The Back-To-College Starter Pack

The Back-To-College Starter Pack

Because it's never too early to shop online.
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Summer always seems to fly by after the fourth of July, which means back-to-school shopping! Ready or not, it's time for us college students to at least start thinking about what to add to our Amazon (and clothing site) shopping carts. Here is a list of what I plan on purchasing for the upcoming semester:

1. Portable speaker

In search of a fresh new sound system for all your music-playing needs? Be the star of any study session, pregame, or tailgate with the Bose SoundLink -- it comes in FOUR vibrant colors and it's Bluetooth-compatible (among other awesome features)!

https://www.amazon.com/Bose-SoundLink-Color-Blueto...

2. Laptop case

Protect your Macbook from scratches and dents by snapping on one of these sweet cases! Take a look at that extensive color selection -- if that isn't enough to convince you to "add to cart", then I don't know what will.

https://www.amazon.com/Mosiso-Plastic-Keyboard-Pro...

3. Backpack

Every college kid needs a reliable bag to get from place-to-place on campus, especially one that'll keep their pricey textbooks and laptops safe & dry. This classic, dependable North Face backpack is sure to do the trick.

https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/equipment-backpa...

4. Sunglasses

There are few things worse than being blinded by the sun while trekking across campus on a sunny day. Get yourself a pair of these reliable Ray Ban wayfarers - they are well worth the price tag. I've bought two pairs over the past four years and they are both still in great shape!

https://www.ray-ban.com/usa/sunglasses/RB2132 UN...

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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Summer: You're Amazing, But You Do Come With A Lot of Pressure

Summer may seem like a magical time of year, but that isn't always the case.
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Summer: the time of year that is filled with endless possibilities and seems as though it goes on forever. It's a time where every kid, teen or college student (and even teachers) finally have time to relax and do everything they can't during the rest of the year. Along with the hot weather comes a fever for doing incredible things, some that may even seem out of the ordinary or simply impossible.

Although these all sound like amazing attributes, it is also important to notice the opposing side of the season that is deemed as "the best" by many.

While summer is filled with the mysteries of what's to come, it also consists of this enormous amount of pressure to make it as perfect as it can be. Whether this expectation has originated from the summer romance novels or road-trip movies we all seem to love, the thoughts of adventure and summer have always gone hand-in-hand. Doing crazy things with your best friends or going on some sort of trip with them is always an immediate aspiration, but there is always a longing for a summer romance to spontaneously ensue when you least expect it. These things may be fun to think about, but how many times do all these plans actually fall through in the end?

It also may seem like summer goes on forever, but it really doesn't. While kids usually have 90 days of summer vacation (Phineas and Ferb, I don't know where your 104 came from), college students tend to have a month more to soak up the early-summer vibes. While three or four months is still a long time to do a lot of fun things, it still does go by fast when you're having fun.

People also tend to overbook their summer with so many things because it seems like they have all the time in the world to catch up on them or complete everything they want to. College students spend their time either taking an extra 3 credit course or take on a job and others plan a vacation (sometimes more than one). Especially if someone has both of these things to balance and still has their bucket list to complete, the summer can seem like any other time of the year.

And that's the thing- at the end of the day, summer is (sadly) just another season of the year. It's a given name to the warmest time of the year, and while it may be associated with wanderlust and spontaneity, it is just a season filled with humidity and sweat.

Take it from a girl who has deemed summer as her favorite season all her life and has her birthday right in the beginning of July: summer definitely comes with the pressure of making it something memorable. This season only comes around once a year, and everyone is a year older and has had a year's worth of growth and new experiences. The stakes for summer, then, get higher with each passing year so they can top the last in some monumental way. In some cases, this can really make the summer seem daunting and just straight-up irritating.

So Summer, you will always be loved by the youth and many others throughout their lives (including myself), but that still doesn't deter the fact that you will also always come with a lot of pressure to make you as perfect as you can be.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com via Porapak Apichodilok

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