Monday, June 8, 2015

Don't Forget to Pack...

Don't Forget to Pack...

Even though the first day of freshman year is months away, you can never be too early in planning or packing. Above are some things that I wish I had/did pack, and are definitely things to consider come this July and August. 

What I did pack: 

-An Agenda--staying on top of assignments is key to college life, so don't just think committing 20 assignments to memory will pass. Writing down projects, papers, important days, and presentations weeks (if not months) before hand will give you an idea of what each week of the semester has in store for you. Most, if not all, schools have a sight like Canvas or Blackboard where teachers list important dates and syllabi for their students. Keep in mind that these dates are subject to change, but I would generally go a month out for writing down due dates and never ran into any major scheduling problems. 

-Coffee Mugs--the more mugs the merrier, in my opinion. Coffee becomes an essential, and I needed a cup each morning to get me going. I only brought one with me to school in the beginning of the year (such poor planning on my part), but accumulated more as the year went on. This made it so I didn't have to wash mine every night and also made it nice if I had a girlfriend over who also wanted a cup.  

-Storage Cubes--grab two at Target and place them at the foot of your bed, and you'll only be out about $30 dollars. You can store a wide range of things in there, from cleaning supplies (aka, Clorox wipes and paper towels) to back up toiletries and haircare. It also wouldn't hurt to get one of those plastic 5-drawer towers...I stored mine in my closet and it kept a lot of clutter out of the way. 

-My Books--if you are a voracious reader like me, I always have to have a book within reach. I brought some of my favorite books from home with me to remind me of home, and also to serve as entertainment for rainy Sunday nights. I also kept my pillow case from home on my pillow for about a week, never mind the fact that the pink polka dots clashed horribly with my deep purple sheets. It's the little things, ya know? 

-Stamps--they may seem insignificant, but having stamps on hand is always helpful. You and Millie across the hall will need to mail something at one point or another in the year, so having a sheet of stamps will come in handy, especially if you keep them in your agenda. Bonus points if you get cool commemorative ones...I had Spiderman forever stamps. 

What I should have packed:

-A small journal--if your major involves any type of writing (Journalism, Communications, English, Creative Writing, etc.) then buy a simple journal to have handy. I can't tell you how many things I went to that I had to write an article or paper about for an assignment. I made due by taking notes in the ten allotted pages of my agenda, but it would have been nice to have a journal on hand to jot down more thorough observations. It would've also been nice to have when an idea would hit or I'd run across a phrase or word that I liked, but instead I stuck to my Post-Its that wouldn't stick to anything in the good ole Missouri humidity. 

-A Scentsy--We are adults, but alas, we cannot be trusted with candles. I don't blame my school though, considering we had a girl burn popcorn so bad the fire department had to be called. But, I digress. In the beginning of the year, I had purchased Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works for my dorm room, but they simply didn't fill up my room the way they did back home. So, I decided to get a Scentsy (the same exact one pictured above, as a matter of fact), and instantly understood what all the hype was about. I decided to buy the cheapest one ($20) that conveniently plugged into my outlet near the bathroom door. After that, buying refill packs of cubes are relatively cheap, with 6 packages containing 8 cubes each costing $25. Most schools allow these, so I would definitely recommend it for all your scent-sory needs. 

-A White Dress--should you be interested in rushing, having a white dress on hand is a must. Should you be selected by a sorority, you will ultimately need one for initiation and other official ceremonies. Now, some sororities are more lenient than others, but you can't go wrong with buying a solid, winter-white dress. The good thing is that there are plenty available during the summer, but I knew too many girls that waited until October to buy theirs. Of course, there will be girls who will offer to let you borrow theirs, but in the long run it is best to have your own, considering you will need it for four years. Fortunately, I found mine a week before initiation at ASOS and it got to me in plenty of time (S/O to ASOS Premier), but a friend of mine waited until the day before to purchase hers and had to settle for one that was slightly off white. Also, it is a good idea to look for a pair of white shoes, and again, right now is your best time to get them. I got mine from ASOS, and I know Payless sells a pair of simple white ballet flats for under $20. 

-Extra Cords--If you have to use a lightning cord for your iPhone stock up. And If your charger for your laptop is on the fritz, go ahead and get another one. Having extra cords can make a world of difference, particularly when it comes to your laptop. A friend of mine had to work on desktops for two weeks while waiting for her laptop charger to come in. Thankfully, our school is both small and accommodating with technology, so she was never too far from a computer. However, she still had important documents that needed to be accessed on her laptop, and she ended up having to borrow a friend's charger in order to retrieve them. Also, think about getting an external hard drive or at least a large USB thumb drive for your most important documents (portfolios, final papers, etc.). They are so tiny and hook right on the end of your lanyard, and make it a lot easier if your favorite computer isn't available in the library. 

Honorable mentions:

-Some winter clothes--pack a pair of rain and regular boots, a few sweaters, some vests, and maybe even your winter coat, because if you are going to school in a meteorologically bipolar state like Missouri, you made need a few of the aforementioned items in the beginning of October. 

-Food from home--having your favorite Italian restaurant's sauce may save you on succotash night at your dining hall. You can even invite some of your friends to eat with you, and make a fun night of it in the dorm's kitchen. Should your dorm not have a kitchen, at least keep food in your dorm for the odd night you don't feel like going to the dining hall, you nap through dinner, or if just reading the dining hall's menu turns your stomach. 

-Packing tape and boxes-- if you have extra room, keep all your boxes from move-in, along with any boxes you received during the year from care packages or online shopping. At the end of the year, packing up your coffee brewer, printer, and TV will be a lot easier if you have the original packaging. Also, having extra boxes around is a good idea if you have to return something from online, or if you want to send a care package yourself...believe it or not, care packages are not just a one way street! A friend of mine and I sent one to a friend of ours that had transferred at semester, just because we were thinking of and missed her. It ended up making our friend's week, and only took a half an hour to come up with. 

-Extras-- I bought duplicates of things I new would run out through out the year. This included haircare, body wash, dish soap, laundry detergent, softener, and coffee creamer (you can freeze it!). This made it so I didn't have purchase nearly as much throughout the year and each time I went to the grocery store, my bill amounted to just around $20.

Happy packing and reading!

Stay Excellent,

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