All Of The Things You DON'T Actually Need To Bring To College Because You CAN Live Without It

All Of The Things You DON'T Actually Need To Bring To College Because You CAN Live Without It

Packing for college can be stressful, and the thousands of online lists mentioning hundreds of items "you cannot live without" are equally overwhelming.


When packing for your freshman year of college, it's hard to not overpack. You don't really know what to expect, and therefore, bring everything you could ever possibly need. And a lot of that stuff is going to come home with you in May, completely untouched. Following my freshman year of college, I have compiled a list of items I brought with me, but NEVER USED.

1. Extra Set of Sheets

In theory, a second pair of sheets is a good idea. But you're most likely never going to actually need them. Washing your sheets takes a little over an hour so it's completely feasible to do that in-between waking up and going to bed. We're big kids now. We can do this.

2. Decorative Pillows

The Golden Rule to being happy in your dorm: effectiveness > aesthetics. Decorative pillows take up space. Every night, you're going to throw your decorative pillows on the floor and every morning, you're not going to want to take the time to make your bed. While decorative pillows are cute and all, there are other ways to spruce up your bed. Put fun pillow cases on practical pillows! It has the same exact effect and they are a lot more useful. Plus, for having no purpose, decorative pillows are extremely expensive.

3. Alarm Clock

Hi. It's 2018. You have a phone. And your phone has an alarm clock. Your bed is most likely going to be lofted, meaning your alarm clock is going to be out of reach, meaning it's going to go off super early in the morning and you're not going to want to turn it off, meaning your roommate is going to be extremely upset. Not worth the hassle. Plus, they take up space, which there isn't a lot of.

4. Picture Frames

Desk space is SCARCE. DO NOT WASTE IT ON PICTURE FRAMES. It's so much easier to just put unframed pictures on the wall. Plus, you can have a lot of fun arranging them in creative ways!

5. Curtains & Curtain Rod

Chances are, your dorm will have blinds. So unless you want a blackout curtain, bringing curtains is flat out useless. Another popular use for curtains is using them for your closet. Many dorms don't have real closets and instead just have an open alcove area. Putting a curtain in front of that area is just another hinderance in a tight space. You'll be using your closet AT LEAST once a day (about twenty times a day if you're like me) and the curtain just gets annoying. Plus, not having a curtain forces you to keep your closet clean and organized.

6. Hole Punch & Stapler

Once again, desk space is SCARCE. These big bulky items take too much space considering the amount of times you'll actually use them. If you don't have a printer in your room, these are two items you'll never really need. And chances are, when you print something in the library or wherever, these items won't be far.

7. Iron & Ironing Board

If you actually thought you were going to pull out an ironing board before class, you must be trippin. However, presentable looking clothes is necessary for presentations, conferences, chapter, interviews, etc. So I have a much more practical, time efficient, easier solution…..

The Holy Grail of dorm living……

INVEST IN A STEAMER. You can buy them for $20 in all types of fun colors. I used this baby every. day. It takes less than a minute and the steamer itself takes up very little space. Because of its size, it's extremely portable and can get thrown in a bag when going on overnight conferences and trips. If you plan on wearing clothes other than norts and tee shirts, buy one.

Packing for college can be a challenging task, but don't let that lead you to pack everything and the kitchen sink. Dorms are tight spaces and having extremely cluttered rooms filled with things you don't ever use WILL bring unwanted stress and troubles. A general rule for packing: if you don't use it EVERY SINGLE DAY at home, you're NEVER going to use it at college.

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.

It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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5 Reasons To Take Online Classes

If you want to have a better college experience, then online classes might be the right option for you.


Do you ever feel that going to class drains all of your time and energy? By the time you finish class, all you want to do is eat or sleep because you're so exhausted. I definitely felt that way, which is why I decided to take online classes. There are so many benefits that come from it. It is the best solution to end your daily struggle of exhaustion.

Here are some of the main reasons why you should start taking classes online.

1. It saves time and money.

This is especially helpful for commuters. By taking online classes, you can do it in the comfort of your own home or anywhere you want, as long as you have access to a computer. You no longer have to leave extremely early to make it to your classes on time. You won't have to dread the daily struggle of fighting for a parking space because the school refuses to make more parking available.

I live only 12 minutes away from school, but I always leave at least 40 minutes early because I know I will have to park far away and walk all across campus to get to my class. Since you won't have to constantly be driving, you're saving money. You won't be wasting gas money, and you can use that money for all of your other college expenses.

2. It opens up your schedule.

For most of the online courses, you have one week to complete what your professor assigned. For one of my classes, I was given two weeks to complete the assignments. You can do the work at your own time and pace. If you wanted to, you could do some of the week's worth of assignments in one sitting.

Sometimes when you have to go to a classroom in the morning or at night, you can't concentrate. You might be exhausted and all you want to do is sleep. By having your classes online, you can do things at any time of the day that works best for you.

Once you finish work, you won't have to worry about that class until the next week. You can plan out when you will complete the work. This will open up your schedule so you can do other things. You can get involved more and join clubs at school. This will also help you out if you have a job. You won't have to worry about your classes interfering with your work schedule or vice versa.

3. It increases productivity. 

You're being more productive with your time. Sometimes going to the classroom is a complete waste of time and energy. Some teachers will just read from a PowerPoint or directly from the textbook. You could easily do all of that yourself on your own time. It is a misuse of your time by making you get up, get dressed, drive over for a class that lasts over an hour and then have to drive home.

Now you are probably tired and hungry so you will eat and then sleep the rest of the day. When you went to school, you were not able to get any work done. You only went to class because you were required to go. With online classes, you can sleep more and get more done. Instead of waking up at six in the morning for your 8 A.M. class, you might wake up at nine in the morning, get your homework done within the hour, and have the rest of the day to do anything you want.

You might be able to knock out a week's worth of assignments for one class in the same amount of time it took you to go to class and come home. It makes more sense to stay at home.

4. It reduces anxiety.

If you are the type of person that does not like to participate in class, then you will love online classes. Some people don't like being called on in class and feeling the embarrassment of saying the wrong answer. Simply speaking out loud in front of others is enough for some students to stay at home.

If your classes are online, all of those problems and fears will disappear. All you have to worry about is completing your work on time.

5. It keeps you on track.

You never have to be concerned about forgetting to study or missing a class. Everything online is set up so that you know exactly what you have to do for that week. You won't have to worry about missing a class. I feel so anxious about that because there is no way to make up a lecture, and who knows what important information the professor gave out that day? There is no way to miss out on information when it is all online.

Also, sometimes in life we forget things. You might forget to study for a test or quiz or forget to do the reading for that class. Then you have to take an assessment and you know you won't do well. That one grade might hurt your GPA and all just because you simply forgot that one day. Online courses have no surprises like that to be worried about, which can be a relief. I enjoy knowing every week exactly what I have to do.

From someone who has taken online classes, I can personally tell you that it has given me the opportunity to have two jobs, to be with my family more, and most importantly, to stay at home and be with my dog.

Online classes have ensured that I am having the best college experience possible.

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