Mount Hood

How to save space in the dorms

Storage saving tricks for any living space

Sarah Austin | Lifestyle Editor

For many, a dorm is not just a place to sleep, but a place to study, snack, socialize, get ready and relax before the next assignment is due or class starts. Having a clean living space is essential to maintaining comfort. According to Harvard Business Review, the state of one’s physical environment can significantly influence the decision making process. Also, having a cluttered space can negatively affect stress and anxiety levels as well as the ability to focus, eating choices and sleeping patterns. Here are some tricks to declutter and organize a living area.

Lots of out of season clothes? One trick to hiding winter clothes that aren’t in use is to store them in a bean bag shell, thick couch cushions or decorative pillows. Fill the bag with all sweaters, long sleeve tops and even snow gear for a dual purpose chair. This works for the opposite as well, to place summer clothes during the winter months. 

Another common clutter area for students is a desk or vanity. Makeup and bathroom products can often end up in these areas — especially if there is a shared bathroom with limited space. Try getting a plastic organizer shelf for miscellaneous items such as nail clippers, files, tweezers, hair ties and so on to save time and space while getting ready. These are typically inexpensive and can even be found at a dollar store. 

Sometimes, dressers and hutches do not fit everything that needs to be stored. A simple and quick hack is to roll clothes instead of folding. First take the item and fold it in half, then fold the sleeve or armpit if applicable to make a straight line down the side of the item. After this, roll from the top tightly all the way down and place in your drawer. Not only does this make more items fit, but also displays more pieces to avoid unfolding when looking for clothes. This tip also works really well for traveling and packing a suitcase.

Scarves can also take up a lot of space; grab a hanger and tie each across the bar of it. Depending on the size of the scarf, one hanger can store from three to ten.

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These tips prove it is easy being green

Ways to be more earth friendly this Earth Day

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

This Earth Day, let’s all take some time to consider what impact we are having on our environment and how we can ensure its protection for future generations. Though changing small things in one’s daily routine may seem meager, they certainly can add up. Try out a few of these tips for a more eco-friendly lifestyle, even if it’s just in the spirit of Earth Day; it may become clear that a more environmentally conscious lifestyle is more attainable than once thought. 

Use less plastic — from straws, to utensils and coffee cups, to grocery bags, to water bottles, single use plastics permeate all areas of our lives. Go for reusable products instead; invest in bamboo or metal straws, tote and produce bags, reusable water bottles and travel mugs. When ordering takeout, ask for no plastic cutlery. Skip to-go cups from coffee shops and simply make a pot at home. 

When it comes to food, the meat industry causes a massive detriment to the environment, driving deforestation, decreasing biodiversity and accounting for nearly almost 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. If going vegetarian or vegan is daunting, try participating in Meatless Mondays, or cook up one vegan recipe per week. Pasta dishes, tacos and rice based recipes can all be easy dinners to make without animal products in them. Shop local, such as at farmers markets, for an extra tasty and even more environmentally conscious meal. 

As for food waste, start a compost pile. Toss leftover foods into a five- or ten-gallon compost bin instead of a trash bin. Even if there’s no backyard, indoor plants could still benefit from some nutrient rich soil. Depending on what method of composting is chosen — either aerobic, anaerobic or vermicomposting — results can be finished in as little as two weeks. 

At home, there are a number of eco-friendly strategies that can be implemented. Take shorter showers, even if it’s only by a couple of minutes, to conserve water. Do laundry only when necessary using cold water, and turn down the heat on the dryer while using reusable dryer balls instead of dryer sheets — or simply hang dry clothes. Also unplug appliances and electronics when no one is going to be using them for a while. 

As the days warm up, adjust the thermostat just a couple degrees warmer, instead relying on fans and open windows as much as possible. If the house gets too hot inside, try drawing window shades and turning on ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction to pull the heat upwards. At night, turn the thermostat off or program it to only come on at exceptionally low or high temperatures. 

One of many great things about living in a digital age is that it can cut out reliance on paper significantly. Look for e-book versions of textbooks — which can also be the cheaper option in some cases. If bills or checks are received in a paper form, see if paperless service can be opted into. As for online shopping, be sure to choose stores that ship packages sustainably, in minimal packaging and with little plastic or plastic-free materials. 

For many, driving is the easiest way to get around, but for those who live in town, it is possible to bike or walk to some locations. Experiment on one sunny day with only walking to local errands, or try getting the hang of public transit. Carpooling with coworkers and friends can also curb greenhouse gas emissions, but continue to be mindful of COVID-19 health guidelines.  

As individuals, the best thing we can do for the environment is to keep our carbon footprint in check. A carbon footprint is a measurement of our personal greenhouse gas production. Many of the provided tips will help reduce our carbon footprints, even if it’s only slightly. A carbon footprint calculator can be found at, along with even more tips for decreasing personal impact.

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Time to revitalize those resumes

Tips for updating the resume in 2021

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Summer time, for some, means summer jobs. Though we aren’t quite to summer break, now is the perfect time to start preparing for job hunting, including updating the resume. The resume is the ticket to an interview, meaning it can make or break one’s chance at getting hired. Follow these tips for creating a resume that will stand out among the rest this year.

Start by choosing a desirable format. According to, the two most popular resume formats are chronological, which focuses on consistent employment history, and functional, which focuses on relevant skills. Whichever layout is chosen, be sure to organize the information using clear headers above each section and a readable font.

Some resume tips learned back in high school could be outdated by now. For example, in most cases, it is no longer necessary to include a mailing address since everything is digital nowadays. Objective statements have also gone out of style — after all, employers know what an applicants’ goal is. Additionally, be careful to not overload the resume with too many items; pick and choose relevant work, volunteer and education experiences based on the job.

2021 has been eye opening, including for employers. According to, some common skills jobs will be looking for in 2021 include adaptability, versatility and innovation ⏤ especially in the face of COVID-19. Technological literacy is also increasingly important, as are strong online and in person communication skills.

Keep in mind, however, that each job will value different skill sets. Study the specific job description being applied for, and include relevant keywords and skills on the resume. This is also important in the face of applicant tracking systems, which are pieces of software that automatically filter through resumes based on keywords. Many companies rely on ATS technology to sift through the dozens of applications they receive. Be sure to include some keywords from the job description, but be honest: make sure all included skills are demonstrable when it comes time for an interview.

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Different meal hacks to dish out

Squeeze the day with these flavorful cooking tips

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

As someone who is still learning to cook, I know that no matter how closely I follow a recipe, some dishes just turn out bland. Experimenting with cooking can be intimidating, but luckily, there are some easy flavor hacks that can instantly level up mealtime. Here are some quick tips and tricks to make meals less boring and more flavorful.

Always strive to use the highest quality ingredients. This means shopping for in season produce, buying locally ⏤ such as from farmers markets ⏤ and using fresh ingredients. Check expiration dates on dried herbs and spices — though they may still be usable near their expiration date, their flavor will be quite diminished.

A little acid goes a long way; according to, acid such as that from citrus fruits or vinegar helps elevate the flavor of a dish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a salad or fish dish, add some citrus zest to dessert or make a marinade with some red or white wine vinegar.

To step up the vegetable game, try roasting them. Toss vegetables of choice in some olive oil, then spread them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, minced garlic or herbs like thyme and rosemary on top, then cook at 425 ºF until tender. Get creative and toss vegetables in different spices, such as dijon mustard or curry powder.

Looking for more flavor in meats? Try making a homemade marinade or brine. Soaking meat in a delicious, savory sauce infuses the meat with any flavor of choice. Find simple recipes online for sweet, savory or spicy marinades — whatever the mouth desires.

Another tip for improving meats is to brown them; this strategy involves using high heat to lock in naturally occurring juicy flavors. Heat up the pan thoroughly and salt the meat before dropping it in the pan to create a crust on the outside. Finish cooking the meat through in the oven.

Don’t be afraid to get creative — even if mistakes are made, experimenting with different flavors and techniques is the only way to improve one’s cooking skills.

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Follow these steps to spring into clean

Bedroom cleaning hacks that will sweep you off your feet

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Having a clean and organized room can relieve stress and improve sleep and overall health, according to; and, with springtime comes the perfect opportunity for spring cleaning. Plus, for those living in the dorms, moving out at the end of the term will be made easier since there will be less to do. Start spring term off right with a tidy bedroom or dorm room by setting aside one day to follow these spring cleaning steps.

Begin by gathering laundry, including clothes, towels, curtains and bed linens. Run loads of laundry while cleaning the rest of the room to get two things done at once. While putting clean clothes away, consider packing up winter clothing to save space, or get rid of items that are never worn.

Next, clean off surfaces for dusting. While doing so, organize items into sensible groups, such as school materials, electronics and self-care products. Also consider what items are unnecessary; remove things that don’t belong in the bedroom, such as dishes, collect gently used items into a box or bag for donation and throw out old, unusable items. Dust off all surfaces, then organize items into containers and files before replacing them where they belong so that they are easily accessible for future use.

Clean the floors next. Shake out rugs, then grab a broom or vacuum to pick up dirt and dust. Even on hard surfaces, use the hose of a vacuum to remove built up grime from the corners and wall trim. If one is accessible, use a mop or carpet cleaner to get the floors shining.

Don’t forget to disinfect surfaces such as light switches and door handles, clean the windows and mirrors, throw out expired food and take out the trash. As a final step, air out the room by opening a window for a while.

If cleaning multiple areas of the bedroom all at once feels overwhelming, try tackling one area at a time. For example, start with a bookshelf, then move onto a desk, then clean the floors. Another option is to print off a spring cleaning checklist; checking off each box can be motivating and satisfying to complete.

Once spring cleaning is finished, consider setting up a more frequent cleaning schedule; cleaning a little bit each week will both save time and keep one’s room neat and tidy for longer.

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College students: let’s talk about burnout

What to do when overwhelmed by school stress

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

The late nights, assignment overload and financial strain of college can feel normalized, but chronic stress and anxiety can cause students to break down and get severely burnt out. According to the World Health Organization, burnout results from unmanaged long term stress that leads to such negative outcomes as constant exhaustion, social detachment and suffering grades or work performance. Towards the end of a term when stress runs higher than usual, it is especially important to know how to recognize and address burnout.

Burnout can appear in a number of ways ⏤ ranging from a lack of motivation to unending fatigue to severe frustration. In conjunction, when grades start slipping no matter how hard one works and motivation to start or finish responsibilities falls away, it is time to take steps to recover from burnout. 

First, step back and look at the entire situation. Think of every obligation, including ones outside of school, like family and extracurriculars, then order the items based on importance. Getting a degree has been instilled in us as absolutely necessary to a successful career, but taking on more than what is manageable all at once does more harm than good. If college is lower on the priority list, consider taking fewer classes or withdrawing for some time. There is no shame in taking longer than originally planned to finish a degree, especially when mental and physical well-being are at stake. 

Even if college is one of the only obligations on one’s plate, it is important to have an outlet. Clubs or online groups provide socialization with like minded people, and exercising can curb stress and frustration. Creative interests and media like books and TV shows support inspiration and relaxation. It is important to give ample time to these stress relievers; try allotting one day per week to doing nothing but enjoyable pastimes, or fit one hour of relaxation into every day. 

Take breaks from school responsibilities as often as necessary. Go for a walk in the middle of studying, or take a mental health day. Only check and answer emails once or twice a day, and turn off notifications during the night so that sleep is prioritized. Nap to catch up on sleep and power through the rest of the day. 

Making school more enjoyable can also help with burnout so that it feels less straining. Choose a field of study and classes that are most interesting, even if this means changing a major. Forming good relationships with classmates and professors can make the days less monotonous.

Asking for help may be challenging, but if burnout has taken over one’s day-to-day life, it may be necessary. Confide in someone trusted and ask them for support in whatever way is needed. If feeling depressed, talk to a professional, such as a counselor at the Student Health and Wellness Center.

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Zoomed out from Zoom lectures

Tips for staying awake during online classes

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

After a full year of classes through Zoom, a lucky few have mastered schooling from home. For the rest of us, the simple task of staying awake for the entire lecture is still daunting. Try these tips for staying awake during online classes.

Start off the day as if classes were in person; get dressed, sit down for a cup of coffee and perform the usual morning routine. Getting up a bit early to do some light exercise can also jumpstart the mind and body so that by class time, they will be ready and alert. 

Though taking class in a cozy bed sounds tempting, it can make one drowsy in a hurry. Instead, work at a designated space, such as a desk or dining table. If still nodding off in this workspace, try standing up for parts of or all of class. 

Active participation contributes to learning and also keeps one alert. Take thorough notes and write down questions to ask when the opportunity arises. Alternatively, contribute to the discussion by answering questions and presenting personal thoughts on the subject. This will keep the brain working and fight off fatigue. 

My personal favorite tip is to eat food or drink something during class. When starting to doze off, give the body something to do by reaching for a snack or drink. Eventually the body will get a boost of energy as well, especially from foods like oatmeal, nuts and fruits. 

If these quick tips aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to re-examine one’s daily routine. Combat drowsiness at the source by getting more and better sleep at night — check out our tips for better sleep article on our website, 

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