​7 Tips For Packing Before Going On A Long Trip

​7 Tips For Packing Before Going On A Long Trip

Long trips can be fun but packing for them isn’t.
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As the days pass, the time to go home only gets closer. This means that packing is soon to be done and, if you are anything like me, you are probably going to need some help.

1. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

Nothing good will come out of it, believe me.

2. Make a list of what you need.

The more organized you are before packing, the easier it will be to do so.

3. Buy vacuum storage bags.

Especially when it comes to winter clothes, they are the ultimate trick to have up your sleeve.

4. Honestly, do not leave it until the last minute.

Believe me, you’ll need some time.

5. Fold clothing according to its style.

How you fold your clothes affects how much you can fit in your suitcase.

6. Choose your shoes wisely.

There is no need for 17 pairs of shoes. Make sure you take what you need and just that.

7. Seriously, DO NOT leave it until the last minute.

You’ll just hate yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Studying Abroad The Day Notre Dame Cathedral Burned

My time abroad is running out and I can't see it all while traveling

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The day Notre Dame Cathedral burned, I had three weeks left studying abroad in Europe. I woke up from a nap after a final presentation and scrolled through my Instagram. A friend I had met in Stockholm was in Paris for the weekend, and she posted a picture of the Parisian skyline suffocated with dark smoke.

It was 6:20 p.m. I quickly began to research what was happening at the cathedral. At first, I thought it might have been another Yellow Vest stunt. I discovered that the cathedral had been burning since 5:50 p.m. and fire responders had yet to arrive at Ile de la Cité when I started watching live stream coverage.

I watch the spire collapse live. As the flames burned away 856-years of human and Christian history until nightfall, I cried for the cathedral and the people of France.

During my semester abroad, I have been torn between wanting to experience Europe as a tourist and as a local. The two move through spaces differently, and I am usually only in continental Europe for short weekend trips. I want to have genuine experiences while I travel, and sometimes that means passing by Notre Dame on a cloudy afternoon with no intention of going inside because there's something new to explore. That's what I did during my first day in Paris in January. As Paris veterans, my mother and I lodged nearby and admired the great Christmas displays outside Notre Dame in passing, but we decided not to enter the church on this short trip. We had been in several times before.

I remember thinking that must be what locals did. Europeans must just pass by these grand monuments on their commutes home or nights on the town. Why would you stop and marvel when you passed it by every day on the way to the cafe?

I seemed to have romanticized the privilege of being a local. I associated localism with ignoring the top ten sights or tourist traps. My experience living in London doesn't include frequent trips to see Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, but now I wonder if I am being naive to think we will have these places forever.

I am grateful to have entered the cathedral several times in the past and to have studied French Gothic architecture. I can't help but kick myself for not entering this January. I am not in Europe for much longer, and I am trying to resolve myself to the fact that I can't do it all. It's hard to feel content in not seeing everything when one of the most significant architectural monuments in the world burns on a live Twitter stream.

Our Lady of Paris lived through the French Revolution and two World Wars, and I thought I'd see her around longer. I have learned to be more appreciative with my time abroad. These places and moments may be fleeting when faced with the enormity of time, whether or not they have violent ends.

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10 Things I Wish I Brought To College

All the things you wish you brought to college!

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Everyone loves moving in to a luxuries high rise dorm. Decorating and planning out your dorm is the first exciting thing you'll do in college. After my first three months of living in a dorm, I hauled 3 boxes of things back home that I just didn't need. In the meantime, there are so many things I completely forget to bring to college that I need on the daily. Here are 10 things I wish I brought to college!

1. More socks 

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I swore I brought enough socks when I moved in, but now I am down to two pairs. I can never find socks when I need them. With each load of laundry I do, more and more socks seem to disappear from the earth. Make sure you bring plenty of socks.

2. Hangers

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You can never have too many hangers. I have bought at least two more packs this month. Space is limited in your dorm so make sure you use up as much closet space as you can.

3. Medicine 

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I actually came to college with no medication. Not even a single Advil. The first few weeks of school, everyone is getting sick. You will thank yourself later if you load up now on cough drops, pain reliever, and any other medicines you might need.

4.) My dog

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I miss my dogs. Ok, I know I can't take them with me to college, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I could!

5. My sister 

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The first months of school can be exciting and lonely. I always wish my sister was here to rant to about my day. You will wish everyday that you could bring her with you.

6. Yoga pants

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We all think that we are gonna leave the yoga pants in high school and look like goddesses at our colleges. This is false and you will soon realize that even changing out of pajama pants for class is a miracle. Dress cute in August, but come fall you will thank me for telling you to bring your comfy pants!

7. Dry shampoo 

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Showering is important, but sometimes time slips through our hands. Make sure you are prepared for those in between days by stocking up on dry shampoo!

8. Self control 

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This can apply to many situations. Spending, homework, and parting. This is the first time in your life that you can make your own rules, so please bring a little bit of self control with you. Your bank account and GPA will thank you later.

9. Money 

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Save your money before college. If you spend all of the money you earned in high school or got for graduation in the first month of school, you should look back to item number 9. Money is important and is a scarce resource in college. Spend and save it wisely

10. Phone chargers 

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Like my socks, my phone chargers disappear every day. Make sure you bring a few and keep up with them!

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