To the incoming freshmen, you don't need everything in bed bath & beyond

To the incoming freshmen, you don't need everything in bed bath & beyond

Trust me, it seems like you need the shelves and the storage unit and the storage ottoman, but you don't.

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Last year, I was in your shoes. I was eager to dorm shop and I spent hours and hours on Pinterest trying to figure out exactly how I wanted my dorm room to look. Of course, you don't realize how small a dorm room truly is until you get to school and try to fit all of your stuff inside of it.

Really all that you're going to truly need in your dorm room are the basics. Pillows, sheets, blankets, towels, school supplies, clothing, some extra storage, and some decorations to make yourself feel at home. If you're loading up more than two SUV's, you're bringing way too much stuff with you.

Keep in mind that you have half of a room that's definitely smaller than your room at home. You don't have room for much more than the provided furniture. Things that are really great to bring with you are bed risers, extra pillows, and some form of extra storage to put under your bed.

The thing is, dorms don't typically have a lot of space for your clothes so you're going to want to bring a few bins to house your clothing. Dorm beds aren't the most comfortable, so you have to make it like home. What I found worked best was a 3-inch mattress pad, a few fuzzy blankets, and an excessive amount of throw pillows. My bed was so comfortable I had to set two alarms so I would be up for class. There's nothing better than coming back to a cozy bed after a long day of class to watch Netflix, do homework, or take a much-needed nap.

Walking into stores that have college selections, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Target, can be a bit intimidating as someone who hasn't been to college yet. If you don't have siblings, you may feel rather confused as to what you need and what you don't need, but it really isn't all that much of a big deal. Pick out things that you know you'll like and you won't get tired of, and try to make your space feel like home. Definitely keep in mind the fact that a little goes a long way and you only have so much wall space and floor space in your room.

Some of my best advice for incoming freshmen when it comes to dorm shopping is to really make it your own space because at the end of a long day you're going to want to come back to a room that really feels like home. Make sure you have enough to get you through the year but also don't pack too much because you won't have any extra space in your dorm.

Make a list for yourself of what you think you'll need and compare it to a list you find in a store, ask your friends who have already begun college, and look up ideas on Pinterest. If you go in with an idea of what you want your dorm to look like then you'll have a really great start to your dorm room search.

Cover Image Credit:

Mekenna Passner

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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5 Ways That I Got My Life Together...Sort Of

Five simple ways to help you feel more in control.

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If you are someone like me, college can be very intimidating. It's a time filled with making new friends, joining clubs, and discovering yourself. It can be extremely overwhelming sometimes and it may seem like your whole life is out of control. Here are a few ways I have learned how to keep things under control and make it feel like your life is put together.

1. Clean your room.

Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash

One of the easiest ways I have found to help me feel more in control of my life is to clean my room. Depending on how messy it is it may take five minutes or it may take longer. After I spent about two hours cleaning mine, I immediately felt like my life was less chaotic than it was before. This is a very easy way to help you feel more in control of your life. It costs no money and may even help change your outlook on life. It feels really good to come home to a clean room after a long day.

2. Ditch the caffeine after 2 pm.

Photo by Jessie Beck on Unsplash

For all the coffee drinkers out there this one may not seem particularly glamorous. It's easy to drink coffee all day and stay up all night writing a paper you forgot about, but for me, that was how I completely messed up my sleep schedule. I relied heavily on late-night caffeine to help me stay up and work on those assignments that I procrastinated. However, my sleep schedule was so off that I ended up sleeping through my morning classes. I was wasting o much of the day being asleep and it caused my life to spiral out of control. When I cut caffeine out of my afternoons and nights I found that it was much easier to not only fall asleep but stay asleep and wake up in the mornings refreshed

3. Buy (and use) a planner.

photo by Karolina Grabowska

When the school year first starts, I try to be as prepared as possible. I buy a planner every year but when it gets to be the middle of the semester and things are moving full speed it's easy for me to forget all about my planner and have my school work begin to get lost. Don't underestimate the power of a planner. This can be a great tool to lay out your homework, work schedule, and any other events or deadlines that you may have coming up. This low-cost tool can do wonders if you are adamant about keeping up with it. I've found that keeping a written schedule all in one place can help alleviate stress and help with time management.

4. Stick to a budget.

Image by Peter Fertig from Pixabay

Money can also be a huge stressor. Tuition is expensive enough and for me, that doesn't include the cost of my apartment, groceries, and gas. Making and sticking to a budget can help make sure that you're not wasting your paycheck. When you get your paycheck, budget out how much you can spend on food, gas, and other expenses you have. Make sure to set a little money aside for fun. By doing this, you are making it much easier for you to know what you have to pay and when. It's also always nice to have a little money sitting around just in case because life happens and you never know when a little extra cash might come in handy.

5. Get up and get moving.

Photo By Viktor Hanacek

It's so easy for me to wake up at a decent time and then spend the next three hours laying in bed scrolling through social media. By the time I get out of bed, I feel like the day has been wasted and I have no energy to do anything. There is a very simple fix to this and its simply to get out of bed. I've found that if I make myself get up and go to the gym I have so much energy for the rest of the day. Working out is a very simple way to get your day started. Even if you're not feeling up to a full-blown workout, go for a walk and get some sunlight. Get up and get moving early and it can give you the energy that you need to make it through the day

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