5 Things Every College Student Should Have for the New School Year

Going back to school means packing up our lives and compressing our belongings into dorms or apartments, for a large number of college students. It may seem difficult to stay organized living in such a small space, while also juggling classes, extracurriculars, and a social life. There are many things that can help you stay organized, though, and will allow you utilize your space in more efficient ways. Here are five things that I believe are essential for back to school.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

1—A good planner

This may seem obvious, but a planner can do wonders in your day-to-day college routine. Investing in a good planner (and actually using it), can help you organize not only your homework, but all the other important (or not so pertinent) appointments, deadlines, tasks, and dates in your life. Craft stores and online shops are starting to create products dedicated just to planners, such as stickers and writing utensils. A colorful sticker reminding you that you have to pay your rent or go to a doctor’s appointment can make you feel more organized with your time.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

2—Bed risers

Bed risers are extremely useful for those who have beds that are not lofted or bunked. Having the extra height on your bed allows for more space for storage under your bed itself. I added bed risers to my freshmen year dorm bed, and it added just the right amount of space to fit my storage bins. Giving the space to store things under your bed can allow you to avoid leaving your belongings cluttered around.

3—Storage bins

Unless you are lucky enough to have a large college dorm or apartment, you are probably struggling with the lack of storage space. Using large storage bins under your bed, or smaller bins on your desk, allows you to group similar belongings in one space. The best part about storage bins is that you can get them in a ton of colors and patterns, so choosing a few to fit your room’s theme can help bring a neater, unified look to your dorm decor.

4—Makeup/jewelry organizers

Having organizers for makeup and jewelry can cut back your time getting ready in the morning immensely. Organizing each product into small acrylic organizers or jewelry trays will allow you to see each product, and also makes it so each product has its own certain place it belongs for easy cleanup.

PHOTO: Valerie Cammack

5—A pencil case

This may also seem like a very obvious product, but many times we encounter exams that allow only number two pencils, or professors that only want work written in pen.  I keep a single pouch, filled with colored pencils and pens (in an array of colors) because sometimes an assignment may call for different colors, and taking notes with my favorite pens aid in my note-taking and overall handwriting quality.

How do you stay organized throughout the year? Comment below. 

10 Things Every Career-Driven College Student Needs in Her Workspace

Best-selling mystery writer Agatha Christie never had a single workspace. To work she only needed two things: a typewriter and a steady table. American poet Maya Angelou only worked from hotel rooms where she wouldn’t be found without a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards, and a bottle of sherry. For novelist Jane Austen, the family sitting room was her workspace. Austen would go on to pen a number of books in that room including Pride and Prejudice. The term “girlboss” was coined in the 21st century by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, but it’s safe to say the women in history were girlbosses in their own right. They understood what they needed to be the most productive. Productivity is known to be linked to one’s workspace, so here are 10 things that will help you be a boss that gets things done.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

1—A bright space

Studies have proven that people are more productive when working in light-filled spaces. Natural light is always best, but a good old desk lamp will do the job.

2—An agenda

This is where you can plan your daily tasks, events, and appointments as well as track your goals. Deleting a task note from an iPhone will never feel as satisfying as checking it off a marble-patterned agenda.

3—Desk organizers

Never forget where your lucky red pen, sticky notes, or loose papers are. Investing in a multi-purpose pencil holder, paper trays, and file holders will save you time so you can focus on what’s important.

4—A concentration app

If you find your focus wandering, apps like Focus Booster can keep you in check. The app breaks down tasks into blocks that are often followed by short breaks.

5—A mood board or inspiration wall

It’s easy to get distracted, stray from your goal or vision, and then give up. These visuals will keep you in check, remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing, and motivate you to push through.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

6—Thank you cards

Handwritten thank you cards are an easy way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Whether you’re waiting to hear how an interview went or connecting with someone at a networking event, mailing out cards afterward is a great way to show you genuinely care.


Nothing says girlboss like a stylized desk. Experiment with colors, shapes, and textures to set the mood for your space.


Believe it or not, a little bit of green can go a long way. Studies have suggested that household plants in workspaces increase happiness and productivity. Terrariums can also be a fun DIY addition to your space.

PHOTO: Anna Coke

9—A water bottle

When you’re working this hard, nothing’s more important than keeping yourself in good health.

10—A relaxing candle

After a long day of hustling, you deserve it.

How do you stay productive in your workspace? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

4 Decorating Tips to Make Any Dorm Your Own

Moving into your own place is always exciting, whether it be a dorm or a new apartment. It can also be a bit nerve wracking, though. The first step to transitioning into this new place in life is figuring out how to decorate your new space, which is definitely my favorite part. I’ve chosen four dorm or apartment must-haves for creating a space that is uniquely yours.

1—Canvas. These are the perfect way to make any new space more personal. There are many different ways to choose which canvas you’d like to decorate with. If you’re artistic, you may choose to design or paint one yourself. If you’d rather get one that’s already finished, they can be customized with pictures you’ve already taken. You can also purchase one from a store or get one online. The one I put in my dorm is made with a picture I took on a cruise at a stop in Puerto Rico.

dorm decor

2—Tapestry. If you live in a dorm, you’ll more than likely have some plain walls. Tapestries are the perfect way to change that. My favorite part about buying tapestries is that there are so many different ones to choose from. Dorm hack: attach command strips to the back of clothes pins and hang your tapestries that way. There will be no mess to clean up at the end of the year.

tapestry for dorm

3—Seating. This is the most important part of any new living space. Chances are you’ll want to entertain and you’ll need proper seating to be able to have friends over, and if you live in a dorm your bed can’t possibly be the only option.

dorm seating

4—Photos. This décor item is probably the easiest. You’ll just need to print photos from your phone or camera and arrange them in your room however you’d like. If you’d like you can get them framed, but even just making a simple photo collage on your wall will make your space feel more personal.

What are your favorite ways to decorate your dorm or apartment? Let us know in the comments below or share pictures with us on social media by tagging @CFashionista.

How to DIY Makeup Organizer on a Budget

Sometimes it’s hard to keep our makeup and vanities organized. Let’s be real, makeup organizers can get pricey. This DIY makeup holder is cheap, cute, and clutter-free – plus, you can customize it! I’m going to show you step-by-step how I made this for my tools.


  • a shoe box 
  • ribbon (around ⅝ an inch thick is probably best)
  • decorative paper
  • filler

Step 1—First you will need to take your shoe box (the top isn’t needed) and fill it with a filler. This will give your makeup something stand up on, and keep it from falling down into the box later on. Originally I bought a bag of small decorative pebbles to use for this, but the layer wasn’t thick enough to hold my makeup up so I had to improvise. To be honest, I stuffed the box with crumpled up tissues and I liked the result much better! If you prefer the decorative filler, just make sure you have a layer of it at least a few inches thick—depending on the depth of your box—so that your makeup doesn’t sink.

Step 2 Once your filler is in the box you’re going to make a grid across the top with ribbon. To do this I hot glued each piece of ribbon to one end of my box, folding it about ½ an inch over the side, stretched it across to the other side and hot glued it to the opposite side. Make sure to pull the ribbon tight (if you leave it loose it won’t hold your products up).

You will do this down the entire length and width of the opening of your box in order to make your grid. Be sure to space your ribbon out enough that your product can fit in between the spaces. I used a ColourPop liquid lip to measure my spacing out as I went along.

Step 3— After your grid is completed, it’s time to decorate! I covered the long sides of my box in floral scrapbooking paper and the small sides in plain paper to match. I hot glued the paper down and then labeled one side with “lipstick” and the other side with “brushes” since that’s what I planned to keep in mine. Covering it with the paper allows you to hide the fact that it’s a shoe box.

There’s no wrong way to decorate. Cover it all in plain paper or bedazzle it to the heavens—sticker it or doodle on it.

Step 4—Fill in that grid with all your makeup!

I like my things to be easy to see while I’m doing my makeup rather than being cluttered in a cup, jar, or bag. This project is easy and super affordable. For the most part, it can be made with things you have around your house. The items you may need to buy can be bought at your local craft store for really cheap (my total: $9).

If you try this out, post a picture and tag @Cfashionista so we can see your DIYs!

2 Dorm Decor DIYs for Under $20

Almost every college freshman gets excited to decorate their dorm, but when it comes time to buying dorm essentials, even the most basic items can add up. Here are two of my favorite and cheap dorm decor DIYs!

1—Brandy Melville-Inspired Wood Sign. This sign is probably one of the easiest (and cutest) DIYs I’ve ever made.

What you’ll need:

  • A piece of scrap wood
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Wire
  • Scissors
  • Drill

Step 1—Using your ruler and pencil, draw the border of your sign about two centimeters from the edge of the wood.

Step 2—Draw or trace the word onto your wood. For precision, you can print out what you want to write and transfer the print onto the sign.

Step 3—Paint over your pencil marks with the acrylic paint. Black or navy blue tends to work best so that the pencil marks do not show through.

Step 4—Once the paint has completely dried, use the sandpaper to achieve a weathered look. There is no wrong way to do this, but I like to start on the border and sand down most of the edges first before going over the words.

Step 5—Cut a piece of wire about two feet long. Drill two holes in the upper corners of your sign and insert the wire for hanging.

2—Wire “Neon” Sign. Neon signs are the most Instagram-worthy decor trend today… but also the priciest. Many neon signs like the ones you see at Urban Outfitters have to be created using hand-blown glass, thus the high price. This DIY neon sign will give you the freedom to choose what word you want to display in light and best of all, it won’t break the bank.

What you’ll need:

Step 1—Choose what word you want to create. If you aren’t sure what word to use, do a Google search for beautiful words, or browse your Tumblr and Pinterest for inspiration.

Step 2—Cut a long piece of your wire. It is best to cut the wire longer than you think you need and then trim it later. Once you cut your wire, shape the wire into the word that you chose. Make sure that the wire can keep its shape, which may require twisting the wire around other pieces of the same wire.

Step 3—Cut your twist ties into half-inch pieces. These will be used to attach your neon wire to the metal wire.

Step 4—Line up your neon wire with the metal wire starting, then attach the two wires together using the twist ties where necessary. Do this along the entire wire until you have spelled out your word. There should be excess wire left over to plug into an outlet. Plug in your neon light and marvel at your creation!

Which DIY was your favorite? Show us how your project turned out by tagging @Cfashionista on Instagram!

How to Make Your New Home Actually Feel Like Home

August is finally here, the summer is coming to a close, and the school year is creeping up on us whether we like it or not. Although it is not moving season for all of us, there are some of us who are heading back to the lively lifestyle of roommates, dorm rooms, and apartments. School can be hectic, so keeping your home away from home as homelike as possible is important.

My favorite thing when decorating my dorm room for the upcoming year is having a few essential items that will work all year round. I love decorating for holidays or special occasions—my personal favorite is Halloween—but when the time comes around, I do not want my Technicolor essentials to counteract my bats and ghosts hanging for Halloween. A bedspread that is neutral, with nothing too loud, is the best bet. I love neutral, light colors or even just a basic black and white for my duvet to make sure the focus is on my decorations.

For even more comfort, adding a throw pillow or two never hurt anyone. Fur and white are all the rave for the aesthetic. A few white fur throw pillows are also great to give your room an extra flare without altering your simplicity.

When going for a simplistic look, keeping your metals cohesive really helps everything look polished and pristine. Gold, silver, and bronze can be a bit overwhelming when walking into a small space with all these different metals, so I choose one and stick with it. Personally, I go for a more muted gold because the rustic look makes it feel more cozy and homelike. Since it is school, staying organized and being able to do my school work is very important. A lamp is a staple no matter what and it is a great way to add your metals in.

Jewelry is always the toughest thing to organize; adding a bit of decor to your jewelry set up makes it easier to work with. A jewelry organizer is my favorite way to add my metals in. Besides giving me access to my jewelry, it is easy on the eyes and a two-for-one when it comes to decorating!

Are you heading back to school this semester? Share your room with us! We would love to see how cool your humble abode looks. Don’t forget to @CFashionista!

A City Girl’s Guide to Gardening

Any interior decorator will tell you that one of the best ways to bring your space to life—quite literally—is with plants! As a college student living in an urban area or tiny dorm room, it might seem difficult to get in touch with your green thumb, but it’s easier than you think! I’ve cultivated a miniature garden of herbs, cacti, and flowers in my high-rise apartment using planters and the natural light from my window.


Adding an herb planter to your kitchen windowsill has many benefits: it’s decorative, edible, and smells great! Basil, thyme, and mint are easy to grow from seeds and are just a few dollars at most garden centers.


A bouquet of flowers might cost about the same as your morning latte, but they’ll last far longer than your morning commute. Whether you prefer peonies or hydrangeas, freshly cut stems of your favorite flowers are sure to brighten up your day—and your kitchen table.


Succulents are perhaps the trendiest of houseplants. They’re super low maintenance, only needing sunlight and an occasional splash of water to survive. There are hundreds of species of succulents—so mix and match to create a windowsill garden!


Still not confident in your ability to keep something alive? Faux plants are no longer just the dusty plastic arrangements that belong in a doctor’s office. Skip the seeds and soil and check out Pottery Barn, World Market, CB2, and other home retailers. They make high-quality, lifelike faux succulents, cacti, and flowers fit for a Fashionista’s abode.

How do you bring your decor alive? Show us your urban garden on Instagram and tag @Cfashionista!

3 Easy Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Looking for some easy ways to decorate your dorm room? I always look to Pinterest for inspiration! First, start a board, find your own style, and pin some cool ideas. Keep reading for three dorm room decor ideas that are college budget friendly.

1—Plants. Literally liven up your space with plants! Since you can’t really have any pets in your dorm room, just become a plant mom and surround yourself with beautiful plants and succulents. Plants add natural beauty and color to your room instantly! Plus, they cleanse the air of toxins so it’s a win, win! If you don’t have a green thumb, cacti are easy to take care of and don’t need a lot of natural light. Also, check out this plant hanger! This is super cute and you could easily DIY it too!

2—Lights. Most dorm rooms have less than desirable lighting—either it’s too dim or too bright. That’s why I opt for string lights to make my dorm room feel cozy. These lights are easy to set up and come in different colors and styles. I can’t get enough of these fairy lights! Adding some lights in jars, on the wall, or with a canopy bed are a few quick ways to make your dorm feel more “lived in”. Another plus is that you can control the brightness!

3—Photos. Displaying photos of feel-good memories or adventures keeps you surrounded with happy vibes. Having photos of people you care about or things that make you happy definitely make your dorm feel much more welcoming and personal. You can use picture frames, string lights, a photo board, clothespins or any other design you can think of to decorate your room with pictures. Get creative with this decor idea! You could even print some Polaroids or lightly stain your photos with coffee or tea to give them a vintage look.

What do you think of these dorm room decor ideas? Let me know in the comments below or tag us on social media @CFashionista!

DIY Dorm Room Decor on a Budget

As August approaches, all we can think about is going back to school. We think about our friends, classes, and, of course, the dorms we’ll be living in for the next nine months. Considering you live in your dorm 75 percent of the year, it would only make sense to make your room feel homey! So why not DIY dorm room decor by yourself?

What’s the perfect way to do that? Surround yourself with canvases that make you smile the moment you wake up! I know what you’re thinking. Room decor can definitely add up and in the midst of buying your necessities, you might not have enough to spend on decorations. That’s why I recommend to DIY dorm room decor. It saves so much money. Here’s how I started.

Triangle Shaped Canvas

1—Buy a plain canvas, tape, paint, and brushes from your local arts and crafts store. You can also use some products you have on hand like old makeup brushes or never used fashion tape.

2—Then, take the canvas and use your tape to create triangles on your canvas! (It looks super cute if they’re different sizes and not symmetrical.)

3—Now start mixing the paints you bought and painting each triangle. (It’s okay to be messy!)

4—Let the paint dry for a couple hours. (Perfect time to start your next DIY.)

5—Finally, start taking off the tape from the canvas.

6—Once you’ve taken them all off, you’re done!

7—Optional: If the lines aren’t as smooth as you hoped, take white paint on a brush and clean up the edges.

Ombre Quote Canvas

1—Buy a plain canvas, paint, sticker letters, and a sponge brush from your local arts and crafts store.

2—Then, choose a quote you’d like to put on the canvas.

3—Use the stickers to write out the quote.

4—Start with white paint and add a little bit of blue until you reach the first color.

5—Start sponging on the paint to create a textured look.

6—Keep adding blue paint to the white to achieve the ombre look.

7—Once the whole canvas is covered, let the paint dry for a couple of hours.

8—Peel off the sticker letters and you’re done!

It’s just that simple and easy to make your dorm look super cute! I chose blue for my theme because it was my favorite color, but you can use any colors you have on hand. With this DIY dorm room decor, your room could not get any homier and for a cheap price! What’s better than waking up to your very own creation and a quote that never fails to make you smile?

Now it’s your turn to show off your artistic skills! Show us your creations by tagging @Cfashionista!

Here Are 3 Hacks for Creating a Chic Apartment on a Budget

Summer is swiftly coming to an end (I know, I’m crying too) and that means it’s back to school! In late August I will be moving into my first ever apartment with my four best friends, and I could not be more excited. One of my favorite parts about moving is getting to decorate a new space. This year, I wanted to create a more mature, grown-up space as opposed to my past dorm rooms. The only thing standing in my way was my ever-shrinking budget. Over the summer, I gradually collected things for our apartment. After all the hunting, I found ways to make an Urban Outfitters aesthetic out of a thrift shop price. If you love decorating and want a chic apartment but don’t want to spend a ton of money, look no further.

1—One man’s trash is your treasure. Thrift stores and garage sales are a haven for amazing furniture just begging to be repurposed. I found some adorable place mats, table cloths, and décor items at garage sales. I also found a coffee table that needed some love. With a fresh coat of copper spray paint, it looks like something you would find at West Elm!

2—Be creative. When it came to décor, I knew I wanted to try making things myself instead of buying them online. Using Adobe Photoshop, I made some graphic wall art. I printed six prints out at Office Depot for a whopping $2 and bought a few $2 IKEA frames to hang them on my wall. Additionally, I love using cheap plants that are easy to care for, like succulents and cacti. I finished things off with a DIY neon sign and some throw pillows.

3—Put money aside gradually. There were some items that I just couldn’t find in a good enough condition at a thrift store. These items like my dresser, desk, and bed were pricey and not something I could buy all at once. I put aside 25 percent of each paycheck to get each item gradually. It cost the same as buying it all at once but felt like a lot less since I took my time buying them. Let your space be a true expression of who you are inside. For me, I wanted it to be cozy, aesthetically-pleasing, and clean. What are the attributes of your perfect space?


Did you try any of these ideas? Tag us in your photos @CFashionista!