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.

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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

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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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50 Of The Best Party Themes

Get your party on.
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Hello all you party people! If you're looking for an awesome party theme, you've come to the right place. I have spent my freshman year of college personally investigating the mysteries that are frat parties, exchanges and house parties. Well, not really all of them, but I do hear things. Don't worry about any creativity blocks before your next big bash. Let me do the thinking for you.

1. Rumble in the jungle.

This is a theme that alludes to that famous match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. And for those that have no idea what I am talking about, it means you dress up like jungle animals. No matter which way you dress up, this theme is sure to be a 'hit.'

2. March madness.

Everybody loves college basketball, right? Wrong. But no one will oppose a theme that lets the guests wear a comfy jersey all night. If you're just really against college sports or basketball in general, you can always dress up as a "mad" person or one of my favorites, the Mad Hatter. Your guests are sure to go "crazy" over this party theme.

3. Olympics.

During a year when the Winter Olympics held, this can be an interesting party theme. Your guests can dress up as a famous team member or as a new participant in the games. They can "sport" the colors of their favorite country.

4. Shipwrecked.

It's a party set on a wrecked boat on an island. You can import sand and build a pool. Everyone can come in sailing outfits, Hawaiian shirts or swimsuits. This theme is sure to make a "splash."

5. Rock 'n roll.

Eighties rock and roll is one of the greatest themes of all time. Big hair, leather and head banging make any party better. Get your buddies together and rock those old band shirts. And once the hairspray settles out of the air, enjoy the "rockin'" outfits your friends put together.

6. Down in the denim/jexchange/jarty.

Oh the amount of clothing that can be found in denim. With this theme, everyone dresses in as much denim as they can possibly find. No one will be feeling "blue" when they walk into the party decked out in good ol' dungarees.

7. Country club.

Golf, tennis, visors and gloves are all on the list for this awesome party. No one can say "no" to golf shoes and tennis skirts. These puns are getting difficult.

8. Duck calls and overalls.

Everyone gets to dress up in camo, overalls or as a duck. Don't forget those great noise makers, often heard at sporting events where ducks are nowhere to be found. Everyone will love this awesome theme. It's also a great rhyme.

9. When I grow up.

Dress up in the outfit you would wear as a grownup. What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor, artist, teacher? They're all great choices with this theme.

10. Cool in middle school.

Everyone wears what was cool when they were in middle school. Break out those Abercrombie shirts and UGG boots. It's time to take a travel back in time to those great days of junior high.

11. Out of this world.

Aliens and astronauts are a match made in heaven. Dress up in space gear or in glitter as a fashionable alien. This is an awesome theme to show your creativity.

12. "American Horror Story."

This makes a great Halloween theme. Everyone can dress up as a character from their favorite season. This makes for great conversations and debates about the many different turns the show has taken.

13. Hunt or be hunted.

Hunters and animals are on the agenda for this great party. Camo and deer face paint are some staples of these awesome bashes. Have a great time, but don't prey on anyone too hard.

14. Drafted date.

Get your date to dress up as a team player with you. Draft them to your team and make them your next big star.

15. Spring break.

Parties, swim suits, sand and water are all on the checklist for this theme. Party like it's spring break. No one will think you're crazy for buying 50 pounds of sand from Home Depot.

16. Fright night.

Dress up like the scariest thing you can think of. This is another great Halloween party idea. Just make sure to warn the neighbors so there aren't too many unnecessary scares.

17. Rome in the foam.

Toga! Toga! Toga! Yes, it's a foam party and a toga party all in one. "What's better than a toga party?" you ask. Well add some foam and find out for yourself.

18. Fiesta.

Everyone loves a good Cinco de Mayo party. Margaritas and tacos are on the menu for this awesome theme that is good for anytime of the year (not just May).

19. Let freedom ring.

It's a patriotic party for everybody to go all out with their red, white, and blue gear. Celebrate America while having a great time with all of your friends.

20. Red carpet.

Famous people can come from anywhere today. Dress up like those that have already made it big and see who can guess the identities of all the guests at the party.

21. Fat Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, Pardi Gras! Yep, that's right. Purple, green and gold can never look terrible together. Get all dressed up and party like Lent starts tomorrow with this awesome theme.

22. Rhyme or reason.

Find a date/friend and dress up as two items that rhyme or as a phrase that makes sense. Rock, paper, scissors is a great phrase for a group of three friends. Have fun and get creative with this fun theme.

23. Happy New Year

Fireworks, champagne, and GLITTER are necessary for this awesome theme. Celebrate any time or throw an actual New Years party. That's up to you.

24. Derby Days

Bowties, sunhats, and pastel colors are all on the list for this awesome party to mimic the great Kentucky Derby. Break out the Vineyard Vines and boat shoes as you celebrate the preppy world that surrounds these famous horse races.

25. What Happens In Vegas

Blackjack and poker are {on the table} with this great theme. Pass out chips and let everyone see who can win the most by the end of the night.

26. Glow What You Know

Grab all the glowsticks you can find and turn off the lights. Watch as all of the glowing bracelets and necklaces move around the room. This is a {BRIGHT} idea for any occasion.

27. Buds With Buds

This one is a pretty simple idea. Gather a bunch of your buddies together and crack open a few Buds (that's Budweisers). This is a great laid back party theme.

28. Speakeasy With Gatsby

A '20s themed party is so fun. Flappers and gangsters can file into your speakeasy. As the music starts playing everyone can start to swing dance and have a little fun.

29. Ugly Sweater

Christmas sweaters and Irish sweaters are all options for this great party theme. Everybody loves ugly sweaters.

30. Alice In Wonderland

Get your friends to dress up as the mad hatter, the queen of hearts, the chesire cat, or the mad hare. It'll all be great with some tea and sugar on the table.

31. Hero's Weakness

Couples and groups can dress up as superheros and their coresponding weaknesses. Superman and Kryptonite would be a good idea. Iron Man and Pepper Potts maybe? The options are endless.

32. Spy Next Door

This is a super secret theme that allows your guests to dress up in all black as awesome spies. Keep the fun going with an interesting mystery running through the party.

33. Seeing Red

Everyone wears red. Serve red drinks. Take the color and make everything about that color. You don't have to pick red. Blue, green, black, white, yellow, and orange are all good colors too.

34. Disney Through The Ages

Dress up as your favorite Disney characters from all through the ages. You can even dress up as your favorite version of the character.

35. Flannels and Handles

Everyone dresses in Flannel shirts and they bring a handle with them to help with fueling the party. Everything will be fun and cozy with this lumberjack-esque party.

36. Hawaiian Luau

Everybody loves a Luau. Hawaiian lais are a great accessory for this party. Add a coconut bra and everybody will have a good time with tiki torches and flame throwers.

37. Pajama Party

Everyone gets to wear their comfy pajamas and curl up for a good movie marathon. What is better than hanging with friends in comfy pajamas while watching movies?

38. Hometown Throw Down

This one is a fun theme. Everyone dresses up in something that is from or reminds them of their hometown. From school uniforms to famous foods, the outfits your friends show up in will be awesome.

39. Mathletes and Athletes

So geeks and jocks are natural enemies right? Well except for when it comes to doing homework. Whichever one your friends decide to dress up as, this theme will make for great pictures and memories.

40. White Trash

Dress like the redneck that is hiding deep down inside you. Get out the wife-beater tank tops and the maybe a fake mullet and mustache. Everyone can have fun with this theme.

41. High School Stereotypes

The stereotypical cheerleader, jock, nerd, or hipster will make for great inspiration for this theme. Your friend group will be great with this theme as they enjoy looking back on their high school selves.

42. ABC (Anything But Clothes)

Now, anything but clothes sounds a bit odd, but it gets really awesome when you and your friends get really creative. Trashbags, Duct tape, and caution tape makes for very interesting outfits. Get crafty and come up with a great idea.

43. Under The Sea

Mermaids and sharks and anything else you can find under the sea will be amazing for this theme. The more you dress up, the better the party will be.

44. Rags To Riches

Dress up as the top or bottom 1%. From fancy suits to blankets in buggies, this party will be an awesome way to see just how fancy or how down your friends can become.

45. Graffiti Party

Everyone wears a plain white t-shirt and brings sharpie markers to draw with. Let others draw and write on your shirt and see what messages you end up with at the end of the night.

46. Name Game

For this theme everyone dresses up as something that starts with the same letter as their name. I, Kay-Lynn, would dress up as a kickboxer or a kangaroo. This is a fun and creative theme for the crafty friend group.

47. Four Seasons

Everyone picks a season and dresses accordingly. Swimsuits and flip flops are for summer. Jackets and boots are perfect for winter. A summer party with people in their winter garmets would be a sight to see.

48. Around The World

Everyone gets to dress up as a place to travel to around the world. London, France, Germany, and China are all great places to visit and dress up as. Enjoy your great trip without having to leave the comfort of your home.

49. Black Light

Oh what a fun time black lights are. Replace regular light bulbs with black lights and tell everyone to wear white and neon colors to make for a bright party. Add some strobe lights into the mix to make it even more fun.

50. Jail Break

Last but not least, this theme is great for everyone to have fun with. Everybody gets to dress up like convicts that have escaped from prison. Jump suits and hanging handcuffs are great outfit pieces for this party theme.

I hope that these themes will serve you well as you decide what spectacular party to throw next. Enjoy and remember: Don't take any of these too seriously!

Cover Image Credit: Kay-Lynn Klug

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It Took Me 4 Years And $100K To Realize Why Poor Kids Like Me Don’t Go To College

But now that I know, I can't get it out of my mind.

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I grew up poor.

There, I said it. It's out in the open now—I don't come from a family that has a bunch of money. In fact, my family doesn't have much money at all. My single mother works in fast food and does a DAMN good job trying to support herself and the rest of us. A lot of the food my family gets comes from food pantries. We have received government assistance before. I grew up poor, but I haven't let that define me.

Especially when it came to going to college.

I didn't want to let my economic background hold me back from my potential. I wanted to be the first person on both sides of my family to receive my college degree. I wanted to get a better paying job and moving up in socioeconomic status so I don't have to be the "poor" girl with the "poor" family all my life. I'm not really ashamed of coming from a poor family, but I also don't want to be poor my entire life.

For a majority of my college career, I wondered why there weren't many poor students around me at college. I go to a public university, and it's just the same price as any other state school really. Coming from a lower income home, I did receive a lot of assistance, and without it, there's no way in hell I could be here. I know that many other lower-income students can get this same assistance, which really made me wonder why there was such a lack of other poor kids around me.

I mean, everyone posts videos from their nice, upper-middle-class homes on Snapchat over holiday breaks while I go back home to the trailer park.

Everyone can call mom or dad and ask for money when things get rough while I pay for 100% of the things I own because my mother simply cannot afford it.

Everyone walks around in their name-brand clothes while I'm rocking Walmart knockoffs. It's not something I thought about for a couple years in college, but once I noticed it, I couldn't think of anything else.

It took me nearly all four years of college to realize why there's such a lack of poor students at my average, public university. Poor students are set up for failure in college. It's almost designed to be a survival of the fittest when it comes to us lower-income students, and those of us who are deemed the fittest and do make it to graduation day are typically stuck with a lot of debt that we don't have the financial intelligence or support to even think about paying off.

Poor students are in the minority in college, and when you're in a minority anywhere, surviving can be difficult. When it costs $100 just for a 5-digit code to do your homework, it can be hard to stay in school. When the cost of living on campus is $10,000 or rent for an apartment is nearly $500 a month, it can be hard to stay in school. When you don't have a car because you can't save up the money for one and your parents can't help you, it can be hard to stay in school. When you're forced to get a minimum wage, on-campus job that limits your to twenty hours a week, it can be hard to stay in school. When all of your friends don't understand why you can't go out to eat or to the bar every weekend, it can be hard to stay in school. All of these reasons add up to the main reason why poor kids don't go to college—the odds are stacked against us.

I never had shame in my socioeconomic status until I went to college. In my hometown, I wasn't much less than the norm. Now, my home life is drastically different than that of all of my friends. I know that this is something that is never going to change because when I enter the workforce in less than a year, I'll be going in as the first member of my family with a college degree. People will treat me differently when I tell them this, even if I don't want them to. People will treat me differently when they ask where my parents work and I tell them McDonald's. It's an unfortunate reality that I cannot control.

It took me nearly all four years to realize why poor kids don't go to college, but now that I know, I can't get it off my mind.

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