7 Essentials You Can't Forget To Pack For College

7 Essentials You Can't Forget To Pack For College

Trust me, you do not want to leave these things at home.

Maybe the only time of year that's more stressful than finals is packing. You're overwhelmed with emotions about going back and finally seeing everyone, sad about summer ending, worried about classes starting again and, most of all, freaking out that you're going to forget to pack something. It happens every year. I spend three days shoving the contents of my room into a suitcase and triple checking to make sure I have everything, yet I still seem to forget some essentials. No matter how hard I try, I never seem to remember what I have to pack, so this year I'm making myself a list. Maybe it will help you out too.

1. Clothes for every single season.

Depending on where you go to school, you could literally experience all four seasons in a week span. So to be prepared make sure you pack your bathing suit and your parka! You can never be too ready to take on the elements.

2. Every pen you can find in your house.

I promise you will lose all of those before the month ends. It's like they just disappear into thin air. Well that and everyone always seems to walk off with the pen they asked you to borrow. So yes, if you don't want to be one of those people that has to ask around the whole lecture for a pen, you're going to need all of these.

3. A million decorations

You had a plan in your head, maybe some pictures saved on Pinterest of really nice dorms where everything is perfect, so you went all out shopping for decorations that will look just lovely in your cramped 10 x 10 dorm room. Nothing makes a room feel bigger quite like filling it with crap!

4. Your bed

Dorm mattresses suck. They are quite literally just springs wrapped in plastic. You could get a 5-inch memory foam gel topper, that will definitely help. But if you're trying to save money and get a cheaper alternative, you might as well not even bother; it will most likely not do much to make that mattress comfortable.

5. That shirt in the back of your closet that you've never worn

When you bought it three years ago, you really loved it, but since then it has done nothing but collect dust. You feel pretty guilty about spending the money on it and never using it so you figure you should bring it to school. Who knows? Maybe there will be a theme party that it's perfect for.

6. Extras of everything

Extra cups and dishes, because after a week you're not going to want to wash the same three over and over again whenever you want to use them. Extra socks, because the laundry room will eat a majority of them. Extra food, because dining hall food just does not cut it. Just bring extra of literally everything.

7. Your pet

Because school is stressful and sometimes you need your dog to snuggle with you. It seems like everyone always seems to forget about this one, although I'm not really sure how you can.

Packing for college never gets easier, whether you're a lost and confused freshman checking things off a list someone posted in your class Facebook group online or a seasoned upperclassman who can't find all the things they brought back at the end of last year. It's all a guessing game, but the good news is if you forget something, you can always make your parents send it to you. So keep trying to shove everything into that suitcase; you will totally need everything in there!

Cover Image Credit: OnStar

Popular Right Now

I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.


If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments