coffee drink to choose based on my schedule

A chai latte will last me through my lecture and lab. A white chocolate mocha will get me through a five hour work shift. A green tea will get me to the coffee shop, where I can get an Americano for my discussion, two lectures, and the beginning of my work shift.

How to look like you did the assigned reading

Low on time? Luckily you can skim the chapter, chapter headings, and read the middle sentence of the reading. 10 minutes and professor brownie points.

Appearing to look like everything is together when it really is not

You know when you got no sleep the night before, have an essay due in three hours, a midterm in 20, your boyfriend won’t call you back, and your roommate hasn’t done the dishes? Yes, we’ve all been in way over our heads. But no one needs to know that. That’s why a little bit of concealer (my secret beauty trick), a real outfit that doesn’t have the word ‘sweat’ in it anywhere, and 20 jumping jacks will make you seem like you actually can tell people what day it is. You can still be emotionally distraught, you just won’t look like it.

Miss/leave class for a seemingly legitimate reason

Sometimes you have miss/leave class because of lack of sleep/emotional trauma/didn’t do the homework. And of course you’ve got that teacher who hates when you’re not in class. That’s why this trick is great. Simply get up to leave, and when your professor asks where you are going, say, “Did you not get my email? I sent you one before class but I wasn’t sure if you received it.” and when they say they didn’t, simply say there must be an email error.

Tip: Only use once per professor. And only for emergencies.

Not be called on in class

I really don’t like being called on in class unless I know what I’m talking about. Which in some of my classes is once in a 10-week period. But I know exactly how to not be called on unless you want to.

1. Look very confused 2. Start flipping through your notebook like you’re trying to find the answer 3. Purse your lips and tap a finger to your chin 4. Look intently at your professor and anyone who has their hand raised 5. If anyone starts talking/if there are PowerPoint slides up, start intently writing

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What insanely ridiculous skills did you learn at university? Please share in the comments, I’d love to see what non-knowledge things we now know!

Also, don’t forget that starting today you can get my book Affairs for only $0.99 on Amazon for my super awesome Vacation Book Sale! Get it now before it ends on Tuesday!

Stay classy, Internet,

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The Score Dilemma

The increase of college tuition and scholarship difficulty has made students focus on standardized testing more than ever. And it disgusts me.

I took me SATs three times and my ACT twice. Between the time it took for me to study and take these tests, I could have had three decent nights of sleep. But instead I sat in stuffy classrooms that raised my stress level. And I don’t think that’s too healthy for the youth of America.Read More

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Freshman Veteran (First Year Uni Advice)

I finished my first year of college.

I FINISHED MY FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE.

I FINISHED MY FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE!

Okay, that’s enough.

If you haven’t gotten the memo, I have indeed just finished my first year at university. It’s been up and it’s been down and, quite frankly, it was all around. Going away for school was a very different experience and one that can make or break you. Just the other day my parents told me how proud they are that I came out an even stronger individual after finishing my first year at university. It definitely is difficult. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of “veteran” advice that I hope can guide you all to what is to be expected of your first year at university. Consider this Freshman Bootcamp Preparation.Read More

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My College Blogging Rules

In 2012 I wrote a blog post about my blogging rules. While I wrote it to be a quick read while I was traipsing about Europe for a week, many found it very helpful for keeping up their own blogs. The information in that post was great for people who are just starting blogs or who have dedicated blogging as a job. However, in my current position at university, I have found that there are some blogging rules that definitely should be added to the list. I don’t have the time I used to, and the constant flow of work takes up some of my more creative idea time. Therefore, I have made a new list of rules that are great for people who have less time to blog, but who still love doing it and want to continue!

My College Blogging Rules

1. Write your posts beforehand

Blogging once a week is great, but let’s be real. Having actual time to sit down and write a decent blog post once a week doesn’t actually happen. We just have too many assignments and real life things going on. To make sure your posts come out once a week, and they aren’t written at 2am after you finish your term paper, write your posts beforehand. When I went to Europe I wrote two posts the week before that I could publish while I was traveling. Find a weekend or a free night and write a blog post or two. With me now taking on several more credits (and a 300-level course) along with general life things, writing a post before is going to save my life. As we speak I’m taking the hour between my morning classes and writing posts for the next month in case my schedule picks up even more. Writing beforehand is a genius idea, and I highly recommend it to you.Read More

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Letter to HS Seniors

Dear High School Seniors,

A year ago I was in your shoes. Anxious, worried, stressed, and about one letter away from having a mental breakdown. If it wasn’t filling out application after application for scholarships, it was every person within a 60-mile radius of me asking what I was doing next year. This is the best and the worst time of your lives. So, as someone who survived the war zone that is Senior year, gather round your computer as Veteran Morgan tells you a story.

In December the oppressing feeling that you need to be the most accomplished, know-it-all, confident person in all of the land starts to hit. SAT scores, volunteer hours, and GPA are all that matter in life. That party on Saturday is not going to happen, and you need to get at least a 25 on your ACT before you can even think about watching the latest episode of your favourite television show. It’s no wonder your hair is turning grey because of the stress. But in all honesty, once you move past this time of just incredible pain and suffering, you’re going to realize that it isn’t the end of the world.Read More