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.

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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10 things I wish I could Have Told My Younger Self

There are some things school just can't teach you.


Sometimes I think about how life would be different if I knew the things back then that I know now.

1. Stay true to who you are

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Basic but important; your self-worth is not what others say or think about you.

2. Change is OK

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This was the hardest for me to learn.

I never understood why people stopped asking me to hang out. I never understood why I had to move schools and make new friends.

But now, I understand it is all a part of life; this just opens the door to meet more amazing people. You will find YOUR people!

3. Always be the best version of you

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Whatever your goal or purpose in life, put in all the effort you can give. Even if that means putting in 100 percent to try to get your crush to follow you back on Instagram.

If you want it, go get it.

4. Learn to let go

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Nothing is that serious.

When your dad dedicates most of his time to embarrass you, embrace it. Yes, even when you have one chance to get the picture right and he makes a funny face, just let it happen. One day, you'll miss it.

But on a more serious note, if you continue to hold on to things that make you sad, you will truly never be happy. You will do far greater things in life than dating the boy on the football team (school can't always teach us life lessons, but Taylor Swift can), I promise.

Forgive and forget.

5. Being alone is not always lonely

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Spend time with yourself.

Silence speaks a thousand words; use that silence to learn things about yourself.

This was one that was recently learned. I always felt like I had to have company to have a good time. Now, I feel like an old grandma who enjoys going to dinner or a movie by herself. However, with age there is wisdom, so maybe I am doing something right.

6. Just because you don't talk to someone everyday does not mean they don't care

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Sometimes, when you are taking time for yourself, you don't talk to your friends every day. That IS okay!

We are all adults here; act like it.

I love hanging out with my friends for days straight, but what is even cooler is not talking for a week but still picking up where you left off like nothing happened. Those are the real ones. My younger self would have never believed me on this one.

7. You will meet some really cool people in life

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Zac Brown Band, if you're reading this, just know I love you.

But really, there are things you learn about yourself through other people. Getting out of your comfort zone is, well, uncomfortable, but the benefits of meeting people are far greater than short-term shyness.

Younger Emma, I wish you would have stopped hiding behind people.

8. Nobody knows you better than your mom or sister

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If my mom and sisters were reading this, they would probably laugh at me for this one.

I am so independent that they sometimes think I do not like being around them, but after some thought, they are always the ones I turn to for advice. I wish I would have realized their importance sooner.

You are never too cool to have family as your best friends. Yes, even you Kanye. Chill out with yourself.

9. Unplug more often

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Turn off that TV, put down that phone, and go outside. There is a world to see and people to meet... not online. Crazy concept, I know.

You are not perfect

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Yes, we all have those good hair days, and we think Hannah Montana could never be talking about me. Well, sorry if I am the one breaking this bad news, but nobody is perfect.

However, imperfection is beautiful. Love your flaws and stay humble. Compassion is far more important than judgement. If someone can't fix something in five minutes, don't point it out to them.

Make your heart the most beautiful thing about you.

I thought about adding one where I confess my love for ice cream and how you should never say no to it, but then I remembered my younger self already knew this better than anyone.

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