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Alicia Thomas

More by Alicia Thomas

7 Reasons Why Community College is Awesome

9/26/2014

Chances are, you didn’t grow up wearing T-shirts and hats adorned with the mascot or logo of your local community college. Most people don’t grow up daydreaming about one day attending community college, but when the time comes to graduate, tons of collegiettes realize that it’s a better alternative for all kinds of reasons. If you had your heart set on your dream school and ended up in community college—or if you made the choice on your own from the get-go!—then you should read these reasons why community college is actually awesome. 

1) Your wallet will be so much less empty 

Whether they’re public schools or private schools, in-state or out-of-state, colleges carry a seriously scary price tag. But at community colleges, the cost of attendance is much cheaper. Based on a study by The Center for College Affordability & Productivity, an independent nonprofit research center in Washington, D.C., “tuition levels for [community college] students are seldom much more than one-half of what they are at four-year schools.” Specifically, the CCAP cites that students at community colleges “save, on average, $4,183 in tuition over public four-year institutions, and $22,741 when compared to private four-year schools.” 

The 6 Snapchats You Should Never Send a Guy

9/15/2014

As collegiettes in the 21st century, we’re presented with so many ways to flirt with guys without actually having to flirt with them in person. Technology makes it easy: “like” a guy’s Instagram photo, Facebook chat with him and he could be yours! But technology can complicate things, too. With apps like Tinder and Snapchat, it’s easy to accidentally cross the line from casual flirtations to cringe-worthy interactions. So how do you know where the line is when it comes to Snapchat? We asked college guys like Penn State junior Jake Adams, University of Richmond senior Andrew Valenski and recent Temple grad Nate Bronson to offer some insight on what they and their male friends are into (and not-so-into) when it comes to getting Snapchats from collegiettes: the annoying, the weird and the scandalous.

1. The Never-Ending Snapchat Series

Maybe you think that the guy you’re talking to wants to know what you’re doing all day at work. Or maybe you just happen to look really good and want him to see your good hair day as much as possible. Either way, Andrew says that you shouldn’t send too many Snapchats to a guy if you don’t want to annoy him.

“It’s not like sending one every once in a while is bad,” says Andrew. “But when you start getting more than three from the same person in a day it’s like, ‘alright, you’ve gotta calm down, girl.’”

Nate agrees: “I hate when a girl sends me a picture of every task she does all day long. I don’t need to see every thing you check off your to-do list from breakfast to bedtime.”

7 Adventurous Date Ideas

7/31/2014

Some collegiettes hear the word “date” and their minds immediately jump to the typical dinner-and-a-movie date night seen in every rom-com since the ‘80s. However, other collegiettes are out there just waiting to meet the guy who will sweep them off their feet… and onto a rock-climbing wall. If you’re the kind of girl who would rather be the heroine of an action movie than a romantic comedy, here are a few adventurous date ideas that would be right up your alley.

1. Make a Skate Date

Though the last pair of roller skates you laced up might have been bright pink and boasting Barbie’s face, get ready to lace up for a big-girl version of rollerblading! It’s a fun, adventurous way to get active with your guy. Whether you hold hands and slow-skate around your local roller rink or you race each other all around town, you’re bound to have a blast. Be sure to wear a helmet!

2. Take a Hike

Dating in a New City: Where to Start

6/3/2014

Moving to a new city can be rough. Once you’ve found an apartment and have gone through the grueling pack-unpack-decorate process, you’re still faced with the daunting task of meeting new people --especially guys. If thinking about trying to find a date in a new city makes your palms start to sweat, then keep reading—Her Campus is here with a list of easy ways to help you meet guys after you move!

1. Join a club or a sports team

Just after a big move is the perfect time to branch out and try something new! Whether you’re athletic or creative, it’s likely that classes are offered in something you’ve always wanted to try right in your new hometown. Taking a class or joining a recreational sports team could be the perfect way to meet the man of your dreams! Hit a pottery class at the local community center, or join a fitness class at the gym on your block.

There are likely soccer, kickball, or softball leagues in your new hometown, too, along with loads of other sports. Whether you’ve played before or not, joining these teams can give you a great opportunity to meet athletic, fun guys at the practices and games (and to celebrate with them after a big win!).  

If you want to get the ball rolling early, join a social networking site like MeetUp.com that will help you find people in your area who share your interests. Doing what you love will help you find a guy who likes rock-climbing, photography, or whatever else you enjoy just as much as you do!

8 Reasons Why Staying Home for the Summer Isn’t the End Of the World

5/26/2014

Despite the amount of internship applications you sent out and your outstanding efforts to find something (anything!) to do with your summer, it’s time to face the truth: you’ll be staying home until school starts up again in the fall. Although you may feel frustrated, Her Campus is here to let you know that it’s not the end of the world—and why being home for the summer is actually pretty awesome.

1. It’s less expensive

If you were taking an internship for school credit, chances are that you wouldn’t be getting paid; in fact, on top of not receiving compensation, you’d actually be paying for the school credits you’d earn from that internship. That means you’d be in the red from the start… especially when you factor in the cost of housing, food, and living expenses in general. And even if you were lucky enough to score a paid internship, you’ll still have to pay those living expenses! While living in your parents’ house may make you feel like you’re in high school again, at least you’ll be saving money. Since you probably don’t have to pay rent or cover the costs of food and utilities, you’ll be saving loads of money just by settling down in your old bedroom until the start of the fall semester.

2. You can relax

Moving Away From Your Boyfriend After Graduation: How to Deal

5/9/2014

The semester is winding down, but this isn’t just any semester—it’s your final semester. You and your boyfriend bought your caps and gowns, and you’re ready to graduate!  The problem is, you’ll be grabbing your diplomas and walking off stage in totally different directions—you’re moving to different cities. Here’s a guide on how to know if you should stay together, what to expect once you part, and how to make it work.   

Should you stay together?

The first thing to note is that there is no time requirement. You don’t need to have been in a relationship for the entirety of your college years to justify staying together once you graduate!

Katie*, a 2010 graduate of Boston University, said she and her boyfriend hadn’t been together that long when they chose to make their relationship work after graduation. “We had started dating the summer before senior year, so we hadn’t been dating for years and years like some couples,” Katie says. “But we didn’t really think about breaking up.”

The second factor is being confident enough in your relationship to know that you can handle some temporary time in different places to pursue your ambitions. Katie’s boyfriend stayed in Boston to go to med school after graduation, while Katie followed her career in the media to New York City.

“I think the whole idea was to proceed with our lives knowing we’d just be in other cities, and understanding we’d both be busy with our new lives (mine in New York and his in med school),” Katie says. “If it became too difficult, we’d address it then.”

How to Create a Personal Website for Your Career

4/11/2014

By now, you’ve mastered the art of the résumé, perfected your LinkedIn profile, and maybe even started your own blog, so clearly you’re on the path to success. But on top of all of those awesome professional tools, should you have a personal website, too? 

To Make a Site or Not to Make a Site?

Creating a personal website is becoming increasingly common among college students, especially those in more creative fields like communications, photography, film, music, or art. Collegiettes looking to show off their skills tend to be advocates of creating personal websites. 

Sara*, a student at Kenyon College, has a personal website that includes a homepage with a narrative introduction, a PDF of her resume, some writing clips, her LinkedIn page, her Twitter page, and a link to email her directly.

“I purchased the domain for three years for a little under $200,” Sara said. “To be honest, I had no concept of whether or not that was a good price, I just felt I was making an investment in myself.” 

Sara said her website has been extremely effective—in fact, she has already been hired because a company viewed her website! “I did not even reach out to them,” she said. “I’m graduating in just over a month and highly recommend having a website to any college senior who feels they can have one.” 

5 Signs You’re In An Unhealthy Relationship

4/2/2014

You’ve probably known someone—whether it was a roommate, a sorority sister, or even your best friend—who just wouldn’t leave that jerk of a boyfriend. He kept treating her like crap, controlled her every move, and made her feel horrible about herself. Or maybe you were that someone. Either way, it’s clear that although we all grow up dreaming of that picture-perfect relationship with a guy who loves and supports us unconditionally, that’s not always the kind of relationship that we end up in. Here are a few signs that can help you determine whether the relationship that you’re in right now is downright toxic.

1. You’re obsessed with each other

It’s natural to wonder what your boyfriend is doing when he’s away from you. It’s unnatural to text him, Facebook message him, call him, and leave him four voicemails asking him exactly what he is doing at this very moment. While the two of you should have a part of your life dedicated to each other, you should also have (much larger) parts of your lives dedicated to yourselves.

It’s not always girls who are the obsessive ones, either—sometimes guys are the ones freaking out about where you are and whom you’re with.

“I had a friend on my abroad program this past fall that was in an unhealthy long-distance relationship, and I could tell because it was interfering with her everyday life,” says Jessica* from Skidmore College. “She always declined exploring the city or going out at night because she felt guilty if she didn't go home and Skype her boyfriend. Once, after she decided to stay out for dinner with us, her boyfriend even messaged another girl on the trip (whom he'd never met) and asked for her number so he could call her if he ever needed to know where his girlfriend was! After all of that controlling and guilt-tripping, he ended up cheating on her. It really took over (and took away from) her time abroad.”

6 Creative Ideas for a Date Night In

3/27/2014

Whether you’re unwilling to venture out into the chilly winter weather or you don’t have the money to blow on a fancy date night, there are some nights that you and your guy just don’t want to leave your cozy dorm or apartment. The next time you’re feeling a date night in but you want to do something more exciting than sit on the couch watching a few hours of TV, try one of these date ideas instead!

1. Be a Gamer

Guys associate video games with chilling out with their bros, so if you can pick up a controller and hold your own against him, it’ll be a major turn-on! Whether you’re playing Call of Duty on Xbox or you’re going old school with some Mario Party on the N64, if you can hit the right buttons, you’re in for a great night. Get some guy foods—wings, pretzels, chips, etc.—and show him that you’re just as much fun as a night with his friends! (Bonus: he gets to kiss you after the game’s over!)

2. Give Each Other Massages

Actually going out to the spa is crazy expensive, so why not get all of the pampering of a spa treatment in your own living room? All you need is to pick up a little massage oil from your local drugstore, put on some relaxing music, and light a few candles. Then melt his troubles away—but make sure he melts yours away, too! Check out this tutorial to become a master masseuse in time for your date night in.

3. Get in the Kitchen

Should You be an RA? The Perks & Pitfalls of Life as a Resident Assistant

3/27/2014

As spring semester draws to a close, you realize it’s time to figure out where you’ll live for the upcoming school year. So what’s it going to be? Renting an apartment with all of your friends and ignoring your weeping bank account? Or the sub-par supplemental dorm room, which may not be ideal, but is at least affordable?

It’s at this point that some of you smart cookies might snap your fingers as you realize—wait a minute!—RA’s get free room and board! That settles it. You’ll become an RA, and your housing woes will be no more. But hold your horses, collegiettes, because there’s a lot more to being an RA than just a free single room all to yourself.

Being a Resident Assistant is seriously time-consuming, and has the potential to be extremely difficult if you’re not in it for the right reasons (i.e., if you’re doing it to get the free housing). However, there are also a lot of things about being an RA that make the job an amazing experience! Before you sign up, make sure you know exactly what the position will involve:

1. You’re expected to be in your room pretty much all the time.

Excluding the time you spare for classes.  And the time you set aside for your extracurricular activities, although you’re not able to get as quite as involved on campus as you might want to, since your responsibility as a Resident Assistant is supposed to be your principal out-of-class activity. Any activity that could take you away from that needs to be approved by the RA coordinator before you sign up to join. Besides that, you can’t take any impromptu road trips when you’re supposed to be on shift, and any vacation time needs to be pre-approved by the RA coordinator way in advance.