My Favorite & Least Favorite Things About College

Whenever I go on Instagram and have a live story, people always ask me what my favorite and least favorite thing about college is. At first, I thought it was a silly question, like I’m just carrying on with daily life like always. But then after thinking more about it, I realized that college is a completely different atmosphere. Especially at JMU where it’s a campus in the middle of nowhere, it’s an entire different world. College can be a scary and extremely intimidating thing, even more so when you don’t know too much about living at college.

Today, I want to share my top 5 favorite and least favorite things about college and explain a little bit about why. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email!!

5 Favorite Things About College 

  1. Freedom — after the sadness of leaving home and your family subsides, the freedom of college starts to kick in and it’s an amazing feeling. You can study when you want, eat whenever you want, and honestly live life exactly as you want to. I mean you could go to parties on a Thursday night and literally nobody would care! It’s amazing. The point is, that you decided exactly what you want and how you want to do things. It’s important to be able to recognize this which is why freedom is so amazing.
  2. So many people — when going to college with 5,000 to even 20,000 people, you realize how unique everybody is. You will meet so many great people it college and there is surely a group for you. With the amount of people at school, you will find your group of friends and your home.
  3. Setting your own schedule — At college you set your own schedule. Yes, there will most likely be a list of certain subjects that you will have to take. At JMU, these are called general education courses. I have to take a science, a math, and an arts class to name a few but I am allowed to choose from any subject of math or any subject of science if I want. It’s just nice to take classes that you are actually interested in.
  4. Dorm Living — Everyone should get the experience to live in a dorm room. It’s a life changing experience. It’s not easy to live with a stranger for 8 months out of the year but it’s a real eye opener to other people around you. First, if you end up living on a great hall or in a great suite (like I did), it will feel like a year long sleepover. Dorm living will teach you things like respect, kindness, and compassion. Seriously y’all, my roommate, Jess, is the best! She really was a fantastic person to live with and just a great person all around. Living in a dorm is a great experience though and everybody should appreciate their time in a dorm room!
  5. Feeling like an adult — Towards the end of last summer, I was dying to get out of the house. I was super sad to leave my family and friends and I was also very afraid but I felt like it was just time to leave. I felt very ready and prepared to take on the real world (well, sort of the real world). Everything was on me in college. From setting a schedule, making and getting food, doing laundry, solving my problems… everything was my responsibility. It was nice to be treated like an adult from professors and from those around me. It gave me the boost of confidence and a little reassurance that I can handle life after school.

5 Least Favorite Things About College

  1. Lack of Privacy — When you’re a freshman in college the idea of privacy is stripped away from you. Sharing a dorm room with another person takes privacy away from you but sharing a bathroom with your hall also takes that option away from you as well. There were a few days where I just needed a good cry or needed to scream and I couldn’t really because there was no place for me to go and do that. My roommate was awesome and one time I walked in just totally a wreck and she knew I just needed a second alone and left which was so courteous and nice of her. The only place I could go to have a moment alone was my car and most freshman don’t have that.
  2. The food — The food at JMU is actually really good but after a while it gets old and it’s sometimes tough to make your own food and it’s not really feasible to be buying food. Also, during the winter I hated walking to go and get food. I know it sounds SO lazy but when you aren’t used to putting on Bean Boots and a puffy coat to get dinner from the kitchen you can see how it’s sometimes a little annoying. My dorm wasn’t too close to many food places either so it was a walk sometimes.
  3. Being away from my family — I was really homesick my first three months of college. Sometimes I just needed a hug from my mom or a funny joke from my dad to get me though the day and it wasn’t there for me when I got home from class. Calling home is always helpful but nothing beats being home. But there’s no way around it, you just have to suck it up and deal with it. It was nice being close enough to go home when I wanted to though.
  4. Tenured professors — I saw a big difference between tenured professors and professors that were not tenured. The work ethic between most was very different. I had a truly awful calculus professor last semester who was tenured and could barely hear, speak, and see but because he was tenured there was really nothing I could do about it. Again, it’s one of those things that you can’t control and just have to deal with. One of those life lessons that teaches you how to be patient and adopt hard work.
  5. Crowded library — Loved going to the library in the beginning of the year but once work stared picking up in the classroom more and more people came and it was tough to sometimes get a table. Throughout the year, I began to discover a few secret little studying spots which ended up being amazing but the crowded library (especially the last two weeks of the semester) was never one of my favorite things.

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

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It’s All for the Better

Exactly one year ago, I was accepted to James Madison University. JMU was the last place I heard back from and I was terrified that I wasn’t going to get it. I was very convinced that I was going to go to CNU but when I got the good new from JMU, I submitted my deposit the next day. I am so thankful for where I ended up going to college, it’s been a great year so far!

Since going to college so much has changed. For the better that’s for sure. I have learned to much about myself and about the world and I wouldn’t have been able to do so if I weren’t here. Everything has changed since I moved to college; from my though process to my sleep schedule. Here are some if the changes that college  has brought me…

Learning what to stand up for and what to forget

When you move to college you really are on your own. There’s no parents here to help you out when you need it. Truly, there are no adults here. When it comes to picking and choosing your battles college really teaches you how to do it. I learned this most when it comes to rooming with another person. There are some things that you should stand up for and some things you should let slide.

Establishing Beliefs 

In high school I never paid attention to what was going on in the world and honestly, how ignorant was I to do so? Since coming to college I have really formed my own political and social views. I have grown further with my faith and have in general just been more in the know each day. I partially owe this to my writing professor from first semester. She taught us to really develop personal opinions and to be proud of your beliefs.

 

Work Ethic

Work ethic changes in college. Even though there’s nobody here telling me that I have to go to class, I want to work harder than ever before. I use a lot of my spare time just doing extra homework, making quizlets, or reading. Hopefully it will all pay off at the end of the semester!

Confidence

Since being in college, my confidence has really shot through the roof. I am much more comfortable about talking about my blog, I don’t mind eating alone, and  I’m comfortable wearing glittery pants on the weekends. In high school I never would have been able to do those things. College really gave me the “I don’t care what anybody thinks” mentality. I feel comfortable going out of my dorm without makeup and I’m perfectly happy in sweatpants when going to class.

Appreciation for Friendship 

My appreciation for friendship has grown immensely since coming to JMU. I went through a few sour friendships in high school, as all girls do, and it took me a while to realize it. Friendships in college mean a lot because for those 8 months out of the year, they’re your family. I eat dinner with my best friends almost every night, my friends and I wish each other luck on tests like a mom would do, and we are all practically living with each other as if it were a house.

Developing a Sense of Self 

I have come into my own throughout college. I have discovered what I want to do and more importantly what I don’t want to do. After thinking about it, I have found my dream career and every day I think about how to get there. I  have also learned how to represent myself the best way possible through social media, in class, through academics, and when I’m with friends.

Learned to take risks 

I never took risks in high school. I have learned that taking risks have huge rewards and even if you sometimes fail, you still learn so much. Rushing a sorority was a big risk which had a great reward. Writing a blog post every day was a risk, again a huge reward! I have leaned to take a risk and talk to new people and I have made some great friends that way.

I know that college is sometimes a very scary thing, you are being thrust into a completely new environment but I can easily say that college is great. Despite the sometimes very late nights, or the new encounters you come across. College is such an adventure!! Let me know if college has changed you in any way!

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College According to Bride Wars

Bride Wars is hands down one of my favorite movies. My sisters and I are known for quoting movies more than any sane person should and Bride Wars is no acceptation. I took some time the other day to relax and ended up turning it on and realized how relatable this movie is to college. Literally so many quotes from this movie apply to college on so many different levels. I thought it was pretty funny so I wanted to share college according to Bride Wars.

That moment when you realize all of your exams line up on the same day. 

We all have those moments when literally every class assigned every paper, quiz, test, and project on the same day. Literally communication speeches, rhetorical analysis, calculus exams, Buddhism quiz, and a sorority event all on the same day. There’s only 24 hours in a day, everyone!

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When you see your crush every time you leave your dorm.

Every single time you leave your dorm whether to go to class, the dining hall, or the library you see your crush everywhere. Honestly, who knows he could be stalking you or something but you just have to wonder is God giving me a sign??

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When you have tons of mandatory sorority events that you actually don’t want to go to. 

Yeah. This happens. Sororities require a lot of their members. This means that you sometimes have to spend your precious study time in a two hour seminar on why you should pay $4,000 to travel to Africa or participate in a pumpkin scavenger hunt across campus when you would rather be laying in bed napping because you got 4 hours of sleep the night before. But who knows, maybe one day my lessons learned in the pumpkin patch  palooza will come in handy…giphy

When you do less than spectacular on a really important exam. 

You study for weeks, you have a study group, go to office hours, get help from the tutoring center and you still end up performing poorly on an exam. Probably the cruelest thing about college is the lack of grades in the grade book for mid-semester and final grades. Like really, two tests are going to show the world my knowledge on the entire subject of religion?? Okay, I guess my NINE YEARS OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLING counted for nothing.

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When you literally have had enough. 

When everything and everybody just get to be too much to handle and all you want to do is go to the puppy farm and be snuggled to death. Death by puppy doesn’t sound too bad.

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When you see a cute boy across the room but another girl is about to step in. 

Yeahno. This is my time to shine.
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When you get your semester bill and you see your loans piling up in front of you. 

“Education is important” they say, “You need to go to college to get a good job” they say. No you need to go to college, so you can pay off how much college is actually costing you.

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Despite the jokes above, college is a blast. 

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

My Monday Routine

Now that high school seniors are staring to be accepted and make their decision on where they will go to school next year, I wanted to let everyone into my daily routine at school. A college day is much different than a regular high school day in so many ways. For one, you don’t have seven or eight straight hours or school a day. I usually have 3-4 hours of class a day and they’re not all back to back. Another huge difference of college from high school is the fact that I usually study and do my homework outside of my home. I will go to the library or the student success center to try and get things done so when I go home, I can relax.

Today I am going to share with everyone a typical Monday. This schedule is also the exact same as my typical Wednesday too. Tuesday and Thursdays and Fridays are a lot more low key (especially Fridays) but I wanted to share my two busiest days with everyone. Enjoy!

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7:10AM – Wake Up – I wake up each Monday at 7:10 and once my alarm goes off, usually lay in bed for about 15 minutes. I check my emails, go on Instagram, answer texts, and maybe catch up on a a YouTube video. At around 7:25 I’m getting up and getting ready for the day. Because Mondays are so busy, I don’t get all dressed up for class. Monday usually consists of leggings, a sweatshirt, and my new balances. As far as makeup goes, I put on foundation and mascara, I brush my hair, brush my teeth and I’m out the door by 7:45

8:00AM – Religion 101 – I have my religion 101 class at 8AM on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. I love this class, it talks about the main religions of the world. It’s a 50 minute class because it’s three days a week, instead of two.

8:50AM – Breakfast – On Mondays I get Chick-Fil-A for breakfast because it is right behind the building where my religion class is. I grab my order (4 chicken mini meal) and head back to my dorm to wait until my next class starts. I go back to my dorm because it is really close to my next class of the day.

9:05AM – Blogging – Once I get back to my dorm after ordering my Chick-Fil-A, I sit in the lounge and spend about an hour blogging. This is when I write the post for the next day. Sometimes, the post takes a little longer than an hour but most times, it takes around 45 minutes. I don’t go back up to my dorm room during this time because my roommate is still sleeping and there’s no point in going in my room if it might wake her up. Also, if I go up to my dorm I would be tempted to get back in bed and might fall asleep!

10:10AM – French 231 – At 10:10 I have my French class. I have this class on Mondays and Wednesdays but not on Fridays which is so nice! Because I only have this class two days, it’s a hour and fifteen minutes long.

11:25AM – Library – I head to the library right after French class. In this time I do my calculus homework, draft my weekly history paper, make philosophy and religion note cards, do my philosophy online participation, and my french online exercises. I usually can’t get all of this done in one sitting but I try to get most of it done.

4:00PM – Calculus 232 – After spending some time at the library, I walk over to the math building on the opposite side of the quad for my 3D calculus class. I love this class but I also really don’t like this class because it is so hard! My teacher is really great though and makes the class interesting. This class again is only on Mondays and Wednesdays so it’s an hour and fifteen minutes.

5:15PM – Calculus Office Hours – I usually have a question or two about my homework from the class before. It’s really convenient that office hours are right after my class because the material is still fresh on my mind.

5:40 – Dinner – After office hours, while I’m out I usually go a grab dinner so I don’t have to go out again once I get back to my dorm. I usually either go to Duke’s of SSC to get food because those are the closest places to my dorm. I usually only eat two meals a day, my stomach really can’t handle three meals a day, it’s just way too much food for me.

6:00PM – Netflix/Homework/Shower – During this time, I usually come back and eat my dinner and finish up some homework that I didn’t get to earlier. If I finished everything I needed to get done for the day, I will make a few flashcards for upcoming tests and watch some Netflix. I usually sit at my desk and do homework, instead of on my bed because when the sun goes down, it makes me really sleepy. I’ve been known to fall asleep in the middle of doing homework if I’m on my bed! If I have no homework, I will also use this time to shower and dry my hair!

8:00PM – The Bachelor – Mondays in my dorm are always so fun because almost all of us watch The Bachelor. My roommate and I sometimes host the hall, and other times we will go to other’s dorms. Either way, my hall mates and I all pile into one room and watch The Bachelor together. While we’re talking about it #teamcorinne all the way. I really didn’t like her at first but she is awesome. She speaks her mind, has fun, and doesn’t let anyone push her around.

10PM – Netflix – After The Bachelor, I am so spent and exhausted from my 15 hour day that I’ll brush my teeth, wash my face, brush my hair, and climb into bed. I’ll watch a little bit of Netflix or Hulu but it’s not before long that I’m out like a light. If I am to have a lot of homework and studying though, I will continue to study until about midnight or 1:00AM and then hit the sack!

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

 

 

Breaking Down Recruitment Rounds

Even though sorority recruitment was over five months ago, I still have so many people asking for me to break down the week and explain what each day was like. I understand that recruitment is a scary and crazy few days so it’s best to be prepared. If you are planning on rushing either this fall or planning on some form of CoR recruitment, I wanted to give everybody plenty of time to learn about the experience and understand what to expect.

I have a few disclaimers before jumping into the post, and I hate disclaimers as much as the next person, but I feel it is necessary that I throw just two things out there. One, each recruitment varies. Although JMU is pretty similar to most processes, there are always going to be a few different details everywhere. Two, I agree that when you look good, you feel good but please remember that you are trying to find a group most like you. At the end of the day, you’re going to join a group of girls where it’s more personality based instead of based on material items. When going into each round, continue to ask yourself “Can I see myself here, can I see these girls as my sisters?”. If you continue to make mental checks like this, you will understand how to rank each house at the end of each round!  💖

James Madison’s fall recruitment was a total of six days and nights. Let me break it down for you…

Thursday 5pm – Open House Round 1 

During Open House rounds you visit each sorority house. This is the typical scene where around 100-150 girls file into the sorority house and you stand there and talk to sisters for about 30 minutes. Because sometimes there were upward of 300 girls in the house basement, you were screaming in each other’s faces trying to hear one another. It was also extremely hot and crowded so be prepared. This is the round where the sorority gets to know a little bit about you. They will ask you questions wondering where you’re from, what you’re studying, and what you’re interests are. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself!  Because there are twelve sororities on campus, we visited six on Thursday. I left the row at around 10PM this night.

Friday 5pm – Open House Round 2 

This is the exact same thing as the day before, you just go to the other 6 houses. On these two days you were allowed three 30 minute breaks total. This gives you the opportunity to get food or go back to your dorm and freshen up. I actually had class on Friday from 5-8 so used all of my breaks to go to class. I left the row at around 10Pm this night.

Saturday 10am – Philanthropy Round 

On this day you are called back to up to 8 houses depending on who you drop or who dropped you. I will be posting soon about how the dropping process is done. I was called back to eight houses so I had to attend eight 45 minute rounds learning about all of the charities that each sorority works with. The amount of time you spend on the row will change depending on how many houses you get called back to. I left the row at around 8PM this night.

Sunday 10am – Sisterhood Round

On Sunday you can be called back to up to 6 houses depending on who you dropped or who dropped you. I was called back to 6 houses so I was required to stay on the row longer than some who might have been called back to fewer houses. On sisterhood round, you learn all about what the sisterhood in the sorority is like. You will hear about the fun activities that the sisters do together and this was the day that all the cute videos that you see all over YouTube are shown. Don’t let those videos fool you, as fun as it is to see a great sorority with a great video do you really think that girls sit around and blow glitter out of their hand on a regular basis?? Probably not. I will admit though, those videos are so awesome looking. This is the ADPi one from this past year. You can see it’s much more low-key but greek life at JMU is low-key in itself. I left the row around 6PM this night.

Monday 7pm – Preference Round (Pref Night)

This is the biggest and most important night of recruitment week. This is the night where you have narrowed it down to two sororities and need to make a decision. I was down to Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Delta Pi. Typically, this is the night where you dress the fanciest and there is total silence on the row. The sororities are much more serious and there is no more changing or cheering. At this point, you have shown your interest in the sorority and now they want you. In other words, you have impressed them so much and they are very interested in you. At this point, you don’t have to sell yourself anymore, they are 100% selling their sorority to you. At the end of the evening you will have to rank them. You are not guaranteed a bid at all, the sorority could decide last minute that they don’t want you anymore. This is why even though they sorority is very interested in you because you have made it this far into recruitment, it is still important to be respectful, polite, and kind towards all of the sisters hosting you that evening. I left the row at 10:30 PM this night.

Tuesday 6pm – Bidcel 

WOO WOO! You have made it to the end of the week and now it’s time for fun! The way JMU did Bidcel might be a little different that other universities. All of the PNM’s (girls rushing) met in the main building on the quad, Wilson Hall. That is where we met our Rho Gamma’s and were given our BidCards. While this was going on, all off the sororities met on the Quad chanting, singing, decked out in glitter. In Wilson Hall once everyone received their BidCards, we were allowed to open them. In alphabetical order, each sorority was called to run out on the Quad to their new home. Alpha Delta Pi is first so (thankfully) I got to leave Wilson first! That night we took our BidCel photo, ate pizza, dance, and celebrated the new members.

As I said earlier, each sorority differs on how many chapters they have, what type of recruitment is held, and on the little details. This was just my experience and how JMU broke things down. This is the typical way that most campuses hold recruitment but at the end of the day there is going to be something different at each college! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them down below! I would love to hear from you! Be on the lookout for more recruitment and sorority related videos in the future!

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

Life Update: Second Semester Begins

…Aaaaaand we’re back at James Madison for another semester. I must say, if we’re comparing the beginning of last semester to the beginning of this semester, I would have to say that they are 100% different. I’m back at JMU with a different group of people, a schedule full of different classes, and an entirely different mindset. I will admit, I went into first semester with a pretty negative mindset. I was leaving home for the first time, adjusting to new surroundings, learning the ways of new teachers, and trying to make new friends and join a sorority all at the same time. First semester was pretty intense. I was really resisting having to adjust to not living at home. The first few days I really enjoyed the freedom that college offers but after a while I started to realize that I was an adult now. That really terrified me on every level.

Now that it’s second semester I am so excited to see where it will take me! I absolutely love my roommate and hall mates, they are like a second family to me now. We all take care of each other, wish each other good luck on tests, eat dinner together, and go to church together to name a few.

I am also starting this semester with an entirely different schedule. I’m still taking a lot of general education courses but I’m pretty excited about them. Here’s what I’m taking this semester…

  • Religion 101 – the study of world religions
  • French 231 – Intermediate French
  • Math 232  – 3D Calculus
  • Philosophy 150 – Ethics & Morality
  • History 101 – World History Prehistoric – 1500 AD

My hardest class this upcoming semester is hands down MATH232. Even though I’m a math major, I’m still a student who is learning her way through the material. I have already spent a ton of time in the tutoring center, at office hours, and in the library.

As far as sorority goes, I’m am still in love with ADPi. We had such a blast last weekend celebrating the newest fraternity and sorority pledges. I cannot wait to start to help out with our spring philanthropy events, attend Black Diamond Ball (our formal), and participate in Greek Sing!

I have so many fun things planned for the blog as well over the next few months. I am already scouting out new photography locations and blog post ideas. I will also be hosting Instagram Live Stories every Sunday evening around 7pm EST. I love hosting live stories because it’s a great way for me to connect with readers as well as answer some of your questions you might have. Be prepared to see collaborations with Lauren James, Rufus & Royce, Sparkle & Whim, and so many more companies!

My family has some big changes coming in the next few months as well. My parents are so excited to begin a new chapter in family’s story and I am right along with them. When I know more details, I will share them with everyone. I have some excited meetings and potential opportunities coming my way as well so fingers crossed that things sway in my direction!  I cannot wait to see what second semester here at JMU has in store for me. I am looking forward to the long study hours, the baseball games, and the warmer weather.

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

Staying Well in College

These past two weeks, my entire hall caught the JMU plague. When I was in high school I thought the Godwin plague was bad but the JMU plague is ten times worse. Nothing is more horrible than being sick at college. Not only are you away from home but your mom isn’t there to take care of you.

To avoid sickness the best defense is to eat well, sleep well, clean well, and get some fresh air. Make sure you are constantly cleaning your floor, door handles, sheets, and towels as well as spraying Lysol. I have managed to avoid the plague so far (knock on wood) and wanted to share some of my tips to avoid the plague and to help out those who who are sick on your dorm as well.

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Emergen-C -Vitamins are so important to have! Even if you don’t feel sick you should take some sort of vitamins every single day. The Emergen-C ones are great and easy to obtain.

Advil Cold & Sinus – I love Advil Cold & Sinus because it gets the job done. It helps calm your cough, lower your fever, and relieves pressure in your sinuses. Only take it when you’re sick though, you only need regular Advil otherwise.

Ice Pack – If you’re sweating one minute and have the chills the next, an ice pack is great to have. You can lay under blankets and be toasty but when you get a little hot you can use your ice pack to cool you down. They’re also great to have for migraines or headaches.

Humidifier – These are such a lifesaver, especially for dorms with no AC. In dorms with no air conditioning (mine!) there is absolutely no air circulation in the building. This means I spend every day in the dry, stale, sickly air every single day. A humidifier is going to put some moisture back in the air, help unclog your nose/sinuses, and loosens chest congestion. They’re one of the best things to bring to college. I would suggest opening your dorm window a little bit to bring in fresh air but keep your humidifier going to maintain some air circulation.

Cough Drops – You should always have cough drops. Like I said, the dorm room air is super dry and even when I’m not sick I will wake up with a sore throat.

Ginger Ale – If you ever have an upset stomach, water will irritate it and sit flat on your stomach. I always keep either ginger ale or Sierra Mist in my dorm for some stomach relief.

Mucinex –  I love this for a good cough decongestant and some nasal relief.

Socks – The best thing you can do for an illness is sweat it out. I am always freezing when I’m sick so keeping socks with me or near me is a must. I love the shea infused one because they keep my feet soft and toasty

Orange Juice – Along with drinking tons of water when you’re sick, you need to also be getting some Vitamin C. I always double punch and keep orange juice in my fridge. It’s a great boost for your immune system.

Slippers – Hands down the best thing I brought to college. I hate walking around on cold tile floor and I think one of the reasons I have stayed a little healthier than my hall mates is because I wear socks and slippers everywhere. I am always wearing a sweatshirt or sweatpants as well.

How to Help Others that are Sick:

When your hall mates or roommate get sick, they feel awful. What’s worst is they have nobody to take care of them. A few days ago, my sick roommate fainted in the shower not once but twice, and she clearly needed help. If anything she just needed someone to sit with her and calm her down. If one of your friends is sick while away at school, help them out a little. However, make sure to take care of yourself too. Here are some things you can do to help out a sick roommate…

-Offer to run to the dining hall for her and get her something to eat

-Offer to run to Target for her if she needs medicine

-If she is really weak and shouldn’t get out of bed, offer to fill up a cup of water for her so she always has liquids.

Give her a little space in the room. Maybe do your homework at the library or the lounge instead of in your room late at night.

Keep the visitors and the noise level to a minimum. I know you share a room and it’s just as much yours as hers, but be considerate for at least a day or two if anything.

Stay Preppy,

Lucy