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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To The Girl Who's Terrified To Go To College

I used to be in your shoes. Here's what the past four years taught me.

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Hi! My name is Caroline and I am about to be a 5th year senior at Texas A&M.; This time in 2014, I was an anxious, sobbing wreck. Now, I love college so much that I delayed my graduation a semester so I could do a second minor and avoid adulthood.

I had dreaded leaving home my entire life.

I come from an amazing, close-knit family who I couldn't imagine not seeing every day. I would miss coffee with my dad in the mornings, and being able to find my mom whenever and talk to her about anything that was on my mind. I would miss baking with my sisters, singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs, and all piling onto the same bed for late night talks. I would miss discussing books with my brother and going out of town for the weekends together.

I knew everything was changing, and I was petrified, paralyzed with fear.

When I went to Impact, which is a Christian camp for incoming college freshman at my school, a couple of weeks before move-in day, my BG mom asked all the girls in our BG how we were feeling about our transition to college. The other girls said they were fine, but for me—blubbering waterworks. It was so embarrassing and I still cannot believe that I was that girl.

I got three good pieces of advice when I went to Impact, and I would like to pass them on to you.

1. You will be lonely.

2. You will have to eat alone at some point.

And it's okay because everyone does. I know these don't exactly sound like advice, more like cold facts you don't want to hear, but they took a tremendous amount of pressure off me since I didn't have wild expectations for my first semester.

3. In your first year of college, you will see how faithful God is.

The day before I moved in was easily one of the worst days of my life because of anxiety and fear. In my journal that day I absolutely poured out my every fear to God and trusted that maybe someday I could see how He resolved them. That day came sooner than I expected.

More than just mere answers to prayer, college has provided an extremely challenging set of circumstances that God used to sanctify me, hammer out my flaws, and make me more like the Christ I've become more confident in proclaiming.

None of it was miserable, and it was never too much for me to handle—in fact, I've had the best time of my life.

I was not overwhelmingly lonely, did not overwhelmingly struggle in my classes, and was never tempted to sin beyond what I could bear. At every turn, God has blessed me, given me joy, shown me Himself, and proven Himself stronger, more loving, and better than I had ever dreamed. And if you are fearful, or even if you're not, I am confident the same will be true of you.

College is a big transition. The courses are hard. Managing your time is hard. Growing in your sanctification is hard. But it is fun, and so much more than worth it.

College is a blast; you will absolutely have the time of your life. By the second day, if you are socializing and doing fun stuff, I will be very much surprised if you aren't calling your mom breaking the news that you're never coming home—that sure was the case for me.

The truth is that you are smarter than you think you are, you need space from your family more than you might think you do, and you are overall much more prepared than you think you are.

Some final advice for the road:

Turn off your phone, stop talking to your high school friends, and go do something with someone. No one else knows anyone either, and even if it's not like you to initiate friendships, you'll end up with a lot more of them if you just find someone sitting around and see if they want to grab lunch.

The first few weeks are crucial—be social! Pick out organizations before you go, join them and stick with them. You will get more out of your college experience if you have one organization and let it be your whole life than if you try to be a little bit involved in 4 organizations.

Stay in church. Find a Bible study. Go to the Supplemental Instruction sessions. Look for opportunities to explore, branch out, and have new experiences.

For the love of God, if you fail a test (you probably will) get help immediately. Don't skip class. NEVER stress about not knowing what to do with your life; instead,

"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path." (Proverbs 3:6)

Be excited about college. You are young; the whole world is before you.

Don't succumb to Netflix-induced, class-skipping lethargy, though the pressure to do that will be there; instead, grab onto life and live it to the hilt, live so hard you fall into bed exhausted every night.

Throw yourself into God, trust in Him, and enjoy this adventure as hard as you can because, you heard it here first: you'll blink, and it'll be over.

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