The School Supplies You Actually Need For College

The School Supplies You Actually Need For College

A list of essentials to succeed in your college classes.

If you’re like me, you enjoy shopping for school supplies a little too much. The notebook aisle in Wal-Mart was always a must when your mom dragged you along on her grocery shopping trips. There’s just something about blank pages and full ink pens that says potential and new beginnings. Also, if you’re like me, getting a school supply list was one of your favorite parts of the summer. You couldn’t wait to go to the store and pick out the fanciest binders, pencils and folders.

But now that you’re in college and there is no school supply list, what do you do?

Most people go overboard buying school supplies freshman year of college because they’re accustomed to high school necessities, but in college, you actually need way less. Here are the essentials:

1. Planner

Everyone needs a planner. College gets really busy really quickly, and keeping a written agenda of all the assignments you have to do, events you have to go to, and dates you have to remember lets you stay on top of everything, rather than letting it overwhelm you. Some of the best student planners are the Plum Paper Student Planner, the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda, or the classic Mead Student Planner. These planners are more detailed and tailored to students, but a simple monthly planner works, too.

2. A single notebook

You may be tempted to buy a five-subject notebook for each class because that was necessary in high school, but if you do, you'll be wasting a lot of paper. One option is to buy one giant notebook to take to all your classes. Another option is a small notebook for each class so you can keep them separated, but if you're like me, you might take the wrong one to class once or twice (or several times). I like to take all my notes in one place--a five-subject notebook--and label them by class so that I can organize them later.

3. A binder for each class

In my opinion, binders are the best way to organize your notes. You can rip your in-class notes out of your notebook and arrange them in an order that makes the most sense to you. It also makes it easier to insert handouts, readings, and other notes, and they'll all be in the right order, rather than separated and mixed up like in a notebook.

4. Erasable pens

Erasable pens are the greatest things ever invented. OK, that might be pushing it, but they are a must-have for college. Life is so much easier when you can color-code your notes and dates in your planner, but plans change and you make mistakes, and scribbles just make everything confusing. I recommend these. I use them in my planner and for taking notes in class.

5. Sticky notes & highlighters

You might forget to buy sticky notes, but they are a must-have, especially for studying in textbooks you plan on returning. College consists of a lot more studying the textbook than in high school, and taking notes on a separate piece of paper can be tedious and unhelpful. Sticky notes and highlighters let you study faster and easier, and they make you look and feel super studious, too.

6. Stapler

You might not think to buy the basic office supplies you could find around your house, but you'll be surprised how often you need something you don't have in your dorm. So, save yourself some time and trips to the library and get yourself your very own stapler. And while you're at it, you'll probably need a three-hole-punch, too. Congratulations, you're an adult.

In addition to these essentials, you might need to buy a few other things depending on what your professors ask of you, but these are the basics that will get you through most classes with ease. As you can see, you probably need less than you did in high school. Now you can save the money you would've spent on too many school supplies and use it for your textbooks, which, unfortunately, are not way less than you think.

Cover Image Credit: theorganizedstudent via Tumblr

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 A.M. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest,

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old doom room is now filled with two freshman trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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To The Girls Who Feel Completely Lost In Their Sororities

I understand how you feel and while its hard, you have to do what's best for you.

This article has been a long time coming but I have found that every time I start to write it, I chicken out. I can never seem to find the right words or I either get too angry or hurt that I know the piece that I am writing in that state isn't a truly accurate portrayal of how I feel. I decided that this time around I would get other people's stories. I always thought I was alone in how I felt not only in my chapter but about my chapter--but I figured out through this article and the survey I did that I am not.

I think that is what is making the writing of this open letter a bit easier to stomach or at least type up. That's why I also considered the format I did--I was so afraid that I would be even more ostracized (or at least that's how it feels) from my chapter. And I always understood that I would never be friends with everyone in my chapter but I always thought I would have other women to go to in both times of need and times of stress and/or pain.

And I won't deny that when I went through one of the hardest times of my life whilst in college but to me, it felt like it stopped there--that once that point in my life was done, it ended too. I know that sounds superficial because it seemingly means less attention but it was like after those first initial weeks into the sorority, initiation, and that time... everyone just kind of stopped caring. They were onto the next class of members to be "totally obsessed with" and while that is fine since each new class is the future of the overall chapter it doesn't mean others should be neglected.

I asked in my survey if the women who had taken (I received 46 responses) about 72% of them said they had felt excluded, lost, or alone in their chapter and 47% said they had felt like dropping because of it. I, like this other 47 % of women, had felt exactly the same way. And I know that there are many others who feel exactly how I have--whether they have just felt like dropping once or have dropped because of it. But there are just as many other women who while yes have felt excluded have never wanted to drop, many saying that "the feeling would pass" or "waiting it out more" would relieve the problems.

I wish I had that mindset still. I am have come to a standstill--the thinking of dropping so constantly on my mind that it has forced me recently to take huge stepbacks from my sisterhood. And I will give my sorority this--that it isn't a national thing where I hate the national chapter because I don't. I love Delta Zeta and what it stands for, believes in, and strives to do for the betterment of the world as I am sure that many others feel about their own chapters.

It is more about the chapters specifically--feeling like how many others describe a rather cliquey environment, not having many people to sit or talk with, or no matter how hard you tried to reach out of your comfort zone or to others it never seemed to be enough or that no one cared. And while I understand not every sorority of every chapter is not made equal and every chapter is not founded the same but some things are just pretty damn universal. And this is definitely one of them.

You begin to feel not good enough, or hurt, or betrayed because all that was promised (and that you start promising) during recruitment isn't 100% there. And I know, I know not every person in the sorority will ever feel like this which is great, because it is exactly in my opinion how you shouldn't feel. But for those who do... I want you to know you are not alone in this. And while it might feel like it will pass or that it never will but you never know.

But just because it may or may not pass depending on who you become friends with, or what events you go to, etc. please don't push your feelings to the side or disregard them. Don't do this because you are afraid of how your chapter will react. I did the same thing and here I am unsure of how to talk about it, unsure of what to do next, or even how truthful you can get even with the few people you are close with.

But just know no matter what you do, you need to do what is best for you--whether it is staying because it is your last year, the feeling has passed, or it is what will make you happy or to take a step back, to drop, or to go into early alumni status. Do what will make you happy and no one else since it is your life. If your sisterhood and the friends you made from it are real, they'll understand and still be there for you because I mean it isn't just "for four years, it's for life".

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