College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: Life Changes

Showing posts with label Life Changes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life Changes. Show all posts

May 18, 2016

How to Get Through High School Graduation

Somebody told me once that change happens quickly, you can try to manage it, but in today’s world, it is best if you just hold on tight and take the ride!

April is a crazy month for graduating high school seniors. If you are a senior reading this blog, you are probably feeling pulled in many directions right now and a little overwhelmed! Final papers and final exams are probably keeping you up at night as well as the uncertainty of the future such as college selection and acceptance, scholarships, awards… the list goes on and on! And what about those little details such as deciding what to wear for graduation or giving your parents the guest list for your graduation ceremony and graduation party… I think you get the picture.

My point! This is an exciting time in your life. In a few short weeks, it will all come together and you’ll be walking across that platform to receive your hard earned diploma and many decisions will be settled. We’ve all been there!

In the meantime, just take a deep breath and remember to focus on the important tasks and decisions at hand. Remember that both you and your family may be a little overwhelmed right now with this life changing event. You’re preparing to leave home and your family is preparing to let you go! It is a huge life change for everyone! So, while you may not be able to control change, you can make the transition easier for yourself and those close to you. Focus on the decisions and activities that require your undivided attention and allow your family to assist you with the rest. In the end, it will make high school graduation and your move to college a much happier experience and memory for everyone! Enjoy the ride! Live DormSmart!

Already attending college? Help your future underclassmen by sharing your high school graduation experience.

February 4, 2012

Home From College But Where's My Bedroom?

When you head home from college during break, don’t be surprised if there have been some big changes at home, including your bedroom, read on...

Home From College But Where's My Bedroom?
When my eldest daughter, Jamie, left for Radford University she told me repeatedly that she was not planning to come home for school breaks. She wanted to travel on spring break with friends and in the summers take on different jobs, maybe by the beach. As a first time parent of a college bound freshman, initially I tried to hang on tight and force her home, unsuccessfully!

Feeling the loss one afternoon, shortly after Jamie’s birthday, I could no longer bear to look at her empty room so I packed up and stored her things, moved her youngest sister into her bedroom... then turned her sister’s room into a personal space for myself. When Jamie finally came home, she felt a little lost and betrayed, as if she didn’t belong anymore. So here is my advice for both students and parents…

Advice for College Bound Freshman

When you leave for college, remember mom and dad may initially feel a little lost. After all, just 24 hours before dropping you off in your campus dorm room far away from home your mom may have had to help you find a missing article of clothing you just had to take to campus while dad probably loaded all your stuff into the car. Just imagine how scary it must feel for your parents to leave you on campus alone. So while you may be feeling that new found independence of a college freshman, don’t pull a “Jamie” and repeatedly tell your parents you are never coming home to live again. While you may not intend it to be hurtful, it does sting a little. To this day, Jamie and I laugh about it because she has moved home on more than one occasion since leaving for college.

If you do come home for summer break to find your bedroom has been turned into an art or photography studio, try not to take it personally. Maybe mom just needed to make changes to help her adjust to your leaving the nest. If your old room means that much to you and you feel robbed of your space, talk to your mom about how you are feeling but keep in mind that you are an adult now and will soon be moving from your dorm room into your first place so does it really matter where you sleep if it helps mom let go?

Advice for Parents of College Bound Freshman

When your student leaves for college, especially your first born, it can be heart wrenching. While you may feel excited for them, you may also feel a sense of loss. Those feelings should pass in time and be replaced with a new found independence of your own, meaning you have a little more time to pursue your own interests. If those interests require the use of your student’s bedroom you may want to ease them into the transition… Don’t let your student come home from college for summer break and be surprised by the changes, work it out ahead of time. Just remember, most of us felt a sense of loss when our childhood bedroom was no longer ours… it’s a natural progression.

Good luck to your entire family this coming school year and remember to live dorm smart!

December 29, 2011

The 5 Worst Mistakes I Made My Freshman Year At College... Get the Dorm 411!

"...I was so excited my freshman year of college. I could not wait to move into my dorm room, meet new people, and have new experiences. Surprisingly, all of this newfound freedom left me feeling a little lost. As a result, I made a few common freshman mistakes along the way..."

1. Getting involved with the older coeds…
Somehow I thought I needed to be a part of the in crowd. Of course, at that time, I was a freshman at Tulane University… far from home and the comfort of my family and childhood friends. Being insecure in my newfound freedom, I thought it was so cool being one of the only freshmen invited to their parties. My advice for incoming freshman is to be yourself, and the right friends will surface in process.
2. Getting involved in a romantic relationship…
The right relationships can be fun. It is nice to go out, meet new people, and experience new things. However, college is a time of self discovery so getting involved too soon in a serious romantic relationship can completely derail you, both personally and professionally. Enjoy the college experience.
3. Not taking campus safety seriously…
One of my biggest mistakes and the hardest to share with readers… I felt invincible, like it couldn’t happen to me… I was wrong. I trusted a friend. I went to his dorm room to study alone and became a victim. BIG MISTAKE! Always take precautions on and off campus. For example, only study and travel in groups, carry personal safety products approved for your campus, lock you dorm door even when you are there, and don’t allow yourself to become impaired by alcohol. Live smart, and stay safe!
4. Failing to balance…
One of the hardest things for most college students their freshman year, myself included, is learning to balance personal activities, classes, and study time. College is a balancing act that must be performed throughout life, so it is the perfect opportunity to master this skill. Classes are only a semester or quarter long, so do not procrastinate when it comes to studying. Once you are behind, it is almost impossible to catch up. If you’ve been skipping classes, your professor will not be sympathetic. Bottom line, while it is important to set a schedule for personal activities to alleviate stress and create a sense of belonging, it is equally important to attend class and study consistently. Balance!
5. Failing to take care of my health…

Freshman year, I was all about working out, rock hard abs. However, between going out, pulling all nighters, and failing to maintain a healthy diet, I got sick a lot! As a result of my lifestyle, I struggled to maintain my grades. As an honor student on a full ride academic scholarship at one of the top 50 business schools in the country, failing to eat properly and get enough sleep were not my smartest choices.
In hindsight, all of the mistakes that I made my freshman year came from a place of insecurity, leaving the comforts of home and my childhood friends to embark upon a new adventure. Oddly enough, I grew up with a strong sense of self; so it surprised me, my friends, and my family. Trust in yourself. Don’t lose sight of who you are throughout your freshman year. If you have already started making these mistakes, just remember… it is never too late to make changes and redeem yourself.

Live Dorm Smart,


April 13, 2011

High School Graduates: Always reach for the impossible, make it possible!

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra." ~Jimmy Johnson

With your high school graduation fast approaching and a future full of infinite possibilities before you, always remember to reach for what may seem to be impossible… take a chance. Just remember as you embark upon your future, your freshman year of college, that it’s important to believe in yourself, in your vision for yourself! And when nay sayers try to discourage you or make you believe that your dreams are impossible, remember those are usually people who are too afraid to take a chance or who are possibly failing. Just think about all the successes in the world.

Ron Rice, Hawaiian Tropic

Did you know that Ron Rice started Hawaiian Tropic mixing his first batches in a trash can in his garage? Ron has grown Hawaiian Tropic into an internationally recognized brand, with over 125 products distributed around the world.

Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields

Did you know that Debbi Fields, a young mother with no business experience, opened her first cookie store in Palo Alto, California in 1977, Mrs. Fields Cookies? Sound familiar? They told her she was crazy. No business could survive just selling cookies. She walked up and down the street with a plate of cookies asking pedestrians to try them. Her cookies are now sold worldwide, a leader in the industry.

"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it." ~Debbi Fields
John Paul DeJoria, John Paul Mitchell Systems

Did you know that John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems was so short of cash during his business start up that he slept out of his car? He and his business partner Paul Mitchell had $700 between the two of them… just enough to pay their graphic designer for the label on their hair care products. The famous label is black and white because that’s all they could afford. According to Forbes, their sales are estimated to be $900 million annually and Dejoria’s personal worth at $4.2 billion.

Do I even need to go into facebook starting out in a dorm room?  I think we know that story! As you move to campus and settle into your dorm room, just imagine the success stories that started right there.

My point… it’s important in life to have faith, to believe in yourself, to pursue your dreams, to be positive, to be ethical, and respectful of others… in school, at home, and in your future business endeavors. Operating with integrity will always allow you to operate from a position of strength not weakness.

Congratulations on your success! I wish you continued success throughout your life and I hope you reach for the impossible... make it possible!

Live Dorm Smart!

Christi Leslie
Founder & CEO,
Creator of