21 Must-Haves You Must Have For Freshman Year At Virginia Tech

21 Must-Haves You Must Have For Freshman Year At Virginia Tech

The packing list for freshman year seems never ending but make sure you have these 21 things before your parents leave you in your new home!


When I moved into my dorm for my first year at Tech, I thought I had everything but by the end of the first week, I realized that I was far from right. Thinking back to that first month, I wished that I had these 21 things so my life would have been a whole lot easier.

Tide Stick

It's going to be your best friend because you won't have the time (or energy) to wash clothes all the time, especially when it's just your fav shirt that has the stain on it and it costs $3 per load.


Being comfortable is going to win over fashion one day and you'll thank me when you can pull out those cute yet comfy Nike's that are in the closet. Plus, if you go to a big school like I do, you're going to be walking A LOT so your feet will thank you.

A Vacuum

Girls! We all shed like crazy & there is nothing worse than walking across your brand new rug and getting a ball full of hair caught in between your toes. Needless to say, it's just gross. So, quick and easy way to fix that is to run a good and strong vacuum over your carpet every week.

Shower Shoes

I cannot stress this enough. I know you might think that all the girls are like you and they're clean and neat but plot twist - THEY ARE NOT. Girls are disgusting and community showers are your worst nightmare so wear the shower shoes. They can help you from slipping in the shower & you won't have to step on the nasty hair rat that's in the shower drain that the girl before you forgot to clean out.

Step Stool

I didn't have this issue because I'm blessed with being six feet tall but my poor roommate had the hardest time. Some dorms have cubby holes above the built-in closets and it's a great idea, however, they are nearly impossible to get into if you are less than six feet. So save yourself some stress & pick yourself up one of those collapsable stools that can easily slide under your bed.

Extra LONG chargers

These will be your best friends because some dorms don't have outlets conveniently beside your bed so you have to plug everything half-way across the room. Even if that's not the case, it's always nice to have a charger that you can turn over with in bed and NOT having your phone come unplugged.

Lap Desks

You see them in the store and think, "Oh, I'm never going to use that." Ha. Ha. Ha. Buy one. Even if you don't do your homework in your bed, you'll want to watch Netflix and it helps to have the lap desk so your stomach doesn't become molted lava after five episodes from the heat off of your laptop.

Side note for the ladies (and guys): it's scientifically proven that the heat from laptops will decrease egg & sperm count. I know we aren't worrying about that now since we're in college but you know, one day, your parents are going to want some grandkids.

White Out

You're going to make so many mistakes, it's almost funny. There will come a time (finals week) that you aren't even sure if you spelled your name right so buy some white out just in case you have some misspellings or write the right answer in the wrong blank. Because professors hate nothing more than sloppy papers and homework assignments.

Extra Pair of Shower Shoes

There comes a time (second semester) when you go back to college from Christmas break and you realize how disgusting your old shower shoes are and how much grime and dirt they have been through. Save yourself some stress and a mental breakdown by having a back-up pair so you can throw those old, disgusting ones away.

Ear Plugs

They might be uncomfortable but when you're sleep deprived from your lovely hall mates bringing every tom, dick, and harry into their room and doing God knows what, you'll thank me because nothing is worse than being woken up by beds hitting the wall.

Yummy Snacks

Yes, the dinning hall has food. But what are you going to do when you have a craving for Pop-Tarts or cookies at 1 a.m.? Cry. That's what you are going to do unless you take my advice & make a list of all the yummy snacks your mom has bought for you in your life and go shopping after you have moved in.

Extra Headphones

At least two pairs of headphones. Why? Because one pair is going to break or you're going to lose a pair or leave a pair in the lecture hall. Just be safe rather than sorry because there is nothing worse than having to listen to loud classmates when you're hungover, I mean, tired.

Pictures from Home

You might think that you're ready to leave your parents and hometown and you might be right. But when the weather starts to get cold and Christmas is slowly approaching, you'll start being homesick. So, even if you don't have pictures on the wall, keep them somewhere to remind you where you came from and that you have a support system.


I was blessed but also cursed to live in one of the best dorms at VT, Pritch. But Pritch has no AC so when you are living without AC in the middle of August, you might get Hades and your dorm confused. Quick and Easy way to fix that is to bring, at least, two fans. If you and your roommate each bring two fans, you will be as cool as can be.


The great thing about a Keurig is that if can work for either coffee or tea. And if you get the small, one cup at a time, Keurig, it easily fits in a dorm. Just make sure to clean it out every once in a while because it can get moldy and yeah, just clean it.

A bucket

Random, right? Well, when you can get written up by your RA for puking in your community bathroom for alcohol poisoning, a bucket can come in handy. Also, if you're just sick in general because you caught the Hokie Plague, it's good to have a bucket by your bed.

Actual Utensils

It sounds silly but get real utensils. Don't use plastic all of the time because it's horrible for the environment and let's face it, we are the future and we need to take care of the Earth. Besides, it's a money saver when you can just wash the fork and not have to go to Walmart to buy them every month.

Clorox Wipes

They are your friends! There are so many germs when you live in a community like a dorm. From door knobs to sinks so just wipe everything down once a week so you don't get sick because I spent my freshman year sick and it was miserable.

First Aid Kit

There is no mom to fix your blister or cut on the back of your leg. There is also no nurse for you to run to when you have a headache in the middle of class — you have to be a mom & a nurse all in one. So, Target sells these really cute first aid kits that you can fill up with bandages and medicines.

Sewing Kit

A button is going to fall off of your fav sweater or you're going to tear your fav shirt because you were in a rush. So, even if you don't know how to sew, they created YouTube for a reason. Look it up and fix it.

Side note: Don't forget decent scissors

Command Strips

These are a God sent because they stick to almost anything - sometimes they even stick to things that tape does not. I used them to hang up my lights, tapestry and pictures throughout my dorm freshman year and nothing fell down. (except that one time that I accidentally pulled down my tapestry in my sleep lol) But seriously, command strips will save a lot of time and money in the long run.

Cover Image Credit:

Hannah King

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Why Nursing School Friends Are So Vital

Pun intended.


When I started nursing school, I knew it would be difficult. I wasn't naive. I heard the stories. I knew what I was getting into…to a certain degree.

It was everything I thought it would be and more. The highs were higher and the lows were lower. The thing you realize quickly in nursing is that it's not something you can achieve on your own. You have to have a support system. It's how you survive. It can feel like you're on your own because you have to perform the skills and make the grades, but really, there are so many friends standing behind you pushing you through.

I've seen it over and over again. I've been a part of it, witnessed it and had help myself. The truth is, even the most intelligent students need help in some sort of way. It might be hard to realize it when you're so inwardly focused, but when you look around you, everyone is walking the same path. They just have different strengths and weaknesses. It's an incredible thing when others use their personal strengths to offset your weaknesses. Nursing friends see in you what you don't see in yourself. Nursing friends share your passions, sleepless nights, early mornings, stress, panic attacks, victories, and failures. Nursing friends are your own personal cheerleaders.

It's no secret that we deal with some pretty gross stuff. Who else can you count on when you're walking down the unit trying to find an extra pair of hands to help you change the clothes of a morbidly obese patient who's covered from shoulders to ankles in their stool? Your nursing buds.

What about when your patient goes into v-fib (ventricular fibrillation), and you need someone to relief on chest compressions? Your rock star nurse friends are there to lend a hand or two.

Or what about when you are scrubbing into a C-section for the first time and you're kind of, sort of, secretly concerned you might get queasy or faint? Your nursing squad will remind you how tough you are. They'll assist you as quickly as possible and when you are finished washing your hands a thousand times, they'll make you laugh or smile. They'll always be there to help you with dignity, support, love, and encouragement.

Your nursing friends know which supply closet you go hide in when you are about to lose it or when class is so long it's giving you a headache so they pass you some Tylenol. Nursing friends are the backbone of your nursing school experience. I always love it that whenever I need hand sanitizer, Tylenol/Advil/Motrin or even a Band-Aid, someone always has it.

Even if you don't talk every day, or you take different class times, there is always someone waving hello or asking how you're holding up. You are all so different, but at the same time, you feel like you're surrounded by so many who are just like you. They care as much as you do. They love as much as you do. And the best part? They just love you. Even on your worst days. There will be times when you trip up on the easy stuff you know that you know, but they'll be there with open arms telling you about when they were in the same place. They are the ones who “fight in the trenches" with you. They'll carry you when you can't keep going, and you'll do the same. No woman or man left behind.

Nursing friends are incredible lifelong blessings. So, remember to thank them every once in a while. Keep cheering each other on, keep fighting together and keep reminding each other that the end goal is closer than it seems.

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Cagle

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I Learned So Much In My First College Semester, Including That No College Experience Is The Same

I could write a book from everything I've learned in the past six months.


I just have to point out that in true college fashion, this semester in review, if you will, is coming to you a grand month into the new semester. If that isn't the epitome of college, I'm not sure what is.

The first and perhaps the most important thing that the beginning of college has taught me is that you have to let go of expectations. There are a million different stories and opinions coming at you your senior year of high school about what college is like and what you should do once you get there. But the truth is, everyone is different. There is no quintessential college experience because no college lifestyle is superior to any other one.

There are some people who go to every single school spirit/ sporting event that the school has to offer and there are others (like me) who are content with attending a couple games a season and enjoying their Saturday afternoons not melting into the stands of McLane stadium during Waco's stupidly hot fall.

But the point is, you do you. And honestly, it might take you a while to figure out what kind of life you want to have in college. Maybe it requires a few all-nighters and poor choices before you decide the things you like, the crowd you want to run in, and what you want to make of your college years.

And speaking of running in crowds, I present to you: friends. They're probably one of the most challenging parts of college. Now your first semester is really designed to get you socializing and making new friends, but you're making them in a way that you never did when you were younger. College requires you to reach out, to push yourself, and to get out of your comfort zone. And having friends doesn't mean you'll spend 24/7 with them. In college, everyone has different priorities which mean you may only get to hang out with certain friends once or twice a week. That doesn't make those friendships invalid, it's just a sign that you're growing up and having less time and more responsibility.

I've always known that being a good friend is important, but college has taught me that it's one of the most important roles you can play in someone's life. College is a time when you're moving away from home, turning a leaf, and trying things out for yourself. It can be lonely, confusing, exhausting, exhilarating. The one thing everyone needs is a friend. People will try to tell you that college is about dating or finding your person or ring by spring but really it's about friends, so do your best to be a good one.

Now there's also the cliche advice about not taking 8 a.m. classes, eating pizza every day in the dining hall, or partying on a Thursday night when you have class in the morning, but all of that stuff seems rather obvious.

If there was one thing I could go back and tell myself about the beginning it would be to relax and let the kinks work themselves out. Nothing is going to be the way you expected and that's ok. Have fun, work hard, and be kind, that's really all you need to know.



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