You've seen all of the dorm packing lists articles, I'm sure. And those are important. You really do need those things.

But you also need to bring some things to college that you won't be able to find at Target. And they are just, if not much more, important:

1. Serenity

What does it look like? A halfway filled notebook. You're on your way, keep working and try not to worry about it too much,

2. Peace

Where do you feel at ease? Imagine this place.

You could also maybe unplug the coffee maker for a few days, unplug yourself from Facebook for the week. You have all you need without the things we use to fill up our cabinets- remember this.

3. Inspiration

The "law of attraction," the "power of prayer." Except good things and they will come. Vision boards are powerful reminders to keep working, hang up some pictures that inspire you.

4. Comfort

Comfort is more than a soft pillow. Comfort is feeling comfortable in your own skin. Respect yourself enough to let yourself be comfortable.

Bring things that make you feel free and authentic. Blue paint. A black dress. A pictures during a crazy time in your life.

5. Accountability

Bring things to school you want to keep up with. Maybe a new reading list, maybe a goal, maybe a yoga mat.

6. Smiles

These gifts are everything when meeting new people and seeing familiar faces around campus. Embrace your happiness- you're never too cool to show off all your teeth with a big smile.

7. Conversation

I always love hearing about friend's summers. Invite people into your room, fill the space with conversation rather than things.

8. Happiness

When my parents visited me in Firenze Italy we went to the Boboli Gardens. One of the most beautifully charming places. I have a picture of some vines wrapped around the path to create a curved structure above my dresser that I took that day. It serves the constant reminder of how capable we are of happiness.


With all this said, don't forget a comforter, pens, notebooks, underwear, etc. But something that I wish I knew 3 years ago when my parents drove me 14 hours down to college was that you have it all already.

Don't worry about how many pillows you have or if things match or look grown up or too grown up or whatever. Bring things that make you happy or serve a purpose and forget the rest. After doing this a few times, I know I feel best when I'm surrounded by art, books, and pictures of what I love. Make your room your own, but make sure after its decorated, the focus remains on what's inside you rather than the things inside your room.