5 Dorm Hacks Debunked

dorm opening

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It’s almost August, which means that you’re probably scouring the Internet for college advice, Facebook groups, and gif-based articles written by witty college veterans (looking at you, Buzzfeed. You steal far too much of my free time.) When I was preparing to move into the res halls, I was obsessed with my packing list and consolidating my mountain of stuff. Space savers and “dorm hacks” are fantastic… when they actually work. I went through the hassle of testing some of these methods and graded them to see if their Pinteresty-chic luster stands up to the real world.

1. Underbed Storage Bins

underbedt

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If we lived in a climate that actually had seasons, these would have been extremely convenient. However, since Riverside keeps it fresh and fluctuates in temperature throughout the year, it became a daily struggle to pull out these clunky containers to find a sweater. Also, you can raise your beds at UCR, so having these containers flat and long isn’t the best solution. Overall, I would give these a B-.

2. Stacking drawers

stacking drawers

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

I got the most bang for my storage buck by making use of all the space under my bed. By raising it to about waist-high (confession: mine was raised when I arrived #lothianperks), you can fit your clothes, laundry materials, snacks, and books. Any of these stacking drawers would be perfect for foldable clothes. Your dresser will either be in your closet or under the bed, but I needed more storage space as a self-professed shopaholic. I also painted and bedazzled my storage containers, because my favorite color is glitter. These get an A!

3. Storage Cubes

cube

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Admittedly, these were always an enigma to me. What do I put in the cube? What makes the cube more worthy of my stuff than any other surface? How is this saving me space? These look slick in all those beautiful “organized dorm” blog photos, but the sad reality is that they aren’t useful for much. I found soft fabric bins to be infinitely more useful, and take up less space. This sad little cube gets an F from me.

4. Hanging shoe shelves

Source. If you’re feeling extra fancy and want a standalone version.

These can be hit-or-miss, depending on how neat you are. I had friends who used these to store everything from their hair products to clean socks to the intended purpose of shoes. I, on the other hand, threw a bunch of random junk in the cubes through the year and it took up valuable closet space. I would give this product a solid B+, however, because of how well they can work if you don’t need the closet room and have some measure of self-control unlike me.

5. Soda tabs made into hangers

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This is one of those hacks you read online and say, “psh, that would never work in real life” and then you try it, and it totally works in your totally real life, and everyone wins. Seriously, the soda can tab trick saved my precious closet space AND displayed my clothes so I could easily see them. I was worried about the clothes wrinkling because they’re so close to each other, but I never had a problem with it. This hack gets a definitive A from me.

Unnecessary Objects
Lastly, there are some items that work perfectly well, but aren’t practical or necessary in UCR res halls. Microwaves, for example: vital for any college student, but provided in every room. Lamps: your room would look really classy with a floor light, but you get a lighted mirror, desk lamp, and overhead lighting. Save your space for T. Swift posters or your Sports Illustrated collection (ahem, maybe don’t bring that, actually.)

So there you have it, folks! I hope this reduced your pre-moving jitters a little and assured you that you can successfully hack your dorm without starring in your own HGTV series. Talk to you soon!  

- Delaynie

Media and cultural studies is not entirely for film buffs. The film major is no longer a concentration under MCS. It’s part of the Theater curriculum.

Thank you for the correction!

 this blog makes me so excited for ucr. thanks, guys. (:

You’re welcome, we can’t wait to welcome you onto campus!

A mega-sized edition of Q&A after the break!

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Broke College Students Rejoice: Win Free Stuff

Source. Norm the Navel looks as if he just won a free iPad. Or saw a Tropicana ad, either one.

Raffles, radio call-ins, you name it: I live for contests. The prospect of winning anything, whether it be a poster of a band I don’t even listen to or something legitimately cool, really excites me. That’s why I faithfully complete the surveys sent out via R’Mail, and this time, you can win an iPad! Take the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES), and share your thoughts to help UCR improve its undergraduate programs and services for you. You can share your rants, your raves, and anything in between. All answers are confidential. If you complete the survey by August 1, you’re entered in to win the free iPad! You can also win daily prizes, like reusable water bottles, lanyards (every first year’s necessity), and prize packs. Click here to take the survey. Just saying, if you win, I think you owe me at least one iPad selfie.

Anonymous said: do you know of any cheap storage places near campus that maybe offer student discounts. I need to a place to store all my stuff since I won't be in rside for summer

Hi there! I haven’t personally used any storage facilities in Riverside. I did a quick Googling, and found that this place, as well as this place, offer student discounts.

If we meet someone at orientation, around July, can we ask for them as dorm mates? Or is it too late?

Roommate requests are on a first-come, first-serve basis, but Housing will give you a presentation at orientation and will let you know at that time if you can still request a roommate. Check out other Housing Faq’s here.

More questions after the break!

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Spotlight: Serving the Community with Beta Phi Delta

Source. Members of Beta Phi Delta work together to repaint the C.

Joining a fraternity was the last thing on my mind when I entered college freshman year. Why, you ask? Mainly because of the perceived stereotypes of college fraternities. It’s interesting how the media loves to hype up the negative aspects of college and fraternity life without showing the positive.

I’ve been a part of Beta Phi Delta for about three years. I joined during the fall quarter of my sophomore year and it might honestly be one of the best decisions I ever made in college. Beta Phi Delta basically blew all of my prejudices out of the window. When I entered my sophomore year of college, I was trying to look for ways to give back to my community. My friend invited me out to rush week, and told me that she was a part of community service fraternity. I didn’t even realize those kinds of fraternities existed.

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9 Things to Do Before You Leave UCR

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Source. Courtesy of the Life at UCR Instagram!

As I was packing for my trip to Washington, D.C., I stumbled upon my acceptance letter to UC Riverside. The letter I had received four years ago was still perfectly intact inside an envelope, with statistics and photographs of a school I hadn’t known much about. Although I graduated college in four years, I technically only spent three of those years studying at UCR. Between studying abroad and taking part in the UCDC internship program, I took advantage of all UC Riverside had to offer in making my undergraduate experience memorable.

While I don’t for a moment regret all the programs I took part in, I do recognize that occasionally separating myself from UCR put a strain on my friendships and altered my connection to the Riverside community. Spending my final quarter as an undergrad across the country has been bittersweet. While my time in D.C. has set me apart from so many soon-to-be graduates, it also meant missing out on major milestones, such as attending the grad fair, struggling through one last finals week and enjoying the last few weeks with my college friends.

As I began to pack up my workspace and apartment here in Washington, D.C., I got to thinking about all the things I would be doing if I was back at UC Riverside. Maybe it’s because my hometown is hundreds of miles from campus, meaning I most likely won’t be returning, but my senioritis has worn off and all I feel like doing is reliving my favorite moments at the school that gave me more than I ever could have imagined. If you’re a graduating senior or just feeling really nostalgic, check a couple things off this list — and be a proud Highlander.

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Anonymous said: i was wait listed to ucr and got denied, what are the chances of me getting in if i send in an appeal? when would i find out? and is my final transcript considered new information?

You would need new information that did not appear in your original application, and you’d find out two to four weeks after you submit the appeal. You can read a little more about the appeal process by clicking here; while your final transcript isn’t considered new and compelling information, an explanation about some factors contributing to any lapses in your application, like medical emergencies, would be considered.

-Rebecca

Anonymous said: Hi I'm an incoming transfer, once the final transcript is turned in what happens after its received

It’ll be processed and its receipt will be reflected on your MyUCR account. It takes about two to four weeks to process transcripts, and you can check on the status of any other necessary documents on MyUCR.

More answers below, and a message from me!

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Revisit: Finals Survival Guide

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I meet with a few fellow students each week to talk about writing, and to workshop our latest pieces. We usually meet in one of the study rooms in Rivera because it’s most convenient, and I can usually just reserve a room same-day online. Today, though, I went to reserve a spot and found that almost all of them were full, with bold black bars blocking out the names of entire rooms. I was momentarily surprised, and then I remembered:

Finals.

We’re at the beginning of the end, which means that Red Bull and Rockstar are seeing sharp increases in sales at UCR, and every Starbucks within five miles is being swarmed by dead-eyed students seeking venti-orange-mocha-caramel-frappuccinos. What do you do? Where do you go? Oh, the humanity! Don’t worry, gentle Highlanders. We’ve got you covered. Click the links below for some of our favorite articles about finals — full of places to go, things to do and ways to keep your mind from spontaneously combusting.

Places to Go:

- A Survival Guide

- 5 Peaceful On-Campus Spots

- Open Hours

- Study Spots on Campus

Places to Eat:

- Late-Night Eats

- Surviving Finals Week: Food

- Coffee Places During Finals Week

Tips:

- 5 Ways to Rock Your Finals

- Got Finals?

- Tips for an Effective Study Time

Good luck out there!

- Rebecca

The Home Stretch

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The end of spring quarter is always tough because it’s hard to stay focused and motivated when the sun kisses your skin. Even I have trouble staying on top of the seemingly endless amounts of reading and problem sets. Believe me, I’ve played hooky more times than I’d like to admit this quarter. I don’t know if it’s early onset senioritis or what, but I’ve been needing a lot of inspiration to get my head in the game.

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