Apr 16, 2014

Top Commencement Speeches of The Past 10 Years

Commencement speeches have evolved considerably over the years. It used to be that if you had heard one, you had heard them all. People were congratulated on getting through their years of hard work and then encouraged to go on and do great things with their life. It was boring and through the sea of caps and gowns, there were inevitably yawns and people nodding off.

There are now commencement speeches that are exciting, enlightening, and actually causing people to laugh while they listen to not only the introductory speech by someone notable but also by the valedictorian.

Various trends have been seen after a close analysis of speeches given over the past 10 years. These trends can show anyone and everyone not only how to write a great speech so as not to put people to sleep but also what to expect prior to walking across the stage to grab the hard-earned diploma.

Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005

“Truth be told, I never graduated from college…I want to share three stories with you today”

Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech in 2005 and was probably one of the most notable commencement speeches that have been given. The entire thing was captured to view, though there was a common trend started within the speech: tell the truth.

Jobs used some comedy, but he also used a lot of truth within his speech. He talked about how he did not graduate from college and how this was the closest to graduation he has ever come. He also told three stories to the people who were graduating from Stanford. He talked about connecting the dots, love and loss, and death. These three stories summed it up to tell people to figure out what they loved to do, connect the dots, and remember to live each day as though it were their last. It was good advice and that much better coming from the CEO of Apple.

David McCullough, Wellesley High School in 2012

“Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective…bride-centric pageantry…”

David McCullough decided to take an comparative approach when he addressed Wellesley High School in 2012. He demonstrated that there is a lot of hard work involved with graduating and that it is one of the most important things that a person can do. He said that graduation cannot be considered to be in the same realm as a wedding because a wedding is one sided and “bride-centric” and he then went on to use some comedy to talk about how men did not get any say in weddings and referenced some of the bridezilla-esque shows that are on TV.

Throughout the speech, he focused on the importance of the accomplishment and used comedy periodically to make sure everyone was staying alert.

Stephen Colbert, University of Virginia in 2013

“Take a moment and follow my Twitter feed in case I tweet anything during the speech”

Stephen Colbert used a lot of comedy, which was only natural because it is what he was known for. Instead of telling everyone to turn off their phones, he used reverse psychology and told everyone to turn them on because he didn’t want to be responsible for someone missing a tweet or a text. He took it a step further and gave everyone his Twitter handle so that people could follow it.

He also used relevant information throughout the speech in order to hit home with the generation that he was talking to. This includes going into how people are self-obsessed and the Time Magazine article that referenced Millennials being the “me, me, me” generation. He also talked about the hard lesson that everyone has to learn about paving a path for themselves.

Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane University, 2009

“I broke it down myself: common and cement”

Ellen DeGeneres took the route of comedy throughout her speech in order to keep everyone laughing, including the dean who shared the stage with her. She made everyone laugh by commenting on how she didn’t go to college and while she didn’t want to tell anyone they wasted their time and money, she’s a big success. It’s true to a point and this is why she was a popular commencement speech. She didn’t sugar-coat anything.

Ellen has had her share of struggles in and out of the limelight and she takes a comedic approach but focuses on very serious topics. This includes living a life with integrity and not giving into peer pressure. She is quoted as telling everyone at Tulane University “don’t take anyone’s advice”.

There are always new commencement speeches being given and while the delivery changes from speaker to speaker, the advice stays the same: create your own path and don’t listen to what others have to say.

The most common approaches include:

  • Telling the truth
  • Making comparison
  • Using relevant concepts
  • Comedy

Anyone can be a successful commencement speaker as long as they follow these four approaches, or a combination of them. The trends rely on knowing the people of the school and the generation in which you are speaking to, which Colbert did especially well when he called the Millennials out for being the “me” generation.

Apr 14, 2014

The College Gap: Low Income Families

It's no secret that the cost of higher education has skyrocketed in recent years, and there seems to be no relief in sight for low and middle income families who want to provide their children with college educations. Nonetheless, a report recently published by Sallie Mae shows that as many as two-thirds of low-income families do not have college education funds in place for their children. Instead, many of them are counting on federal and state financial aid, scholarships, and student loans to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses when their children enter college. The study claims that only 34 percent of low-income families are not regularly putting aside money for college. In other economic groups, 51 percent of middle-income families have a designated college fund, and 73 percent of high-income families are saving for school.

The main factor cited by low-income families for not saving for college is that they simply can't afford to save. Many of these families, however, spend more money on things such as landscaping and home improvement projects than they put away for college. On average, future college costs comprise about 10 percent of the total savings of low-income families, with roughly half of their savings being put into retirement funds.

The Changing Face of Higher Education 

Several decades ago, it was possible to emerge from high school and go straight to work. Although college educations were definitely desirable, particularly for those who wanted to go into specialized occupations, they weren't essential to economic survival. Today's current employment situation, however, highly favors those with more than a college education, and predictions concerning the future job market indicated that this trend is here to stay. As a result, many current college students are low-income, first-generation students who probably wouldn't have gone to college in previous decades.

An Education Trust study has found that many low-income students are basically priced out of higher education even when they receive financial aid. The study has found that low-income families still generally must pay around 72 percent of their income on college costs for one student after financial aid funds have been accounted for. Recent cuts in financial aid have added to the challenges that low-income students face in their pursuit of higher education. With the average student loan debt at $30,000 per person, it's entirely understandable that many young people have significant reservations about mortgaging their futures to such a large extent.

The good news is that a substantial effort exists to make a college education more accessible to students from low-income backgrounds. In January of this year, President Obama met with 140 college presidents and educational organizations to brainstorm ways to bring higher education to the students who need it. It was a requirement of attendance that the colleges and organizations arrive with a workable plan to increase college accessibility to needy students.

The conference had positive results, and First Lady Michelle Obama is spearheading a large effort to encourage colleges and universities throughout the country to admit and graduate higher percentages of low-income students.

More Good News

CNBC News reports that many top U.S. colleges are making overtures to low-income students designed to help them achieve their educational goals. Substantial endowments are allowing some institutions to offer financial aid packages that significantly reduce the cost of education. The news channel also reports that parental contributions no longer constitute the leading source of funds for college tuition payment. For the first time, grants and scholarships are in the leading spot as far as paying college costs. Tuition costs have risen at four times the rate of overall inflation, causing both students and parents to make costs a strong factor in the college selection process.

Another bright light for low-income students on the education front is Berea College in Kentucky, which offers all of its students free tuition, thanks to a large endowment. The college also provides abundant work-study options and assists with student budgeting strategies. All students work at least 10 hours per week at approved jobs both on campus and in the community.

Although Berea College primarily draws students from the Appalachia region, students from all over the U.S. as well as from other countries are well-represented in its classrooms.

Jan 4, 2014

Everything You Need to Know: Twin XL Sheets

The Purpose of Twin XL Bed Sheets

Bed sheets provide a protective layer against bacteria and dirt between a mattress and the person sleeping on it, as well as a covering and comfortable layer for the sleeper. A typical set of bed sheets includes a fitted sheet that stretches tightly over a mattress, typically secured with the use of elastic in the edging. The fitted portion reaches over the top mattress, but not extending to the box springs if applicable, and covers the sides of the mattress for extra protection against grime. A flat sheet, also known as a top sheet, is named so as it is flat without the elastic of a fitted sheet. The flat sheet covers a person who is in a bed, providing a layer of comfort and warmth between the person and their blankets. Typically a flat sheet is tucked into the base end of the mattress, so to prevent it from pulling up out of place when a person is sleeping. Sheets come in a variety of fabrics, prints, colors and styles. By looking at the available options on the market, a shopper can be better informed when purchasing a set of bed sheets.

Different Types of Fabrics For Bed Sheets 


Bed sheets range in fabric types from lightweight to heavyweight, which is used dependent on the temperatures and weather of the person sleeping in the bed. For example, a heavyweight sheet, such as flannel, will be used in cold climates, while a lightweight sheet, such as linen, will be preferred in tropical climates. The types of fabric woven for bed sheets include flannel cotton, linen, bamboo textile, satin weave, rayon, percale, polyproplyne spunbond, polyester and cotton/polyester blends. Microfiber synthetics are becoming more popular, while raw silk and pure satin are the more expensive types of sheets.

Waterproof Sheets


Sheets made from waterproof materials including plastic are typically reserved for infants and the elderly who are not capable of going to the toilet during the night. Additionally, these waterproof sheets are used for patients in hospitals as a way to protect the mattress from being soiled. While waterproof bedding sounds uncomfortable and difficult to sleep on, typically these sheets are layered with a lightweight plastic and a regular type of a breathable fabric weave, such as a layer of cotton fabric or a satin and polyester blend. This provides the protection of waterproof materials along with the comfort and cooling associated with a fabric weave.

Cotton Sheets

One of the most commonplace fabrics used for sheets is cotton. This fabric is particularly useful since it allows for the most breathability in comparison to other materials, such as polyester and flannel wool. Also, cotton is an all natural fiber grown from plants, which is preferred by individuals who are allergic to synthetic materials, such as polypropylene. While this material can be the most economical solution, it is also seen as a luxury brand when using Egyptian cotton that is made using a specific type of cotton called Gossypium barbadense that features an extra long staple and usually lengthy silk fibers. An Egyptian cotton sheet typically has a thread count of 800 or greater, which is at the highest end of sheets sold. Meanwhile a standard cotton sheet using regular cotton typically has a thread count of 150. There is another form of cotton, organic cotton, that is considered a more desirable product because of its ecologically friendly sourcing. Organic cotton is grown in fields without pesticides and other toxic chemicals, and it is harvested using sustainable methods.

Flannel Cotton Sheets


Flannel cotton is a popular fabric that is used for everything from clothing to coats to bed clothes. This fabric is a soft woven choice with variations of fineness depending on the choice of materials used to weave it. Originally, flannel was constructed using worsted yarn or carded wool. Today cotton or synthetic fibers are used more often than wool, which is the case for flannel cotton sheets. While the tartan print is commonly associated with flannel, this print is not exclusive to all flannel materials. Therefore you can find a floral or solid printed flannel cotton sheet that is made from the same weave as a tartan, also referred to as a checkerboard, print.

Linen and Bamboo Sheets


Linen is made using the fibers of flax plants. While the process in which to weave linen fabric is highly intensive, often resulting in a higher costing sheet, this material is highly desired for weather climates that are tropical, humid or hot. This is because linen wicks away moisture providing freshness and coolness on the person sleeping on a bed covered with a linen sheet. One concern with linen sheets is that one must iron the sheets after they are washed due to the great amount of wrinkles commonplace to this material. Bamboo textile when used for bed sheets is made using a blend of bamboo fiber and cotton or hemp. Bamboo is seen as an eco-friendly bedding solution as it is made from a material source that is easily replenished. This is because it is fast to grow and it can be grown in almost every climate on the earth.

Satin and Rayon Sheets


Satin weave is characterized by a dull backing on a glossy facing created from warp faced weaving. This makes a floating element of warp yarns over weft yarns, although weft faced satins also are created using this process. When a satin weave includes silk, polyester or nylon fibers, it is called a satin, whereas satin mixed with cotton is called a sateen weave. Bed sheets made from satin fabric are typically highly lustrous. As for rayon sheets, they are made from cellulose fiber taken from wood pulp that has been purified. This semi-synthetic material is also known as lyocell, modal and viscose.

Types of Weaves: Plain, Percale, and Twill Weave Sheets

Of the plain weave fabrics used for sheets, they are called a variety of names including taffeta weave, linen weave or tabby weave. It is a common weave of basic sheets, and as it is most economical to weave, it is the most affordable. Most of the standard sheet sets, particularly those made from cotton, are plain weave. If sheets do not state a certain number of thread count, you can safely assume they have been woven using a plain weave.

Percale is a type of plain weave fabric that is closely woven when used for bed sheets. It is a step up from a plain weave and therefore most typically found with premium materials, such as linen, sateen or a blended fabric. The term percale refers to the weave rather than the material used in a fabric. Typically a percale weave is higher quality than a standard bed sheet, therefore it is at least 200 thread count. However, a percale typically will not range higher than a 500 to 800 thread count, which is reserved for the most luxurious fabrics and weaves. As a medium weight sheet made from combed and carded yarns, percale washes easily and is durable, so it is an economical choice due to its longevity. Additionally, it is a weave that can be dyed or printed independently of the weaving process.

There are two other common weaves that are referred to as twill and sateen/satin weave. Each weave is made from a distinct style of weave of the material, which results in a different feeling of fabric. For a twill weave, the fibers are woven using a diagonal weave, while plain weave is made in a crisscross pattern that is more simplistic. A twill or satin weave is a more luxurious choice as it consists of a high end material, such as wool or satin, that is woven using a more time consuming process.

Polypropylene Spunbond Sheets


Nonwoven polypropylene, which is a thermoplastic polymer that is used in a wide variety of objects including stationary, textiles, and laboratory equipment, is becoming more commonplace for sheets used in high traffic areas. This material is chosen because it is economical and because the sheets are disposable, which is ideal for hospitals, shelters and hotels. Countries, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, also use nonwoven polypropylene sheets for reusable purposes thanks to their low cost and durability.

Polyester and Cotton/Polyester Blend Sheets

Blended fabrics, such as cotton blended with polyester or polyester blended with satin, are becoming more commonplace as they provide an economical solution for easier laundering thanks to the polyester and more luxurious materials, when blended with satin or silk.

Additional Information Regarding Uses for Bed Sheets


The most common reason for choosing a particular type of bed sheet is economical. For many bed owners, they will first note the amount of money a set of sheets will cost them both upfront and in the long term with care and handling. This causes more economical sheet shoppers to choose cotton or cotton blend sheets made using synthetic fibers and plain weave fabrics. While polypropylene spunbond sheets are more economical, in industrialized countries, such as Canada and the US, these are reserved for institutional or emergency situations, such as hospitals or prisons.

If the bed owner can afford it and they feel the desire to spend more on a bed sheet, they will opt for a percale weave and materials that are more luxurious, such as satin blend, sateen, organic cotton or flannel cotton. For a bed owner who wants the best of the best, which will result in a feeling of lightweight, cool to the touch, silky smooth fabric, they will go for Egyptian cotton, linen, raw silk or pure satin or twill weaves.

A benefit of choosing lower costing sheets is that these are the easiest to maintain. For example, cotton sheets can be washed and dried in a home washing machine using regular detergent, whereas pure satin or raw silk must be dry cleaned using a specialized process that costs a great deal more. However, for the added cost and maintenance, those who sleep in high end sheets will attest to the increased level of comfort they provide.

Quality by Thread Count


Quality in a fabric weave is determined by the thread count. When someone is purchasing a set of bed sheets, they will notice the numbers ranging from 150 to 1000. The thread count refers to the threads per inch, and therefore a greater number equals a smoother feeling fabric. For determining a thread count, the threads including the warp and weft threads are included in the number. Basic standard sheets usually made from cotton are at the lower end of the thread count scale at a 150 thread count. What are considered good quality bed sheets start at a 180 thread count. Any sheet with a thread count of 200 or greater are high quality and typically a percale weave. When thread counts measure at 500 or higher these are thought of as luxury sheets.

What Are The Dimensions of Twin XL Beds?


Many soon to be college students are looking to find out where and who sells twin xl bedding, many find out about Twin XL the online web-store to buy their bedding. Bed sheets for a dorm room mattress are twin XL, sometimes called a twin extra long, which is 39 by 80 inches. Which are longer than a twin regular mattress but the same width. Hospital beds sometimes carry different variations of the twin XL size, and could be a little narrower or a little longer. Buying twin XL sheets for a hospital bed that is the same length but a little narrower won't be much of an issue as the elastic band of the fitted sheet should be able to make up the difference. The top flat sheet will just have a little more hang off on the sides. If the hospital bed is longer than 80 inches but has the twin width, a deep pocket twin XL fitted sheet may be able to help accommodate a little more.

Dec 15, 2013

6 Hot Tips: Stay Warm This Winter College Semester!

Being in college during a cold winter can be no fun especially if you don’t know how to keep yourself warm in your dorm room. You obviously don’t have a furnace and very few schools have thermostats in the students’ rooms. Here are the 6 best tried and tested ways of keeping yourself warm within your room.

Dress warmly

Your dressing is probably the simplest way of keeping warm and you don’t have to spend that much. Some of the simplest methods include always wearing a scarf around your neck, wearing a knit cap, wear double pairs of socks and most importantly layer up! Put on two or three pairs of everything including sweaters, pants, leggings, vest tops and jumpers.

Drinks that will keep you warm

You have limitless options when it comes to beverages. While you can still buy beverages from almost anywhere, it’s better if you can make your own. Good old tea, chocolate and coffee should do the trick. Coffee should give you a ‘kick’ in addition to warming you up better than tea. The reason why I have a preference for preparing your own beverage is you can have an endless supply throughout the day. For those who don’t fancy any of these common beverages you can try to making a mixture of honey, lemon and ginger: apart from tasting great, the concoction is also a great homemade cold remedy. A shot of whisky always works for me, that is if you are allowed to have any in your rooms – don’t get into trouble.


Do a 20-30 minute vigorous workout. It does not sound like much fun but that short workout should warm you up faster than any other method. Blood circulates faster and it transports heat to all parts of your body within less than 5 minutes. If you are not a big fan of exercise like me, you can try and do small chores around your room. Organize your room, move stuff around – just avoid sitting down and doing nothing.

Use a space heater

A space heater is an appliance used to heat enclosed places. You can buy a small space heater online at it should be enough for a small dorm room. They go for as little as $20 to as much as $100. Instead of heating the whole room you can also buy a heating pad, which is just like a space heater but you can only sit on it.

Insulate your room

Insulation involves the prevention of heat-loss from your room. Close all the doors and windows properly. Only open them during the day when it is warm outside. If your windows don’t shut tightly you should buy some removable window-caulk to shut them tight. If you can’t find any just stuff an old piece of clothing or a towel. Do the same for your door. It would also be great if you could put up curtains to block all sorts of heavy air-drafts. A rug or a carpet should also be a great option for insulating your floors. Or purchase window insulation plastic which gets taped along the window frame. Its easy to install and works great.

Get an electric blanket

An electric blanket is a rather cost effective way of keeping warm throughout the night. If you are wondering, you don’t cover yourself with it. It is placed on top of the mattress and you can regulate the amount of heat your bed receives. If you want to save on electricity you can just pre-heat your bed with the blanket for a few minutes before you sleep. The electric blanket usually goes for around $100.

Warming yourself up can be pretty easy and one or more of these tips should work out for you. Remember to also treat your body well during winter, it is during this period that we need as much vitamins, water, sunshine and social activity as we can get.

Oct 9, 2013

Halloween Bedding Combo Sale!

Add some hocus pocus to your bedroom and save big with TwinXL's Halloween Bedding Sale! Petrify your roommates with a ghoulish new bedding set that will be sure to have them having nightmares for the rest of the semester while you cackle from the comfort of your bed. This gruesome sale is available only until October 21st and includes free shipping.

Each bed in a bag combo includes the following:

  • 1 Eerie Twin XL Comforter
  • 1 Cursed Sham
  • 1 Mysterious Twin XL Fitted Sheet
  • 1 Nightmarish Twin XL Top Sheet
  • 1 Haunted Pillowcase
  • 1 Dreadful Twin XL Mattress Pad

Only Twin XL's Halloween Bedding Set comes with our 100% Supernatural Creature Defense Money Back Guarantee offer. If at anytime Twin XL's bedding set fails to protect you from the supernatural monsters lurking in the night, you will receive a full refund.

For a full list of supernatural beings covered under the guarantee see below:
  • Banshees
  • Bigfoot
  • Boogeyman
  • Centaurs
  • Demons
  • Doppelgangers
  • Dragons
  • Elfs
  • Faries
  • Genies
  • Ghosts
  • Goblins
  • Golem
  • Grim Reaper
  • Hobgoblins
  • Monsters
  • Mummies
  • Ogres
  • Phantoms
  • Pirates
  • Poltergeist
  • Scarecrows
  • Shadows
  • Shape-shifters
  • Skeletons
  • Unicorns
  • Vampires
  • Warlocks
  • Werewolves
  • Wizards
  • Witches
  • Yeti
  • Zombies

Sep 4, 2013

Where to Get Sheets For an Adjustable Split King Bed

Experts in health agree that getting a good night's sleep is crucial to your health and well-being for a number of different reasons. Of course, you know how a lack of sleep makes you feel irritable and on edge all day. However, a persistent shortage of sleep can also wreak havoc on your physical health as well. Your immune system can suffer, allowing you to fall victim to colds, the flu, and other illnesses more easily. It is also likely that you will feel less alert and mentally prepared which can be hazardous if you are driving.

Two Twin XL Beds Combined

Of course, knowing you need to get an adequate amount of sleep in order to function at your very best is one thing. The reality of being able to get that sleep that you so desperately need can be quite different. This is especially true if you have a loved one that you share a bed with. No matter how much you might love them, you could find their preferences for mattress firmness and thickness to be lacking as far as your comfort is concerned. You might even find that their bedding of choice is making it difficult for you to relax so you can sleep.

Enter the Split King Adjustable Bed

The split king adjustable bed is exactly what its name suggests: a king bed that has two different sections. It is psychically one bed with the flexibility to work mechanically as two separate beds. The adjustability of each side allows you to raise your head, feet or both so that you are in the perfect position to get a relaxing and rejuvenating sleep. Building on the original adjustable bed model, this split option is the ideal solution if you and your loved one have polar opposite preferences when it comes to comfort levels when sleeping.

Convenience of Split King Beds

Personal sleep preferences are not the only reason why a split king adjustable bed is a good choice for couples. If one of you has a health condition that requires you to sleep in a more upright position, for example, this can be achieved without disturbing the sleep and relaxation of the other person. Even during those times when you have a cold, sleeping slightly upright can help drainage issues and make you feel much better in the morning since fluids tend to pool in the body when you lie completely flat all night.

Mobility Issues Are Addressed With Separate Mattresses

As you age, you might find that it is harder to get out of bed on your own. Using the adjustability of the bed, you can raise your head and torso to make it easier to get out of bed on your own. On a similar note, doing so with your loved one can make it easier for you to help them out of the bed if they need assistance.

Adjustable Mattress Preferences

These days, you can find mattresses in a range of different configurations. Pillow tops, a variety of mattress firmness and more can make it difficult to find one particular mattress type that meets the comfort level of both you and your partner. With a split king adjustable bed, though, you can have the soft plushness of a pillow top while your partner enjoys a firm mattress that provides the support they need to keep their back happy.

The Mattress Is Not the Only Consideration

While a difference in opinion about what makes a comfortable bed is often at the root of what makes many people look at a split king adjustable bed, it is not the only consideration. Preferences in bedding material is also a key factor when it comes to comfort level. You might prefer the cool softness of a high thread count cotton sheet set while your partner might like the sleekness of silk to sleep on. When you each have your own twin bed, you can easily find the type of sheets you prefer without subjecting your loved one to something they might not find to their liking.

Jul 31, 2013

10 Things You Can Expect From Your College Roommate(s)

There are lots of things about starting college that are enough to cause even the most stalwart amongst the incoming freshmen to cringe. Perhaps one of the most daunting aspects about starting your college career is the fact you'll be moving in with someone (or more than one, depending on housing situations) that you've never met. Most colleges require that freshmen live in the dorms during their freshmen year and will assign roommates which means you'll probably wind up living with people you have no idea of.

These will often be people somewhat similar in backgrounds, but not always. You could wind up living with people of different ethnicities, different religious backgrounds, different lifestyles and more than likely, different interests and goals. Admittedly, they'll be just as nervous as you are and have just as many questions about living with you as you have about living with them. So, what can you expect with a roommate in a situation like this?

Here are 10 things you can expect, or not expect out of your new roommate and some ideas on getting along:

1. Expect them to have their own opinions. They've lived their lives, listened to the opinions of their friends and family and have formed their own ideas about the world and their place in it. This can be as simple as the foods they like and don't like or as complex as their religious beliefs. While some banter and razzing is OK, especially when it comes to sports on TV or fashion ideas, accepting that their beliefs are sacrosanct and will only cause problems if not essentially left alone can make life much easier.

2. Expect them to have a different schedule than you. Their classes are different, the friends they make will be different and their extracurricular activities will be different. Even though you'll be able to share some things, they'll be pursuing their lives so you'll want to pursue yours. It's easy to fall into the "roommate trap" of trying to become each other's best friend. While being friends is good, historically it isn't a requirement for people to co-exist in a dorm room.

3. Expect them to have different cleanliness habits. While most people are reasonably neat and clean, some people will fall far outside that median average. The hardest roommates to get along with are the complete slobs and the compulsive neat freaks. If you are the slob or the neat freak, keep in mind you'll need to change your standards in order to get along. It may be uncomfortable or more of an effort than you're used to, in order to keep the peace, making that effort is worth it.

4. Expect them to overstep boundaries. Even a married couple oversteps boundaries and tossing two or more people into a living space that don't know each other will mean this will happen. It could be something as simple as having friends in while you're trying to study, coming in late at night when you're asleep or even swiping a soda and not putting it back. Be aware that you'll be overstepping boundaries in practically the same ways, so cut some slack. Do draw lines and point out the boundary, but don't be overcritical about it.

5. Expect them to be annoying at times. There are times in any relationship (and, yes, being roommates is a relationship) when you find the other person as annoying an individual as you've ever met in your life. Their voice, their habits, the way they chew and even the way they smell is the last straw. The best thing to do then is to get out and go do something. Hang out with friends somewhere besides the dorm. Go with a friend and watch a movie. Changing scenery and people will help. They may still be annoying when you get back, but you'll have something to balance that with. Keep in mind, they'll find you the same way at some point.

6. Expect who they are to change. As the year goes on, they'll be finding new friends and new places to go. Some of their attitudes may change, their vocabulary may change and even the way they dress and look may change. This is especially true if they're pledging a fraternity or sorority as those lifestyles start to impact their daily lives. Or yours, if you're doing the pledging.

7. Expect their economic conditions to be different. Some people have more money than they know what to do with, of course, but some are getting financial aid. Regardless of your own situation, stick to your own personal budget and let them handle theirs. Don't try to "keep up with the Joneses" and wind up blowing your budget to pieces in the process.

8. Expect to not like them or for them to not like you. Let's face it, In your life, you have few people that you genuinely like. Most people are OK, and some people you'd move across the country to avoid, but being tossed into a dorm situation means it is simply statistically improbable that you and your roommate will be best friends forever. This means you'll need to find ways to co-exist without throwing the other person out the window.

9. Expect the unexpected. When dealing with people, even though you may come to know them fairly well, their lives are different than yours. Accidents happen, things happen at home, etc. This can have a huge impact on your roommate, or even on you. Giving each other space to let things happen can keep a roommate situation stable

10. Expect your roommate to change next year. Either you'll change roommates to move in with someone you feel is more compatible or they will. Remember, while colleges will put people together, seemingly at randon, they aren't inflexible when it comes to changing roommates. Change is truly the only constant in life, so expect change.

Being a good roommate and dealing with your roommate in return is an exercise. Sometimes good things come out of it and friendships are developed that last a lifetime. Sometimes, its an exercise in futility. Starting a college career can be a truly challenging situation and maintaining a reasonable, healthy relationship with a roommate by knowing a few things to expect before hand can make college life a lot easier.

Jul 10, 2013

The Extra Costs of a College Education: Breakdown 2013

college costs a lot of moneyGetting your child to class on time made the last three years of high school feel like a root canal every day. Finally, your child graduated and the future is looking bright. Your college-bound teen is excited about living the college life and you want him to have all the comforts of home, away from home. Planning for that comfort starts now, before you ever click a mouse or pull the credit card from your wallet.

Prepare a budget before you start spending so you do not purchase uneccessary items. Involve your teenager in the budgeting process so they better understand how to save money while away from home. Here is a quick overview of average colleges expenses you can expect and ways to keep some money in your pocket as you shop.

Textbooks: $1,100 per year

college textbooksThe interest on student loans doubled recently, tuition prices continue to grow and the cost of textbooks grows faster than any other college expense.

According to the College Board, financial aid pays all but $10 of a student's college expenses. The $10 out-of-pocket expense is for textbooks. Textbooks cost an average of $1,100 per semester. Students majoring in any of the sciences can expect to pay approximately $200 a semester over the average.

You can cut the cost of textbooks in half by buying books online at websites like half.com. This is an ebay site where you can buy or rent textbooks, movies and music.

Housing: $7,500 - $9,000 per year  


Sharing a dorm room at a private university costs more than sharing a dorm room at a public university. The prices for dorm rooms vary slightly by the city in which the college is located. You can also choose to add or subtract meals from the cost before making a payment.

Residence HallOff campus apartments are more expensive than those on campus. Students must pay utility bills and buy their own food. They are also responsible for the upkeep of the property they rent. Parents must beware of the pitfalls of off-campus living.

Determine the amount of rent each resident is responsible to pay. Write a renter's agreement for each roommate to sign and provide a copy to each. The renter's agreement allows you to take the other leasees to small claims court if they break the terms in the agreement. However, you will still have to pay the full rent unless an agreement is made with the propery manager.

Dorm room supplies: $907 per year 

Retailers have found dorm decorating a lucrative business and the cost to make a dorm feel like home continues to rise. The average price to decorate is $907. This is a significant increase from the just over $400 students spent in 2003 to decorate the same space.

dorm room suppliesYou can save money by buying items like a mini fridge or small dresser on Craigslist. Towels from home will get your student through a year of college and you get the nice new towels for home. Dorm rooms come standard with twin XL beds. So if your looking to buy bedding in twin xl you can save money by shopping at sites like DormBedding.com for complete bedding sets with sheets, comforter, bed skirt and shams.

The numbers add-up quickly, but do not be frightened. You can lower the cost of textbooks and dorm decorating by shopping online. If you are receiving financial aid, most of the costs are covered by the grants and loans. College is the most exciting time of a young person's life and a new phase for parent's, too.

Twin XL Coupon Codes

Looking to save money on your dorm bedding?


Shop TwinXL.com and use coupon code:  'Easy5' to save $5 off your bedroom set today! Click here to view Twin XL's bedding.

TwinXL.com Sheets
Click Here For Vibrant Twin XL Sheets

Jul 8, 2013

Where to Buy Twin XL Bedding

bed setThe average American back to college shopper will spend over $900 per student and a big part of that cost is college bedding. Finding college bedding can be difficult with not many stores carrying much selection if any in the twin XL size. If you are looking for a store where you can find twin XL bedding, here are a few of the best places. 


Better bedding to choose from and a larger selection. When it comes to twin XL bedding, TwinXL.com is king. With the largest selection of twin xl sheets, bedding sets, mattress pads and a number of other hard to find accessories TwinXL.com can't be beat. Only a handful of brands make sheets and comforters to fit the extra-long twin and they have all the brands that do in one place. The colors and styles along with the quality of bedding available makes them the market leader. Find what you are looking for from the budget shopper looking for cheap sheets to the high thread count Egyptian cotton connoisseur, to a variety of other materials and weaves such as percale, bamboo, microfiber, jersey, cotton blends, etc. The availability of bedding has grown to encompass every color, design and style other sized bedding has enjoyed for so long. The quality of bedding varies with your budget and comfort level. Popular items include the Egyptian cotton sheets, leopard & animal prints, and mattress pads. The Ivy Union brand is the best value brand on the market today to buy for twin XL size bedding, being both moderately priced & high quality.

Softness and Durability

Egyptian cotton sheets come in varying thread counts of up to 1500. Shoppers find Egyptian bedding sets in department stores, linen shops and online. The prices range greatly but generally, the higher the thread count, the higher the cost.

sheetsThe consumer will receive better quality bedding if the origin of the thread becomes a consideration. Domestic cottons, in America, are not as soft as Egyptian cotton. At high thread counts, the bedding is soft and durable for heavy usage. Look at the product labels before purchasing bedding for your twin XL bed to make sure the cotton used fits your needs.

Shopping For Twin XL Sales

comforter setThe late winter and early fall season offer the most advantageous buying times. Bedding goes on sale before college classes are back in session. Shopping in a department store during the sales becomes hectic and frustrating when the choices diminish. In addition, these stores only display a fraction of the colors and patterns available. Department stores advertise large selections at lower prices but they space they have for inventory must accommodate all their products.

Shopping online will introduce you to more choices and competitive prices. Online markets are able to ship products from warehouses that have the capacity to inventory a much larger selection. There are more stores to choose from on the internet as well.

Where Else To Shop Online

You can shop well-known retailers, auction sites and specialty stores while online. You always want to look-up the reputation of the store in which you shop. The first indicator of a web store's reliability comes by searching. If the store appears on the first two pages of search results, it has a good reputation. You will want to read the reviews written by those who have shopped before you. Keep in mind not everyone will have the same shopping experience but if five people out of seven have left bad reviews, you want to move on.

bed in a bag setThe best shopping begins with online stores that specialize in twin XL bedding and sheets. There are several to choose from like DormBedding.com. The storefront draws your attention and the checkout is easy. Any reputable web store will display their selections, descriptions and instructions clearly.
You want to buy comfortable, durable bedding for a dorm room. College students are tough on bedding and buying replacements will become a nuisance. The colors must please your eye and they have to be twin XL. Many venues are now open to twin XL bed owners and more will come. For more information on twin XL beds click here to find out how long twin XL beds are.