Guide to College Life

Helping parents and college students with some tips, tricks and ideas to get through the college years!
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    November 3rd, 2010LakeMomCartoons

    For those parents of Juniors and Seniors in High School – this could be your student’s future!

    Comic-Student Debt

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    August 20th, 2010LakeMomRecipes

    I got this recipe online from Simply Recipes. It is so simple! You can add anything you want to it to make it special!

    Recipe: Quesadilla


    • Large flour tortillas
    • Grated cheese – either mild or sharp cheddar, or Monterrey Jack
    • Olive oil or Grapeseed oil


    1. Heat a large cast iron frying pan (or regular frying pan) to medium high heat.
    2. Add a small amount of oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) and spread it around the bottom of the pan with a spatula (you could use butter as well).
    3. Take one large flour tortilla and place it in the pan. flip the tortilla over a few times, 10 seconds between flips. Air pockets should begin to form withing the tortilla.
    4. When pockets of air begin to form, take a handful of grated cheese, sprinkle over the top of the tortilla, making sure that the cheese does not land on the pan itself. Add whatever additional ingredients yo choose – green onion, sliced mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, etc. If you would like your quesadilla to be a chicken quesadilla, add some diced cooked chicken. Take care not to layer on the ingredients to thickly – this is a quesadilla, not a quiche.
    5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. The cast iron pan should be hot enough by now to have plenty of residual heat to melt the cheese and brown the tortilla. If the quesadilla begins to smoke too much, remove from the heat.
    6. After a minute, check to see if the cheese is melted. When the cheese is sufficiently melted, use a spatula to lift up one side of the quesadilla and flip over the other side, as if you were making an omlette. The tortilla should by now be browned slightly. If it is not browned, turn the heat up to high and flip the quesadilla over every 10 seconds or so until it gets browned.
    7. Remove from pan and cut into wedges.
    8. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

    Utensils Needed:

    • Large frying pan
    • Tongs
    • Spatula


    • Sliced mushrooms
    • Green onions
    • Black olives, sliced
    • Fresh tomatoes, diced
    • Chicken pieces
    • Avocado

    Cooking time (duration): 5 minutes

    Number of servings (yield): 1

    Meal type: dinner/snack

    Microformatting by hRecipe.

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    August 19th, 2010adminCollege Life, Dorm Life

    This is a series of posts on the skills that college students need in college and beyond.

    If your child is in high school now is the perfect time to work with them on their cleaning skills (heck, if they are walking it’s a good time to work on their cleaning skills!).

    There are a lot of different methods to cleaning. What works for you will probably not work for your child (just accept it – they won’t do things like you do them because you are … you.). The key is to communicate and work with them to find something that can work for them. If they learn to clean their room, they will be able to take care of their dorm room (at least their side of it!).

    One thing I tried with my daughter was zones. We got the idea of zones from FlyLady (she divides the house into zones and you clean one zone per week). We tried to divide her room into zones: bedroom zone, living/study zone, bathroom zone and kitchen zone (the kitchen area didn’t really happen until she was in her dorm room). She tried it for a while in college.

    We (me) also had several books that we (she) read to try to organize and clean her room. She had Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens. She got some great ideas from it.

    In the end your children have to find what works for them. And they will…thankfully in their own house!

    Do you have any tips to share with your children?

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    August 18th, 2010LakeMomCartoons

    A little advice to parents who have children beginning kindergarten in the next week:

    Comic-College Fund

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    August 16th, 2010LakeMomCollege Life

    Your Student's Car and their 20 Closest Friends!

    So your student is off to college. They had a car while in high school – the question now is – do they take that care to college?

    Some college campus’ have so little parking that freshman are not allowed to have a car on campus. (This makes the car decision easy!) But for the other colleges it poses a problem for the parents and students.

    My opinion is that during their first year at college, students do not need a car. Here are my reasons:

    • If it is a new city to the student, they will not know their way around town and could drive into a “questionable” area of town (GPS’ are famous for taking “shortcuts” through those questionable areas!).
    • You child will become the driver for ALL their friends when they want to go somewhere. Some colleges offer buses for the students to get them to the mall, grocery stores, etc to help the students.
    • If your student has a car, inevitably someone will ask to borrow it. This can be a bad idea on so many levels! Your student doesn’t know all these new friends yet so don’t put them into the position of having to decide who can and can’t drive their/your car.
    • They won’t come home every weekend. For those parents that don’t want to cut the apron strings – this is a bad point! I understand that! It’s hard for me to let her go too but this is a natural progression, this is the baby steps toward adulthood. They have to learn their independence. If they don’t have a car – they will stay on campus to find entertainment and get involved in campus life. This is a good thing, really!

    So that is my 2 cents. Let me know what you think! I welcome your input/comments on this topic – should your student have a car at college?

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    August 13th, 2010LakeMomRecipes

    This recipe is for a 2 qt. crock pot.

    Recipe: Chili


    • 1/2 – 1 lb extra lean ground beef
    • 1 can (15 oz. ) pinto beans, drained
    • 1 small onion, chopped (optional) or use minced onion
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
    • 1/2 can (6 oz) tomato paste
    • 1/4 c. water
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon sale
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


    1. Crumble ground beef into slow cooker. Add beans, onion and garlic.
    2. In a medium bowl, stir tomatoes, tomato paste, water, chili powder, sale, oregano, cumin and pepper until blended. Stir into meat mixture. Scrape down sides of slow cooker.
    3. Cover and cook on high for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours or until onion is tender.

    Utensils Needed:

    • 2 qt. slow cooker
    • Small bowl
    • Teaspoon
    • Tablespoon
    • Spoon

    Other Notes:

    Serve with shredded Cheddar cheese and saltine crackers or tortilla chips.

    Number of servings (yield): 2

    Meal type: dinner

    Microformatting by hRecipe.

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    August 12th, 2010LakeMomCollege Life

    Last week LakeGirl gave her perspective and tips on homesickness. This week I’m going to give parents some tips to help your new student bridge the gap between college and home and overcome homesickness.

    Write letters: When my kids go to summer camp, we are encouraged to write letters, but they tell us not to say in the letters – “We miss you, etc.” I would say this is a really good idea to continue with your college student. Here’s your chance to put into words how proud you are of your student. These could be the letters they keep for a lifetime.

    Cards: Send funny general cards – a “Just Because” or “Thinking of You” card. It gives them a boost to go to the mailbox and find mail! They might share the “love” with their friends.

    Care Package: I’ve heard that some colleges offer care packages that you can purchase and they will send the packages for you. This can be a good idea if you’re really busy and tend to let things sneak up on you! But it’s easy to make it personal. Let the younger siblings send a package of favorite things to their big brother/sister. Here are some ideas of things to put into a care package:

    • Peanut Butter – protein and good comfort food! (Check to make sure the roommate doesn’t have a peanut allergy.)
    • Favorite Cookies
    • Play Doh
    • Bubbles
    • CD mix of songs that make you think of your child
    • Gift cards (grocery stores, restuarants, Target, etc.)
    • Sidewalk chalk

    Include something in the box that your student can share with their roommate.

    What other ideas do you have for helping your child overcome homesickness?

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    August 11th, 2010adminCartoons

    This is a great comic from Nature’s Graffiti.

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    August 10th, 2010LakeMomCollege Life, Dorm Life

    This is the 2nd in a series of posts on roommates.

    College Roommates in DormAt the beginning of your school year is the perfect time to talk to your roommate about your study habits (you don’t want to do it the night before a big paper is due and you need to pull an all nighter and your roommate wants to sleep before her big test!)

    Here are some questions to ask yourself and your roommate:

    Do you like to study with music? Discuss the type of music (some might enjoy fast music, while another student would study better to classical music or no noise.)

    Can you study with the TV on? Some students say they can ignore it, but some students will admit that they pictures are distracting!)

    Do you wait until the last minute to study for a test (thus needing to stay up all night vs. someone who want to be rested before their exams?)

    Do you need low lights to study by or full bright lights?

    Do you like to eat while studying? (To some munching popcorn or chips can be distracting and annoying!)

    What do you like to do for study breaks? How often do you want to schedule a study break? Do you take study breaks? Some students want to plow through their work just to get it done! Other students need a break after an hour or two. Maybe a simple computer game is enough or maybe a run around the dorm will recharge their creative juices for that paper that is due tomorrow!

    What did I forget? What question do you want to ask your new roommate about their study habits?

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    August 9th, 2010LakeMomDorm Life

    This is the last of a 4 part series on what things you need to take to college. This week: Kitchen/Cleaning Supplies.

    If you are living in one room, your kitchen needs are not very big. You are probably on the campus meal plan, so cooking big meals isn’t needed. But occasionally you will be staying up late and need some food to wake you up! You also need a few cleaning supplies to keep your space – livable! Talk with your roommate and you can split the cleaning supplies between you. (You don’t need 2 brooms!)


    • cup, bowl, plate, silverware (enough for 1 serving)
    • can/bottle opener (to open cans of soup – for when you need chicken soup!)
    • water bottle (hydrate!)
    • broom/dust pan (keep your room neat!)
    • cleaning supplies (window cleaner, wipes to clean sink, etc.)


    • Microwave (you may not need this during the first year, or you could wait until after Christmas to see what kind of space you have)
    • Refrigerator (talk to your roommate, you don’t need 2 of these and if you get this you will need to make sure it is big enough for both of you to have space to put everything)
    • Coffee Maker (this may be a necessary thing for some students!)
    • Fan (if your roommate likes the room warmer that you like it, a fan can help you sleep)
    • Vacuum (if you have a rug, you will need some kind of small vacuum to keep it clean – you may need to rethink that rug!)
    • Water Pitcher (for extra water)

    NO (these are not needed during your first year)

    • Toaster over (banned totally at some schools)
    • Air purifier (this maybe necessary for those that have allergies)
    • Humidifier (you won’t have room for this appliance)
    • Room fragrances (candles are banned at some schools)
    • Cookware (only if you have a full kitchen)

    Is there anything I have left off the list that you feel you really NEED? Let me know!

    To see the other parts of the series, start at the beginning: Bedroom

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