What You Really Need To Bring To College

10 Things You Actually Need to Bring To College That People Totally Forget

No, twinkle lights are not a necessity.

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I have officially been in college for a month now and, before I went off to college, spent months obsessively looking at college packing lists on Pinterest and watching girls pack for college on YouTube. I realized that everyone was packing A LOT of stuff, but it looked like they were missing a lot of the actual necessities. After this past month, I have found 10 practical things you need to bring with you to college and why.


1. Bring quick change clothes to the shower.

If you have communal showers, the last thing you're going to want to do is try to and completely dry yourself off in a 3x3 room, and nothing is worse than putting on pants with dry legs. Try and bring something that is quick and easy to change into like a big t-shirt. It's also nice for the inevitable fire drill that happens while you're in the shower.

2. Keep pants next to your bed.

If you sleep without pants, keep pants next to your bed, again, for the inevitable fire drill that will happen while you are sleeping.

3. Put a Command hook on your door.

Rylee Nelson

Most schools have doors that auto-lock, and will charge you if you get locked out. So, to try and limit the amount of times you shamefully walk to the front desk to be let back into your room, buy a little Command hook and put it on the inside of the door at eye-level. This will ensure that you have to look at your keys before you leave, and will make sure that you remember to grab it before you leave.

4. SLIDES.

Remember how I said that fire drill happen when you're in the shower and when you're sleeping? They happen ALL THE TIME. Pay a pair of slides, or slip on shoes, and keep them by your bed. Not only are they good for fire drills, but are also great for running down the hall to the bathroom, going to the dining hall real quick, or just any other time you need to put shoes on but don't want to tie them.

5. Bring a small laundry basket.

It may be tempting to buy the biggest laundry basket you can find to avoid having to do laundry every week, but please don't. Get a small enough laundry basket where you will have to do laundry every week. This will ensure that you never get down to your last pair of underwear, and will keep your room from smelling like dirty clothes.

6. Get a phone pocket.

You will end up having to use your ID to get in and out of most buildings and nothing is more annoying than having to dig around in your backpack to find your wallet. Since college kids (and pretty much everyone else on the planet) are attached to their phones, buying a cheap phone pocket (or getting them from one of the hundreds of school events you go to) is a pretty good idea. Your phone is usually easily accessible and it cuts down on the number of things you have to carry around every day.

7. A reusable water bottle. 

You can't walk more than 5 feet on a college campus without seeing someone with a reusable water bottle. Join the fun! Reusable water bottles are generally cheap (between $10-20) and will save you a ton of money and time since you don't have to go to the store every week and buy a case of water. Plus, you can fill it up with drinks from the caf!

8. A lamp.

Dorm lighting is usually pretty bad, and there are totally going to be times when you have to do homework or get ready and your roommate is trying to sleep. A small, cheap lamp will save you from having to do homework in laptop lighting.

9. Snacks, all the snacks.

Okay, so maybe not ALL the snacks, but some snacks. A lot of schools tend to offer meal plans that are sufficient enough to get you through the semester, or so you think. There are going to be days when the last thing you want to do is walk across campus to get a single slice of pizza. Having quick snacks like Poptarts and chips will save you when it comes to studying and the dreaded 8 a.m.s when you don't have the time to go get a bowl of cereal.

10. An extra pair of sheets and towels.

Yes, you do have to change your sheets in college. However, you will probably end up realizing that at 1 in the morning when you can feel the chip crumbs rubbing up on your legs. Having an extra set of sheets will save you from having to do laundry right then and there or having to sleep on a naked dorm bed. Having an extra towel is nice for sort of the same reasons.

There is no way that you can be 100% prepared for college. There are going to things that slip your mind or that you don't realize you are going to need until you need them. Don't freak out and just try to be as prepared as you can.

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Being Home From School, As Told By Rachel Green

You never know how good you have it on campus until it's 9pm and all the stores at home are closed.
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Oh, look, another Odyssey Article about the struggles of being a college student home for summer break. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Our lives aren't actually that difficult, but it is definitely weird being home. If you know a college student, chances are that despite the workload, the late nights and the sub-par dining commons food, they wish they were back on campus. That's how magical college life can be. And being home isn't bad, per se, it's just... not campus.

1. You miss your friends. Like crazy.

It's not that your family isn't great company, or your high school friends aren't really your friends anymore. They are, and you love them! It's just that you don't bond with anyone quite like you do with the people you're at the library with until four o'clock in the morning, working on an essay you realize is due in two days and not the next one.

2. You realize just how good you had it at the dining commons.

Who knew you could miss mystery meat and pre-packaged sandwiches? College students who realize that cooking is not their thing, and the easiest snacks are the sugary ones you buy for a dollar at the gas station.

3. You have to get a summer job, and it's not the cushy three-hour gig you had at school.

The first two weeks after you get home are so full of hope. You run around to twelve different stores, picking up applications, flashing that college-counselor certified resume. And it almost feels as though you've got it together. Until week three hits and you're still jobless and still not unpacked.

4. You finally get to see your college friends, and leaving them feels like ripping an arm off.

I mean you miss them for a reason. What, did I expect saying goodbye a second time would be easier? Of course not. And the amount of planning that had to go into getting together with them was sort of absurd.

5. In your unemployment, your parents give you some chores to do... and then they ask if you finished them.

Where do the days go? You have maybe a few babysitting jobs, minimal errands to run and still there doesn't seem to be enough time to vacuum and do the dishes. Maybe the twenty minutes before your mom gets home from work is enough time to give the illusion of cleanliness.

6. Your siblings are always in your room. Always.

You love your family. Really truly. But it's easier to love them if you don't spend every second sitting right next to them, picking up on all the annoying little habits they have. Pro tip; a good relationship with a sibling means never, ever eating popcorn near each other.

7. You've caught up on sleep, organized your room, done your chores and ran out of Netflix shows. What now.

There are very few things worse than knowing it's summer vacation, knowing you should be out having fun before another school year begins... and still being bored out of your mind.

8. In the end, though, you'll be okay

There's only so much summer to go around. Get done what you've been meaning to, talk to your friends frequently and get ready for another fun-filled school year in the coming fall. You'll need all the rest you can get.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros. TV

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5 Reasons Why Staying At College For The Summer Is The Ultimate Power Move

No school, no rules, summer vacation at the best place on Earth, also known as college.

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As summer begins, it brings in the joy of no more school but for most what summer really brings is the sad realization that we have to leave our favorite place and go back to our boring home town with none of our new best friends. Although some have decided to stay at college for the summer and they will soon realize why this will be the best choice that they will be making all summer.

1. NO PARENTS 

What's better than no school, warm weather, and most importantly no one to say, "Are you just going to sleep till 2:30 p.m. every day this summer?"

1. It's like the weekend, but every day

Do you know what weekends felt like during the school year when you didn't have anything to do? No? You never had any free weekends? Wow, I'm so sorry. Well, imagine a weekend that you didn't have to do anything. Now multiply that one weekend by seven and you get seven Saturday like days where you do not have a single care in the world.

3. No "Go cut the grass!"

For the sons, you know that annoying time every week when your dad is going to say, "Go cut the grass." There is nothing you can do to get out of it. Well, staying at school for the summer means no more nagging. You get to choose what you do now.

4. The bond of friendship

The friends you make when you stay at college for the summer are different than any other bond. Mostly because you all don't have a care in the world since it's summer in your favorite place. It's a right of passage to call someone your summer college best friends. These are best friends that words wouldn't do justice.

5. The townies

Everybody always wonders what happens to a college town when all the college kids go home. Well, the townies come back in full swing and take their town back. If you stay at your college, you get to experience what most can't even describe in words. To the one mid-40s guy trying to relive his glory days. To the old men hitting on the college girls at the local pub. To the weird towny creatures that make you shiver with fright as you drive past them. Have fun townies, you only have three months.

That dream of "I wish I could just stay here at college with all these people but have no responsibilities" is finally coming true.

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