Top 5 Places to Complete Your Dorm Shopping

Top 5 Places to Complete Your Dorm Shopping

The top 5 most cost-effective stores for back to school shopping.

After graduation, all you want to do is relax by the beach and have an amazing summer with your best friends before you all go your separate ways. That idea seems amazing until you realize that you will be working, because of the amount of dorm shopping that needs to be done. Here are the top five places to complete your dorm shopping list.

1. Marshalls.

Throughout senior year, I would wander through Marshalls and find canvases and other decorations and talk about how excited I was to decorate my dorm. When the July prior to moving into college rolled around, Marshalls was the first place I looked. Marshalls carries great bedding for college students. I purchased a bedding set for $40 that included a sham, a comforter, and a decorative pillow. I then purchased two set of sheets for $10 each. I also purchased my towels there, as well as some decorations and pillows. Marshalls has the necessary items for college at fantastic prices. They carry everything from shower caddies to bedding.

2. Walmart.

Walmart was my go-to store for larger items that I needed for school. I purchased Rubbermaid tubs there, as well as 3 drawer carts. Walmart has the best prices on items such as these. They also carry bedding. I bought most of my furniture-esque items at Walmart, such as my trash can, storage, and shelves here. Walmart is also a great place to pick up food to keep in the dorm. My favorite find there was the 30 pack of individually wrapped Cheese Itz. Walmart also carries big, under the bed trunks for storage. Walmart is also a great place to purchase your basic school supplies.

3. Target.

I found Target especially helpful in the same ways as Walmart. It carries storage items, as well as smaller needs. I found that I bought a lot from their dollar section. I found drawer liners in their dollar section that were awesome when it came to my desk. They were cute, but practical. I also found myself at Target for decorations. I purchased a body pillow here, along with a fuzzy cover for it. I also purchased some room necessities including tissues, and reusable water bottles. I was also able to purchase my Ethernet cables at Target. I found that Target did cost a little more than Walmart, but if you utilize the dollar section and the Cartwheel App, you will find some great discounts.

4. Amazon.

Amazon was one of the first places that I went to search for dorm items. I know Amazon is not an actual store; however, I found it a really great resource because students receive six months of Amazon Prime free. This meant free two-day shipping. You can buy virtually anything from Amazon. From food to electronics, there are no boundaries. I purchased a decal calendar for my wall, along with my shower caddy, and a massive value pack of Command hooks. While browsing, I found that they had desk organization, as well as closet organization.

One of the best purchases I made on Amazon was the ten pack of the “As Seen on TV Magic Hangers”. These hangers utilize vertical space, allowing for more garments to be hung up. They saved a lot of room and allowed me to hang up a lot of clothes in my closet. Amazon is also a great resource for textbooks. My older sister showed me that if you type in the book’s ISBN number in the Amazon search bar, it will bring you right to the book you are looking for. From there you will get options for both new and used books.

5. Bed Bath and Beyond.

Bed Bath and Beyond has become a go-to store for college students. They carry anything you could possibly need for college. It is perfect destination if you are looking to get it all done in one trip; however, it will end up costing you far more than if you utilize other stores. Bed Bath and Beyond is great when it comes to items like your mattress pad, appliances, and even bedding.

I purchased my Keurig, mattress pad, microwave, and a few other items there. The items that I purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond are great in quality, but they did cost a little more. For necessary items such as the mattress pad, it is usually better to put the extra money down because it will last you longer than a cheaper product. Bed Bath and Beyond has almost everything a student will need for their dorm; however, it is not the most cost effective choice if it is used as the sole source of shopping. Even with that, you can always count on a 20% off coupon coming in the mail!

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Simmons

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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13 Ways To Beat The 'Sunday Scaries'

They may not have to be as scary as you think.


It's been proven that 76% of people in the US experience "really bad" stress on Sundays, this stress known as the "Sunday Scaries" or "Sunday Blues." I have experienced the "Sunday Scaries" pretty much every Sunday since I started high school. Then, I remembered an episode of "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," in which Ned tried to figure out a way to not dread Mondays. He eventually convinced his teacher to play a movie on Mondays, which got me to thinking of how to not dread Sunday nights leading into Mondays. The following are 13 ways to turn your Scary Sunday into Sunday Funday.

1. Exercise

Whether it is going to the gym, taking an exercise class, going for a run, or simply taking a walk, do it. Exercise increases endorphins in your brain and benefits your physical health immensely. You will feel more productive and energized.

2. Eat well

Skip the junk food on Sundays. Junk food is loaded with sugars which can increase levels of stress and depression, and often leave you feeling hungry so you eat more. Eat a healthy dinner early in the night so that you go to bed full and satisfied.

3. Drink a lot of water

Drinking water not only throughout the day but also at night will help you to wake up more refreshed in the morning.

4. Go to bed early

I'm not saying you need 10+ hours, but get however many hours you need for a good night's sleep.

5. Write a list of what's on your mind

Writing out a list of everything running around in your head can help it feel less messy. When all of the to-dos are disorganized in your head, they can be overwhelming. By writing a list you are able to see everything that you need to do, and then it doesn't look as bad.

6. Watch your favorite show

Grey's Anatomy, Friends, The Office, Sunday Night Football, etc. Watching whatever makes you feel content and relaxed (although those SNF games can get pretty intense) is a key ingredient to relaxing for the upcoming week. Reading a good book is also a great idea!

7. Get your work done in the morning/early afternoon

Get whatever you need to get done in the morning and/or early afternoon. This way, you have the night to relax, you are not staying up late Sunday night to do last minute work, and you are able to get better sleep.

8. Plan something to look forward to on Monday morning

Plan to wake up early and make your favorite breakfast, listen to your favorite playlist, pick out an outfit you feel good in, go to your favorite coffee shop, watch your favorite show, or whatever gets you in a good mood. By having something to look forward to Monday, you are more likely to go to bed happy and excited to wake up in the morning, instead of dreading it.

9. Call your parents or friends

Call your parents, your family, your friends, etc. just to catch up. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

10. Listen to new music

This way you pay more attention to the music, the lyrics, the feel of it. You aren't able to push the music to your subconscious and think about all the stresses coming up in the week.

11. Write out your week in a planner 

Cry? Watch Netflix? Attempt homework? Check. Check. Maybe Check.

12. Set a goal to complete by the end of the week. 

Setting a goal allows you something to focus on that you want, not something that you need to do for others. This goal leaves room for "me time." Whether it be finding the time to watch a movie, setting up a fun night with friends, or cleaning the house throughout the week so that you don't have to do it last minute on Sunday.

13. Make stress your friend. 

In Kelly McGonigal's TED Talk, "How to Make Stress Your Friend," she explains how seeing stress as helpful can lead you to live a healthier life in two ways. The first way is that when you see stress as positive, although your heart still races, your blood cells do not constrict as they would if you thought of your stress as negative. This helps you maintain a healthier heart and decrease your risk of an early heart attack. The second way is that stress releases oxytocin, which makes you more social.

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