Tips to Pack for Your Internship!

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By: Kyla Coan

Hey Hardrockers!

With Finals Week rapidly approaching, its not hard to set your sights in finally getting done with the semester and heading off to your internships. I know that personally I am really looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. With that in mind I wanted to offer a few tips for deciding what to pack for your internship!

I am going to be living in a dorm for the summer again, so I don’t need to bring any furniture, and I am only leaving for 3 months, which means I am packing less things that if I was leaving for 9 months again.

  1. Depending on your dress code at your internship (I am working in a coal mine, so jeans and t-shirts are my dress code) make sure to pack at least 3 weeks of clothing. For me this means 4 pairs of jeans, and 21 different t-shirts, as well as 21 pairs of socks and undergarments.
  2. Pack some personal items. I plan on packing a couple of pictures of Cody and I together as well as a letter from one of my best friends, and a couple of my favorite books, and my stuffed snow leopard.
  3. Don’t forget some of your major-related school work! I am packing a lot of school related stuff because I am taking two classes over the summer, but also because I want to have these things to refer back to when necessary.
  4. Ask before you pack. Talk to your POC and see what all the company is providing so that you don’t bring things you won’t need!
  5. Make a packing list ahead of time, and check it twice before you leave. It’s not fun to get somewhere new and realize you forgot to pack socks or your steel-toed boots.
  6. Pack things to keep yourself entertained. For some people this will just be your laptop, I plan on also packing my coloring books (don’t judge me) and possibly some DIY kits.
  7. Don’t forget to pack some non-work clothes.  You might decide on night to go to the movies with your fellow interns, you probably don’t want to wear your heavy boots and your work clothes. Or if you all go out for a nice dinner one night, you might want to get a little fancy!

I hope everyone has safe travels and good luck this finals week!

 

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How to Clean Your Apartment Before Moving

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By: Kyla Coan

Hey Hardrockers!

So as I have mentioned a few too many times, I am getting ready to move out of my apartment, which means I need get my apartment back to its pre-lived in state. My roommate and I have been living here on and off since August of 2015, so this place has definitely seen its share of messes and accidents. Since my only class for today was cancelled this leaves me with plenty of time to work on some cleaning! Here is my cleaning checklist as well as some tips and tricks to get most of your deposit back!

  1. Clean carpets. This wouldn’t be such a huge undertaking, but most of my apartment, including the bathroom has carpet in it. Recently I had a tie-dye fiasco and got tie-dye on the carpet in the bathroom and have had the worst time trying to remove it, but I found that mixing some white vinegar, dish soap, and plenty of water in a spray bottle then scrubbing with a scrub brush worked really well!
  2. Fill small nail holes. Turns out you can do this with bar soap! Rub the soap in a circular motion over the hole, then gently remove the excess around the perimeter with a wet cloth.
  3. Clean window tracks. This can be done with some hydrogen peroxide, water, q-tips, and an old toothbrush! Use a spray bottle to wet the sills with the peroxide, then scrub with the toothbrush. Use the q-tips to get into all the little nooks and crannies. Now spray with water and wipe down with Lysol wipes or a washcloth.
  4. Wash walls. Just use a warm wet washcloth, or some Lysol wipes. Don’t scrub your walls or else you might take the paint off!
  5. Clean microwave. Use a bowl with some water, white vinegar, and lemon juice, heat it up for about 3-5 minutes (depending on how gross your microwave is) then let the bowl sit in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then carefully remove the bowl and wipe down the microwave. Everything should come off fairly easily.
  6. Clean oven. I hate scrubbing and will avoid it whenever possible, so I found this paste that you can use to avoid having to scrub your oven! Combine 3-4 drops of dish soap, 4 tablespoons of baking soda, 5 tablespoons of vinegar, and some lemon juice. Mix together (be careful when adding the vinegar or else you will end up with a chemistry experiment), slather all over the oven including the window, and let it sit for a couple of hours. Use a sponge to wipe down, then a cloth to make sure you get all the cleaner out.
  7. Clean fridge. First remove everything from the fridge, ideally you should be cleaning your fridge really close to your move out day, so you don’t have a lot of food in the fridge to begin with. Remove your drawers and shelves, then combine hot water, white vinegar, and lemon juice, and use this to clean your shelves and drawers, and don’t forget to top, bottom, and sides inside of your fridge as well!
  8. Clean drip pans on stove-top. Unfortunately, mine were beyond saving despite multiple attempts, so I ended up just buying new ones 😦 but if yours aren’t totally destroyed, coat your pans in baking soda, and then combine water and white vinegar in a spray bottle (probably 2 parts vinegar to one part water), and spray liberally on the pan, and let sit for a couple of hours. Then use a scrub brush and hot water to finish the process.
  9. Clean shower head. Fill a plastic bag about 1/3 or 1/2 full of white vinegar with a few drops of lemon juice, then use a hair tie to secure the bag around the shower head. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then remove the bag and wipe your shower head with a cloth.
  10. Clean bathtub. Combine some warm white vinegar with dish soap in a spray bottle, spray it, and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes, then wipe down!

There are plenty of other things on my cleaning list, but these are some of the big ones. In case you didn’t catch on, it turns out white vinegar is your best friend for cleaning! However the smell can be a bit much, so adding some lemon juice helps with the smell! Next time I will tackle fixing some paint that tore off my walls! Stay warm, and stay tuned!

Tips to Relax Before “Hell Week!”

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By: Kyla Coan

Hey Hardrockers!

I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone! It seems crazy that this is the last weekend before Hell Week and Finals! A lot of you have a million and twenty-three things to do this weekend, but I would also strongly recommend making time to relax! Here are some of my favorite tips to unwind and prepare myself for the stress of Hell Week and Finals.

  1. Do something creative or active! Some people like to paint, some people like to hike, whatever your thing is, find a couple of hours to do what makes you happy.
  2. Cook and eat a healthy homemade dinner. You will probably resort to eating cheap and unhealthy food a lot these next couple of weeks, so treat your body decently this weekend with a yummy healthy meal or two!
  3. SLEEP!!!! You will lose more than enough sleep over the next couple of weeks, so this weekend, make sure to get some good sleep.
  4. Take a long hot shower or bath. This always helps relax even my most tense muscles, and studies show its a great way to relax.
  5. Make a study schedule. It helps to write down everything, and break things up into more manageable tasks or chunks of time. You may not adhere to it super strictly, but it can help you manage your time better!
  6. Consider trying to get your friends to agree to a fun activity together, even if it is something as simple as getting dinner together.
  7. Yoga! It will not only re-energize you, but it will help your body feel better after spending all day sitting and studying.
  8. Get some exercise. It releases good endorphins, and is a great outlet for stress or frustration.

That’s it from me this week, have a good weekend Rockers!

 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month on Campus

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By: Kyla Coan

Hey Hardrockers!

For those of you who didn’t know, this month is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and SWE and WiSE along with other groups on campus have put together multiple different events this month, including forums, a showing of “The Hunting Grounds,” tonight at 730 PM in SALC, and “Denim Day” on April 28th, and the many women of these groups can be spotted sporting teal ribbons around campus, because a teal ribbon is a symbol for sexual assault prevention. But why are we putting so much time and effort into this?

Unlike many larger campuses, we have only had 1 incident of reported sexual assault in the past 4 years (according to the campus security and fire safety report). But many of us also have the knowledge only 31% of rapes are reported (RAINN), and of those 31% reported, only 19% will ever serve any kind of sentence. In reality, only .06% of rapists ever serve any kind of jail time (RAINN), and considering that 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted or raped in their lifetime (RAINN) that’s far too many perpetrators walking free.  That is what is so horrifying to myself and many others, and while we may not have a rape problem on campus, the sad reality is that many other campuses do, and its a problem in our country as a whole. We as a country have a history of victim blaming, and of lettings perpetrators of rape off with minor sentences or just community service, which is especially true in high school and college aged perpetrators, which is another reason why we are having events on campus this month. One of the largest discussions thus far has been how “We tell girls ways to change how the dress and act so that they aren’t the victim, we tell them to take self defense classes so they can fight off someone, but what we should be doing is going to the source, the perpetrators and trying to prevent a woman from becoming a victim or an almost victim, and for the women who do become victims we need to listen to them, we need to support them, and we need to help them in any way we can.”

Attending a school with such a skewed ratio, group like WiSE and SWE offer a sort of safe place for women to be surrounded by other women, and talk freely about these sorts of things, in ways that it may be hard to with our male peers. This isn’t to say that our male peers do not care, but it is to say that sometimes its easier to feel safe and comfortable opening up to our female peers. More and more we are seeing conversations about sexual assault blowing up, which is great that we finally have people talking and listening, but the next step from talking is taking action and educating people, and that’s what these events this month are about. It’s about not only showing our support, but also educating everyone on campus who we possibly can. One sexual assault incident is too many.

Please join us tonight for the showing of “The Hunting Ground” at 730 in the SALC, and if you want a teal ribbon please stop by the WiSE room in the McLaury Building on the 2nd floor.

For more information on sexual assault, please visit http://www.rainn.org. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-473.

Tips to Decorate Your First Grown-Up Apartment

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By: Kyla Coan

Hey Hardrockers!

I hope everyone had a great 3-day weekend! I spent most of it packing up because Cody and I are moving into our first place together on May 1st, and while I have been living in an apartment for a while, my roommate had pretty much already decorated it while I was on co-op. So this will be my first chance to do anything decor related and I am super excited! With that in mind here are some tips I have learned on how to decorate your first grow-up apartment!

  1. Start with thrift shops first! For some reason decor is ridiculously expensive, so, unless you have an unlimited budget, start with thrift shops and work from there.
  2. Avoid anything easily breakable or tear-able until post-grad. You will still be moving around a lot and its not worth the money or heartbreak that comes with a beautiful expensive piece of decor.
  3. Look for multi-functional pieces! One of my personal favorites is a cute set of coat hooks that come on a painted wood board with a cute saying, as well as a several pretty boxes that I use to store cleaning supplies, or old textbooks.
  4. You don’t have to over every piece of white space. More is less in a lot of cases.
  5. Make it personal! I recently found an etsy shop that does watercolor skylines of cities across the globe, so I was able to get a skyline done of Munich, which was only 20 minutes away from the base I grew up on, as well as one of London, because we used to take trips there all the time when I was living in Germany. (Flights were only like $50 and we would stay in a cheap flat and cook most of our meals, so it wasn’t expensive for us.) I also recently found a cute piece with the quote “I love you to the moon and back” on it which I picked up because my favorite necklace from Cody has that saying on it.
  6. You don’t have to buy your decor all at once. Take time to shop around find pieces you love. We are young, and nobody expects us to have the perfectly decorated place of our dreams yet!
  7. Try to have an idea of what you want before you buy. Pinterest exists for precisely this reason! You don’t want to end up with a bunch of stuff you will never use!

That’s it from me today Rockers, have a good Monday!

How and Why to Build Good Credit While in College

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By: Kyla Coan

Hey Hardrockers!

I am sure we are all more than ready for this 3-day weekend to start, I know personally I have a lot to get done, but I also plan to have some fun!

Before I sign off for a couple of days I wanted to talk to you guys about credit, and no I don’t mean credit hours. Today we are going to talk about what credit is, why it matters, and how you can build good credit using credit cards .

When I started college I was 17, but I turned 18 in October, and became financially independent in March of 2014. I was lucky in that I had taken a class my senior year of high school that taught me a little bit about credit cards and what credit was and why it matters. One of the first things I did upon becoming financially independent was find and get a credit card. I went with a Discover IT card, because I love the 5% cash back rewards that change every couple of month, and the 1% cash back on everything else. Plus they offered miss payment forgiveness, and several college students in my extended family had great things to say about them. When I got my card I had a $250 limit. I decided that in order to start building my own credit history I would use my credit card to pay for my Netflix subscription, and pay it off every month. I had heard and seen first-hand how many people let their spending get out of control, so I was extremely cautious with my card for the first year. By the end of that year I had gotten my limit increased to $800, because I was never late with a payment, never carried a balance, and never had more than $15 on the card at any time. By not maxing out your card all the time, staying on time with you payments, and avoiding carrying a balance you can start to build your credit score.

 Now, its been 3 years since I got my card, and my credit limit is $2100. I still have never missed a payment, though now I use the card for more things and pay it off still. I use it for my phone bill, for my Netflix, my Chegg, and my Hulu. When Discover offers 5% cash back on gas or groceries or Sam’s Club, I also use my card for that. Now that I know I can be responsible for my card, I will sometimes carry a low balance just to show that I can carry and pay off a balance, which also helps build your score. The biggest mistake I see a lot of students make is they go crazy spending on their first card because its money that you don’t have to immediately have up-front, which is great for big ticket purchases like a piece of furniture, but you have to remember that you still have to pay that money, and if you don’t pay it all when your bill is due, you will have to pay interest, which is extra money on top of the money you still owe. I have heard horror stories of people with $30K in debt or more. Be responsible with your credit cards, because good credit will make your life an an adult much easier when you want a newer car, or to finally buy a house, or rent a nice apartment.

So what is credit? The simplest definition is “the ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future.” Credit is important when you buy a car, buy a house, rent an apartment, and when you take out any kind of loans, student or otherwise. This is why you want to start building your credit while you are young. I started quickly after I turned 18, and because I have been very responsible with my credit card, I have a credit score of 750. I had a small $5000 car loan, that I paid off within 6 months while I was on my co-op ( I rolled that car the same day I paid it off! 😦 ) and now I have another small car loan that I am close to paying off, and one student loan. I plan to have my car paid off by the end of the summer, and I work hard to try and always at least keep up with the interest payments on my student loan. I even recently got a second credit card for my favorite store to shop at Torrid, because by combining the opening credit card discount with my employee discount I saved about 70% on the clothes that I needed since most of my clothes were years old and falling apart. I used it I think 3 times, and haven’t used it since. I might use it again towards the end of the summer if I decide to treat myself to some new clothes, but even then, I always pay it off.

In the previous paragraph I mentioned that I have a credit score of 750. But what is a credit score and how is it calculated? Basically, a credit score is a quantification of you the borrowers credit files to represent the creditworthiness of you as an individual. This number is used by banks and other lenders to evaluate the risk of lending to you and to mitigate losses. Your credit score is calculated based on the following factors

  • Payment History (accounts for 35% of most scores)
  • Credit Utilization (accounts for 30% of most scores)
  • Length of Credit History (accounts for 15% of most scores)
  • Mix of Accounts (accounts for 10% of most scores)
  • New Credit Inquiries (accounts for 10% of most scores)

It is important to note though that your credit score may differ slightly between the 3 major credit reporting agencies, but generally they are within about plus/minus 2 points of each other. Here is a chart to show you the credit score ranges!

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The 3 major credit reporting agencies are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experion. Another common one is your FICO score, which you get for free every month with the Discover IT card, which is another reason I picked it.

Regardless of what card you pick, be aware of the interest rates, late payment fees, monthly fees, and any rewards available to you, such as miles, cash back, or other benefits. And to keep an eye on your credit score, there are hundreds of free sites you can use, I use CreditKarma, but there are other sites out there you can use!

TL;DR : Credit is important to be able to buy a house, car, or rent a nice place. Credit scores tell people how good you are at paying money back, and if your score isn’t god enough you can’t have nice things like a house or a newer car or a nicer apartment. To build credit you can get a credit card, and use it to pay for small monthly expenses like Netflix or Chegg or your phone bill, then pay it off every month. Once you learn to be responsible you can start using your card more, but be sure to always pay it off in a timely manner to keep your score high, and avoid ever maxing out your credit card.

Beyond Ramen: Chicken Burrito Bowls

By Lydia Ford

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Hey, Hardrockers!

In this week’s installment of Beyond Ramen, I thought I’d share one of my favorite, easiest recipes with y’all. I hope you enjoy it! I usually make this when I’m entertaining a large group of people, as this recipe makes a lot of food and is fairly inexpensive. Not to mention how easy this is to throw together!

Easy Chicken Burrito Bowls

What you’ll need:

  • Rice (brown rice or quinoa, for a healthier option)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • Chicken breast (either fresh or canned, whichever works)
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning

Toppings (optional, but recommended):

  • Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Tortilla or chips (for dipping)

Directions:

First, you will need to prepare the chicken breast. If I’m using a fresh piece, I cut it into cubes and sear it in a pan, but if I’m using canned, I’ll just dump it straight into a pan to warm and combine the seasonings. Add the taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup of water, since chicken is a lean meat and there is no grease to aid the spreading of the seasonings. While the chicken is cooking, prepare rice or quinoa to package directions, and heat the black beans and corn. Once all three items are finished cooking or warming, combine them in a personal bowl, and top with desired toppings. Easy as that!