17 Things Your College Packing List Won't Mention

17 Things Your College Packing List Won't Mention

Think of these as life hacks for easing your college experience.

You've gotten your acceptance letter to college. It's exciting! Congrats! You're probably already dreaming about what it'll be like, who you'll meet, and most importantly, what you're going to need. Which is where I'm coming in.

Chances are your college will send you some kind of packing list to give you an idea of what main things to bring. But what they won't list is the small things that will make your experience that much smoother.

1. Sneakers

Vans and Converse are great, but you're going to want a pair of athletic sneakers. With all the walking you're going to be doing around (and off) campus, your feet will thank you for the proper support.

2. Lanyard

These are super handy for keeping your keys and student ID on you. It's also harder to leave your keys and ID in your room when they're attached to something brightly colored/patterned.

3. Headphones

College gets loud. You will always need a functioning pair of headphones or earbuds. And pack a backup just in case your main pair breaks or is lost. (Life happens.)

4. Extra sheets and towels

You're not going to be able to wash these very often, so it's advisable to bring extras.

5. Water bottle

It's easier to have a reusable water bottle than plastic ones (and it's better for the environment!).

6. Snacks

These are necessary for those midnight munchies, study snacks, social hangs, and whenever you don't feel like leaving your dorm to get food.

7. Brita filter

This is more preference than necessity, but I've heard other college students sing praises of having a Brita filter.

8. Plastic drawers

These are so helpful in keeping your things together and are great space savers. They also make moving easier. Check out these wheeled drawers from Target!

9. Throw blanket

Be sure to bring a cozy blanket with you. It'll be great for cold days and make those Netflix binge sessions (read: avoiding homework) feel amazing. I have a similar blanket to this Amazon one, and it's the snuggliest thing ever.

10. Extension cord

With all the things you're going to need plugged in, and a limited amount of outlets, this will be insanely helpful.

11. Shower caddy

Hit up your local Target because unless you're in a suite, it's communal bathrooms for you, and you can't leave your shower things there like at home. Also: be sure to wash this every so often to get rid of buildup and avoid mold.

12. Shower shoes

Communal bathrooms can get pretty gross. You'll thank me for this one.

13. Entertainment

Bring a few books and movies with you. A break from Netflix will eventually be necessary, as shocking as that sounds.

14. First aid kit and medications

Make sure to bring some Ibuprofen, cold medicine, and Band-Aids. Save any trips to the health center for more serious needs.

15. A long charger cord

While an extension cord should help with this problem, it can't hurt to have a longer charger cord just in case. (Plus it's a good backup if your usual charger breaks.)

16. Keurig/coffee maker

Some colleges don't allow these in student rooms, so find out beforehand. This, like the Brita filter, isn't necessary, but it is handy if you live off coffee. And as a college student, that's going to happen.

17. Printer

I cannot stress this one enough. Even in our digital age, many professors prefer things to be handed in physically. And with all the classes you're going to take, and all the assignments, there's going to be a lot of printing. Most campuses have printers around, but charge per page. Make the investment and get a printer that will last you long beyond college.

Cover Image Credit: Deb Greengold

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To The Defeated Nursing Major, You'll Rise

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

You will have weeks when you are defeated. Some mornings you won't be able to get out of bed and some days you won't be able to stop crying enough to go to class. You'll feel like nobody understands the stress that you are under, and you have absolutely nobody to talk to because they either don't get it or are dealing with their own meltdowns. There will be weeks that you want to change your major and give up on the whole thing. But, you'll rise.
You will miss football games, concerts, and nights out with the girls. There will be stretches of two or more weeks you'll go without seeing your mom, and months where you have to cancel on your best friend 4+ times because you have too much studying to do. There will be times where no amount of "I'm sorry" can make it up to your little brother when you miss his big football game or your grandparents when you haven't seen them in months. But, you'll rise.

You will have patients who tell you how little they respect nurses and that you won't be able to please no matter how hard you try. You will have professors who seem like their goal is to break you, especially on your bad days. You will encounter doctors who make you feel like the most insignificant person on the planet. You will leave class some days, put your head against your steering wheel and cry until it seems like there's nothing left to cry out. But, you'll rise.

You will fail tests that you studied so hard for, and you will wing some tests because you worked too late the night before. You will watch some of the smartest people you've ever known fail out because they simply aren't good test-takers. You will watch helplessly as your best friend falls apart because of a bad test grade and know that there is absolutely nothing you can do for her. There will be weeks that you just can't crack a smile no matter how hard you try. But, you'll rise.

You'll rise because you have to — because you've spent entirely too much money and effort to give up that easily. You'll rise because you don't want to let your family down. You'll rise because you're too far in to stop now. You'll rise because the only other option is failing, and we all know that nurses do not give up.

You'll rise because you remember how badly you wanted this, just three years ago as you were graduating high school, with your whole world ahead of you. You'll rise because you know there are people that would do anything to be in your position.

You'll rise because you'll have one patient during your darkest week that'll change everything — that'll hug you and remind you exactly why you're doing this, why this is the only thing you can picture yourself doing for the rest of your life.

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

You'll rise because you have compassion, you are selfless, and you are strong. You'll rise because even during the darkest weeks, you have the constant reminder that you will be changing the world someday.

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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