Posted by Dominique D. | Posted on September 26, 2009
Ok cheesy title, sorry. It says “Come with me!” Meaning since I am no longer a freshman, I will be blogging elsewhere: Caught in Between is the blog that I, Lauren B. and Jessica K. will share this year… we’re all Public Health majors (don’t worry, as Lauren said, we won’t make that the focus of the blog in the least) but expect to see very different experiences from us as we happily trek through another year at Hopkins. I have really enjoyed blogging here as a freshman, but alas, time to give our new freshmen that chance–check out their blog: Class of 2013: Freshman Blog.
Thanks soooo much for reading and keeping us with us, and I hope you continue to!!
Posted by Dominique D. | Posted on August 29, 2009
Some hours ago, I helped move in the last of the class of 2013 as an Orientation Assistant. One of the cool things about Hopkins is how we help new freshmen and parents move in, so they don’t have to lug things to the rooms–all they have to do is unpack and organize while we unload and movers deliver. I can’t believe that just last year I was a freshman moving in. It’s just so weird to not be living in freshman dorms anymore, or to not have an FFC meal plan. As a sophomore, things are still exciting but not as fresh as they were last year as a freshman (def. NO pun intended haha). So helping them out and seeing their newness was refreshing (ugh again definitely no pun intended!) and rewarding.
So yes, bye bye summertime. Goodbye to sleeping in until 9 (yes that is late for me) and watching reruns of Smart Guy and Sister Sister; goodbye to being a summertime chaffeur for my sister; goodbye to the not-so-great but valuable-experience summer job; goodbye to 98394894 doctors appts; goodbye to eagerly and anxiously awaiting the return of school.
Being an Orientation Assistant meant early move in and over a week of no class stress at Hopkins, and I must say that time at Hopkins with no classes is rare and awesome. But I am looking forward to a lighter credit load this semester and fewer panic attacks, now that I am more seasoned. I am also looking forward to narrowing my list of extracirricular activities, so that I can devote my time more heavily to 2 clubs and a possible job. It’s so odd how we yearn for vacation, but during vacation we miss school because it gave us something to keep ourselves very busy with. So, that wish has been granted and here I am, back at school and ready for more.
Move out…year number 2!
I am ready to revisit the places and people I’ve come to love over the past year, and even more so I am ready to discover all that I didn’t last year! I’ve already met a lot of freshmen and I must say I am excited to see such a diverse and enthusiastic class. I should mention that on several occasions in the past couple of days, I have been recognized from the class of 2013 as “one of those people who answer questions on the discussion boards.” :P
So again, bye bye summertime, but hello fall semester, new people, and new opportunities! And the end of me, Wafa, Lauren and Saznin contributing to the Arts and Sciences freshman blog…wow!
Today was the last day of the job that has been the bane of my existence for the past 6
weeks. I have been in labs, daycares, and school offices, but this summer introduced me to the life of a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. I have so much more respect for what some teachers in urban school districts have to go through. But teaching is really a labor of love in any location.
So, I wasn’t really a teacher–I was supposed to be a co-facilitator with a guidance counselor at a youth program, talking about attendance issues in the city for 6 weeks, a period of time that was to end with the creation of a project that included student-created solutions to the attendance problem in Baltimore City. The attendance problem being–habitually truant students. Students don’t come because they are tired. Or because they have to take care of family members. Or because they wake up late, or because the weather is too poor for them to go…or just because there isn’t anything to look forward to.
Confused as to why students seem to use such silly reasons to not come to school? I agree, they are not all great reasons and most are terrible excuses in many contexts. In your schools, did you ever have to worry about not being able to make it to school? Baltimore city provides transportation to middle and high school students via the MTA, the public transportation system in Maryland. Not the nice cheese buses that take you from your stop directly to your school. Students sometimes have to take 2 or 3 buses to get to school, and then have to walk some to get to the front door. Imagine doing this in inclement weather. Or what if your community is unsafe, ravaged with gang members? Or if you wake up late and miss the buses (which have an unfortunate rep. for not always being on time), do you still try to go?
And when you mix that with family problems and lack of motivation or inspiration, you get poor attendance. Some students just don’t have parents who stress the importance of schools, and they don’t have enough influential community leaders to whom they can look up.
Ok, so that’s the kind of stuff we talked about/worked on for the past 6 weeks (we had to stretch the topic out for 6 weeks!) And teachers have to come up with lesson plans everyday for a whole school year, not just 6 weeks. AND they have to make sure that the lesson plans are enjoyable, while getting the job done so that students stay engaged. That was a common theme I heard throughout the 6 weeks…many teachers are not qualified and they hate their job, so it shows in the teaching. (Good) teacher retention is a huge problem that has been plaguing the city for years.
But the reason I disliked my time here so much was mainly because of the disciplinary issues. See, although I graduated from a Baltimore City school, it was one that did not have HALF of the problems other schools did, like kids roaming the hallways all day (one student mentioned that at her school, there were sometimes more students in the HALLWAYS than in the classrooms). And I was not well-equipped for dealing with that.
Teachers must have a thick skin. Very thick. Because students have no shame in talking about teachers to their faces or while they are still in the classroom. If a standard of behavior is not established from the beginning, then it all goes downhill. Unfortunately I got to experience this first hand. I wrote a FaceBook note about the things I learned from this job, some of which are:
-Don’t let students know your age, esp. if you’re not much older than they are (I am 18; they were 14-17, so it was pretty uncomfortable for me) -Don’t do something for one group and not another; otherwise, you will be hearing about it forever. -Just because a student likes you one day does not mean they will like you next week. -Each classroom has leaders to whom they will respect more…use that! -Don’t take things personally. Students act out on you and disrespect you for seemingly no good reason, but they probably have issues of their own and you’re an easy target. -Don’t bluff with punishments, and sometimes you need to embarrass one to get the attention of others.
And I have a whole lot more. I even got to witness a fight in my classroom, that unfortunately, I couldn’t prevent/break up in time.
But, all is well, as the program is over and I survived. It didn’t kill me, so it must have made me stronger. I learned a lot about my weaknesses and my strengths, and about students with backgrounds different from mine. Plus, it paid nicely. Would I do it again? I think I would, but in a different context. Teaching is a short-term career that I have been thinking about, and I am glad I got some exposure to it. I learned a lot, and I think when I volunteer at CIVITAS charter school this year as a TA for middle school students, I will be more informed. A.k.a. fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me. ;)
But besides the job, I got to enjoy buying some fireworks for our Fourth of July cookout. My stepfather spent like $100 on rockets and other things with odd names I can’t think of at the moment. And my family went on vacation to Ocean City, a nice city on the eastern shore of Maryland. It was breezy and refreshing to get out of the city for a little while to a more relaxed atmosphere.
I just got back from a drive in theater in northeastern Baltimore called Benjie’s, and I wish that there were more drive ins because it was so cute! 8 dollars for a triple feature, and the movies are only about a month or 2 behind regular release time. Seems worth it to me.
So I shall fill the last month of summer with helping out some of my colleagues at Baltimore City Schools headquarters, and buying books and other things for my new on campus apartment.
So reading Lauren, Saznin, and Wafa’s posts below have made me feel infinitely boring and unaccomplished.
What have I been up to? Nothing much. After school got out, I spent a week at a beautiful Christian camp in southern NY, with lakes and canoeing and fresh air and woods with bears in them.
Then I returned home, hoping to have a job already in place for me at the Baltimore City Public School System, somewhere I graduated from and have been working in for about 2 years.
But things don’t always turn out as planned, do they? The job position I had last year disappeared, to make a long story short and less weird, and I am now in a new position. Hmm, how to explain simply…basically, there is this program called YouthWorks in the city, and it provides summer jobs to Baltimore teens. Currently, I am helping to facilitate workshops with these students. Well, that’s the on paper definition. I won’t lie; the job is not what I thought it would be, and I am not too crazy about it. However, I am very very grateful for the position because it pays a lot and there are so many people who can’t even get a job. My brother even noted on how so many adults were taking up all of the jobs in McDonalds! We;ll see how it turns out for me. Let’s just say that in life, sometimes we have to be made really uncomfortable in order to expand ourselves.
Other than that, summer has been sleeping, spending all of my money at WalMart, and random things. I have also discovered the awesomeness that is Goodwill super stores! If you look hard enough, you can find some really nice clothes that haven’t even been worn before. I got some name brand sneakers for 4 dollars too…hey, don’t knock it before you try it!
I have other summer goals that have yet to be done, like learning to swim and roller skate better, and doing some community service at a place in Downtown Baltimore called My Sister’s Place.
But besides that, I haven’t really been doing too much. I won’t be able to do much over the next week because I found out this morning that I have the flu, which is weird because I have had regular colds that have been much worse than this. Oh well, it should be over soon.
I have been keeping myself busy by obsessively YouTubing Michael Jackson videos, concerts, and interviews, and wondering how in the world he had so much musical and performance genius. It’s not really making me feel any better about his passing, but maybe it will help me to look at his life in a celebratory manner rather than the depressed funk I have been in for the past week.
Sorry for such a boring blog, but that’s how my summer has been…hopefully July will bring something better! =]
I am sitting here at home, in Baltimore, on my bed, and I kinda cannot believe I am done with freshman year. Each year goes by quicker and quicker and I can see why people say these 4 years go by lightning fast. I haven’t really gotten a chance to sit back and reflect, but I guess that’s what summer is for. I will say that I have a lot in mind to change for my sophomore year, and that I learned a lot from this year. The one thing I do regret is not having more fun in the midst of all of the work…seriously, it ends up working out in the end so before I even start this recap, I beg of you, HAVE FUN freshman year! Don’t quit things or stop going to meetings because you think you HAVE to study at that moment or think you’ll never get that homework assignment done at any other time. At the end of first semester I was amazed at my performance and realized that I could have/should have chilled a lot more.
So I vowed to do that second semester. Unfortunately, that plan failed and I ended up stressing and having mental breakdowns (ok not really but you get me :P) even more than before, because of certain classes, grade issues, and other non-academic issues. I hated this semester and I didn’t have fun because I didn’t know how to have fun, if that even makes sense. Yes, it is an art to learn how to make room for fun in the midst of a crazy schedule! So again, my plea is, HAVE FUN, and do not get caught up in the GPA hype because all that does is make life sucky for you.
Ok, recap time…
I introduced myself, my major(s) (Yay Public Health Studies, and maybe Africana Studies? Not so sure any more.) and my first semester classes inHowdy Hopkins!
Note the tone of extreme excitement…I kind of lost it during first semester, regained it during winter break, truly lost it during second semester, and have once again regained it now that it is summer time…(try to keep it all of the time though =]). I talked about how different college is from high school, and be prepared because it is!
I was starting to feel the college groove in Can I see Your Integrals?!? (that title was something my friend said when doing calc homework) because I had my first experience with college exams and papers. Looking back I definitely made things worse than they really were. Note to (your)(selves): things get harder as you go through college but you grow with the work. I made things seem worse than they were simply because I was not used to them. Duh. Don’t do that!
I again discussed stressing out in A watched Erlynnmeyer Flask Never Boils... (the title is something my friend said in chem lab)but I also talked about Colors of Hopkins, which is one of the 2 huge hosting programs that the Multicultural Student Volunteers (MSV) put on each year. I loved hosting! I also talked about my love for my Christian group, Hopkins Christian Fellowship and the retreat we went on in the fall. My religion and concern about multiculturalism on campus led me to join these groups, and I adivse you to not only join new things you probably wouldn’t have joined before, but stick to things you know you already love. And speaking of fall, Hopkins is BEAUTIFUL when the trees start to change colors!
I really hate that I kept doing this but I sure did show my frustration with school and exams in There’s a Last Page?!?, (the title refers to my friend’s comment at the end of a nasty chemistry exam, where she found out there was a last page on the exam…oops) Again, if I could have only seen how things would work themselves out, I would have been so much better off. I also show off my “I voted” stickers…I was so happy to have been able to vote for Obama in this historic election, and to have this historic one be my first. =]
I had a mid semester reflection of things I would have liked to change for the spring semester in Geez Dominique, you’re all over the place! Going to the gym more often, working, community service, Tutorial project, career center appointments…let’s just say that was a lot to try to add to my schedule and they didn’t end up working out. Well, the gym partially worked out and I did make an appt. with the career ceneter (they are so helpful!) but never followed through with a second appointment…oopsie.
Sweet 16…gives the inside scoop on my African American Family class…the 300 level writing intensive course that I endeavored to take under covered grades. It did stress me out sometimes but in the end I ended up doing very well and I will never ever regret that I used covered grades to try out an upper level course in which I was very interested. Key words… In which I was very interested.
2009…wha?? was just a teeny reflection/recap of fall semester, and what I was looking forward to doing in the spring. Sorry about the lack of pictures.
B’more!This blog raved about my Intersession (a 3 week long period during winter break where you can take 1, 2, or 3 credit classes which are included in tuition–in a variety of areas) course in the freshmen B’more! Program. I took the one in the anthropology dept. and LOVED IT. I am so happy that I took advantage of this freshman only program and I am going to apply to be a leader in the program because I enjoyed it so much. My course in particular had no homework or classwork which made it even more awesome. They had courses in architechture, transportation, photography, and more.
Spring semester started and I wrote Another one of those “these are my classes” posts…describing the courses I would take. Looking back, I was a little disappointed with the way a couple of the classes ended up for me but grateful that I was able to partake in their course material and grateful that I got what I did end up getting (ok, except for calculus, I just hated that class with a strong, strong passion). Disappointment is inevitable, so I am learning how to deal with it, which is a good thing actually.
What is Public Health Anyway?talked about what I had learned so far in Intro. Pub Health…read it to see how awesome a major it is! The class was good but a LOT more work than I would have ever thought, at least for a 100 level course. I suggest you take it if you are on the fence about public health as a major, or if you just want to know what it is. The four core Public Health classes go into much greater detail about the topics you cover in this course anyway.
Keep it clean! A VERY random and kind of awkward blog entry about cleaning dorm rooms. Weird I know, but a lot of roommate problems arise from issues with cleaning, and it is really imortant to establish rules about cleaning as soon as possible….trust me.
CRIBS: Building B, Room 406: Just your basic Cribs entry. I am the only one in SAAB who lived in a triple all year (well, only one at least for this year) so if you end up in one, check it out!
I say congrats to all accepted students in Whoo 2013!and give my take on choosing a school.
Real World JHU: I had a bad experience with recommendation letter requesting, so I write about what to do and what not to do when asking for recommendations. Yep that’s right, rec letters do not end with the college application process!
Okay, so classes officially ended Friday! Now, we're headed into reading period (a couple of days to study before finals start), and then 2 weeks of finals. Unlike most of my friends who have 2 finals, I have four, which is kind of a bummer but hey what can you do?
I'll save the mushy recap of freshman year for my next blog entry, so for now, as I wait for my mom to come and get me to go shopping ( a perk of living in Baltimore!), I'll talk about what I would do if I ruled Hopkins at this point in time. DISCLAIMER: These aren't really meant to be feasible or even practical, because if they were what would the fun in it? ;)
If I ruled Hopkins, I would…
Have one Monday a month be an off day for professors and students. For those of us who are master procrastinators, this could come quite in handy! Professors could work with this right?
If I ruled Hopkins, I would…
Use super powers to program ISIS (our online class registration system) to never ever crash when 1000 students decide to wake up at 7am and register for courses at the same time…I'd also use superpowers to make wireless steadily available in the dorms (there is some "spillage" though so you get lucky sometimes…)
If I ruled Hopkins I would…
Have tons of random events like the Relaxation Zone we had last Friday… let's just say I walked out of classes to the Beach to see puppies running around, 2 people in sumo wrestler fat suits and a pseudo moon bounce, all in plain sight of drivers and people passing by. I also love the random reading period FFC late night breakfasts where there are eating contests…and that time we had karaoke….amazing!
If I ruled Hopkins, I would…
Make the covered grades policy more flexible for those who had a great first semester and would like those grades to be included in their transcripts and overall GPA. Actually, a survey about covered grades was sent out to all students a couple of weeks ago, so it's good to see that Hopkins is taking student input into consideration!
If I ruled Hopkins, I would…
Probably emphasize languages more. Many majors have abolished their language requirements, but I think at least a semester of a language should be required because it's not a bad thing. However certain majors (like engineering ones) have such strict reqs that there isn't any time ( I spent a long time last week looking at my Chem BE friend trying to plan out her 4 years because she was trying to fit a Spanish minor in the midst of her math and science classes). Hey, couldn't hurt with an increasingly diverse world right?
If I ruled Hopkins, I would…
Have an easy button, but for dispelling myths. For those who miss the FaceBook or Forums conversations, this would come in handy. EX: [Prospective Student] "Is Hopkins boring?" *Press button* "Not a chance!"
If I ruled Hopkins, I would…
Make the meal plans more flexible, i.e. not having to buy one if you don't want to. I understand why freshmen are required to one because I really did meet A LOT of students in FFC the first half of school and even some this semester, but for next year, I don't think sophomores or juniors in McCoy or Commons should have to have a meal plan. We should be allowed to live on ramen and hotdogs! =]
One thing I love about Hopkins is that it prepares you for the real world. A lot of prospective students/parents ask about how helpful the school to students….and I always say very helpful, just not in the way you may think.
It teaches you skills and other things that you need for life outside of school. There are TONS and TONS of resources here, but they won’t always come to you or hold your hand along the journey. Professors won’t look at your exams and say “Hmm, I see you’ve failed the last 2 exams, do you need some help?’ Or something like that (would be nice though right? =] ). Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t but each time you try makes you stronger. Sounds cheesy hehe but oh so true!
So I guess I will talk about my experience with a part of Real World JHU–asking for recommendation letters. These are some things that I have already learned as a freshman and I am sure that I will learn more as time goes on.
So as your college process is ending, by now a lot of you guys have tons of experience with asking for rec. letters. Guess what…that doesn’t stop in college, because there are scholarships, internships, jobs, and positions that you will apply for.
But it is a little bit different in college because you may not know anyone who could give you a rec. letter in your first semester. This is especially hard if you have all large lecture classes where the professor may not get a chance to know you intimately.
First lesson: Try to take a class or 2 where you will get a chance to get to know the professor, i.e. a small one or one you will enjoy very much and be able to engage in the material. This way, you can talk to him/her about the topic and get to know them. The deans here recommend getting to know at least 2 professors well each semester, so that when you become a junior/senior, you’ll have 6-8 professors, in addition to other administrators/advisers! Also, while it may be intimidating, it “is* possible to get to know lecture professors…just go to their office hours and talk to them often.
Second Lesson: Joins clubs and organizations! But of course you already knew that. ;) When you can’t get a professor to help you out, adults who head organizations on campus can be a huge and necessary help, because scholarships and internships and jobs like to hear from people who know you in non academic settings. Same for employers.
Third lesson: Do not count on one person to write you letters of reccomendation, because when that plan falls through, you’ll have no one to go to. This is especially bad when the deadline is close, say next day (speaking from personal experience here….oops). Have at least 5 (well, 5 is an arbitrary number but it’s a nice one hehe) people who you know will give you GOOD rec. letters!
Fourth Lesson: Ask the people whom you are asking for rec letters what their protocol is. I did not do this when I asked for a rec letter, and the person wrote me one in a couple of days before so I assumed she would always do the same. Mistake number 2…oops. Some people require 2, 3 4, weeks…some even require 2 months! Make sure you know what the person needs in order to write you a rec letter, like resumes, transcripts, a description of the scholarship/internship, etc. This will make everything a LOT easier.
Fifth Lesson: Come up with a time frame for things to be completed and picked up. Give the person whom you are asking a hard date for picking up your materials, and don’t make that date the DAY the scholarship is due (Mistake number 3…oops). Because if they say, “Sorry, I can’t get the letter to you by then, can we change the date?” you’re kinda in a pickle.
Sixth Lesson: If you have frustration about someone not writing a rec letter on time or keeping in touch or whatever, don’t show frustration outwardly (mistake number 4, oops). Then you’ll seem ungrateful and no one will want to write you a recommendation letter. Also, adults gossip just like teenagers….so you don’t want to leave bad tastes in several adults’ mouths!
Seventh Lesson: In general, just don’t be afraid to ask people for rec. letters. I asked my chem lab prof. for one, and I wasn;t too thrilled because I had heard from SO MANY people that she was not friendly (which isn’t true in the slightest, by the way. Side lesson–figure things out for yourselves! ;) ). but since I did that, I opened up a door for myself and now I have a science professor to whom I can go, especially when I need recommendations for science internships or jobs.
Which leads to lesson 8: Get to know people in fields you’re interested in. Med school? Get to know science professors; you’ll need them later. Journalism? Get to know some writing/english professors. And etc.
I will admit seeing 2013 looks weird, but I am sure that 2012 looks weird to 2011 and 2010 and 2009, etc.
Anywho, congrats! You’re the lucky ones out of 16,016 applicants that were admitted…I’d feel very happy if I were you. I know the process of choosing a college is hard, but here are some things to remember in the process…
1.) Go where you want to go, not where your friends are going or where your parents want you to go.
I know a few students here who are here solely because their parents made them. And guess what…they aren’t happy. Go where you think you’d be able to get the most out of your college experience, and where you feel you would fit in with the student body. For instance, I’m at Hopkins because I loved that it had a Public Health Studies major. Actually, my mom and I fought a lot over what I would study in college–she wanted me to do something like bio or chem and I wasn’t having it, so thank God for Public Health! It’s such a broad field that encompasses a lot for picky people like me who can’t make up their minds about what they want to do. =]
2.) Location Location Location!
While where a school is located is not the be all end all of choosing a school, it does matter. I live in Baltimore and before I even applied to colleges I decided that I didn’t want to go too far away, because for my family personally plane rides and money and whatnot would be too much of a hassle. Plus, I realized that there was so much I don’t know about Baltimore ( I moved here in 2000 and haven’t really explored much). So me staying here wasn’t a bad idea at all. Plus Baltimore is a good place to study Public Health!
So I will admit, a lot of people don’t agree with me on my views of money and college, but that’s ok, disagreement is the essence of life? :P Ok maybe not. But money was a huge deal, at least for me. My mother and I decided waaaay before the process even started that I’d have to go somewhere that gave me full tuition, because loans were not an option for us and neither was paying 10,000 a year. Now, for some people that is fine and manageable. If that’s you then go for it! You’re lucky to have more options open. But I knew I wouldn’t want to be in huge debt when I left college because there’s med/grad school. I ended up narrowing down the field to JHU and 2 other schools because all gave me full tuition (I am a Baltimore Scholar–meaning I get full tuition because of this special partnership JHU has with Baltimore City high schools.). And the rest is history I guess.
4.) Go somewhere that has tons of awesome programs.
Especially if you are undecided, going to a school where there are tons of great programs is never a bad idea. I won’t re-say (hmm not a word) what everyone else said but yea you know the drift…engineering, writing sems, IR, french……if you happen to change your mind, there’s probably something here for ya!
I like Hopkins because of all of the special programs and opportunities it has. Like for instance, Pub Heralth majors take classes at the Bloomberg School of Public Health their senior year. If you want to be a nurse there is a program for undergrads that connects with the school of Nursing/ Same with teaching and the school of Education. And SAIS (School of Advanced International Studies). =]
I am sure there is more on my mind but I hope these helped a bit!
Hey all! Welcome to my room in Building B, room 406. Building B is cool because it’s right above the cafeteria, FFC (Fresh Foods Cafe) and is close to the library, many buildings, and the AMR’s. Unlike the other bloggers, I live in a triple--a dorm with 2 other people. I chose it because it was the cheapest option. If money is an issue for you, then you also may want to think about getting a triple. It’s very manageable but it does take some getting used to. So let’s take a look!
Here is my door with my name. All of the building RA’s (Resident Advisors) put these on the doors before everyone moves in. Note the very important white board where people can leave random or serious messages…a must have for college!
So when you enter my room, my bed is the first one you can see. Sorry about the extreme princessy girlyness of it, I just like bright colors.
My bed is fully lofted, meaning I had it raised enough to fit my desk and dresser under there. This frees up a lot of space, and all triples have lofted beds. The ladder was a little bit annoying at first but you get used to it very quickly.
My dresser drawer with a ton of toiletries and my clothes. Sorry about the mess!
This is my also messy desk with my printer and my laptop. The laptop is a must have for college whereas the printer isn’t, but it’s nice not having to walk all the way to the library when I need to print out a lab report. Plus Building B doesn’t have a common computer lab where we can print.
This is our microfridge. My roommates and I split the cost so it ended up being about 60 bucks a person, not too bad. The freezer is GREAT and the fridge has enough room for all three of our things. It’s not necessary but it is very convenient.
Last but not least, here is our bathroom! It is smaller than the other bathrooms in Building B because we don’t have any suitemates, but it serves the purpose. =]
This is going to be a very odd post….about cleaning. Odd I know, but 1.) I am a clean freak (kind of) and 2.) A lot of students come to college with no idea on how to clean a room or bathroom, which is crucial if you will be living in Wolman or in Buildings A or B. Maybe I can make this some kind of plug for my Cribs entry that will be up next week. =]
1.) Bring a broom or a Swiffer. To use for your floor if you live in Building A or B or in Wolman. Buldings A and B have hard tile floors…and they get dusty quickly, esp. if you have 1 or 2 other roommates. Wolman has a hallway-like area and a kitchenette and bathroom that need to be kept clean. Make a weekly schedule of who sweeps/Swiffers what, because dust builds up very quickly. And if you’re like me, you hate seeing dirt and dustbunnies on the ground. Make sure to get into the corners and under any chairs, desks, etc…and it’s probably a good idea to try to catch dirt when you see it rather than let it build up. They have dusters as well, which may be useful if you like dusting. I don’t so I just use a rag or something to dust my desk, laptop, printer, and whatnot.
2.) A Swiffer Wetjet! If you live in A, B or Wolman, these are useful too. I had an actual mop earlier in the year, but my room is too crowded to be able to use it well (bucket of water, wringing out, storing) so I threw it out. Here Swiffers or whatever other brands there are can be very useful. Just make sure to sweep the floor(s) well before use, so you don’t end up with clumps of dust on your Swiffer cloth. A clean floor also makes your room/bathroom smell better!
3.) Lysol in a can and disinfectant wipes Ok, so you’re around other people who may have different habits than you do, and sometimes that means busting out the Lysol. Keep your room doorknobs and light switches and sink handles and other high-touch things/areas sanitized when you can. Just spray some on then let it sit, and wipe off with a *clean* wet cloth. Or just use wipes. When winter season comes you’ll hear a lot of kids in lecture hacking their brains out. Don’t want that! Sanitize your laptop keyboard too.
This is my forte. I love cleaning the bathroom. Weird I know but my thing is, why should the place you go to get clean be dirty??
I like to use Ajax or Comet or whatever other abrasive cleanser there is to scrub out the sink, toilet and shower. It has disinfectant in it too so that is a plus! Plus it doesn’t really have a smell for people who hate smells. Sprinkle some on the surface, add a little water, scrub well and let it sit until you’re ready to rinse. Make sure to get into the corners of the shower and under the rim of the toilet bowl.
Pine Sol is good too because it has a nice fresh smell to it, and I like to follow up the ajax with Pine Sol or something like it.
Now, the toilet…..the OUTSIDE needs to be cleaned as well as the inside of it. I think that’s something a lot of students ignore. The seat, over AND under need to be cleaned and wiped and disinfected often. People don’t think under the lid gets dirty but it does! And I won’t go any further than that. :P Clean the outer bowl too. I like to spray stuff on there, then wipe it off.
I forgot to mention cleaning the walls of the showers. Mildew and gunk builds up there, esp. if you have a glass shower door.
Ok, so the sink….high use area that needs to be kept tidy often. It’s probably best if you and your room/suitemates agree to keep the area somewhat clear of all your soap and toothbrushes and washes and whatnot, esp if you live in Wolman because the bathrooms are kind of small. In Buildings A/B tho, the sinks are double sinks so there is more room for that stuff.
This sink is somewhere I get annoyed becasue I hate hate hate when water is left all over the sink and mirror after someone uses it. Have a hand towel for drying the sink area, because you should leave somewhere as clean as when you first entered. Please, clean your hair out of the sink if you left some in there (goes for girls and guys!!), and also clean gobs of toothpaste and extraneous food particles out of the sink.
And do these things when your roommates aren’t there. it’s kinda rude to embark on a heavy cleaning journey while they are sleeping or studying or something. Oh, and MAKE A SCHEDULE so you don’t get stuck cleaning after everyone the whole year. Hopefully everyone will agree to a shift.
I could go on and on, but then this entry would get too long……….I hope you keep this in mind when you come to college, because everyone has to share the same space! And I apologize for this somewhat awkward entry…hehe =]