YOUR Questions Answered By Tabatha Coffey

Available at your campus bookstore now

Tabatha Coffey’s new book, “It’s Not Really About the Hair”, tells fans how she became the independent, strong and successful woman she is today.  We can all learn a thing or two about ourselves from the title.

But, not only does Tabatha give us valuable advice in her book, but she offered to give YOU one-on-one advice, too.

So, last week we received some great questions from our Facebook fans for Tabatha.  And this weekend, she sat down to answer them. Full posts →

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Thunder Sleet: Snow Storm Rocks NJ and Beyond

We got slammed in NJ with snow–but not just any snow.  This snow was accompanied by thunder AND lightning in some parts of the state.  This was some major snowage.

This "bush" is actually a 4ft. tall tree!

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Smart Money Tips For Students

We take a variety of classes at college—English, biology, psychology, history.  These classes prepare us for our careers and make us all-the-more smarter, but there’s one lesson many of us learn the hard way– How to manage our money.  So, for your first lesson in finance, here are some popular misconceptions college students have about money. 

Misconception #1: “I Don’t Need a Budget” 

In order to know what you can spend, you have to know your income. If you are spending more than you are bringing in, you will be in debt. A budget is a simple way to manage finances and to keep yourself on track. It doesn’t have to be complicated—just a simple outline of your expenses weighed against your monthly income. 

Misconception #2: “All Websites are Secure and No One Can Get My Personal Info”

This is the biggest fallacy of them all. There are secure sites for purchasing, but if you do not have a proper firewall or computer protection, your credit card information could be leaked or hacked by anyone. You can never be too cautious about which sites you are visiting and what information you are giving away.  If you are making a purchase online always be sure there is a little “lock” on the bottom of your screen.  This helps you determine if the site is secure.

A lock like this one will help you identify secure websites.

Misconception #3: “I Don’t Have To Check My Credit Score.  I’m Sure It’s Fine!”

You should check your credit report and credit score annually.  You can get your free credit report at and you can purchase your score for about $8.  Also, be sure to get your credit report from all three credit bureaus–TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.  Each report may have conflicting information. 

When you miss payments on credit cards or build uncontrollable debt, it lowers your credit score. It may not affect you at this instant, but after college when you are ready to buy a car or house, you may not be approved for a loan or you may receive a very high interest rate. Things that can determine your score include your monthly payments and if you pay them on time, how many credit cards you have applied for in the past few months, outstanding parking tickets (yup—you read correctly), and financial obligations/other bills.

Misconception #4: “I’ll Just Charge Everything And Pay It Off Later!” 

Sometimes it is just too easy to use plastic. So before jumping to your cards, ask yourself, “Since I don’t have cash, do I really need to make this purchase?”  If the answer is no, don’t buy. 

Misconception #5: “I’ll Start a Savings Account When I Start Working– Not Now”

Open a savings account NOW and put a little money away each week. Savings accounts have compound interest and it adds up.  Before you know it, you will have money saved away to use for a worthwhile investment.

 How do you save your money?  Have smart-money tips to share?  Leave a comment below.

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Exclusive Excerpt: Tabatha Coffey’s “It’s Not Really About the Hair”

You gotta love Tabatha Coffey.  The no-nonsense attitude and tenacious personality of the Bravo TV star wins you over in a heartbeat.   But how did Tabatha, of “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” gain such independence and strength?  She tells all in her new book, “It’s Not Really About the Hair”.

Available at your campus bookstore now

From tales of her childhood to stories of entrepreneurship, everyone is sure to learn a thing or two about gaining a sense of self and achieving one’s dreams.  Take it from the excerpt below, “Living the Dream”, where Tabatha helps you decide what will make you happy in life.

Living the Dream

It isn’t easy to “live the dream,” but for some people it’s even harder to figure out what “the dream” is. I knew early on that I wanted to be a hairdresser, but if you’re one of those people casting about trying to figure it out or saying, “Oh well, I’ll just go to law school,” then I have a few key questions that you should ask yourself:

• “What makes you miserable?” While this might not seem like the logical starting place, it is. You’d be amazed how many law school graduates hate practicing law. They should have asked themselves this question before they applied.

 • “When you have a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do, how do you spend it?” Now, if your answer is in bed with a bowl of cold cereal, I can’t necessarily pinpoint your dream—other than to say it involves Cap’n Crunch. But even reading the newspaper tells you something. Maybe you want to report the news or deal with politics. Maybe you like the sports page and will become the manager of the New York Yankees. And that brings me to my second point:

 • Dream big. Leave it to others—whether it’s your sworn enemy or your mother—to tell you something can’t be done. If you have a dream, supersize it. It’s healthier than a Happy Meal and doesn’t cost you anything. Go after your dream like it’s the biggest deal you have ever seen and treat it like a monster to be tamed. If it’s easy to attain, then it might not be your dream after all.

 Excerpted from It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty by Tabatha Coffey. © 2011, It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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Roommate Shout Out: Stephanie

In college, we all have roommates we love— or not. So, we want to give a shout out to all the great roommies of the world!

Our first roommate shout out goes to Stephanie G. at Salisbury University from Allison S.  Here’s what Allison had to say about her time living with Stephanie:

These two roommies= two peas in a pod

“She was a fantastic roommate who was genuinely good-hearted but knew how to give me reality checks.  She was always there when something was wrong and was the most amazing cook/baker I have ever met. My last year of school wouldn’t have been the same without her.”

Sounds like bonding at its best!

Do you have a Roommate Shout Out you’d like to post? Email with your post and a picture (if you have one)!

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Applying Via E-mail? Write a Cover Letter

We live in a land of technology. So it should come as no surprise that most employers request job applications to be submitted online or via email. Although this sounds simple enough, there are several blunders job hunters seem to make.

In order to ensure you appear stellar in your e-mailed job application, follow these simple cover letter tips:

1. Use a cover letter. A cover letter is what you use to “sell” yourself to an employer. It is where you can really let your personality shine.  If you opt to not use a cover letter when submitting your application via email, you’re “selling” yourself short. You aren’t giving yourself an opportunity to truly entice the employer to read your resume.

2. Copy and paste. Do not rely solely on attaching your cover letter to the email. Instead, copy and paste the cover letter directly into the email. This will ensure the person who opens the email will see it (and read it).

3. Keep it short and sweet. You are writing a cover letter, not your autobiography. While you need to get the necessary information in the letter, don’t add details that are irrelevant. You don’t want the reader to lose interest.

4. Explain why you’re the best fit for the job. This is your chance to explain why you are better for the role than anyone else. Review the job description and mold those duties together with your past experiences and abilities.  Showcasing your strengths and how they are relevant to the position will make the reader want to review your resume.

5. Customize. Generic cover letters typically do not work. As stated in Tip 4, you need to analyze each position’s responsibilities and how they fit with your strengths. If you use a generic cover letter, which can be sent to any and all employers, you will not show how you are the best fit for that specific job. It takes time, yes, to write several cover letters, but in the end, the benefits are worth it.

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IUPUI Students Changing the Future of Medicine

Chemistry students in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are working diligently to change the future of medicine.

Using a process called Distributed Drug Discovery (D3), students are synthesizing molecules that might be used in human clinical trials as drug treatments or cures for neglected diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. The goal of their efforts is to identify, synthesize and test molecules that have not been previously considered to treat these diseases, according to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science.

Students certainly are changing the future of medicine one molecule at a time.

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Lego Replica of Ohio Stadium

Thought you loved Legos as a child? Well, one Ohio State associate professor took his fascination of Legos to the extreme–building an exact replica of Ohio Stadium. Paul M.L. Janseen used his off-office hours to construct this 1:100 scale model which cost roughly $75,000, according Wired.

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Selfless Teacher Pays Student’s Tuition

One math teacher and a promise adds up to a moving story of friendship and commitment.

Tony Apuzzi, a math teacher in the Bronx sold his prize possessions, including signed Yankees baseballs, in order to put a past student through college, according to The Jackson Sun.

Jaselle Ruiz was Apuzzi’s math student when she was about 12 years-old. Raised by her grandparents, Ruiz promised them she would become a doctor one day. Apuzzi saw she had great potential and believed in her dream, so he made her a promise—receive good grades and stay out of trouble and Apuzzi would pay for her college tuition.

Ruiz achieved her dream and is pre-med at Lehman College. And Apuzzi kept his promise. To pay for Ruiz’s schooling, Apuzzi sold his valuables including signed Yankee baseballs to Steiner Sports Memorabilia. But, it wasn’t enough. However, the owner of Steiner Sports having heard of the heart-felt story, contacted Yankee closer Mariano Rivera and both presented Apuzzi with $6,000 from the Rivera Foundation, according to The Jackson Sun. Apuzzi now had what he needed to put Ruiz through school.

As I read this article, I was moved. A teacher saw something in a child (she was only in sixth-grade after all) and made a promise to her, which he always remembered and followed through with years later. Apuzzi didn’t just make a promise. He made a commitment to this young girl.

It is nice to see there are still genuine and good-hearted people in the world– People who are trying to make the world a better place, one person at a time.

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Public Speaking: 101

You know that moment when your palms get sweaty, your knees start to shake and you feel like you’re going to throw up (gross…I know)? No, I’m not referring to a first date—I’m talking about the moment you have to get up in front of a crowd of people and give a speech.

The comforting news is, three out of four individuals suffer from speech anxiety, also known as glossophobia, so you’re not alone!  With that said, it’s important every college student take at least one public speaking course while in school. Almost every single major and job requires some sort of public speaking/presenting and it is vital to know the basics.

As a communication arts major, I figured I was going to breeze through my public speaking class—WRONG. I wan’t all that great when I got up there to present.  I had to learn how to tame some of my my mannerisms, how to use body language to draw in an audience and how to effectively use technology to enhance my presentation.

So, here are some simple tips I learned to help improve your public speaking skills:

  1. Know the material. Unless you are required to improvise a speech, know your subject inside and out.  This will help you to avoid stuttering, depending on filler words (uh, um, etc.) and you’ll relay your message effectively.
  2. Practice. There is no better way to master a speech than to practice. Practice in front of your roommates, your friends, or even your mirror. The more times you say it, the more comfortable you’ll get.
  3. Breathe. Many people speak too quickly when they are nervous and forget to breathe. If you are one of those people, write on your note cards to “slow down” in the margins. This will serve as a visual cue. If you have your speech written out, put dashes in between sentences to remind you where to take a breath and pause.
  4. Relax. Everyone gets nervous to some degree, but most people won’t even notice you’re nervous. Stand with your weight evenly distributed and your knees unlocked. This will relieve some of the stress on your body. If you find you start to stutter or lose your place, don’t panic—just pause, take a breath and pick up where you left off.
  5. Learn from experience. The best way to overcome your fears is to give speeches as much as possible (torture—I know). But, the more speeches you give, the more comfortable you’ll feel. You will also learn what works best for you and some personal tricks to keep calm.

 Do you have any techniques that help you get through public speaking?

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