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Secondhand First: Saving Money on Clothes in College


Are you working on your new budget for this fall semester? As you’re crunching the numbers are you wondering how on earth you’ll be able to afford to update your fall wardrobe?  To start, lets say goodbye to expensive retail, and hello to secondhand shopping!

One way to make it easier to choose secondhand first when it comes to fashion is to choose to do your shopping at local thrift stores. There are many places in and near Winona for you to shop secondhand. To start, a brand new Goodwill just opened its doors in Winona! When I stepped in for the first time, I came home with a bag full of like-new clothes to add to my summer wardrobe. That’s right, a whole bag of name-brand clothes for less than $20! There’s also plenty of other great shops like the Salvation Army Thrift Store across the highway from Goodwill, and locations downtown like Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Grace Place, Restored Blessings, kate + bella and the Clothes Shop, which is a program of the non-profit Winona Volunteer Services.

Maybe the idea of buying used clothes is weird to you. If that is the case, think of secondhand shopping the way ThredUP does: secondhand shopping is simply buying clothes that are “pre-loved.”  How nice!

ThredUP is the world’s largest online resale/consignment shop. It’s a website where shoppers can browse thousands of pre-owned tops, bottoms, dresses, bags and shoes without ever leaving their couch! They sell many different styles and brands of clothing, all for affordable prices! They even have an app, so you can order your items through your smart phone or tablet. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Photo from

Photo from

But wait, the fun doesn’t end there! After all, ThredUP’s tag line is “Secondhand Clothes, Firsthand Fun.”  ThredUP not only focuses on giving customers great brands and value, they also provide an outlet for their customers to rid themselves of unwanted articles of clothing. All you have to do is go online and request a free clean out bag. The bag arrives on your doorstep, you fill it full of unwanted, name brand apparel, and then you mail it back to ThredUP. They take care of the shipping charges, too! When ThredUP receives the items, the customer receives credit to shop for other items. This is an awesome and easy way to throw out the clothes taking up space in your closet that you don’t wear often, and replacing them with something new. Moreover, with the store credit you receive, this swap may end up costing you NOTHING!

Similar to ThredUP’s system, Plato’s Closet in La Crosse does the same thing. If you are planning to take a trip to La Crosse for the day, take a minute to bag up a bunch of your unwanted clothes. You can take them in to Plato’s Closet and they will pay you for your clothes! They also have a great selection of name-brand, gently used clothing for sale. Again, you can swap your unwanted, too big, too small, or simply unworn clothes for something new!

One last idea that I want to leave you with is hosting a clothing swap with just your friends or a club/organization you’re involved in. This past year, the women’s group within my campus ministry, Chi Alpha, held a clothing swap where you brought a few pieces of clothing that you were tired of, and then you went home with a couple new items! It was a great idea, and turned out to be a great success! Once school starts, you can talk to your RA and also start a clothing swap in your dorm.

I hope these ideas help you revamp your fall wardrobe in an affordable manner! Remember to think secondhand first.

Happy shopping and swapping!

Erin Kloepping

Music to Your Ears: FREE Concerts on Campus

If you’re like me, then you appreciate food, music and trying new things. What’s even better is when all of these things are free (because we’re in college and who doesn’t love free?)! That’s why I was thrilled when I heard about Concerts on the Green. This is one of many events brought to the Winona community by the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Beginning this Friday at 5pm, there will be FREE music, yard games and food on campus in front of the PAC. It’s the first concert of the 2016 season, and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy our beautiful campus in the summer! Concerts on the Green will be on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-7pm until the end of July.

The stage for tomorrow night's concert is already set up outside the PAC and ready to go!

The stage for tomorrow night’s concert is already set up outside the PAC and ready to go!

If you’re not really into music, I still highly encourage you to attend! It’s a great opportunity to open yourself up to something new without any cost to you. So, you’re not a fan of jazz? Then you should definitely attend nights like Saturday, June 25 that feature jazz bands and music you are not particularly attuned to. Fully immersing yourself in a fun environment with live music you aren’t used to will give you a greater appreciation for different styles of music. For instance, in early high school I used to only like mainstream pop music. But when my older sister began driving me to school I was forced to listen to alternative rock in her car every day. Even though I definitely did not start out as a fan of her style of music, I ended up loving it and now that’s pretty much all I listen to. Sometimes you don’t know what you really like until you try it a few times.

I’m so happy to be spending my summer in Winona for many reasons – one definitely being Concerts on the Green. Hope to see you there!

Allison Mueller

Take Your Dad and the Fam to Steamboat Days!

Looking for something fun to do with your dad or the family over Father’s Day weekend?

Well, Steamboat Days in Winona is where it’s at. A wide range of activities for the whole family to enjoy makes Winona a great place to spend the entire weekend together, as a family! Show them around the beautiful city in which you will, or currently, attend college and enjoy Steamboat Days, which runs from Wednesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 19. A few of the scheduled events being held throughout the long weekend are a BMX bike show, craft fair, parade, the play ‘Shrek’, a pancake breakfast, concerts, and last but not least, a spectacular fireworks show. Although a craft fair might not be as appealing to a 7-year-old kid as it is to teenage girls and their mothers, there are tons of fun events planned for kids. Such as constant rides, a kid’s fishing contest, a treasure hunt, a kiddie parade and the Kids Power Pedal.

Photo of the Kiddie Parade taken from the Steamboat Days' website.

Photo of the kiddie parade taken from the Steamboat Days’ website.

However, the fun doesn’t end there. Winona is a beautiful city with endless opportunities for outdoor entertainment. Therefore, there is more to do than just the scheduled events throughout Father’s Day weekend. Maybe you wish to have a relaxing weekend with your family and desire a nice walk around the Winona Lakes or a picnic in the park. Maybe you are a bit more adventurous and want to climb to the top of Sugar Loaf with your dad or go kayaking down the Mississippi. The opportunities for entertainment and a good time with your family over Father’s Day weekend are endless in the city of Winona. If you are stumped as to what to do over Father’s Day weekend with your family, fret no more. Winona is the place to be!

Erin Kloepping

Prepare Yourself: 7 Must-Visits for Decorating Your Space


The beginning of June brings with it the start of new leases in Winona! This time brings change for many upperclassmen and sparks dorm room thoughts for incoming freshmen and those planning on living in the residence halls again. Whether you are moving to an apartment now or a dorm room in August, it can be difficult to make the place feel homey. This is especially true when you are on a budget, because we all know decorations and furniture are not cheap. Here are a few sites, stores and ideas that have helped me make myself at home in all of my living situations in my years at Winona State:

1) Pinterest 

I get most of my decorating ideas from Pinterest. Typically, you cannot buy directly from the site but they usually have some sort of link for you to track down the product. It’s also a great way to find cheap DIY projects! Keep track of sites and ideas you like by creating a specific board for your dorm, apartment, etc. to pin to. Winona State has its own Pinterest account with a range of creative and helpful boards, one being the Res Hall Decor board.

2) Dormify

Not only does this website carry some awesome decorations, but it now has a new Design Plan Generator. All you have to do is answer some questions about your style and personality and it generates themes that fit your answers.

3) Target

Target is pretty good at having reasonably priced products, give or take a rug. Plus, if you go at the right time you can get some good discounts. Last year I went in the middle of fall semester and bought lamps for 60% off! Try to avoid shopping in the summer because that’s when the prices are the highest.

4) Etsy

Honestly, I had doubts about this site at first. It is all online and products are made and sold by people you probably do not know. Like other stores, it can be pricey too. However, they have some great stuff that can be cheap and if you are willing to splurge a little there are some amazing things available.


I have this weird obsession with storage containers and organizations so IKEA is pretty much heaven for me. They have so many options, you can make it unique to you and they are pretty cheap! They also have “inspiration rooms” that workers have designed where you can see how things are set up and decorated for ideas. The only downfall is that the nearest IKEA is in the Twin Cities, but if you’re from that area you’re in luck! If not, a road trip is in order.

6) TJ Maxx

This is easily one of my favorite stores. You can find designer brands at a fraction of the price. I mean, who in college can afford to drop $400+ on just one chair? They have everything from clothes to photo albums to bedding.

7) Rummage sales/garage sales and thrift stores

I will admit, a lot of things you find at these places are either not in the best shape or are just junk, but sometimes you can find a treasure. Some things may require a little TLC and redesigning, but that just gives you an excuse to be crafty.​ Also, it’s a good idea to utilize Pinterest and other sites to get ideas for DIY projects with garage sale or thrift store items!

Kayla Severson

Tips For Tweeners: Living Between Leases


It seems like the last week or two of May is an awkward and stressful time for many students who live off campus. Leases are ending, but some new leases have not started yet. Sometimes students can be left pretty much homeless. If you are in this situation like I am, it can be a problem if you work in Winona. I am stuck between taking time off, commuting from my parents’ house and jumping between friends’ houses. But, don’t panic! Here are some tips on handling living life as a tweener:

1. Talk to your landlord

Landlords know this is a tricky time for students and if you are nice they might work with you. My landlord said he had a garage where he let my roommate store her bigger things. They may also let you move in a little early.

2. Ask if you can contact the current tenants

One of the girls living in the house I’m moving to moved out early, so they let me move my bigger stuff over.

3. Ask your friends if you can stay with them

I know some people who are house hopping or staying with other friends until they can move into their house. It’ll be like a glorified sleepover! It’d be nice to offer making them dinner or something in exchange for taking over their couch or spare room.

4. Look into living in the dorms

Moving from an apartment to the dorms is not the ideal situation but it can be fun. You’ll get to meet new people and it can be cheaper! You can pay per day you’d like to stay in a single or double room over the summer.

5. Find a good storage unit

This will save you from moving all your stuff home and back, if that’s where you decide to live between leases. Some can be pricey, but if you do your research you can find one that is reasonably priced. Also, it’s best to look into storage units a bit in advance because they fill up fast!

6. Live at home

This might not the most ideal situation for some, but hey, it’s cheap! Plus, who doesn’t like home cooked meals nearly every night?

Kayla Severson

6 Summer Study Spots

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean classes have ended! Many Warriors are still in Winona attending summer classes. For these individuals, finding the perfect study spot can be crucial to be able to focus and be productive. Some people like complete silence while studying while some like music or some kind of background noise. Here are some great study spots on and off campus for any studying location preference, especially in this beautiful summer weather!

1) Third floor of the SLC


Believe it or not, some people don’t even know this exists. It is a secluded and comfy place to get work done! It has many comfortable chairs and different tables. It’s never been loud to the point where you can’t focus. This area is cozy and awesome for working on homework when it’s rainy or too hot out.

2) Around the gazebo

There’s plenty of benches and grass to study on and get some schoolwork done in the sun. Around the gazebo is a great area to get fresh air and enjoy the weather, with reliable wifi of course!

3) Around Lake Winona


Not every college has beautiful scenery like WSU has with the bluffs and lakes. This is a super relaxing spot to crank out some studying. Bring a blanket to lay out and take advantage of the spots around the lake. There’s also free wifi, but remember that is can be spotty!

4) In a hammock


It’s a great idea to invest in a hammock and hang out on campus, or around Winona, to study! Many students have done this once the weather starts to warm up. Give it a try!

5) Outside of Blooming Grounds or Mugby Junction


Settle yourself outside one of Winona’s many coffee shops such as Blooming Grounds or Mugby Junction. These cute and comfortable spaces provide wifi and sunshine, as well as refreshers and snacks.

6) The Solarium


Located right above the Smaug, the Solarium connects to East Hall and overlooks WSU’s beautiful, green campus! Here you’ll have air conditioning, wifi and outlets, as well as that outdoor feeling and view.

Hopefully these suggestions inspire you to try out some new and awesome study spots in Winona! Also, keep in mind that the Student Union and Krueger Library are open during the summer and still serve as great areas to get studying done! The summer hours are as follows:

Student Union:
Monday-Thursday: 7:30am – 9pm
Friday: 7:30am – 6pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Krueger Library:
Monday-Thursday: 7:30am – 9pm
Friday: 7:30am – 5pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 1 – 9pm

Allison Mueller and Kassidy Jackson

6 Things You'll Miss About Your Roommate

The school year has come to an end and your weekly routines won’t be the same anymore. If you’re not graduating, most of you will be heading back to your hometown and living with family for the next three months before returning back to school. Some of you may even have internships that’ll take you many miles away from home. This means not living with your friends anymore, and that is something that will take a bit of time to adjust to. Here are 6 things you’ll might miss about your roommate this summer.

1) Long life chats


Whether it’s to catch them up your day, life, vent, talk about a TV show you’re currently obsessing over or to rant about any random thing going on in your mind…it’s so nice to have friend close to you to word vomit on. They are always there if you need to talk. Just remind yourself they are just a text or phone call away this summer!

2) Spontaneous trips eating out


Sometimes you just needed a change from the cafeteria and or eating Easy Mac, so you’d run to your roomie and ask to go out and get some grub. Your roommate is the first person to agree with you 100% and say, “Let’s do it!” Your meals may not be the same without your roommate these next few months, but just think about the calories you’ll probably be saving.

3) Having someone to handle you in all your moods


After living with someone, you begin to know that person better than most people. You pick up on their habits, mannerisms, and can sense when something is wrong. You can sense when they want someone to talk to or if they just need space after a hard day. You’ll be missing that support this summer, but again, they’re only a phone call or Skype chat away!

4) Jamming to music


Whether it’s in the car or in your room as a mini dance party, I know I’ll miss sharing my latest favorites of new music with my roommate until we are both singing along. Just think about all the music you’ll have to rock to when you reunite!

5) Borrowing their clothes


Some days your clothes just don’t do it for you, and it’s so convenient to be able to borrow from your roommate. They can borrow from you also, and it’s like you have two closets! It’s a great deal. Now it’s time to get some use out of your own clothes for a while!

6) TV/movie nights


Who else are you going to make comments to immediately after something happens during new TV episodes and movies? Yes, you can text, but it’s not the same as having them right there with you.

There’s no doubt about it that it won’t be easy learning to live without your other half this summer. Tell your roommate how much you appreciate them before you go your separate ways and how much you’ll miss them. Even though it’ll be hard not having them so close, remember that they’re always there for you!

Kassidy Jackson

John’s Declassified Moving Out Survival Guide

As spring semester is wrapping up, it is time to think about where you’re moving to next. Whether you’re moving home for the summer, moving to summer housing on campus, or moving off campus, it’s important to move efficiently and smart!

If you’re anything like me, you want to know what you’re getting into before you get into it. And that’s okay! When it comes to moving out, it’s a bit nerve wracking. You’re balancing finals as well as trying to clean and pack up your belongings. That’s why I prepared this little guide, which is a spinoff of my guide to moving back to school posted in July, so you can make moving out less of a hassle and much easier!

Here is John’s Declassified Moving Out Survival Guide:

  1. Start packing early – a few weeks early. Start with packing things you know you won’t use the rest of the semester.
  2. Think about purchasing vacuum seal bags for storing clothes and bedding, it’ll compact everything into a nice size!
  3. Rubbermaid containers will be your best friends! Use them to contain your items! Otherwise, use boxes and start storing things.
  4. Label, label, label your boxes with what they’re containing!
  5. Make sure to sign up for a checkout time as soon as you possibly can with your RA. Don’t be that one kid who signs up late and their RA is hounding them to sign up. Be an adult and sign up early.
  6. Make sure you’re early to your checkout time. If you’re ready to go before your checkout time, see if your RA would check you out early. If your RA is like me, you’ll earn bonus points – and they’ll probably gladly check you out earlier than planned!
  7. In your res hall room, make sure your room is cleaned to the point where someone could move in the next day. If you’d have something to complain about if you were moving in the next day, it’s not clean enough.
  8. If you’re going to be late to your checkout time, let your RA know in advance. Seriously.
  9. If you have items and non-perishable food that you do not want to take with you, ask your RA where you can take those items so they can be donated to other people in need.
  10. Before you check out, if you need any work orders completed (burnt out light, etc.), make sure to let your RA know in advance!

If you have questions at all during this process, find your RA, go to the front desk of your building, or contact the Housing and Residence Life office. They’d love to help you out!

Best of luck on your finals! Have a great summer!

John Otis

9 Tips to Beat the Heat With No A/C


We’re finally breaking away from the chilly Minnesota weather and moving into the blistering heat of summer. For those of us living in the dorms or off campus with no air conditioning, we are not looking forward to this. If you are like me and struggle with the heat, here are a few tricks that can be used in any living situation to help you make it through the long days and nights with no A/C:

1) Put your sheets in the freezer before bed

Do this at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Obviously this wont keep you cool all night but it will provide you some relief. This also works with a shirt. When I lived in the dorm my bed was lofted and I was too lazy to take my sheets off and then bring them back to bed with me so I used a shirt instead.

2) Sleep lower

Heat rises, so if you have a lofted bed try sleeping lower or on the ground if possible. This actually helps more than you think! Freshman year my roommate and I moved our mattresses to the floor for like a week because it got so hot.

3) Use Freeze Pops / Fla-Vor-Ice

You can eat these childhood-favorite popsicles or lay a bunch of them across your pillow or mattress to work as a bigger ice pack. I started doing this in the dorms and still do it today. Fact: it works best if you leave them connected so you don’t accidently drop a few between your wall and mattress.

4) Cold showers

This is one of the quickest ways to bring your body temperature down. Plus, you are also washing off all your nasty sweat from the day.

5) DIY air conditioner

I actually did not know about this until my friend told me to look into it for this blog. Basically, all you have to do is put a shallow bowl or pan full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze from the fan will pick up the coldness to create a cooler draft! Pretty neat, huh?

6) Drink a bottle of water before bed

Water will help you stay hydrated through out the night versus waking up dehydrated at three in the morning. No one wants to get out of bed in the middle of the night, especially when you are hot and sweaty.

7) Keep curtains and blinds closed

This will help block the sun from shining into your room and keep it a little cooler.

8) Cool down your pulse points first

Do this to cool down quickly. Your pulse points are your neck, elbows, wrists, behind your knees and ankles.

9) Literally do nothing

Weird concept in college, right? If I take a break longer than five minutes suddenly I’m like two weeks behind. However, if you take a few minutes to just lay on your bed all sprawled out, then your body will cool down faster. You probably need a break from all your studying anyways.

Kayla Severson

My Campus Bucket List

As my junior year of college is coming to an end, I can’t help but look back and reflect on how fast college has flown by. I have so many great memories here at Winona State, and it makes me sad that this time next year it will all be over. As I reflect, I also realize there are a lot of things I have not done yet that I think every Warrior should do before they graduate. So, here is my senior year bucket list:

1) Get a picture with Wazoo



Even though I am terrified of things in costumes.

2) Attend at least one game of each sport 


3) Go to grocery bingo more


I’m a broke college student who can win free groceries, so why not?

4) Join another club


5) Graduate with a 4.0 


6) Procrastinate less


This should be listed twice!

7) Volunteer at least one of the blood drives 


8) Go rock climbing in Wabasha Hall


9) Actually go to the career fair and hand out my resume


No more of this, “I’ll do it next time” nonsense.

10) Have a kick-butt year!


Because after it’s over, I have to become a real adult.​

Kayla Severson