As an older sister, it is my responsibility to try everything first. From the first week away from home, to taking my driver's license test, to starting high school, it has been my honor to play guinea pig. And with my sister and other young people starting their first year of college in a few shorts weeks, I thought I would share my older sister advice on what to bring to make this first year a breeze.

1. A Pillow with Arms

I love this item. I was so sad when I came home for the weekend, and I had to leave this pillow at school. I use this when I am in bed because normal pillows just don't cut it when I am on my laptop, doing homework or watching TV. If you can find one with a pocket, even better. These are great to store phones, chapstick or other small items.

2. Favorite Pillow and Blanket

These are the two things I would never leave for school without. When traveling to either home or school, my pillow and blanket are always in tow. It is a nice touch of home, plus both help me fall asleep easier. And trust me, sleep is a valued rarity during these next four years.

3. A Robe

Whether you are bringing yours from home or buying a new one, this is a must. If you know you are living in a dorm with a community bathroom, this is just a nice extra layer at 2 a.m. when you have to use the bathroom. They are also great for after the shower when you do not feel like getting dressed just yet, but still need to cover up.

4. Nice Outfits

This one is huge. You never know what you have to dress up for, which makes it hard when you can only bring so many clothes. I would make sure that you bring an outfit that you could wear to church, one for a fancy dinner, one for a formal night, and one professional outfit. You may only wear each once, but trust me, better to have them than not.

5. Cleaning Supplies

Congratulations! Your adult life is starting and that means cleaning your own rooms. I find it highly improbable that you will have housekeeping this coming year, so you better stock up. Do not let yourself keep a dirty room. Not only could it upset your roommate, but you deserve to live in a nice, clean space. I recommend bringing: a Swiffer mop with dry and wet pads, a duster, Lysol wipes, hardwood wipes, bleach, and anything else you notice your parents cleaning the house with.

6. Planner

This might seem like a no duh to some, but others might be surprised. You will not remember it all. So take the step to find a planner that works for you. It could be as simple as only ones with the days of the week or ones that helps you plan your goals and dreams. Just find something that you can write down all your assignments and important events. It will save you so much trouble in the long run.

7. Favorite Snack

Again, another no-brainer, but always have your favorite snack on hand. For those late nights doing homework or watching shows with friends, your favorite snack will be there for you. And never run out. There is nothing worse than staring at an empty Oreo package on your bedside table.

8. An Open Mind

This is the most important. Out of all the items, this is the one you always need. This coming year is basically going to be a lot of new adjustments, which require a lot of trying from your end. Try new foods, clubs, and classes. Meet new friends, travel to new places and go to events on campus (especially free ones with food, so like, ALL OF THEM). Do not say no to things right off the bat; instead, just try them. Be open to all the new things, and you might find something you never knew you liked.