Friday, July 27, 2012

The Do's, Don'ts, and I Actually Need That? Brings for Fall Semester...

Happy Friday everyone!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and is ready for a hopefully relaxing weekend. We are one week closer (less than a month until everyone moves in- AAAAHHH!!) to heading back to SMC, I thought what a great time it would be to talk to my wonderful readers about the things you do, don't, and may not even think of for the fall semester.

I think the biggest lesson I learned my first year at SMC was that I overpacked... big time.

That's totally understandable though!! Most people who go off to college have never been away from home for an extended amount of time. In a way, I think we take for granted that we have usually have everything we need at home. When we're away from our home, it's kind of like we pack as if we're preparing for all the important things- the world ending, Vermont freezing over in August, Alliot loosing all it's food, you know, all the very typical things hahaha!!

I had four huge storage bins full of every piece of clothing I owned for every season. I had a ton of food, a ton of well... everything!! Most of which, ha- I didn't need!!

My sophomore year was so much easier to pack for because I had gained the experience of what I actually needed and what I could keep at home, for good or to bring back later in the year.


1) Summer and fall clothing: August is a hot month. Just because Vermont gets the rep that it's always freezing cold, believe me, once you're in the dorms the first weeks, you want some shorts and t-shirts to throw on.

2) Fan: As mentioned above, those first couple of weeks are pretty hot. It can also get a bit toasty during winter when the heat is on full blast. Fans are a must to keep air circulating throughout your dorm!! I always think a standing fan is awesome and you can even talk to your roommate about chipping in together to get one.

3) Rain Boots and Jacket: As much as it is gorgeous, Vermont also has its rainy days. Come prepared with a rain jacket that will protect you from the wet and some rain boots to splash around in the puddles (one of my favorite things to do at SMC :)

4) Shower Caddy and Shower Shoes: So, while I knew about the shower shoes, I didn't know about the shower caddy. Shower shoes are a must- remember, you're sharing a bathroom with 20 other people. Shower caddies are just great ways to keep all your shower stuff together and so easy to bring to and from your room to the bathroom.

5) Extra Towels and Sheets: I always think it's important to have a little extra of these, just in case. I always have two pairs of sheets, towels, and pillow cases in one of my storage bins. Towels can still be wet the next day, so you always have a spare to dry off. Also, bring a hand towel with you!! With sheets, you'll most likely be inviting new friends to see your room, having vent sessions with the amazing Freals from the Knight Stand at 11pm, or even movie nights with take out. Most likely, you and your visitors will be sitting on your bed and whoops something spills. Instead of immediately going downstairs to the basement and washing it, you just put on your extra set of sheets and you'll be good to go :)

Here is my freshman roommate and amazing friend, Bri and I wearing our fleeces!!
6) Fleece: My fleece is my life at SMC. That is the jacket I probably wear most all year. For the cooler weather, bring a jacket- whether it be a fleece, pea coat, or a jacket that will keep you warm, but not make you overheated.

7) Comfortable Footwear: Bring shoes that are comfortable for you. My usual shoes in my closet are my worn out Sketchers (oh so comfy) rain boots, flip flops for warmer weather, flats, my Uggs, a fancy pair of dress shoes, and my slippers. Oh and my snow boots after Columbus day. That's it for the whole year. I wouldn't recommend bringing all your shoes from home, but what you think you'll use, be comfortable, and of course, look good in :)

8) Bed Risers: I was just talking to my new friend, Sarah, about this on Class of 2016!! When you move in, the beds are about 1-2 ft off the ground, which for me personally, was a little too low. I'm really clumsy and toss and turn in my sleep, so lofting was not going to work for me, but I wanted to put my storage underneath my bed. If you're like me, I would totally invest in bed risers. The give your bed the extra height it needs (about hip height) you can put storage underneath, and it's just the perfect balance :)

9) Positive Attitude: I know it can be a bit scary entering into a new place, not really knowing anyone. That's why it is so important to bring an open and positive attitude. Take it from a scardy cat shy girl like me- I secretly hate new things and can be kind of quiet. However, what I've learned is that no matter whether you're extremely shy or extremely outgoing, you need to be willing to go out of your comfort zone, no matter how tough it is. Everyone is going through the same things as you are- wanting to meet new friends, be accepted, have fun, etc. You just need to put yourself out there with a smile and I guarantee you will meet some amazing people :)

1) Your winter coat. No, just no!! Don't do it!! If your winter jacket is like mine, it is poofy and takes up a lot of space. My advice is to bring it up after Columbus day vacation or even Thanksgiving. If you bring it up on move in day, it'll just be sitting there in your closet.

2) Too Much Storage: I'm the first one to admit I love a good storage bin. Yeah, I know, kind of weird, but it's true. Storage is awesome to have to keep extra clothes, snacks, linens, etc. However, too much storage can be wasted space. I brought up four long storage bins and kept adding and adding more storage throughout the year. I thought my parents were going to kill me on move-out day when I had accumulated almost 10 different sizes of storage bins. Oops!! Bring enough storage, but if you can bring some back home with your family or fit a couple of more things into one, it'll definitely be easier on move out day.

3) Knowing the difference between what you need and what you want, but really won't use: Like I mentioned before, over packing is something we all face. I recommend sitting down and doing a list of what you definitely need and what you really won't use.

I Actually Need That???

1) First Aid Kit: My wonderful readers, if you get to know me at SMC (which I hope you do- I love new friends!!) then you will know about my huge first aid box. Yes, a box. I come prepared hahaha!! I remember being so caught up in the excitement of going to SMC that I didn't think I could possibly get a cut or catch a cold. Well, thank goodness for my mom and dad, who brought me back to reality and prepared me with my first aid box. Always have at hand some Band Aids, Advil or Tylenol, cough drops, thermometer and any prescriptions you may be taking.

2) Photos: Making your room your second home is extremely important. It can sometimes be a tough transition leaving home. As you start taking pictures at SMC, you can continue adding on!! I personally have a collage of my family and friends back home and my SMC family always on my wall- it's just a great way to bring a little of one home to another :)

3) Christmas Lights: Ooooh how I love Christmas lights!! There are so many colors and shapes- it's just wonderful!! Christmas lights are extremely common in the dorms because they add a little extra brightness, for a relatively inexpensive price. I personally bought one set of pink and one set of white Christmas lights and intertwined them, to go with the colors of my room, all for $19.99 at Walmart.

4) Hand Santizer and Tissues: Wherever you are, germs can spread left and right, especially on a college campus. That's why it is always important to have a pack of tissues and a pocket hand sanitizer in your bag and a good sized sanitizer and a box of tissues for your desk.

5) Tape, Stapler, and Scissors: No matter what year you are, whether it be a first year or a senior, somebody is going to ask you for tape or a stapler. Ask my best friend, Marci, who I seem to use all her tape and command strips throughout the year to put things up (Thank you Marci!!) I finally brought my own stapler this year and it is important, especially since you'll be stapling a lot of papers and projects for class. Scissors are just good for so much- doing crafts with friends, cutting things for projects, etc. 

There are so many other things that I could include here, but I think these are the basics. If you guys have any questions or recommendations to the list, let me know, and I'll be happy to add them!!

Remember, never hesitate to get in touch with me via a question on Formspring, a tweet on Twitter, or shoot me an email- I'm always so happy to hear from my wonderful readers!!

Until next time, I send you my very best wishes,
Alex :)

PS- thank you to Target and Google for letting me use these images, couldn't have done it without them!!

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