14 Essentials For Your First Apartment

Live It Up With These 14 Essentials For Your First Apartment—You're Welcome, Sis

This is the time to take advantage of the fact that you're not living in a dorm or sorority house for the upcoming school year.

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There are so many items that you can get for your apartment, especially if it's your first apartment — you might go a little overboard. I'm here to give a little guidance even though I haven't lived in my own apartment yet (but will be very soon) I have thought about what I need to have or what I want to have. This is my happy medium list of your needs and wants.

1. Essential oil diffuser

https://www.flickr.com/photos/yourbestdigs/27330946012

I was very torn deciding between a candle and a diffuser, but with a diffuser, you can put whatever scents in it that you want and with candles, you have to have a few because each scent represents a different mood, so you would essentially become a candle hoarder, and no one needs that. A diffuser is perfect to have in your room on your bedside table to use whenever I find it the most beneficial when you are trying to relax.

2. Coffee pot

https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdies100/158839797

Okay, I know a lot of people are Keurig fans, but hear me out for a sec. We all used our Keurig in the dorms and what not, so why not take the opportunity to make GOOD coffee? My favorite smell in the morning is fresh coffee — it really wakes me up. If you're going to have your own kitchen next semester, take up that counter space and get yourself a coffee pot!

3. Wall art

https://unsplash.com/photos/KuudDjBHIlA

I'm very excited to put things on my wall and decorate my space the way I've always wanted. I feel like pictures, a tapestry, or any type of art can really make your room feel "homey" and personal. When I finally move into my apartment, I plan on buying picture collages to hang on my wall, cute framed paintings/pictures to hang in my bathroom and I have to have the Jersey Shore tapestry — obviously because my name is Sam, duh.

4. Hanging lights

https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-watching-photo-collection-with-string-lights-946232/

You all know what lights I'm talking about! You know the pictures with girls standing in front of the strings of lights on their wall? Yeah, these are the lights. They are perfect for smaller walls because then, you give yourself a designated space to take cute pictures in your own apartment. Or, you can hang them behind your bed kind of as a headboard, which is what I plan on doing.

5. Nightstand

https://unsplash.com/photos/jhDof9B6vPY

This is something I can't wait to have again! My nightstand is one of my favorite parts of my bedroom because I put everything on it, and I love having that one spot. Everyone has a junk drawer or area they always put their stuff. They know where to find it — the nightstand is mine. I cannot wait to have my junk drawer back as well as a spot to put an actual lamp.

6. Area rug

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-black-laptop-computer-on-brown-wooden-stool-near-pile-books-698170/

This is something that can be so cute for your living room. Yeah, carpet is nice and all, but an area rug can be so much cuter! You can match your couch pillows and throw blankets to your area rug to bring the whole room together, giving those interior designer vibes.

7. Detergent

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14150638033

This is a funny one. I know most of us have used Tide pods for the last two years. Boy, am I ready for a change! I am so desperate to use detergent at this point — I would do it if I wasn't worried about ruining my clothes in our nasty washing machines. If you don't know, Tide pods are the worst because they have a tendency to explode all over your clothes, ultimately ruining them. It sucks that you can't rewash them because you know it'll just happen again, so you can understand why my 20-year-old self is excited to use detergent.

8. Brita box

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRXFX2M9M8M

I love Brittas! Sadly, I wasn't able to use one this year because we have a mini fridge, and I don't feel like sharing my personal items with my entire house. So I plan on using that Britta box that fits perfectly on the top shelf of your fridge, so if you need water, you don't need to take the box out. Super convenient and worth it!

9. Shower mat

https://unsplash.com/photos/TIbtk21TKks

I may be basic, but I'm definitely not the only one who is excited to have their own bathroom (sorry if you still have to share, I feel your pain). I am literally ecstatic about not sharing a bathroom and getting to decorate it the way I want. I've always wanted a cute bath mat and being a basic gal, I will definitely buy the 'Get Naked' one from Urban Outfitters. Sorry, not sorry.

10. Bathroom cart

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This will be super helpful for more storage in the bathroom! I have so many different bathroom items and whatnot that there is absolutely no way everything will fit in my bathroom next year without additional storage.

11. Over-the-door shoe rack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZpkRAwuDDI&t=50s

I have about 9475303745 pairs of shoes, and I need the most storage for them as possible. So, an over-the-door shoe rack is perfect for most of my shoes and making them more accessible rather than leaving them on the floor. I love having them hang over the door because I have more space in my actual closet for my infinite amount of clothing.

12. Desk calendar

https://www.pexels.com/photo/flat-lay-photography-of-calendar-1020323/

This such a must-have item. That huge desk calendar that you put everything on and has your whole life planned on it. I love using my planner and my phone to make sure I don't miss anything. I like studying at a desk (if I have one) or do work there, so it will be even more helpful to have another spot to see where my plans are, keeping me aware always.

13. Standalone mirror

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4pa-rmADmg

This is not a necessity, but a full body mirror definitely is! I haven't been able to use one in forever, which is a huge deal to me because I love to see my whole outfit before I leave to go somewhere. If you don't see it on yourself, are you really in a good outfit?

14. Jewelry organizer

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lo_and_behold/7288748384

There are some things you have to give up when you share a room and most of your space with other people and this is one of them. I've always wanted one to hang necklaces and earrings and just to have one place where all my jewelry is. I have all my necklaces and earrings in bags and it sucks because I always forget that I have certain accessories to wear with certain outfits. Ugh, it's a struggle, but I cannot wait to have a place to put it all next year.

There are many things you need to have when you move into an apartment — I am aware of that. BUT, cooking ware, cleaning supplies, etc. are boring. These items I came up with to add to my own apartment (and bedroom) that I can't wait to start putting it all together!

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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If You’re Entering Young Adulthood, There Are Reasons You Don’t Need To Have Your Life Together Yet

Don't sweat the small stuff.

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If you're lost and don't know which direction to turn next, you're not alone.

For the longest time, I thought that I needed to have my life together after high school. Immediately as I graduated, I thought that I had to have my career in mind, know where I was going for college, and what I'd be majoring in. I knew I needed to know what path to go down and to have a goal in mind that I'd strive for as soon as I walked across the stage with that high school diploma. The world was mine at my grip.

About three years later, I'm the most unsure of my life and my plans for myself that I've ever been. I've changed my major and minor five times since my freshman year of college, dropped a minor, and haven't done well in some of my classes. I've considered giving up and working a full-time job for the rest of my life without ever getting a degree.

The thing about that is that not everyone needs to go to college straight out of high school. Some people are destined for certain things to happen to them and are destined for opportunities that come after them for them to accept. It could be a number of things and choices to make, but eventually, we get there. We need to go and find where we belong at our own pace.

Don't start to panic because you're unsure of what you want to do right here and right now.

The world will not end and your life will not end if you don't know what's going on or what you really want.

Making a decision about your life and the meaning of it is a very difficult thing to have to do. It's a really big choice to make and one that is probably going to change throughout one's lifetime. Change is okay and so is changing one's choices that they've made. It's okay to look back onto something and regret the choice that was made, but in reality, there isn't anything that we can do to change the past.

As a 21 and-a-half-year-old female in an undergraduate college program, I know for sure now that I want to graduate with my Bachelor of Science degree. When I will finally do that is still up in the air. I've got a time in mind when I'd like to, but things happen and life gets in the way of things. If I don't necessarily graduate when I want to, then that's okay and it's out of my control anyway.

Things that we can't change are inevitable and are a common occurrence in everyday lives. We run into things that we know we can't do anything to change the outcome, so we have to learn to live with it.

The bottom line is, knowing every detail of your life isn't necessary. I was always told that I needed to pick which direction I want to go, and immediately follow through, and in full. That's something I definitely haven't done since I keep changing majors and also have moved a ton, and have a job (sometimes two) outside of classes. It's a struggle to keep it real, but it's doable. I've had to sacrifice certain things in order to get where I am now, but that's the battle of life. When making a choice, we're favoring one thing while turning another thing away. We know consciously what choices we want to make, so I say follow through on it and don't second guess it. Our gut is a very powerful tool as well as our intuition. With those, we can make good and better decisions than most have or will.

Don't keep worrying about having your life together in one piece; in reality, my puzzle pieces are very scattered right now, and it might take longer for me than someone else to find them all and piece my life together.

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