Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Make the Most of your College Visits

For many High School Juniors and Seniors now is the time that you will be college hunting! A year ago I was still with y'all in the search, believe me I know it can be a long one! I know that I talked to my college counselor so often about what I should do on campus tours and any tips she may have had. I decided this post would be the type of post I would have looked for during my tour experiences to make the most of them!

One of the biggest tips I can give in regards to visiting colleges would be to visit as many colleges as you can. By doing this you are able to come up with a list of things you like and don't like narrowing your search down immensely! Certainly don't close off options before seeing what you are judging! I was fortunate enough to have that feeling lots of people talk about in relation to colleges and wedding dresses about knowing where you belong once you are on the campus.

When visiting Furman my junior year my mom had to tell me to stop telling her how much I loved it. Once on campus I knew that was where I wanted to be! Now, I also understand that where you want to be may not necessarily be where you end up (scholarships, acceptance, etc definitely play a role and y'all know that).

Below I have compiled a list of things you can do to make the very most of your college tour!

Make the most of college visits

1. Walk in the Front:
Most tour guides are students who are showing you the school they chose when they were in your shoes. Take advantage of this similarity and walk in the front and get to know them. Not only will it allow them to see your genuine interest but will also allow you a view of the school from someone who is loving their experience there. By walking in the front you won't get lost in the crowd and will likely be able to learn first hand about the application and scholarship process that could be pivotal to your future at any college.

2. Ask lots of Questions:
By following tip number one you are already in the perfect position to begin asking questions. Many of things you may want answered may also be answered on online sites but hearing from a liaison to the University can be indispensable. Don't only ask the basics like "are classes hard" but instead ask unexpected questions that you are hoping to know the answers to! The best person to ask these questions to is a current student which leads me to tip number three...

3. Talk to a Current Student:
I would consider myself a relatively outgoing person and I am pretty good at making conversation however sometimes chatting with current students (when it's unplanned and you don't know them) can just be plain awkward! Talking to a current student is the best way to learn about the students, workload, things to do, and food options on campus. They are the ones experiencing the schools therefore they know best! PS. If you are considering Furman and are coming for a visit I would love to sit down with you and  talk about my experience! Don't hesitate to email me

4. Explore the Campus on your Own:
While school guided campus tours are terrific it is great to take some time to explore the campus on your own. In college you will not have someone guiding you around so attempt to explore it on your own! This will allow you time to utilize tip number 6!

5. Make a Pro / Con list:
You will be looking at lots of different colleges and chances are you will mix up some of the campuses. Be sure to make a pro/con list after each tour so that you can look back on your experience and better recollect on your experience. Be sure to make this pro/con list based on your own opinion, not what you have heard other people say about the school or opinions other people in your group have voiced. Frankly, they are not the one who will be experiencing the school decision you make so do not let them form your opinion of a school this pro/con list needs to be filled with the stuff YOU like and what YOU dislike!

6. Spend time in the Library, Dining Hall, and Dorms:
These are the places that as a student you will spend the majority of your time so be sure to get a feel for the atmosphere and layout of these locations! Be sure to see a freshman dorm room, let's face it, you need to know the size and setup so that you can start imagining decorating your dorm there. The dining hall and library are hubs for students! If you can, eat a meal in the dining hall and do plenty of people watching to get a feel for what it is like in this place where you will spend plenty of time and after a meal head on over to the Library! As much as you don't want to hear this, you will spend lots and lots (and lots) of time in the library, it is the perfect place to get away and get some studying accomplished along with a bit of socializing so it is a essential for you to check it out!

7. Take some Pictures:
You will want to remember your experiences at these different college campuses so why not remember them with pictures! Also, taking pictures will allow you to better recall things you experienced while touring the college!

8. Explore the Surrounding Area:
There is more to choosing a college than just the campus. You definitely need to take into account the area around campus. If you are the type of person who wants to be near a city that will affect where you look at schools! I love downtown Greenville and loved exploring it for the first time when on my first tour of Furman! Take advantage of shopping around (with your parents money) before you are on a college kid budget!

Good luck on your college search!
What tips do you have for college searching students?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


After what seemed like eternity rush came and went! While it was a lengthy process and one in which I remained pretty anxious I could not be more ecstatic about the results!

I am now a Kappa Delta at Furman University!

Below is just a glimpse at what this past Sunday was and don't worry, I'll be back with a picture heavy post before you know it!

 I am so excited to be able to share my experiences with y'all!
I will have posts coming up all about my experience with recruitment (if y'all want to hear?) and don't doubt that you will be seeing lots of pictures around here soon (that and lots of green and kd's)!

P.S. I can not thank y'all enough for all of the supportive emails, comments, and tweets about the entirety of this process, y'all are the best!

P.S.S. This is my most favorite graphic I've ever created to date, let me know what you think!

One happy KD!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Announcement: Blogger Breakfast in Bed {Feb.1}

I am ecstatic to announce a huge blog collaboration that I am hosting on February 1st! I thought of this at the end of December and have been over joyed all month to host this event! The positive response from some of y'all on social media doesn't hurt either!

What might this be you may ask?

This is a collaboration from bloggers all over the internet of them creating a post answering some questions I have sent them while enjoying breakfast in bed in some cozy pajamas!

Here is the invite I made! Pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Get excited for February 1st and be sure to stop by here for a link list of everyone participating, I promise it won't disappoint! 

Want to join in on the fun? Post a photo of you in some pajamas eating breakfast in bed and tag me @prepinyourstep with the hashtag #blogbreakfastinbed for a chance to see yourself on here sometime in February!

Can't wait for our virtual date!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nailed It - Winter Shades

If y'all have been around here for a while or follow me on instagram (which you should @prepinyourstep) then you know that I LOVE nailpolishes, specifically Essie! You can see my all time favorites here!

I feel like the winter time is the perfect time for neutrals and some colors that pop, here are my favorites from this winter (although a few got cut out of the picture)!

My favorite top coat of the moment - Seche Vite Dry Quick

(in order of appearance including partially seen polishes)

Sand Tropez, Moccacino, Sable Collar, In Stitches, Snap Happy, Parka Perfect, Mind Your Mittens

What are your favorite winter polishes?

I am dying to get Essie's After School Boy Blazer, such a pretty navy!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Perfect College Care Package

With it being winter and the weather being a bit dreary, now would be the perfect time to brighten your favorite college students day by sending a package their way! Personally, my day gets 15 times better when my phone buzzes with an email from Furman's postal service stating that I have a package. Send that excitement someones way with these fool proof prizes.
(PS - this is geared towards gals so if you want a guys version let me know)

Throw in a combination of these items or the whole bunch!

The Perfect College Care Package

1. Coffee Gift Card:

It comes as no surprise that coffee keeps many of us college students engaged and alert! Load it up with $10 or $15 and they will surely thank you every sip. Be sure to find out what coffee shop they have on campus so that you can get them a giftcard for there!

2. Homemade Sweets:

The perfect taste of home! The dining hall gets old, I know that and I have only had one semester of experience with it! Send them their favorite snack but be sure to send enough for them to share since that is inevitable. 

3. Magazines:

Magazines are quite the luxury in college! Free time (if you are lucky enough to get any) usually isn't spent getting away from everything going on. A magazine if the perfect way to tell your favorite college kid to take a break and relax now and then!

4.  Nail Polish and Socks:

Going along with the idea of relaxation show your college kid that it is more than acceptable to pamper yourself!

5. Movie:

Throw in a fabulous movie! Some of my favorite weekend nights are spent watching movies with friends in the dorms. Feel free to throw in popcorn as well!

6. Any Necessity:

Whether it is shampoo, toothpaste, or face wash I know how frustrating it is to spend your allowance on these sort of things! This way you will feel like your package is necessary!

If anyone needs my address after this post let me know!

What are your favorite things to receive in the mail?

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Semester Necessities

With my new semester beginning today I though there would be no better time than now to share my necessities to make the semester a little brighter!
new semester necessities

1. Notebooks:

I have 4 classes this semester therefore I have 4 notebooks this semester. My favorites are 5 star's three-subect notebooks, college-ruled of course! Be sure to get a different color for each class (you can coordinate it with the pen you use to write assignments down in your agenda) and throw a monogrammed sticker on the front to personalize it! PS. If necessary you can rib out the subject dividers to make 1 mega notebook, that is my favorite way to do it! Check out lots of my favorite notebooks here.

2. Agenda:

Don't have one? Get up and go get one now! Who knows if I would get anywhere or have accomplished anything without mine. Grab a pretty one (Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Sugar Paper La for Target) and get organized! Check out how I organize mine here!

3. Le Pen + Bic:

My killer combo! Not much explanation needed here. Le Pen are essential for my agenda and to-do lists while Bic Atlantis Pens are my favorite for note taking! (Highlighters rock too!)

4. Colorful Post Its and Pretty Note Pads:

Certainly necessary for to-do lists, my favorites! I am much more inclined to accomplish tasks if I can check a box or cross an item off. Am I the only one who thinks that way?

5. Pretty Paper Attachers:

Can you say Kate Spade binder clips or paper clips? I die! I need these in my life to encourage cohesiveness in my school work this semester!

6. Binder:

Throw some dividers in here and this is the perfect place to put handouts for all you classes! It is nice only need one!

Do you have any favorites or tips for me?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Before Bedtime Routine

I know what you are thinking, this post is going to be incredible boring but I will not be boring you with a description of when I shower and what toothpaste I use. But instead, I am sharing with y'all the last things I do before I turn my lights off. Some of these are old habits and some are new and hopeful habits. Me time is difficult to come by in college and I think right before I go to sleep is the perfect way to re-energize and re-focus my thoughts!

Before Bed Routine

1. Jesus Calling:

This is my third year of reading this devotion and it is simply amazing. Somehow it tells me exactly what I need to hear each night as if it were written specifically for me!

2. Every Day Memory: 

I have just started using this fabulous book to record my favorite memory of each day (see reason here). Whoever came up with this book is brilliant, it will last me five years and will be such a fun way to reflect from year to year and day to day. This is forcing me to be more positive! (see #13 and #4 here)

3. Love Does:

I have heard so many of positive things about this book and my roommate is reading it and loves it! It is all about discovering an incredible life in an ordinary world, again with the positive thoughts!

4. Chapstick, Hand lotion, and Lights Out:

Gotta moisturize! 

While this does seem like a lot to do and sleep depravation is ever-present I will be doing my very best to keep it up!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, Organized You

Most of y'all know that I am an organization obsessor bordering on OCD! Since many people have New Year Resolutions based upon organization I decided I would share some links to my past organization posts!

+ video of dorm room

How are you going to organize more this year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Semester Reflection - Freshman Year

It is absolutely unreal to think that I am already 1/8th of the way finished with college. I was almost sad when a friend of mine told me that considering these are supposed to be the best four of my life and they are already flying by. It is crazy to think that this time last year I had no idea where I would be attending college and wouldn't even hear back from Furman until February. Furman is definitely the right school for me and I thought that now would be a great time to reflect on my experiences thus far.

I know a lot of people have a hard time adjusting to living away at college and I think that going to camp during the summers and working at camp nearly all last summer really made my adjustment easier. (Although I won't deny the fact that I cried when my parents first left) It also really helped that I ended up with a fantastic roommate and a great bunch of girls on my hall! I am so thankful to have been blessed with such a great group of girls who I know I can go to at any time and they would be more than willing to help me in any way knowing I would do the same for them! This is the precious group of girls that I am going to New York with for Spring Break! I am also so glad that Shannon who blogs at Prep Avenue and I have become so close and I can not wait to continue to get to know her better! She did a post like this that you can find here.

I know that your roommate can have a major influence on how your freshman year goes considering for me at least she was one of the few people I knew before heading off to school and we had only met once. Our living situation could not have worked out more beautifully and hopefully if things turn out our way in January we will be roommates again next year! We clicked from the beginning and I know she is going to be a lifelong best friend!

The hardest transition for me came with being "new." I have gone to the same school since fifth grade and I graduated with 53 other people that I have known for ages. We all knew each others talents, hobbies, parents, and middle names which is one reason my college search focused on smaller liberal arts schools as opposed to large universities! With all of that being said, I have not been new since fifth grade. It was really strange coming to a school and no one knowing anything about me. No one knew how much I loved soccer or how I participated in many clubs that meant a lot to me in high school. For some this blank slate could be great but I didn't completely want to ignore my past, I was proud of what I accomplished in high school!

Fortunately though, I feel like my high school did a great job of preparing me for the workload I would face in college. I have always been very driven when it comes to academics but separating school time from "play" time in college is a little tricky since technically you never leave school! Pretty much everyone at Furman is super smart and sometimes I feel like if I am not being diligent all the time I may fall behind. There were many Saturdays that I spent working on projects and papers (thank goodness my research paper is finished) and my parents were great about reminding me to have some fun too. Sometimes you need someone to remind you that while these grades really matter now and it is great to focus on them college is about something more.

I know this next semester will allow me more opportunities, more friendships, and hopefully just as much fun! I can't wait to head back in a few weeks!

Blog Design by Get Polished