10 Things You Do And Don't Need At College

10 Things You Do And Don't Need At College

Not Included: Mom to help you figure out life.
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Packing for college can at points feel more stressful than all of high school. You never feel like you’ll have everything, and then you get shaken to your core when you see someone is lightyears ahead of you, and has seemingly cleared out Bed Bath & Beyond. I’m a professional college student, so I can say from years of experience, here are a few things you do and DON’T need to cram into your SUV.

What you DO need:

1. A mini-fridge.

As essential as essential gets, even if it’s just to keep your Natty Lights cold. Upgrade your lifestyle by getting one with a separate freezer.

2. A coffeemaker.

Fun fact: a bag of coffee costs just as much as a Venti drink at Starbucks.

Consider college the beginning of a love affair with caffeine.

3. A laptop.


And for what it’s worth, look into a Mac. My campus is very Mac friendly, and you really can’t beat the processing power, lack of viruses and ease of use. If you are crossing over from a PC, it might take you a month or so to get used to it, but with the new Windows format, you’ll be glad you switched.

4. An external hard drive.

See yourself taking a graphic design class? Dare you say you are a photography major? Adobe files and raw images take up more space than you can imagine — and having your computer crash the night before a final will actually make all of your hair fall out in stressful heaps. Also, they all look the same, so write your name on it, for the love of the divine.

5. A professional outfit.

A professional outfit. Freshman year, they might let you slide, but come sophomore year, many teachers will be expecting professional dress for presentations. Personally, I only have one truly formal look I affectionately refer to as a my “presentation outfit.” Keep it simple, as you don’t want your clothes to compete with your project, so neutrals are a go, bright pink J. Crew pixie pants are not, however cute or however discounted you got them for. Also, flats before heels. TRUST.

Honorable mention: A blazer — it just turns you into an instant power player.

6. Something that reminds you of home.

Like your favorite books, favorite mug or favorite pieces of jewelry. If you are like me, I brought my pillowcase from home and used it for a few nights to get adjusted. It wildly clashed with my Urban Outfitters chic aesthetic considering it was pink polka dots, but it still smelled like home (weird? -- no shame) and is one of the softest things I’ve ever encountered. To this day I still have it in my top drawer, and even though it gets forgotten 98 percent of the time, it still makes me smile when I’m digging for a pair of socks.

Honorable mention: I brought my kitty, Benjamin!

What you don't need:

1. Every knickknack you've collected over your nearly two decades of life.

Like a glow necklace from prom or your entire DVD collection. I know you want it to seem like home, but don’t overdo it. There will be brand-new things to collect, however tacky they may be, like cups from your local pizza joint or every single bottle of Barefoot Moscato you’ve ever consumed to be displayed on a windowsill. And trust me, the further you are from home, the more it will pain you to have to schlep all of it home, or at least to a $40 storage unit. So moral of the story is to pack wisely, and in the long run, you won’t even remember what you miss.


2. A printer.

A printer. Sure, it might be convenient, but most schools provide printer money and will print at a much higher quality.

3. A TV.

My laptop has been my TV for my entire college experience, and if you really wanna watch live TV, nearly every dorm has a common area with a flatscreen for your viewing pleasure.


4. Your high school spirit wear.

Sure it’s comfortable, and it sure it’s charged with memories, but so is college. Trust me when I tell you that nothing makes an upperclassman’s eyes roll faster than when they see a senior sweatshirt or a team T-shirt with your nickname “T-Money” on the back. Keep a few pieces for running errands, chillin’, and workout clothes...nothing more.


Cover Image Credit: hercampus.com

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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