Single Dorm Life *UPDATED* +Tips

So, last fall, I posted a little something about my experience living in a single dorm. I went a little bit like this:
“This post may be better for spring, but at this point, I will be talking about living in a single dorm. This post will be mostly about my experience so far, and I plan on doing a follow up to this in January regarding the process of requesting housing-single or other.
I requested a single room for many reasons. First, I have never had to share a room with anyone except on vacations. I also have a very specific way of living. I don’t like clutter. I realize that I may not be getting the normal roommate experience, but I am completely fine with that.
One of the benefits of a single room, at least at my college, is that I didn’t have to write a roommate agreement. I don’t have to live with another person and worry about their schedule or having to deal with sharing such close quarters with someone. One thing that makes my single dorm experience different from others is that my entire floor is single dorms. There are about 15 of us who all have our own rooms. Going into it, I was a little worried that everyone would keep to themselves. As someone who wanted their own room, I understand not wanting to spend their free time with strangers. That didn’t happen, however. I have made great friends with a couple of the people on my floor. We are all new to the university, even though we are not freshman. That definitely made things easier. If everyone had their own friend groups, I would have probably just been a loner.
I understand that a single room is not for everyone. Some people like the comfort of having someone else around to talk to. For others, the added cost of a single room (it does cost more than a double) is not worth it. Overall, I have had a great first month living in a single dorm, and I am looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Now, I am back, we are nearing the end of the school year, and I want to compare my thoughts within the first month and my thoughts now, many months later. Clearly, it is not January, but I digress…
If you want a single dorm, it is important to apply and fill out all of the paperwork sooner rather than later. Like any other dorms, singles are given out as they are available on a first come first serve basis. So get those babies in NOW. You might be able to wait, but don’t push it. Also, your grade level might be considered. Upperclassmen will usually get priority.
If you happen to live on a floor that is made up of all single rooms, as I said in the original post, it can be hard to make friends. It’s possible, but you will have to work a little harder. My biggest tip for anyone in a single room who wants to meet other people in the dorm is to go to floor events: floor programs, floor dinner (if that’s a thing at your school), or ask your RA for tips. They’re there to help you.
From talking to people about dorm life, I learned that if you are a freshman, depending on your university, it may not be an option for you to have a single room. If your school requires all freshmen to live on campus, odds are against anyone getting their own room. There is one exception that is made to comply with the ADA. At a large university or one that doesn’t require you to live on campus, you may have a chance at a single room. Just know that if you don’t get a single room, it won’t be the end of the world. Your roommate could become a lifelong friend or, at the very least, someone to talk to when you are bored.
I am still very happy with my decision to live in a single room, and I plan on staying in a single room (hopefully) again next year. I know that the added expense of a single room is not worth it for everyone. That is okay, and I don’t want anyone to think that wanting a single room makes them weird. Some people believe that the dues for Greek life are worth it. Others think that a private school is worth it. I, personally, believe that the expense of a single room is worth it, for both my sanity and that of others.
Thanks for reading!

#BlogLife: WordPress vs. Blogger

Note: Since I have only ever used Blogger and (the free WordPress site), that is what I will be comparing.
I have been blogging since September 2013. For a long time, I didn’t blog regularly. It wasn’t until many months later that I started to take it seriously as a hobby and a possible career. (I haven’t made any money from this yet, but I am working on some projects for my Etsy shop).

Killer Harmony | #BlogLife: WordPress vs. Blogger | A battle of the two biggest, most popular, free blogging platforms. This post is mostly based off of my opinions, and I realize that not everyone will agree. Please consider your situation before deciding on the best platform for you.

Over the course of the past two plus years, I have used both Blogger and WordPress. I switched over to using WordPress on Christmas Day, a decision I later regretted. I was using the free version which, in my opinion, has more limitations than the free Blogger. I will be comparing the two platforms by categories: Website, Mobile Apps, Customizability, Templates, Ease of Use, and then a final overview of the pros and cons of each.
While Blogger is clean and simple, the WordPress online site allows you much more flexibility and creativity with your site. If you are starting your first blog or if you are not very tech-savvy, Blogger is a good choice. More likely than not, you probably already have a Google account, in which case you can simply login to Google, click over to Blogger, and start a blog. If you have been blogging for awhile or you want to grow your blog, it might not be a bad idea to use WordPress. It is not for the faint of heart blogger, but if you have a passion for blogging, it is the way to go.
Winner: Tie (Use your best judgement based on your personal situation)
Mobile Apps
WordPress takes the cake on this one. The Blogger app is very limited. All you can do in it is write, edit, and immediately publish posts. If you want to schedule a post for later, check statistics, or anything else, you will need to access the website. WordPress’s app allows for all of this. You can even change the settings of your site from the app, too.
Winner: WordPress
I have heard that many people think that you can’t do much to customize your blog if you work in Blogger. While this is true if you want to use the premade templates. However, if you are willing to get your hands dirty and learn a little HTML, anything is possible. With WordPress .com, you cannot access the HTML, so you are limited to the templates. Sure, you can change the color or the font (you can do those things in Blogger, too), but you can’t do some of the other things that require access to the back end of your site.
Winner: Tie (If you want to learn HTML: Blogger, If you can’t care less: WordPress)

Both platforms have different templates, and the options vary. If you don’t want to mess with HTML, WordPress definitely has more. Again, if you are interested in writing your own code, then Blogger is where it’s at. WordPress has a huge selection of both free and paid templates, and there are also many third party templates that you can use.
Winner: WordPress
Ease of Use
Even though WordPress has come out ahead in almost every other category, this is where it falls a little flat. Once you learn how to use it, it is not that bad, but I am still finding new and interesting ways to do things. Blogger, however, is much easier to learn to use. You just pick a template, write your first post, which you can access that from just about anywhere within your account. WordPress takes a while longer to learn, but it is not that bad.
Winner: Blogger
Overall, neither platform wins. I love using Blogger, but I think both platforms are worth giving a try to see which one you like more.
Pros of WordPress:
More capabilities, both on the website and within the mobile apps.
More templates, fonts, and colors which allow you to customize your blog.
Used by a large portion of bloggers and website owners in general.
Cons of WordPress:
Takes time to learn how to use it well.
Not as easy to set up.
Not the best in terms of starting a blog for the first time.
Pros of Blogger:
Comes with a Google account.
Quick and easy to set up and start writing.
Can use AdSense with a subdomain.
Cons of Blogger:
Limited in terms of customization and access to different functions on the mobile app.
Not very much active support when you need help.
Your blog looks a lot like other blogs.

I hope this information helps you with your decision between WordPress and Blogger! Next up, scheduling posts! Don’t forget to keep up with me so that you don’t miss the release of my eBook. You will get offline access to all of the posts in my #BlogLife series as well as bonus content that you won’t want to miss!
Thanks for reading!

Advice for Music Majors Transferring from a Community College

This is a topic that hits close to home for me, because I am a transfer student majoring in music. I have learned a lot from just my experience transferring, and that is all that I am going off of here. My experience. I realize that different schools will have different standards, and thus, it might not be the same for you as it was for me. I am going to go into details on WHO would consider this route, WHY one might transfer, HOW you should go about it, and WHEN the best time to transfer is, in my opinion.

Killer Harmony | Advice for Music Majors Transferring from a Community College | The, how, why, when, and more of transferring colleges as a music major.
With the rising cost of tuition, many more people are looking to starting at a community college, getting their basics out of the way, and save-maybe even earn-a little money. You don’t have to be a single working parent to fit the mold of a community college student. I, and one of my current floormates/friends, attended a community college right out of high school. You also don’t have to have a specific GPA. Some people who might have slacked off in high school choose the community college route to build a better GPA, but I don’t fit that stereotype. I graduated with a pretty good GPA. The point is, anyone from any socioeconomic status, academic merit, age group, etc. can be seen attending classes at a community college.
Why did I start at a community college? The main reason was to save money. I am terrified of student loans, like seriously TERRIFIED of them. I have heard so many horror stories about loans, and I don’t want any of that. Other people might have other motives. Family responsibilities, a job, health concerns. But for me, it was the money.
I think that one con of community college-at least, if you intend to finish your bachelors-is the fact that once you get there, you aren’t done with your college search. You still have to think about the universities that you think might be a good fit, and you have to visit them, fill out applications, the whole nine yards. It can be overwhelming when you feel like you should have been done with it all when you graduated high school. You should go about transferring the same way you did with four year schools when you were a senior, maybe a little better, since you’ve matured. Use the Internet to look up the schools you are considering, blah, blah, blah. If you want a detailed explanation of how to apply to college, contact a school counselor.
Lastly, when is the best time to transfer? I transferred after two years, earned an associates degree, and while I don’t regret when I transferred, I probably would not recommend the same be done by music majors in the future. I was very lucky to have attended my state’s most prestigious community college for music. Even so, the school only offered the first year of music theory and aural skills classes. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great school, but the lack of second year music classes meant I had to take a year off from them. I was able to get some more general education classes in, but I definitely set myself back a bit. I had to spend my summer relearning some of the concepts from theory 2 that I had forgotten. If you are at a community college that does offer second year music classes, I would still recommend transferring after a year, because those second year classes are not as regulated. That means that you might have to take those classes again at your new university. If you don’t, you might have to make them up on some other way, or you might feel like you are out of the loop in more advanced music classes.
I hope that this helps you if you are transferring or will ever transfer between schools. While this post is directed at community college students, anyone who is planning on switching music schools can find something helpful here. Do you have any other questions about my experience transferring as a music major? Leave ’em below!
Thanks for reading!

#BlogLife: Writing, Editing, and Publishing a Post

Welcome to the second installment in my first ever series about blogging! If you have not read the first post about what you should do when you set up your blog, you should check it out! This post will cover everything you need to know about writing a good quality blog post. Yes, I used the Oxford comma, and no, I won’t judge you if you don’t use it. Anyway, here I am going to tell you how I go about writing and crafting a post before I hit publish, or schedule, since I often pre write my content.

Killer Harmony | #BlogLife | Writing, Editing, and Publishing a Post | What you need to know about writing, editing, and publishing your first blog post. From a series about blogging for beginners.

Writing a blog post is a lot different than the writing you do in English class. It should feel a lot more like a conversation. You are, most likely, not writing an essay. If you have ever watched people on YouTube, you may know that they are very conversational in their speech. They may have written a script or an outline, but they form their sentences as if they were speaking to a friend. That is what most bloggers tend to do, too. One thing I like about blogging is that you don’t have to write an entire post in one sitting. If I only have a couple of minutes, then I will write a couple of sentences to get the post going. If I am continuing with a post, I will read the most recent section and, again, write however much I can. I try to write when I have more time, though, because it is easier to get a better flow in my post if it was mostly written in one sitting.
When I edit a post, I proofread it to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, you know, the usual stuff. This is probably as close as blog writing gets to academic writing. You want to come off as professional, so you don’t want to have a ton of errors scattered throughout your blog. I try an fix as much of this as I can when I am actually writing the blog post, but I make sure to do a final check by previewing the post. Previewing is a great way to see what a particular post will look like on your blog. It also can show you what each word and sentence will look like. The editing stage is where I add any pictures or other media that will be going into the post. Some blogs that are more visually-focused rather than writing-focused will do their pictures first. Since most of my posts don’t have too many pictures, I will add them after the post is written.
In both WordPress and Blogger (I have not worked with any other blogging platforms), you have two options when it comes to publishing your blog post. You can do it automatically, which means that your post will go up as soon as you hit publish, or you can schedule it to go up sometime later that day or even days or weeks later. I prefer to schedule posts rather than publish them immediately. This is because I often have times where I can afford to write multiple posts in one day and then there are times when I am too busy with school to even think about my blog. If you don’t know, music majors have a pretty tough schedule during the semester. I may only have fifteen credits, but that doesn’t even begin to cover the time I spend in rehearsals for different ensembles or individual practice.
I hope you found this post interesting, and maybe you learned a little something. Next week I will be writing about blogging on WordPress versus blogging using Blogger. Sneak peek: I prefer Blogger.
Thanks for reading!