The 10 Steps Of Packing To Study Abroad, As Told By Spongebob

The 10 Steps Of Packing To Study Abroad, As Told By Spongebob

You might get really stressed out trying to pack but remember, it's going to be OK!
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By the time you're reading this, I will already have begun my study abroad journey. Yep, you've read about me gearing up for it before, and now the time has finally come and I've "gone across the pond" as everyone in my family seems to like say.

I don't think I've ever met anyone that really likes to pack; I know I don't. The whole week before my trip, I left my suitcases open on my bedroom floor and proceeded to procrastinate (seems I will be no different in England than I was at CofC), mainly because I didn't really know where to start. I had read countless packing lists, watched Youtube videos, and I wrote my own packing list down, too. But it's harder than you think.

I quickly found out that it was going to be a weeklong endeavor, which made me extremely frustrated. To make light of my own irritation, I've put together a list of the way the steps of packing for a study abroad can make you feel, with GIFs to accompany, of course.

1. The excitement of finally beginning to pack and needing to tell anyone who will listen

It's this whole big ordeal. You've finally gotten your luggage out of the storage closet and you're officially going to start. Yes, everyone is tired of you talking about it, but who cares? You're going to another country!

2. Trying to study for how to pack for a study abroad like it's your hardest test of the semester

Like I said earlier, I watched SO SO SO many Youtube videos titled things like "What I Packed For A Semester Abroad In England". So many variations. I spent so long watching them thinking I was going to get some serious help with this whole packing thing, but I didn't. It's really not something you can prepare for.

3. Looking in your closet or dresser and wanting to scream in frustration

You think you know what you need to pack and then you realize that you have too many clothes and you don't know how you're going to choose which pieces will actually make the cut.

4. Realizing that all the "research" you did was pointless

I learned nothing I didn't already know. A big waste of my time, honestly.

5. Actually beginning to pack

Took us long enough, but here we are. Finally packing. I tried the whole week before my trip to pack but I didn't really start making a lot of progress until about two days before. Oops.

6. Realizing you can't pack those things that you "need"

I thought I was going to be able to pack a blanket from home and quickly realized how wrong I was, which made me pretty sad because I love that blanket.

7. Deciding just to pack the essentials and buy the rest once you get there

You probably can't take your hair tools, every sweatshirt you own, or tons of decorations...but it's OK. You can probably buy that stuff once you get there if you think you still need it (which you probably don't).

8. Recruiting a friend to help

It can be helpful to have someone else there to tell you that trying to pack seven pairs of shoes in one suitcase, along with everything else, is pretty ridiculous (thanks, Alexis).

9. The feeling of accomplishment because you've finally finished


It took so long to get to this point but it feels good, doesn't it?

10. Feeling beyond exhausted

It's a lot of work to pack for such a big trip. I know I was super exhausted when I finally finished.

If you're going abroad, have a great time and remember not to get too stressed out while you're trying to pack. It will be SO worth it once you get there.

Cover Image Credit: Modern Day Moms

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.
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Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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6 Tips On How To Get An A From Your TA

Being a teacher's pet isn't a bad thing--at least for that A.

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1. Show Up On Syllabus Week

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Even though your two years older brother, whose going to the same exact college, swears that syllabus week isn't necessary--it is. Some teachers get their classes up and going right away, taking no time for reviewing the syllabus because you're a big college kid now and should've done that on your own time. During syllabus week, you'll either hop right into lessons or actually review the syllabus that you should've before but you know you didn't. Either way, it's beneficial to go just for the sake of learning where the class is, if not anything else.

2. Show Up On Time After That

Mitchell Hollander

Punctuality is everything about how others see you for first impressions. If you're the kid strolling in ten minutes late everyday, everyone is going to get annoyed--including the teacher. Have some respect for yourself and others. Be sure to attend class on time. Some would say if you're five minutes late, don't come at all, but that's more for the sake of the class and you've got to be watching out for yourself.

3. Sit In Front

Nathan Dumlao

It's not awkward or weird to sit in the very front of the lecture hall, I promise. You're actually setting yourself up for the best when the teacher's mic fails and she's resorted to shouting the rest of the lesson instead of cancelling it. Not only that, but your questions are always addressed first and you can be the first one to reach her after the class is over, instead of the tenth in the line of people who were too nervous to ask the questions during class.

4. Participate In Class

Edwin Andrade Edwin Andrade

If, or rather when, the teacher asks the class to answer a question, just raise your hand and answer it. Stop stressing over whether you're wrong or not. It's far easier just to answer and let class move along instead of sitting there for an awkward five minutes of silence and paper shuffling. Another note, if you have a question, ask it. This refers back to the line of ten people that appears after class because they were too nervous to ask in front of a crowd. Not to mention you're all probably asking the same question. Moral of the story, if you have a question, ask it because at least one other person out of two hundred has that same one.

5. Go To Office Hours

Nastuh Abotalebi

If you need help, get it. Or even if you don't, get it anyways. Have them check over the outline of your paper or ask them what topics they feel will be touched on most during the test. Or even just go in there to have coffee with them. Office hours suck when no one comes in and many TAs enjoy getting to know their students. You're in college; you're supposed to be networking.

6. Talk To Them Like They're People

Michael Discenza Michael Discenza

Because they are. Don't raise your voice when you didn't study and weren't prepared and didn't get the grade you wanted. Don't yell when you aren't getting something. Form a relationship, a good one, because they're students too, probably only four years older than you. They like to get drunk on Friday's too--you'll see them out at the same bars you go to right after you sent that email to them, asking a question about the paper.

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