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Janelle Vreeland

How to find a roommate off campus

The best way to search for a roommate while off campus

It can be difficult trying to find a roommate if you don’t have someone in mind from campus to live with. But, often, living on your own just isn’t financially possible. So, what steps should you take in order to find a roommate?  We’re here to help you out!

Post flyers. If the end of the semester is approaching, and you know you’re going to need a new roommate soon, post flyers in all the dorms with your contact information. Chances are, other students will be looking for alternate housing and will be willing to investigate your request to find a roommate. By doing this, you’ll be paired up with someone on-campus and you might feel more comfortable around them.

Network. If your campus has a social networking site, or a profile on a networking page, use that to your advantage and let all of your fellow students know that you are trying to find a roommate. Also, if your campus has its own site with message boards and forums then use them to your advantage! Get your name out there!

Search online. Sure, it can be scary and intimidating using the Internet for finding a roommate, but if you know where to look, it’s not that bad. If you’re unable to find a roommate from the student body, try a site like Roommates.com to find roommates and apartments in your area. Registration is free and, more than likely, you’ll feel more confident using it or one of its competitor sites than craigslist.

Rejected by sororities

One student’s story of Greek rejection

At eight-years-old, I remember hanging out in my brother’s fraternity house. It was a rickety old house with decaying walls, chipped paint and a pungent aroma of soured milk and aged garbage. I loved it so much that right then I declared one day I was going to join a sorority and live in a house exactly like that one.

When it was time for me to narrow down my college choices, Indiana University fell into the number one spot. Besides their great journalism program, they had one of the largest Greek systems in the nation. It was a prefect fit.

Within a few weeks, I had made a great group of girlfriends from my dorm floor. I couldn’t wait for the recruitment process to begin; I knew my new friends and I would all end uup in the same sorority.

It was the day after our last rush party, and our rush counselors were handing us our bids. One by one, I watched my friends go into a room and walk out with grins on their faces. It was my turn. My heart was pounding. This was the moment I’d been waiting my whole life for.

I anxiously opened the door and sat wide-eyed in from of my rush counselor. Her face was sullen, and eyes blurred with tears.

“What’s the matter?” I asked with concern.

“I dont’ know how to tell you this — there’s no easy way, so…here.”

She handed me a thin envelope with my name typed on the front.

“It’s thin,”  I said nervously. “Thin isn’t good.”

Like a Band-Aid, I ripped it open. It read: “We regret to inform you that we could not place you in a sorority.”

“But I’ve wanted this my entire life,” I stuttered through sobs, “can’t we tell them that?”

“This is the biggest flaw with the Greek system. There are so many girls who want to join sororities, but not enough sororities to support them. Sometime when you don’t know someone, you fall through the cracks. Even if you happen to be a great girl, which you are.”

I nodded. I pretended to understand, but I didn’t. I knew in my heart I wanted to be part of the Greek system more than any of those other girls. Didn’t that count for anything? She leaned over and hugged me tightly. “I really am so sorry. You can always rush again next year.”

Next year. That’s when it hit me. I had just watched all my friends get accepted into their sororities of choice. Next year, they’d all move into new homes and build new friendships and start new lives. What about me? Where would I live? Who would my new friends be?

The most intense pain was the ache of rejection. Wasn’t I pretty enough? Smart enough? Did I not own the right clothes? I felt humiliated, like all my bad traits and unattractive qualities had been nit-picked and put on display for everyone to see. I’d spent 19 years trying to build my self-esteem and in one instant, it plummeted.

The next day was brutal. All the freshmen girls were told to wear their lettered sweatshirts so the entire university could see into what sorority they’d been accepted. Everywhere I looked there were girls in letters; it seemed like everyone had gotten into a sorority, but me.

I carried the hurt around for months. My pride and sense of worth had been squashed. But even so, I realized something incredibly important; something that not only got me through college, but also gets me through every day of my life. Things don’t always go as planned.

We can spend our entire lives thinking things are supposed to happen a certain way, and when they don’t, if we’re too focused on the couldas and shouldas, we miss out on what actually is there.

I am gratfeul for my college experience. My social calendar was always packed, I discovered my passion for writing and I built great relationships with intelligent professors. I may not have had the college life I always dreamt of, but that’s okay. Because the one I had was even better.

Dental insurance for college students

What you need to know when looking for dental insurance as a college student

Contrary to what your list of important investments in college may look like, dental care should be near the top. Living at home with your parents, you probably received a lot time and care at the dentist’s office. But living on your own lifts the responsibility of health care from your parents to you.

The Government Accountability Office states that only 30 percent of colleges in the country require their full-time students to have health insurance. Of those colleges that require it, most do not offer preventative services such as routine dental exams or vision care. So how do college students acquire dental insurance and dental care without a huge cost? 

Many college students get health insurance through the university that they attend. However, inside Higher Ed reported in 2008 that 67 percent of students received health insurance through their parents by employer-sponsored plans, which cover employees and their dependents. Furthermore, only 7 percent were covered by private insurance like student plans and 6 percent through public programs. Although many students are still covered under their parents’ plans, there are still roughly 20 percent of students uninsured not only for dental insurance, but for general health insurance.

It’s no surprise that college students live on a budget. When you’re living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, who’s thinking about dental insurance? Albeit at times expensive, oral care is necessary for healthy teeth and gums as well as a healthy body. Keeping your mouth healthy at a young age prevents complications later in life. Dental insurance is definitely not an easy or cheap to acquire, but there are ways to get it. If you are employed by a business or company chances are they offer insurance plans that you can pick up for a smaller fee than if you went with an individual policy. Some colleges and universities also offer dental insurance, but at an additional cost to the regular health insurance.

Loyola University in Chicago is one of the universities that started offering supplementary dental insurance at an added cost in the 2010-2011 academic year. Laura Zaucha of Loyola Universities BURSAR, the office responsible for billing of tuition and fees, stated that “the plan is handled directly through United Healthcare, as enrollment is totally optional and not mandatory. Students enroll and pay United Healthcare [for dental] directly. We do not bill the student’s account for dental coverage.”

Even though it’s at an added cost of about $200 a year, the option for the dental insurance makes it easier for students who want to be covered. “We sent out a survey last academic year to those students who were enrolled on Loyola’s student health insurance asking their interest in a dental plan. Quite a few students showed interest, so we asked our health insurance carrier to supply us with a couple different quotes,” said Zaucha. As she explained, the insurance carrier offered two separate options. Loyola then sent out another survey asking students which option they preferred and went with the most popular one.

The insurance plan that United Healthcare offers for Loyola students covers two periodic oral evaluations, or general cleaning and preventative dental exam. This is the most important aspect of dental care and is the key to preventing future oral complications. Chances are that if your college or university offers dental insurance it will, at the very least, offer this in the plan.

While Loyola’s offer for dental insurance is very beneficial to its students, a lot of universities still do not offer dental insurance. If your university is one that doesn’t offer this, there is one other solution. You should check and see if your university has a college of dentistry. If it does, you can use your school’s dental students as your dental care resources. Dental students need to fulfill a certain amount of hours in clinical studies, meaning they need to apply what they learn in class on actual teeth. You can allow dental students to examine and clean your teeth at a significantly lower rate than the rate charged an established dentist. While they are not certified dentists yet, don’t worry. The dental students are supervised and are not just let loose to wreak untrained havoc on your teeth. As an article in Say Educate confirms, “you’ll pay for your visits, but the rates are substantially lower than what your dentist charges. Students are observed by their teachers who are dentists themselves.” If you have no insurance, this is definitely a smart way to acquire dental care at a low cost. 

International student car insurance

What international students need to find affordable car insurance

If you plan on driving in the U.S. as an international student, you will definitely need to make sure you have some form of international student car insurance. It may seems confusing and overwhelming to deal with, but if you keep a few major tips in mind you’ll find it a lot easier to navigate the world of international student car insurance and get the protection that you need.

International student car insurance tip: Choose a company that doesn’t penalize international students – as Steven Ellise Enterprise reports, many insurance companies will only offer lower premiums and high coverage to individuals who have driven in the U.S. for at least three years. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many companies who count driving experience in other countries as qualified experience, so do your homework and seek them out. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

International student car insurance tip: Look into collision and comprehensive coverage, not just liability – By going with liability insurance, you’re going with the bare, legal minimum, but it only covers passengers or property that you damage in an accident. Collision will cover repairs to your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident and comprehensive will help you recover losses if your car is stolen or destroyed in some other way not related to a crash. Know the differences, as well as the area you’ll be living in, to determine the best coverage for you as an international student.

International student car insurance tip: Look for fixed rates – As Ezine reports, some companies offer fixed rates for a certain length of time, meaning that your rates won’t go up even if you have an accident. Look for the longest period possible!

International student car insurance tip: Have an updated international driver’s license – This will allow you to drive in the U.S. as well as at home with out having to register for just a U.S. license. And make sure that it is valid for at least six months after your stay ends so that you stand a better chance at getting reasonable international student car insurance rates and coverage. 

Having a sexversation

What kind of pillow talk should you and your partner be engaging in?

Some couples are for the lights-off kind of sex, where they would be lucky to know what color of underwear each other is wearing.  And some couples are the public-display sex kind, meaning we’re the ones lucky enough to know the color of their underwear! 

While each couple has separate levels of comfort with their intimacy, the fact is healthy sex is healthy sex. And obtaining that comfort requires communication. To ensure that your sex life is healthy, engage in the following five sexversations and keep your love train on track.

Was that good for you?

Sex measures a relationship’s temperature like a thermometer does the weather’s; good sex signals a good relationship. If your passionate embraces start to become more like a clock-watching session, the chemistry and emotions between you and your partner are changing.  A simple question, with an honest response, could open doors for conversations about why your sex is or is not sizzling.

What’s your favorite position?

Bad pick up line? Yes. Good for relationships? Also yes. Simply stated, if you don’t know your partner’s favorite position you earn an “F” in the bedroom.  Even if you may think you know, chances are, if he or she has not explicitly told you, “I like doggy style,” you probably don’t know. 

What’s your fantasy?

Indulging your desires to your partner can open the door for many exciting sexual experiences.  What if you had been harboring a secret desire to have sex in the library, which is the very fantasy your partner unveils?

However, this question comes with a warning label: you can get in trouble here. Spilling to your girlfriend about your long-time fantasy of a threesome with a couple of girls he met on spring break last year might yield the results you want.  While I am not advocating lying, acclamation to your dirty mind would be appreciated—so start easy.

Do you like my body?

A dangerous question but a necessary one. If his six-pack abs slowly melted away around the six-month mark, speaking up about how much you miss them will not be the worst thing in the world. Taking care of yourself has more benefits than merely stopping wandering eyes.

What do you want?

Some people have never been asked this question. They go along with whatever type of sex is given to them without protest…all the while dreaming about being held up to the wall or moving away from missionary.  Simply asking your partner what they want mid-act gives both of you the opportunity for a perfectly satisfying, happy ending. In both senses of the phrase.

Fran Drescher abducted?

Fran Drescher says she was abducted by aliens

Fran Drescher recently dished to Huffington Post that she believes she was abducted by aliens.

“You know, it’s funny because Peter (Fran’s ex-husband) and I both saw [aliens] before we knew each other, doing the same thing, driving on the road with our dads,” Drescher told the site. “We were both in junior high. A few years later, we met, and we realized that we had the same experience. I think that somehow we were programmed to meet. We both have this scar. It’s the exact same scar on the exact same spot.”

When Drescher’s ex-hubby expressed his doubts about their abducted past, and suggested that their scars came from chldhood injuries, Drescher shot his suggestion down.

“I said to him, that’s what the aliens programmed us to think,” Drescher explains. “But really, that’s where the chip is.”

Read more about Fran Drescher here.

Barefoot Bandit sentenced to six-and-a-half years

Barefoot Bandit sentenced again

The Barefoot Bandit, Colton Harris-Moore, has been sentenced again in Seattle for federal offenses.

BBC reports that the so-called Barefoot Bandit, 20, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. The Bandit was given a nearly seven-year sentence last month. This term will be served concurrently with his state prison time.

The Barefoot Bandit made international headlines when he spent two years on the run, stealing cars, boats and planes.

Moore earned his nickname from the footprints that were left behind at some of the crime scenes.

Read more about the Barefoot Bandit here.

Brad Childress close to Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator position

Brad Childress is frontrunner for opening

Brad Childress is close to striking a deal as the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator.

Cleveland.com reports the Browns had narrowed their choices to Mike Sherman, the former Packers coach, and Childress, the former Vikings coach. Sherman, however, is reportedly close to striking a deal with the Miami Dolphins, leaving Childress the frontrunner.

Childress was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia from 2003-05 and was head coach of the Vikings from 2006-10. 

Childress was fired by the Vikings after 10 games of 2010 season after going 39-35 in his four-plus years, and 1-2 in postseason.

Read more about Brad Childress here.

Rutgers' Schiano close to deal with Buccaneers

Rutgers’ Schiano close to first NFL coaching position

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is reportedly clsoe to striking a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ESPN reports that Schiano, 45, and Buccaneers officials met Wednesday for the second time and then worked into the morning writing a contract that is expected to be finalized. This would be Schiano’s first NFL coaching job.

The Buccaneers fired former coach Raheem Morris earlier this month after the team went 4-12.

Schiano has a 49-28 record with Rutgers. His current contract with Rutgers runs through 2016 and pays him $2.35 million a year.

Read more about Rutgers coach Greg Schiano here.

Barney Frank to marry longtime partner

Barney Frank, Jim Ready to marry

Barney Frank and his longtime partner will soon say “I do.”

AP reports that Frank and his partner, Jim Ready, plan to marry. No date has been set for the Frank/Ready wedding, but a spokesman for Frank confirmed it will take place in Massachusetts.

Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, is the first openly gay member of Congress. Last year, Frank served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and was a major force behind the sweeping overhaul of financial regulations.

As we reported last fall, Frank, 71, announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

Read more about Barney Frank here.