Find Yourself. Bring Your Stuff.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SchickĀ®. The opinions and text are all mine.

For me, college life is all about discovery. “Finding yourself” is cliche, but college is the first real taste of independence I’ve had. And when you’re broken away from the structures that have supported you all your life, it’s not just about adapting to being on your own. Pretty quickly, you realize that even some of the most important parts of your life were only important because they were structured into your day, your week, your month. The people you thought you were close to, you suddenly realize were only friends because you saw them five days a week. Finding yourself is a cliche for a reason – it’s something that happens to a lot of people. But it’s not easy. There are a few things you can bring along, though, to make it easier to be happy in college.

Find Yourself. Bring Your Stuff.

A Packing List to Help You Feel Your Best

Objects aren't the key to happiness, but prepare yourself for the year of discoveries ahead of you with this packing list!

For me, finding myself was a learning process in what makes me happy. I’m very much a grow-where-you’re-planted sort of person, and I can manage to be content just about anywhere short of the depths of Hell. (I’m guessing on that one.) But I’ve noticed a lot of people who just really, genuinely love this school. Sometimes they’re quiet girls who scream their hearts out at basketball games, or boys rocking blue hair as they dance up and down the Quad, but these people have something figured out. They’re not just growing here, they’re blooming. I want to be one of those people, and slowly, I think I’m becoming one.

Treat Your Body Well

This is the basis for everything. Looking good is one thing but feeling good is entirely different. Granted, there’s some overlap, and looking good might help me feel good, but for me, taking care of myself is paramount in being happy. I can feel good in an old tie-dye and Chucks just as easily as I can in my favorite Calvin Klein dress, so long as I feel well-taken-care-of. For me, thing means good hygiene, obviously. Nothing to trigger that anxiety like skipping deodorant for a day.

But I also love doing things to feel pampered. This means mixing up face masks on the dorm room floor, jamming to Spotify with coconut oil in my hair, bubble baths with candles, and even something as simple as well-shaved legs. For that, I rely on Schick Quattro disposable razors. Shaving isn’t something that everyone wants to do, but it makes me feel happy – there’s something satisfying about it. So practice self-care and treat your body well. You deserve it.

Taking care of yourself isn't just the bare necessities. DIY beauty, relaxing candles, a close shave, and other luxuries are a great way to pamper yourself.

Taking care of yourself isn’t just the bare necessities. DIY beauty, relaxing candles, a close shave, and other luxuries are a great way to pamper yourself.

Packing List
  • DIY Beauty essentials like coconut oil and honey.
  • Schick disposable razors.
  • Scented candles – unless your dorm forbids them, that is.

Pursue Your Passions Shamelessly

It’s all too easy to find judgement on a college campus, but there’s also this incredible tolerance for most things. We have a club of people who stage foam sword battles on the South Quad, an entire organization dedicated to watching the campus squirrels, programming, gaming, roleplaying, whatever your mildly-embarrassing passion is, now is the time to indulge it with likeminded individuals. I’ve talked about doing what you love in college before, but this goes a little beyond. If your passion is a nerdy activity, congrats – you’re on a campus full of nerds. If you’re hoping to upgrade your street style and wear something a little outside your comfort zone, you have the freedom to do that.

College is a time to let go of your inhibitions, and to realize that, while cultivating a good reputation is important, you don’t need to conform to the standards of strangers on the street. As long as you’re being a good person, following laws, treating others with respect, you’re going to get a reputation that sets you up for the future. Some random judging you for what you love won’t affect that.

Packing List
  • Musical instruments
  • Favorite games
  • Sports Equipment
  • Basically, whatever you need to do your thing!

Treasure the Good Times

I’m an emotional wreck anytime after 11:30 at night. I will cry about anything, if left alone. It’s way too easy to get down on yourself when you’re going through a rough patch, all too easy to think it’s a bad life, instead of just a bad day. (Or week, or even month – it happens.) I’m not going to tell you to live life to the fullest and smell roses and go on adventures. A million people have told you that and if it hasn’t sunk in by now, it probably never will. What I will say is find a way to hold on to the best moments in your life. Take pictures, take videos, keep a journal, whatever it takes for you. But keep a record of the amazing times in your life to remind you of how great it’s been. Embrace the selfie, is what I’m saying, honestly. I promise, you look great.

And, if you want to see some more great looking people, or win a cool $10,000 towards your tuition (the answers better be “yes and yes!”) you can pop over to the Schick Selfie Sweeps competition, and submit a selfie of your own great times for a chance to win! Or, put it up on Twitter/Instagram with the hashtag #SchickSelfieSweeps, so the whole world knows exactly how good times are for you. Best of luck!

Journaling is a great way to keep track of all the best parts of your life - having a dedicated positivity journal is one of my favorite methods.

Journaling is a great way to keep track of all the best parts of your life – having a dedicated positivity journal is one of my favorite methods.

Packing List
  • A camera (for selfies, of course!)
  • A journal
  • Even a sketchbook to capture happy doodles.

Support Others

Good friends are hard to come by, and the old adage goes that the best way to make a friend is to be one. I embrace that philosophy wholeheartedly. I’m assuming that I don’t have a single reader who’s flaky, rude, or destructive, because I think all of you are probably made of sunshine. But the little things make a friendship. Things like actually making plans – not just “let’s hang out next week” but “Do you want to go to the apple orchard next Saturday at, like, eleven? We could eat lunch there, too.” This is like the holy grail of friendship. You have a friend who plans everything, don’t you? And you love that person, I’m sure (unless their plans suck).

Friend groups also tend to have a person everyone goes to with their troubles. This friend is a great listening ear, gives advice when you need it and just listens when you don’t. When this person is also the planner of the group, I begin to think they’ve been grown in a lab somewhere, designed to be perfect. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to give a little extra effort to the people in your life who matter most. Being this person will attract people who are, in turn, willing to make an effort for you, too.

Packing List
  • A planner or calendar
  • A killer playlist or two
  • Tissues (no one ever has them when they need them!)
  • Baking supplies. You can’t be sad with a cupcake, it’s science.

Okay, necessary disclaimer – objects will not make you happy, stuff will not help you find yourself. But if you’re going to do college right, if you’re going to figure out what it is that makes you feel alive, you’re not going to do it in an empty room, either. When you’re shopping for college, focus on utility, of course, but things that make you feel good are useful, too. Don’t neglect your sense of self, no matter how busy college gets.

What are your must-haves for finding yourself in college? Is there anything I left off the list you wish you’d brought? And will I be seeing your lovely faces in the #SchickSelfieSweeps?