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Saturday, March 28, 2015

bring this not that + college packing 101

I was that girl that went on Pinterest and compared the lists that different people compiled of what to buy for your dorm/college. And I'm here to tell y'all now what I've found to be most useful off of those lists and what things I've never touched. I'm discussing clothes + dorm supplies so if you could care less about the clothes aspect skip down to when I talk about dorm stuff!

First up, clothes. 
My ONE piece of advice that y'all should take to heart is that you do not need every tight formal dress you own, or every pair of heels, or every bathing suit. I brought EVERYTHING I owned clothes wise to college and it's been an absolute PAIN to take things home or get rid of what I don't actually need or wear. I dressed up for the majority of high school and I came to college thinking that I would be the girl that would show up in a full face of makeup, with straightened hair, and a perfectly coordinated outfit to every class. Let me tell you that that lasted for one single day. So what's the reality? You take a shower the night before class, and throw on some leggings and a big tshirt and sleep in what you plan to wear to class. Yeah, okay, occasionally I feel like wearing real clothes and put on some ballet flats with cuffed jeans and a solid colored top. But that's the extent of my wardrobe for class. Yes, Thursday-Saturday if you plan on going out you'll need some decently attractive clothes. But, usually, you'll find that you end up wearing your friends clothes 90% off the time. So here's my comprehensive list of what I've worn, what I haven't, and what I suggest you bring to college clothes wise.


  • Dressy clothing
    • ONE formal/fancy maxi dress- Fraternity/sorority formals are a v fun thing. That being said they don't happen until spring (most of the time) so you have some time to buy one if you don't have one. If you have the honor of going to more than one formal just swap dresses with a friend. You'll probably end up wearing 2 that aren't your own anyways!
    • THREE short/tight homecoming/cocktail dresses- My sorority had 2 semi-formals (which is basically homecoming) so you'll need at least one, and 2 just to be safe. Fraternities have cocktails and fancy things too so having some options is key. Like I've said though, and will continue to reiterate- YOU END UP BORROWING ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS CLOTHING. 
    • A nice pencil skirt + blazer- some classes have you dress up for speeches and presentations, plus, greek life = themed parties. Such as librarians and barbarians for example. Also, you'll want to have something semi business like for potential interviews for positions on campus, internships, etc.
  • Casual clothing
    • THREE pairs of jeans- Honestly I stick to 2 of my favorite pair. 
    • Your FAVORITE  dressy tops- I'm talking loved-the-second-you-saw-them-can't-live-without-them-mind-blowingly-cute-tops. I bought an amazing grey piko and black long-sleeved top that I wore out interchangeably every weekend in January with different jewelry and cardigans. You don't need as much as you think. You DON'T need as much as you think. 
    • FOUR/FIVE pairs of shorts- highwaisted jean shorts, regular jean shorts, 2 colored pairs, and a patterned pair and you're good. 
    • TWO/THREE skirts/skorts- just a few will do. 
    • FIVE/SIX sundresses/casual dresses- gotta have them? Bring a few. Especially for GAMEDAYEEE.
    • ALL of the cardigans and flannels you own- why you ask? Because you can wear them over tshirts to class AND out on the weekends. Score :---)
    • Sweaters are hard..- I only wore my neutral tan & white sweaters. I also don't go to school in that too cold of an area. It's your judgement, but only bring your neutral faves. 
    • THREE/FOUR rompers/jumpsuits- I'm biased because I love them so much so I have like 10 at clemson currently if we're being honest. But, if you're more of a dress girl just bring more dresses! Or vice versa.
    • ALL of your leggings/sweats/comfy pants- Fall-spring it's all you'll wear to class and when you're hanging out on weekends. 
    • FIVE/SIX PAIRS of running shorts- unless you're super sporty unlike me!!
    • THREE Tshirts- UNLESS you DO NOT intend on joining a sorority. Greek life SHOWERS you with tshirts and you will never wear your high school ones. That's a promise.
    • As many workout clothes as applicable to your lifestyle. :---) Aka none for dev lol.
  • Shoes
    • FOUR pairs of sandals- neutrals are the most useful! Black, brown, your rainbow flip flops, & one statement pair are the way to go. I have worn my jack roger slides and rainbow flip flops to death.
    • ONE pair of flats- your fave neutral pair.
    • TWO pairs of boots- black and brown is da best.
    • TWO pair of booties- bring a pair you don't mind getting ruined (bc frat parties).
    • Rainboots- I usually wear my nikes in the rain, but it's whatever you prefer.
    • Cowboy boots- **if you're attending college in the south!
    • TWO pairs of closed toe heels- black & nude are the way to go! You absolutely DO NOT need more than 2 pairs... Take it from the girl who brought 11 pairs and brought 10 pairs back home over break.
    • ONE pair of slippers bc dorm bathroom floors are actually repulsive
    • TWO pairs running shoes- campus is quite the hike. You'll want some comfy options. Plus fun things like group kickboxing classes and weekend hikes. :)
    • Converse/vans/toms- Or 10 pair converse.. luh em.
    • TWO pair of wedges- neutrals, neutrals, neutrals.
  • Undies/bras
    • THREE/FOUR bras- I can count on one hand how many times I've worn a bra this semester.. it's either sticky boobs or a sports bra! You'll need a neutral bra, a strapless, & a cute one.. bc ya know. 
    • ONE pair of sticky boobs
    • ALL of your undies + MORE- You'll never wanna do laundry and you can avoid it as long as you have clean underwear. GET YOUR MOM TO BUY YOU AS MANY AS YOU CAN BEFORE COLLEGE.
    • ALL of your socks- they always go missing.. it's fine really.
  • Accessories
    • THREE/FOUR scarves- A couple chunky infinity scarfs are perfect for those colder days walking to class.
    • ALL of your hats- because rolling out of bed for your 8AM is most definitely a thing.
    • THREE statement necklaces- You'll only be wearing these on your nights out so choose accordingly!
    • ONE watch- Some classes have tests where it's hard to see a clock and a watch is vital..plus they're v cute.
    • As many earrings/bracelets you deem necessary.
    • ONE big handbag
    • ONE tote bag
    • ONE wallet
    • ONE wristlet
    • ONE cross body
    • ONE carry on bag/small weekender bag for weekend trips
      • Different bags for different occasions are a necessity, but you don't need more than one of each! A big nice handbag will come in handy for those times you need something cute to fit a ton of stuff in. A tote serves its purpose for taking things home on break or for an overnight stay with a friend. A wallet is a necessity for not losing your ID card and cash/cards. A wristlet is perfect for a night out and a cross body is your best friend on game day or a nice dinner!

DORM ITEMS
Things you need, things you might need, and things you can live without, below!


Things that'll become your lifeline-

  • A lap desk/tray table for homework
  • A laptop case 
  • Laptop sleeve (yes, it's different than a case!)
  • A vaccum (no they don't clean your room for you- sad reality)
  • A steamer (irons are too bulky. Steamers are like $20 at bed bath and beyond)
  • A stool for high shelves/closet cubbies/climbing into your lofted bed.
  • A clock that isn't your phone.
  • A stapler.
  • A 3 hole punch.
  • A printer because walking to the nearest one on campus when you forget to print something sucks. **I bought my HP one for $20 at walmart and it does its job. 
  • A nice water bottle that you can drag to class/the gym/everywhere that won't break with one drop. Got mine at Burlington for $3 and it's my fave.
  • A brita water filter bc there's something sketch about dorm water lol.
  • Blackout curtains so you don't wake up at 6am to sun rays streaming into your eyeballs after a successful night out. 
  • A lifetime supply of medicine. Your immune system WILL decide to hate you freshman year. Get cold medicine, advil, cough medicine, throat lozenges, and every other kind of medicine you've ever seen. Honestly. You'll go through it all. 
  • A body pillow to cuddle up with for the best naps you've ever had.
  • A shower caddy that's plastic and not a bag. You'll thank me when you see other people's molding. 
  • A keurig but I'm sure you already knew that. 
  • Tupperware and forks/knives/spoons (plastic)
  • A couple tumblers/cups
  • Dry shampoo because showering is overrated
  • A laundry basket that doesn't consume half of your room.
  • A HUGE TRASH CAN. You will produce more trash than you ever knew possible.
  • Extra phone charger, headphones, and cases.
  • Seat cushions for the less than impressive desk chair they provide you with.
  • Ethernet cable because campus wifi will never have your back.
  • HDMI cord because netflix nights with your best friends are definitely a thing. 
  • Travel sewing kit because one successful night you'll find your favorite shirt with a hole in the armpit.
  • A SUPER comfy bed topper because you'll be sleeping on it every night, duh.
  • A SUPER comfy futon because when you aren't sleeping you'll be napping.. on this.
  • Extra blankets for guests and friends. 
  • More clear storage bins than you ever imagined needing. 
  • A desk lamp because some nights you might need to stay up later than your roomie. 
  • All the gift cards you've failed to use. 
  • A plastic compartment jewelry holder that is on a hanger. 
  • TISSUES for days!!!
  • Metal/over the door holders. I had 4 hanging off of my lofted bed to hold bags and towels.
  • An umbrella because unfortunately they don't cancel class for rain. :---)

Things you might consider bringing-

  • Weird clothes for party themes. Fike at pike (gym theme) Alpha Chi Omerica (america theme) Chiochella (cochella theme) and lots of other themed greek events/parties tend to come up. Anything you can bring the better for these weird events! Even if you don't go greek you'll end up crashing/getting invited to a few. Some things I recommend-
    • high socks
    • bandanas 
    • white converse 
    • sports jerseys 
    • decade themed clothes 20's 80's etc.
    • anything america theme
    • a tacky Christmas sweater
  • Stamps and envelopes because sending your parents a birthday card becomes a thing when you don't live with them anymore and they're paying your tuition so just spend the $4 for a nice one.
  • Highlighter/sticky notes- not everyones cup of tea but they've come in handy for me.
  • A fan if you're afraid of the sucky/nonexistent temperature control in dorms. 
  • An area rug because the carpet/tile is gonna be gross I promise. 
  • A cooler because you'll probably have to paint one for a fraternity event. 
  • A full length mirror.. some schools have them in the hallways but having one in your room doesn't hurt. 
  • A robe/wrap towel because regular towels are so 1999. 
  • Travel coffee mugs because most of the time you just grab one on the go or chug one when you wake up. 
  • Hand sanitizer + lysol wipes + vitamin C because at some point everyone you know will be sick during  the biggest test week of your semester besides finals. And when you're living near people that are sick you're almost guaranteed to catch it.
  • Safety pins and tape because things break and no one knows how to fix them.
  • Batteries for your remote, calculator etc.
  • Ziploc bags for snacks and things that you open and need a place for. 
  • Phone case that holds your ID card/debit card because you use it every waking second of your college life. 

Things you can live without-

  • Closet compacters- I thought I needed all of these contraptions to make all of my clothes squeeze into my closet.. you don't. 
  • A dorm trunk.. you already have no room and now you want to put a huge piece of furniture in your room too?
  • A safe. Lock your door or leave it at home.
  • Binders- it's college. You take notes on your laptop or in one huge notebook.
  • A really cool chair for extra seating- sitting on the floor is totally a thing, as long as you have a cool rug.
  • A million pictures of your BFFs from high school. You'll remember them, and you'll rarely glance at your pictures.
  • Mini tool kit.. drill into the wall and you'll owe the school at least $10 per hole.
  • A lint brush if it's dirty just wash it again.
  • Your entire collection of nail polish. 
  • Portable speakers unless you want to be on your RA's hit list. 
  • Your super fancy handbags that cost more than this semester's books.
  • Drying rack because 1 you'll rarely want to do laundry and 2 a clothes hanger hanging off of almost anything in your room does the trick.
  • Candles because getting caught with them during fire inspections isn't worth it.
  • Your tablet. Seriously you think you're gonna have time to browse the web on your iPad?? No, just no. 
  • A whiteboard calendar, as long as you have some form of calendar/agenda you're good to go.
  • Your collection of DVD's because Netflix is all you'll ever watch. 
  • 2 sets of sheets.. wash your one pair. C'mon now. 
  • Your high school boyfriend. :) :) :) :)

I'd also recommend stocking up on toiletries and non perishable foods with your parents once they drop you off at college. Trust me when I say it sucks buying your own toothpaste and shampoo.

I hope this list helped clear a few items up for you.It's honestly all about your preferences and lifestyle at home! In the few months leading up to college, pay attention to the items you use on a daily basis. It'll make it so much easier when the time actually comes to pack up and go off to school. And just remember- things can be shipped or rebought if you forget something!

Do yourself a favor and start shopping NOW picking up some of these items. It'll make the sticker shock of collecting everything at once and last minute a thing of the past. Also, by summer EVERYONE is going to be shopping for dorm supplies AKA less of a selection for you.

MY recommended stores- (Avoid big stores like bed bath & beyond, target, kohl's etc. They are usually overpriced)

  • Amazon
  • Ebay
  • Marshall's
  • Ross
  • Home Goods
  • BURLINGTON AND BIG LOTS. I got most of my stuff from these 2 places. They have a lot of selection and they are C-H-E-A-P.
AND USE ALL OF THE GIFT CARDS FOR THESE PLACES YOU GET AS GRAD GIFTS.

PS. A special thanks to my clem friends for helping compile this list!!

XO,
Dev <3 

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