Blog, College Prep

College Prep: 5 Tips for Packing for College

^^Be sure to Pin this to your Pinterest board!^^

I would say that packing for college is probably the most exciting (and sort of stressful) part of moving off to college. The thought of having a new place and getting to decorate is (most) every girl’s dream. But…what about everything else? Clothes? Toiletries? Kitchen supplies? It seems that the list builds and builds, and It get get a bit overwhelming to decide what exactly to bring. So, I have a few tips and basic lists to help get you started!

1. Plan Your Packing Early!

First, do NOT wait until a few days or a week before to start figuring out what you need to bring! The worst is being rushed when you’re packing because you tend to either overpack or forget to pack the essentials! I would recommend start planning what to pack as early as possible, that way when It comes time to pack you will be most prepared.

2. Make a List

This is probably my most important tip! I LOVE making lists. Scratching things off of a list brings me so much satisfaction. I literally make a list every day of things I need to do or things I need to grab at the store. Making a list for packing is no different! I always do this whenever my husband and I are planning a trip. So what do you include on this list?From the time that you wake up until the time that you go to bed make a list of every thing that you use throughout the day (just make a list on your phone!). Do this for a few days to about a week. I know It seems silly and a bit tedious, but you would be surprised by how much stuff you use and need every day. Let’s using getting ready in the bathroom for example. You get in the shower, use the shower, dry off, then use your after-shower products. Seems like it would be a short list, right? Well, think of it this way: When you got in the shower you pulled back your SHOWER CURTAIN, turned on the water and used your SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, BODY WASH, LOOFAH, (and whatever else is from your shower routine). Next, you stepped out of the shower on your BATH MAT and grabbed a TOWEL. You dried off, used a BLOW DRYER for your hair and your STYLING TOOL (as well as any HAIR PRODUCTS), then put on your MAKEUP. Do you see what I mean? That’s a lot of things that you just used and you don’t even think about it on a daily basis! From this list, you should be able to see what items you use most often and are essential and items that aren’t as essential, but if you were in a bind you would need It!

3. Consider ALL Weather Conditions and Activities for Packing Clothes

Unless you aren’t able or don’t plan on going back home on your breaks, I wouldn’t suggest showing up to move-in day like Elle Woods did in Legally Blonde. Think of where you’re university is… For instance, I am in Florida where there are two seasons: mostly hot and cold. From April until maybe October, the weather here is pretty warm (depending on what part of Florida you’re talking about). So, I would pack accordingly for having mostly warm-weather clothes with a few pullovers, sweaters, yoga pants, etc. for the cooler days. This is assuming that I would be able to go back home and grab some clothes for the colder days. HOWEVER, you need to plan for ALL weather conditions! What happens if It rains? You’ll need a rain jacket, an umbrella, and rain boots! A lot of times there are some classrooms on campus that feel like the arctic. So, when the weather is too warm outside for long sleeves, but unbearably too cold inside to focus, what do you do? Pack a light jacket or a light pullover that you can carry or toss in your bag.Also consider different activities that you will be doing. For example, you’ll need work out clothes, sleepwear, casual outfits, dressier outfits for more formal occasions (you would hate yourself if one came up and you didn’t have anything to wear!), etc. And don’t forget your shoes, socks, bras, swimsuits, and underwear!

4. Containers Are Your Best Friend!

When you pack, of course pack some things in a few luggage bags that way when you have to travel you’ll have a bag! But for everything else, buy some cute storage containers and drawers to pack everything in and then use once you’re moved in. Depending on the space of your new dorm or apartment, these will definitely come in handy to keep your space organized and tidy, and help when you move out! Containers that are thin and can slide under the bed are great, and those that you can stack! Little pull out drawers are awesome for small toiletries like hair ties and bobby pins, as well as small office supplies like paper clips, pens, etc.

5. Remember the Little Things

Now that you have an idea of the major things to pack, consider the little things that you don’t use on a daily basis (or things you don’t realize that you use), but would be in a bind if you didn’t have them. For example, I knew that I had a closet in my first dorm that I moved into and brought all of my clothes…but I completely forgot to pack hangers! There have been several times that my clothes ripped or didn’t fit right and I needed a safety pin, so be sure to grab a box of assorted safety pins just in case! Also, I know most everyone can agree how frustrating It is when you need a hair tie or bobby pin and you turn your entire house upside down to find one, knowing that you had a thousand just last week! Be sure to pack those! And most importantly….TOILET PAPER! I know this list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s just to give you an idea of things to consider!Remember, you can always run to the store to grab the things that you need once you move-in. Trust me, you don’t realize the things you need until you don’t have them! That’s why I think It’s important to make a list and think ahead of time about the items that you need to pack. Also, It seems that the stores are out of EVERYTHING during move-in week, so to save you and your parents stress, go buy most all of the things that you don’t have BEFORE you pack up and move off to college!


Blog, College Prep

College Prep Series: A Guide for College Students

Although summer officially started only a few weeks ago, It wont be long before the back-to-school commercials and ads start reappearing. This got me thinking about how I can make the most of my blog, my experience, and education to offer advice to those just entering college or those still navigating the waters of college. When I first entered college I, like all students, went in wide-eyed and ready for the college experience. However, looking back there were several things I wish I had known or prepared for going in. Sure, college is the place to learn about yourself and figure things out for yourself, but it surely would have helped to have several tools in my bag to best help navigate the academic and social waters in the college setting. At an internship I developed this program called College 101 and it was tailored towards incoming freshman. From this, I hope to take the topics I addressed and offer fun, light, yet informative posts not only for freshman, but for all college students. First, let me give you a quick background on my experience and credentials…

After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree (in Child and Family Development), I went to pursue my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. While I was there, I worked as an academic advisor for my graduate assistantship. While I worked with all students, I mainly worked with freshman. I decided that clinical work wasn’t for me and I wanted to do something more researched-based, so I took a leap of faith and started my master’s degree all over in another program (Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University). I have since completed my masters and I am now working on my Ph.D. In Human Development and Family Sciences still at Florida State. While I have been here I have worked as a teaching assistant every semester and have taught a few classes as well. I am also a Family Life Educator which means I teach programs on important topics for individuals and families across the lifespan. For example, I take a topic like sexuality education but tailor It towards a specific audiences. Although it’s the same topic, the class for teenagers would look very different than one for an older adult. Why? Because they’re at different points in their lives and need different types of information!

This has given me a great hands-on experience working with college students. Most importantly, It has given me great insight to the needs of college students and getting to know and understand their experience and how I can best promote their learning experience. Also, It has made me aware of what some students need more help and guidance with–things that I, too, wish I had known or had support with when I was going through college.

So, this is where I need your help. I already have a list of topics that I am going to cover, but if there is anything that you would like to know more about please comment and let me know! Think of this as an inside look to academia and the college setting! I really hope to hear some feedback!

Topics for College 101:

Scheduling Classes

Declaring a Major



Social Activities

Class Organization

Simple Survival (i.e., washing clothes, sewing a button, etc.)

Packing for College

Again, please let me know your thoughts!




Painted Cooler Tutorial



I decided to paint a cooler! Everybody in a frat/sorority or just in college needs one! Here is the tutorial how I did it!



Paint (acrylic)

Paint pens



Plastic paint primer

ModPodge or sealant

I went and got the cooler from Walmart and the first thing you are going to do is fill in the labels and indentures with spackling. It takes 24 hours to dry and then after than you can sand it down.

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Once it’s dried, sand it the whole thing down. It’s better to use an electric hand sander than doing it all by hand (besides, it’s really hard to take a picture and using a sander at the same time!). And then take a wet paper towel to wipe of the dust.

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Dry your cooler and then spray with plastic paint primer

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Once the primer dries, then it’s time to start painting! It’s best to go ahead and paint the base coats for each section of the cooler first and it also helps to use a hair dryer to speed up the process if you’re impatient like me!

There were a few logos and such that I wanted to be JUST right so I transferred it by first printing out the image then I placed it on top of newspaper. It’s best to use carbon paper, but if you don’t feel like going to the store, newspaper is your next best bet. (It’s best to cut out a section of the paper that has a lot of black ink on it like a picture) I taped it to the cooler and then traced and pressed down on it with a pen.

Once you have all of your ideas and logos down, time to paint away! It’s best to use paint pens for lettering and outlining! Once you are all finished (I said I was finished about 7 times but I’m such a perfectionist I kept fixing things!)

Also, every time you finish painted a section or side, I would HIGHLY recommend lathering it with mod podge. This will help your work STAY and reduce the risk of it getting scratched!

To finalize the cooler, coat the cooler in ModPodge or sealant to assure that your hard work doesnt scratch off!!

I’m so proud of the finished cooler!