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Kayla Riley

More by Kayla Riley

The Pros and Cons of Moving Back Home After College

5/10/2014

Spring has sprung, finals are behind you for good and you will never have to wear that itchy polyester graduation gown again, though we have to admit it looked great on you. You have finally hit one of life’s major milestones — you’ve graduated college. So what now? For those of you who don’t have a permanent job, internship or travel plans lined up right away—or even for some of you who do—it might mean you’re moving back home. The question is, how can you stay sane when facing financial issues, family drama, and all the potential pitfalls of returning home after school? Lucky for you, we’re here to show you how, and you just might find that it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Pro: Rent-free living!

One of the major benefits of heading home after school is that unlike living in a dorm or an apartment, staying in your childhood bedroom is free of charge! You might want to take down those embarrassing *N SYNC posters, but otherwise, living at home comes with this notable, wallet-friendly perk. Unless your parents have asked you to chip in monetarily, moving back home will give you the unique opportunity to save money while planning your next move, before your student loans start coming due.

Christina Troy graduated from Merrimack College in 2009 and decided to move back home for a while. She appreciated not having to pay rent and was able to take advantage of her time at home to save for the future.

“If your parents are accommodating to you, and you're fortunate enough to not have to pay rent, then financially you are going to be in a great position when you do move out on your own. The money you save now will be a great thing to have when you choose to either rent or buy in the long run,” she said.

10 Ways to Ruin Your Next Campus Visit

1/14/2014

You've finally narrowed down a few of your favorite colleges, and after stacking your desk high with college brochures, you're ready to take the next step. It's time to take a college tour! You have done everything right so far, from juggling extracurriculars to acing your SATs, so why risk your reputation at your future alma mater by committing a faux pas on your next visit? Here are a few pitfalls to avoid when you tour the college of your choice.

1. Ask how much the college costs

All the tuition information you need about a college can be found on its website or in one of those nifty free pamphlets. It's no secret that higher education can be expensive, but there's no need for you to bring up the college's price tag in the middle of a tour.

Elizabeth Schmitt, a freshman at Mount Holyoke, went on over 15 college tours and remembers hearing this question often.

“In almost every one, some person just had to ask,” she said. “The reaction was always very awkward.”

Instead of focusing on the cost of attendance, try considering the fun, free aspects of a school. Many universities offer benefits to their students such as free entrance to athletic events, free tutoring and counseling, and social events. Ask your guide about those!

As for specific cost questions, direct those to the financial aid office. College websites and brochures can only give rough estimates of tuition, room and board, and fees. The ultimate cost will depend on your family's finances and financial need, so even if a guide wanted to give you an accurate number, they couldn't. Set up a meeting with the financial aid office to go over all the details.

2. Take your girlfriends with you

How To Deal With An Overpacked Schedule

9/16/2013

Cover a friend's shift at work? Single-handedly organize a last-minute fundraiser? Babysit your cousin's three kids on the night before a major exam? Yes, why not? We've all been there. Request after request comes flying in from all areas of our lives and before we know it, we've said yes to them all. One look at our planners will tell us that we've overbooked ourselves because we just can't say "no". Whether we think it'll make us seem rude or we've convinced ourselves that we can handle it, too many of us are filling our plates with way too many obligations. Here’s the deal on how to deal.

1. Simplify

First off, decide what really matters in your life. That sounds complicated, but it isn't if you just take a closer look at everything on your to-do list. Are you involved in four different clubs at once? Which of those have something directly to do with your major or something you're passionate about? If you find yourself in horseback riding club, scuba club, poetry club and student government but you're on track to become your state's next senator, consider weeding out a few of your less necessary commitments.

"I'm the captain of my Division 1 varsity golf team, write a weekly column for my student newspaper, I'm taking 18 credit hours, and I manage the Her Campus chapter at my school," Jaime Ritter of University of Alabama at Birmingham. "I balance things by DVRing my favorite shows as a treat when I get done with my homework, blogs, and practice."

Kylie Cole, Prevention and Education Coordinator & Staff Psychologist at the University of Maine, has a few tips for those who have trouble saying “no”.

How to Plan a Summer Eurotrip

4/24/2013

We know how much you love your summer job scooping ice cream at the snack bar, but if you want a little adventure once school is out this year, it might be time to plan a summer Eurotrip. That may sound like a distant dream, but with a little work, plenty of planning and the financial backing behind it, you can make a trip to your favorite European destination happen. Fear not, collegiette — your passport won’t be blank for long.

Tip 1: Find a friend or two

As fun and fearless as you may be, planning a trip to Europe can be complicated, especially if it’s your first time traveling internationally. Find someone who is willing to go on the summer trip of a lifetime, but make sure you can get along with them for longer than a few hours.

Traveling brings out the best and worst in people, and you might be surprised to find that you and your best friend aren’t exactly chummy after you miss your train, your carry-on gets stolen and she loses her passport. The best way to plan for travel is to expect the unexpected, and that means choosing someone who bounces back from disappointments easily and can keep calm in crazy situations.

And don’t be afraid to travel solo, either! A trip on your own can be a great chance to get to know a country and expand your horizons on your own terms. If you’re looking to meet new people, a tour can be a great option. We love Contiki, which organizes tons of tours all over the world for people 18-35.

How to Stay Motivated When the Weather Gets Nice: 5 Spring Study Tips

4/10/2013

The snow has melted, the grass is green and you’re finally swapping clunky winter boots for sassy spring sandals. But like it or not, there are still a few weeks left in the semester, which means you can’t kiss the campus library goodbye just yet. Between daydreams about summer travel plans, the internship of a lifetime you’ve just landed or just simpler days spent in the sun, here are a few ways to get yourself motivated and finish the semester strong.

1. Stay studious in the sun

On those days when beams of sunlight are coming through the blinds and the thought of spending one more minute among stacks of books or in your stuffy dorm room is too much to bear, take it outside! It might sound challenging, but studying can be done outside. The trick is to find something on your massive to-do list that can be checked off while getting your daily dose of Vitamin D.

“I try to find something that can be done outside that’s not on a computer, like reading or sketching,” said Julie Herbert, a senior collegiette at the University of Maine.

So when warm weather calls, don’t ignore it — just grab your shades and a textbook to combine cramming with satisfying your spring fever. Leave the laptop behind and you might find yourself actually reading that hefty anthropology textbook instead of checking Facebook every five minutes. And no, that doesn’t count as studying anthropology.

The Top 5 Internship Myths (& the Truth About Them)

3/23/2013

After suffering one phone interview after the other and tirelessly printing out copies of your résumé, you have finally landed the perfect internship. You're ready to show the company what a rising star you are, but what can you expect on your first day? There are plenty of myths about internships these days, but we're here to tell you that you won't be spending all your precious time juggling cups of hot coffee and paper-pushing. Not everyone's boss is a Miranda Priestley a la The Devil Wears Prada, and the impression you make at your next internship can bring you that much closer to your dream job. Here are the top five internship myths, and the truth you need to know about them now.
 
Myth #1: Interns have no power

Sure, interns are often young, eager and willing to take on just about any task that is offered in order to make a good impression. But interns have much more value within a company than you'd think.
 
Kelsey Mulvey, a sophomore at Boston University, recently interned for Indie Lee & Co., a natural beauty product company based out of South Salem, New York. She found that her boss appreciated it when she spoke her mind on issues that mattered to the company.
 
“I think it's really important to give it your all,” she said. “Always ask them how you can help and be honest! If you're just a bobble-head at an internship, your bosses are going to think that you're passive and aren't that invested in the company.

How to Follow Up on Internship Applications

3/20/2013

With summer fast approaching, you have applied to every internship you can think of and are now checking your phone and email obsessively waiting to hear back. It's worse than the three-day waiting period after a great first date—it's been almost a week now and you're dying to find out what that company thinks of your stellar résumé and solid references. Well, wait no longer. It's time to actively seek the internship opportunity you're vying for, and we're here to show you how! 
 
Step 1: Network before you apply

The 10 Most Employable Majors

2/25/2013

So you've made it to graduation day and you're about to cross the stage proudly as your parents take far too many flash photos and cry tears of joy. With any luck and a few all-nighters, you've met your goals and are ready to join the working world, but based on your major, how likely are you to land a job once you graduate college? Check out our list of the 10 most employable majors below, and see if yours made the cut! 
  
1. Computer Engineering 

For those of you who can set up a new computer in a few minutes flat and are always fielding desperate calls from friends about their technology woes, you're in luck. It turns out that your tech-savvy ways can be put to use even in today's touchy economic climate. A Forbesmagazine study revealed that the average salary for a computer engineer with five or fewer years of experience is $60,500.
 
If you're interested in technology and can solve problems quickly on your own or with the help of a team, computer engineering might be the major for you. In a technology-driven world, there's always a need for someone who can make sense of a motherboard or help create the latest software program.
 
A computer engineering major may sound a bit obscure, but there are 313 colleges in the U.S. that offer a four-year undergraduate program.
 
2. Pharmacology 

How to Deal with 5 Pesky Questions About the College Application Process

1/2/2013

As you work toward the glorious day when you will walk onstage with that polyester cap and gown to proudly accept your high school diploma, people may be asking a lot of annoying questions, ranging from how you plan to pay for school to how high your SAT scores are. The truth is, it’s none of their business! Her Campus talked to etiquette consultant Melissa Leonard of Establish Yourself to learn how to deal with five of those pesky questions about the college application process while staying calm, cool and collected.

Scenario 1: Money matters

Impressed by the top school you've just gotten into, a classmate asks — how are you going to pay for that?

It’s no secret that paying for college is difficult. No matter what your financial situation is, the high cost of tuition at your school of choice can be a burden. It’s only natural for people to be curious about how you plan to make it through your college education without signing away your first-born child, Rumpelstiltskin-style.

So how can you avoid this ultra-personal question without seeming rude?

“Say, 'Yes, college has become expensive these days, hasn't it? I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to attend [name of college or university] and quickly change the subject,” Leonard said. “You certainly don't want to be perceived as privileged and ungrateful, nor do you want to get into the nitty gritty of the stresses of financial aid, partial scholarship or just plain racking up the debt with loans.”

The Strangest College Mascots: Part III

6/18/2012

Before the players hit the field, court, or rink, college mascots are there to get fans on their feet and work the crowd while making a lasting impression of the school they represent. It’s hard to say what impression the schools below wanted to make when they decided to have a tree or an angry religious figure setting the stage for their sports, but here they are just the same — some of the nation’s strangest college mascots to ever grace a sporting event, part three. If you thought part one and part two were strange, you haven’t seen anything yet.

1. Demon Deacons – Wake Forest University
In a surprising twist that Disney never anticipated, Wake Forest has teamed a bad guy with one of the good guys of religion to make the fearsome and famous Demon Deacon mascot. Until 1922, the rather boring Baptists and the not-so-bold Old Gold and Black represented Wake Forest University. But after a fiendish finish against Trinity College, Mayor Parker, editor of the school paper, wrote the headline “Demon Deacons” and launched the alliteration that would lead to the dapper mascot of Wake Forest.