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What to Bring to College: The Best College Packing List Ever

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If you ask me, one of the most exciting parts of college is packing. Think about it: you're grabbing everything you need to build your ~brand new life~ as a college student, and it's a pretty big deal. But while it's super exciting, it can also be really, really stressful. And that's where, with help from some of my fave brands, I come in. Welcome to the College Packing list, your guide to everything you need for college.

Whether you're moving into a dorm, off-campus housing, an apartment or even just redecorating your bedroom at home, refreshing that space is the best way to start the semester off on a fresh note. From the key items (hello, bedding and snacks!) to little details and the small things you're bound to forget, here at HCHQ we have years of college shopping knowledge all rounded up into one comprehensive list. Ready to start shopping?! Me too!

 

Bedding

college packing listIs anything more important than the perfect bedding for your first college bedroom? As far as I'm concerned, nope, not really. Your bed is where you'll end up spending a good amount of time, from eating late-night take-out to cramming for your final. So make it a cozy space you can be proud of — and take some amazing shots for Insta.

  • Bedbug-protecting mattress cover (HC Pick)
  • Foam topper (HC Pick)
  • Mattress pad (HC Pick)
  • Twin XL sheet set (HC Pick)
  • Duvet and duvet cover or comforter set (HC Pick)
  • Twin XL bed skirt
  • Pillows 
  • Pillowcases 
  • Reading pillow
  • Throw blanket (HC Pick)
  • Throw pillows (HC Pick)
  • Underbed storage  (HC Pick)
  • Sleeping bag or air mattress (HC Pick)

Room

college packing listIn college, your room is like... your entire living space. So don't underestimate the importance of a really killer set-up. Picture brand new friends walking into your room (or video calling and admiring your background!). What do you want them to see? What's the vibe you want to give off? If it was up to me, here's what I'd get.

Laundry

college packing listWelcome to college, otherwise known as your introduction to doing your own laundry 100% of the time. Want clean leggings? You've gotta wash them yourself. Want to not run out of underwear before the week ends — hey, it happens — throw them in the wash. The last thing you want is to realize that, no, college laundry rooms actually don't provide you with stain remover or drying sheets, so come prepared.

  • Laundry hamper or bag 
  • Lingerie bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Color catchers
  • Fabric softener
  • Stain remover
  • Dryer sheets
  • Drying rack
  • Garment bag
  • Iron
  • Ironing board 
  • Lint brush
  • Portable stain remover pen
  • Quarters
  • Sewing kit 

Food

college packing list

Food doesn't grow on trees in college. Well, it might, if you live in Florida or something. But your pantry (or, more likely, the plastic storage bin under your bed) isn't going to suddenly appear stocked with food. So stock it up with just a few of my faves, because microwavable food is a lifestyle.

    • Bulk snacks 
    • Bottled water
    • Granola bars
    • Popcorn
    • Microwavable meals (HC Pick: Tasty Bite Channa Masala or Thai Ginger Curry)
    • Cereal
    • Coffee
    • Coffee creamer
    • Lentils (HC Pick: Tasty Bite Madras Lentils)
    • Sugar
    • Instant hot chocolate
    • Gum 
    • Microwaveable rice (HC Pick: Tasty Bite Basmati Rice or Coconut Rice)
    • Ramen
    • Soup
    • Instant oatmeal
    • Peanut butter and jelly

    Desk/School Supplies

    college packing listWho doesn't love the fresh smell of school supplies? School supplies are a little different in high school than they are in college, mostly because you'll definitely have one professor who will totally chew you out if you don't own a stapler (trust me). You're at college to learn, so do so ~in style~ so you can impress all of your new classmates and also inspire yourself via your fave notebook. Plus, keep your desk as stocked as your closet and you'll never run into an awkward, last minute, "Wait, can I borrow a highlighter?" situation. 

    • Backpack 
    • Tote bag
    • Binder clips
    • Paper clips 
    • Binders
    • Business cards
    • Calculator
    • Calendar
    • Clicker 
    • Desk chair 
    • Desk lamp 
    • Desk organizer
    • Envelopes
    • Stamps
    • Cards/notes to send home
    • File folder for important documents 
    • Desk storage box 
    • Folders
    • Glue
    • Notebook paper
    • Notebooks
    • Notepads
    • Index cards
    • Sticky notes
    • Journal
    • Laptop fan/stand 
    • Pencil case
    • Pencil sharpener
    • Pencils
    • Erasers
    • Pens/colored pens
    • Permanent marker
    • Highlighters
    • White out
    • Planner
    • Portfolio/portfolio case for interviews
    • Lunchbox 
    • Rubber bands
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Stapler
    • Staples
    • Staple remover
    • Tape 
    • Textbooks
    • Three-hole punch

    Kitchen Supplies

    college packing listDepending on where you end up going to school, your kitchen could be anything from a microwave and a mini-fridge to a legit kitchen you're sharing with your roommates. Your college kitchen has to serve your needs whether you're trying to save money by making your coffee at home and taking it to go, or trying to dabble a bit in being a college foodie. 

    • Blender 
    • Microwave (if your school allows it)
    • Mini fridge (if your school allows it)
    • Toaster (if your school allows it)
    • Coffee maker 
    • Oven mitt
    • Water boiler
    • Water filter pitcher 
    • Water filters 
    • Reusable water bottle 
    • Utensils
    • Knives 
    • Dishes 
    • Mugs 
    • Travel mug
    • Bottle opener
    • Can opener
    • Chip clips
    • Napkins
    • Food storage containers
    • Plastic wrap
    • Paper plates
    • Sealable plastic bags
    • Tinfoil
    • Dish towels 
    • Paper towels
    • Dishwashing soap
    • Hand soap
    • Disinfecting wipes
    • Glass cleaner
    • Sponges
    • Duster
    • Broom
    • Dustpan
    • Mini vacuum
    • Mop
    • Trash bags

    Tech

    college packing listSchool supplies in college definitely require a new category: tech. You'll have papers to send, emails to write, and endless photos to take. Keep your documents fresh (and fast!) with my tech essentials. 

    • Laptop 
    • External hard drive
    • Flash drives
    • Keyboard
    • Wireless mouse
    • Lap desk/stand 
    • Laptop case 
    • Camera
    • SD card for camera
    • E-reader
    • Tablet 
    • Chargers (phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
    • Portable phone charger 
    • Ethernet cable
    • HDMI cable
    • Extension cords
    • Adapters (HDMI, ethernet, etc)
    • Headphones and spare headphones 
    • Speakers 
    • Printer 
    • Printer ink
    • Cord organizer 
    • Printer paper
    • Router
    • Surge protectors 
    • TV 
    • TV stand 
    • Batteries

    Bathroom

    college packing listWhether you got lucky and ended up in a dorm with its own bathroom, or if you’ll be experiencing the ~communal bathroom life~ here’s everything you need to pack:Air freshener

    • Shower curtain and rings (if needed)
    • Shower mat
    • Shower organizer (if your school allows it) 
    • Upgraded showerhead (if your school allows it)
    • Bathroom rug
    • Shower shoes
    • Shower cap
    • Shower caddy 
    • Bath pouf
    • Loofah
    • Washcloths
    • Bath towels
    • Hand towels
    • Bathrobe 
    • Tumbler/cup
    • Bathroom cleaning supplies (if you need them for your dorm: i.e., drain cleaner, glass cleaner, rubber gloves, shower cleaner, sponges, toilet brush, toilet cleaner)
    • Scale

    Toiletries

    college packing list

    While sharing with your friends can be fun, it gets a little awkward when they ask to borrow your moisturizer the third time around. So share this list with your roommates and get prepared (together!) for all of this semester’s beauty needs.

      Products 

      Supplies

      • Hand mirror
      • Toothbrush
      • Floss
      • Toothbrush holder
      • Razor
      • Tweezers
      • Hairbrush
      • Comb
      • Bobby pins
      • Blow dryer
      • Diffusers
      • Hair curlers
      • Curling iron
      • Hair straightener
      • Hair ties
      • Hair clips
      • Headbands
      • Contacts, solution, and case
      • Eyeglasses and case
      • Eyeglass cleaner
      • Cotton balls
      • Cotton swabs
      • Tissues
      • Makeup brushes
      • Nail clippers
      • Nail files
      • Pumice stone
      • Tampons and pads
      • Toilet paper

      Clothing

      college packing listThe fun part: your closet. Prepare for every single girl's night in, party, tailgate, formal, and that really fun time of year where your professor makes you dress up to give a presentation. Don't forget your favorite high school sweatshirt for when you're feeling nostalgic. 

      • Bras 
      • Underwear
      • Shapewear
      • Sports bras 
      • Pajamas
      • Casual dresses
      • Little black dress
      • Semi-formal dresses
      • Formal dress
      • Going-out clothes
      • Long-sleeve shirts
      • Short-sleeve shirts
      • T-shirts
      • Tank tops
      • Jeans
      • Pants
      • Leggings/Yoga pants 
      • Shorts
      • Skirts
      • Professional clothing (dress, dress pants, button-down shirts, skirts, blazers, shoes, purse)
      • Belts
      • Tights
      • Sweaters
      • Sweatpants
      • Sweatshirts 
      • Fleece
      • Jackets
      • Raincoat
      • Winter coat
      • Gloves
      • Workout pants 
      • Workout tops 
      • Running shoes 
      • Boots
      • Casual shoes
      • Flats
      • Flip-flops
      • Heels
      • Rain boots
      • Snow boots
      • Everyday sneakers 
      • Slipper socks
      • Socks
      • Socks for rain boots
      • Slippers
      • Sunglasses
      • Bathing suits
      • Hats
      • Scarves
      • Watch
      • Wristlet
      • Everyday purse
      • Formal clutch
      • Going-out purse
      • Change purse
      • Gym bag 
      • Jewelry
      • Costume clothing for theme parties/extracurricular events

      Documents

      college packing list

      You're a grown-up, now. Carry your own stuff. The fun part? You'll be ready to jet-set come spring break without panicking about your parents being able to get your passport in the mail on time. Bon voyage! 

        • Bank documents
        • Credit card
        • Debit card
        • Checks
        • Driver’s license
        • Car registration and insurance information
        • AAA card
        • Copy of birth certificate
        • Copy of Social Security card
        • Passport
        • Student ID
        • Emergency contact list
        • Financial aid documents
        • Health/dental insurance cards
        • Lease (if you have an apartment)
        • Renters insurance (if you have an apartment)
        • Product warranties

        Medical

        college packing listDorms definitely don't come with a stocked medicine cabinet, so come prepared and save yourself, and your roommates, a rush trip to the drugstore. 

          Allergy medicine

          • Aloe lotion
          • Antiseptic wipes
          • Cortisone cream
          • Vaseline
          • Bandages
          • Blister bandages
          • First aid kit
          • Birth control 
          • Condoms
          • Menstrual pain medication
          • Cold medicine 
          • Decongestant
          • Throat drops/lozenges
          • Throat spray
          • Eye drops
          • Hot and cold packs
          • Humidifier
          • Insect repellent
          • Multivitamins
          • Supplements (iron pills, etc.)
          • Over-the-counter pain medication
          • Prescription medicine
          • Prescription refill information
          • Retainer/mouthguard
          • Rubbing alcohol
          • Thermometer
          • Thermometer covers
          • Upset stomach medication

          Extras that make college better

          college packing list

          Whether you’re studying on campus or remotely, you'll want to grab the below to make sure you can handle whatever random moments pop up during the semester. From being prepared for game night to hanging up your new poster (thanks to Command™ Brand Products) these items are curated to help you be ready for anything!

          • Command™ Large Picture Hanging Strips (HC Pick)
          • Command™ Poster Strips (HC Pick)
          • Command™ Bath Large Satin Nickel Double Hook (HC Pick)
          • Command™ Medium Brushed Nickel Hook (HC Pick)
          • Command™ Large Brushed Nickel Hook (HC Pick)
          • Lightbulbs
          • Safety pins
          • Safety whistle
          • Playing cards
          • Art supplies
          • Beach towel
          • Bike
          • Bike helmet
          • Bike lock
          • Board games
          • Books to read for fun
          • Video game console
          • DVDs
          • Musical instruments
          • Earplugs
          • Sleep mask
          • Flashlight
          • Weekend bag
          • Travel organizer for toiletries
          • Suitcase/duffel bag
          • Luggage tags
          • Umbrella
          • Vacuum
          • Hand weights
          • Yoga mat
          • Sports equipment

          5 of the Most Influential Books You Should Read in Your 20s

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          Our 20s are a critical period of time for self-discovery, and they're pivotal in setting the pace for the rest of our lives. While 80% of life’s most defining moments happen by age 35, perhaps more importantly, the personal qualities and habits formed in our early adult years can either maximize or limit the potential we have in our later adult years. Surrounding ourselves with resources and people who support our personal development is key to future success, and any attempt (including self-proclaimed “failures”) should be celebrated. Below are five of the most influential books to help gain clarity on what you truly want from life, and how to get there.

           

          Panera Is Giving You Free Coffee All Summer Long (But You Have to Sign Up by the 4th!)

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          If there's one rule for being a college student, it's that you can never drink too much coffee. Whether you like it iced or hot, at least you can agree that it’s what keeps you fueled all day long. This summer, Panera wants to help you out. They're giving out free coffee to anyone who registers for MyPanera+ Coffee. Usually $8.99 plus tax a month, Panera has waived the fee for its coffee program, and anyone who creates an account by July 4, including existing customers, will be able to get a free hot or iced coffee or a hot tea until September 7, 2020. 

          Say goodbye to sad, at-home quarantine coffee, because once you've registered you can go to your local Panera and redeem a free drink as often as every two hours! To join the #FREECOFFEE4SUMMER campaign, you'll have to put in your credit card information, but you won't be billed unless you decide to keep your membership past the September 7 renewal date. But honestly, unlimited coffee for the price of three cups doesn’t sound like that bad of a deal. If you drink a coffee a day, each cup comes out to around 30 cents, and I call that a steal.

          “We asked America if they wanted it, and the answer was a resounding YES — so we’re excited to kick off a summer of free, unlimited premium coffee for our guests through Labor Day,” said Eduardo Luz, Chief Brand & Concept Officer for Panera Bread. “This is our way of sharing the famous Panera Warmth in a new way, as we may be all celebrating summer a little differently this year.”

          Afraid to try a different order than your regular? This is the perfect time to experiment with your coffee order! The best part is, if you like what you’re drinking, there are unlimited refills. The only coffees not covered are cold brew, espresso and cappuccino beverages. Panera is offering online ordering, drive-thru and curbside pickup, so no matter where you are, you’ll be able to social distance while you sip. Catch me in line!

          Here's How I Got A 5-Star Rated Island In 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' (Without Time Travel)

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          If you're like me, you're spending countless hours playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons during this endless quarantine. The game's popularity has catapulted during the last few months, and many players have taken to YouTube to showcase their elaborately decorated 5-star islands. But there are still gamers out there struggling to gain that perfect rating from Isabelle. If you're one of them and need a few tips to help you reach the coveted 5-star milestone, look no further; here's how I was able to achieve 5-stars, without any time travel! 

          Embrace Summer, & Your Love of Dunkin', with These Bold New Sunglasses

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          What's better than drinking a Dunkin’ ice coffee in the summer? Drinking a Dunkin’ ice coffee while you rock a pair of sweet new sunglasses! In partnership with Goodr, Dunkin' has release two pairs of Dunkin’ inspired sunglasses, both of which are perfect for a bright summer look. 

          And while repping your favorite brand is always fun, this merch will also have you doing good. For every pair of sunglasses sold, at $25 each, $3 goes to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, which fights childhood hunger and gives medical support to kids in underserved communities. To find out more about the foundation and the work it does for children all around the country, check out bringjoy.org.

          Unfortunately, you can’t just pull up to your nearest Dunkin’ drive-thru to pick up a pair of these sick shades, but they're available on Dunkin’s online pop-up shop, where you also can buy a Dunkin’ face mask to match — $3 from every mask purchased also goes back to benefit the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. 

          You can show your Dunkin’ pride by purchasing a pair of glasses or a face mask until August 31, or while supplies last. Then you’ll be ready to crack open your beach chair and spend an entire day sipping and styling with your Dunkin’. I know I will!

          10 Quiet Vibrators for When You're Trying to Be Discreet

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          One of the biggest challenges of living in a tiny apartment or at home with your family is the general lack of personal space. You still want to pleasure yourself — but how? With nosy siblings, loud parents, or your best friend in the next room, it’s almost impossible to get in the mood. Plus you have the risk of them hearing a not-so-secret vibrating sound coming from under your covers. Save yourself from a few awkward moments and check out my favorite quiet and discreet vibrators.

          Satisfyer Pro 2, $50

          This whisper-quiet vibrator utilizes air-pulse technology, meaning it stimulates the clitoris with airwaves and with direct contact. The rose gold piece is made from soft, medical-grade silicone that's super smooth, extremely hygienic, and can be safely used underwater too.

          Feature Hero Oral Sex Toy Hero

          Crave Vesper, $150

          When I initially heard about a stainless steel vibrator, I was confused. But then when I heard it’s also statement jewelry, I was intrigued. Crave designed it for “beautiful experiences in public and in private, both as elegant jewelry and a strong slim external vibrator.” And seriously, how could you not be intrigued? All four settings are whisper-quiet, so it’s the most discreet piece money can buy. (Add custom engraving for another $10!) 

          Unbound Palma Vibrator Ring, $128

          Continuing along the statement jewelry route, one staple is Unbound’s Waterproof Palma Vibrator Ring. As beautiful as it is effective, this vibrator holds five different settings, all of which you just tap to the beat you prefer. 

          Lovehoney Silencer Whisper Quiet Classic Vibrator, $25

          One of Lovehoney’s most loved products, this vibrator is designed for a beautiful and quiet experience. The reason it’s so loved is that it’s perfect for beginners in that it has quiet features, waterproof material, multiple vibration speeds for maximum pleasure, and a twist base for easy operation. As per Lovehoney’s advice, “Always use with a good quality water-based lubricant for maximum pleasure!” 

          Maude Vibrator, $45

          This vibrator is both aesthetic and powerful. With platinum-grade silicone and soft texture, this toy holds a nearly three-hour charge and three variations to make things a good time.

          Unbound Squish, $99

          This is the quietest and most customizable vibrator you can get your hands on. Just as the name states: the harder you squish, the stronger the vibration. Along with its own settings, you can compose your own vibration. It’s best for powerful clitoral stimulation and works well as a new toy for you and your partner.

          PALOQUETH Waterproof Vibrating Dildo, $20

          This toy's amazing shape makes it so that it presses and pulls right on your G-Spot. With nearly 10 settings and five levels of intensity, you’d think it’d be easy to hear — but even on the highest setting you can’t hear it behind closed doors.

          Ways To Love Your Vagina

          Unbound Bender, $69

          This Unbound best-seller is known for both its quiet vibrations and unbelievable, flexible shape. The flexible body is suited for everything including G-Spot, clitoral, or overall external stimulation. 

          LoveHoney Dream Bullet, $12

          This sleek, discreet and heavenly bullet vibrator is as strong as they come. Its 10 different speeds and pulses are controlled by a single button, so it's not too complicated for beginners. And the bullet's petite proportions make it ideal for travel, or truthfully, hiding it from your roommate.

          LoveHoney Red Hot Flickering Tongue Vibrator, $60

          This unique sex toy uses a flickering tongue motion for an oral-sex-style sensation that’ll leave you tongue-tied. Its pinpoint precision can deliver the most toe-curling and quietest orgasms you’ll experience. It’s soft, quiet, and hypoallergenic. What more could you want?

          These Are the 4 Big Nail Polish Shades of the Summer

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          Summer is here and I can't stop celebrating — even if that doesn't include the usual shenanigans like vacations, road trips, and beach days. Are you also in need of some inspiration to channel all the summer vibes you're missing? Remember that wherever you are, you can never underestimate the power of a good manicure on your mood. These four nail colors will brighten up your look and your day when you need it most. 

           

          The Only Dorm Grocery List You’ll Ever Need

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          Even if you have an unlimited meal plan (and if you do, we're totally jealous!), it’s still smart to keep some staple food items in your dorm. You never know when you’ll be running late for class and need a quick breakfast or when you’ll be up late finishing a paper and craving something sweet. Keeping your mini-fridge stocked means that you'll never have to worry about rushing to the dining hall to grab a meal if you don't have the time between activities.

          To ensure that your dorm is always stocked with a wide variety of versatile food for any time of day, here’s the ultimate dorm grocery list, complete with a few tried-and-true college favorites as well as a few things you may not have thought of! Be sure to print out the full itemized list at the bottom before your next trip to the grocery store. 

          Breakfast

          We hate to break it to you, but at some point, you will inevitably wake up late for your 8 a.m. class and won’t have time to grab something from the dining hall. And there may be a Saturday morning after a night out when you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed before your dining hall's breakfast hours end. Whatever the reason, it’s always a good idea to keep some easy breakfast items on hand.

          Instant oatmeal is great to have because it’s healthy and ready in less than a minute! Another option is cereal; just add some milk. Other grab-and-go breakfast items include fruit (apples, bananas, and oranges don’t need to be refrigerated), yogurt (we love Greek yogurt because it’s full of protein) and granola/protein bars. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t skip it!

          Lunch

          With a college class schedule, you’re likely to have random breaks throughout the day, which means you're bound to end up in your dorm around lunchtime once in a while. The good thing about most lunch items is that they can also double as dinners, which is great news for a college budget.

          Keep it classic with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or if you want to get fancy, buy some sliced turkey and whip up a deli-style lunch. Shredded cheddar cheese between two tortillas makes an easy microwavable quesadilla, perfect with a side of chips and salsa!

          Dinner

          For the nights you get back late from class or just need a break from the dining hall, you'll be happy you have quick dinners in your dorm so you can get straight to work on finishing the last season of your new favorite TV show—er, we meant finishing that term paper. 

          Microwavable food is a college staple, for breakfast, lunch and especially dinner! Tasty Bite’s Madras Lentils and Channa Masalaare both quick to make, and can easily be poured over Tasty Bite Basmati RiceorCoconut Rice. Check out more microwavable options from Tasty Bite here. There are more than 15 All Natural and Organic meals so you’ll never get bored. All Tasty Bite products are ready in 90 seconds or less, so they’re healthy and convenient; you can’t beat that!

          Snacks

          Ask anyone: snacks are extremely important. Whether you’re hanging out for movie night in your dorm with friends or you just need something salty after you come back at midnight, quality snacks are a must.

          Some of the obvious choices are pretzels, chips and crackers. You can either buy them in big bags (if you buy them in bulk, they’re cheaper!) or as individual servings (so you can throw one in your bag on your way out the door). Microwave popcorn is always a favorite, or you can change it up with some trail mix. For a healthier snack, grab a cheese stick along with some carrots and hummus! And of course, you can’t forget some good old ice cream to treat yourself after a long day.

          There you have it! The only dorm grocery list you’ll ever need. Print out the full list below to make sure you remember everything the next time you stock up!

          Full grocery list:

          Produce

          • Apples
          • Bananas
          • Oranges
          • Carrots

          Dairy

          • Yogurt
          • Milk
          • Cheese sticks
          • Shredded cheese

          Protein

          • Sliced turkey/deli meat
          • Pre-cooked chicken strips

          Frozen Items

          • Frozen pizza
          • Frozen veggies 
          • Ice cream

          Easy Meals

          Snacks & Extras

          • Microwave popcorn
          • Dried fruit
          • Trail mix
          • Gum
          • Pretzels
          • Chips
          • Hummus
          • Crackers
          • Salsa
          • Cookies

          Beverages/Beverage Extras

          • Juice
          • Coffee maker
          • Tea
          • Hot chocolate
          • Honey
          • Sugar packets

          Paper Goods/Food Storage

          • Plastic baggies/plastic Tupperware containers
          • Plastic utensils
          • Paper plates
          • Plastic cups
          • To-go coffee cups (or a reusable mug/thermos)
          • Napkins

          This Massachusetts Town is The First in Officially Recognizing Polyamorous Relationships, But What Does That Mean?

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          Some residents of Somerville, Massachusetts may have something to celebrate this summer. Following a new ordinance that was unanimously voted by the city council and signed into law by the mayor, the city will now recognize polyamorous relationships as domestic partnerships. Now, residents will be able to have all the rights associated with a domestic partnership with more than one partner.  

          According to Somerville City Councilor Lance Davis, in an interview with NBC Boston, it was the coronavirus pandemic that led the city to make this somewhat shocking decision. “They were having a hard time visiting their loved ones in the hospital, you know they weren’t married. During COVID-19, this obviously became more of a concern,” Davis said. However, this wasn't just a problem faced by polyamorous individuals; Somerville didn't have any legislation that recognized domestic partnerships, which was the main focus of the decree. The approved ordinance recognizes domestic partnerships, using language that also gives rights to relationships that have more than one partner involved.

          As a result, polyamorous relationships in Somerville have many of the rights given to married couples, such as sharing health insurance benefits and having hospital visitation rights. "It validates their existence, it validates the way they love,” Davis said.

          The approval of this ordinance makes Somerville the first city in the country to legally recognize polyamorous relationships at the local level. 

          So what is a polyamorous relationship? 

          A polyamorous relationship is one where a person of any gender has multiple partners, also of any gender. For a relationship to be considered polyamorous, all parties involved must consent to being in a non-monogamous relationship; otherwise, it's just numerous presumed-monogamous relationships where one partner is cheating on the others. 

          However, there is no rule book for how to have a polyamorous relationship; each is different, and based on the needs of the parties involved. Like any other relationship, the partners do not need to live together, but have a meaningful relationship they are committed to. There are also numerous types of polyamorous relationships. In some, it's only one person who is with two or more people, who are not involved with one another, but other times, all parties are involved with one another. 

          What differentiates it from a polygamist relationship?

          In polygamist relationships – which are illegal in the United States – one person traditionally has multiple spouses of a different gender. It is polygamy when it is only one person who is married to more than one partner; polyamory involves a larger group of people involved with one another. 

          This decision is another big win for the LGBTQ+ community in recent days. Let's hope that more places across the country follow suit. 

          Is Kanye West Really Running for President?

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          Kanye West has teased fans with a potential presidential run for years, but Saturday, July 4 the musician tweeted that he actually plans to run in 2020. 

          Elon Musk replied, “You have my full support!” Kim Kardashian West quote-tweeted her husband’s announcement with an American flag emoji (a picture speaks a thousand words, am I right?). Many fans immediately voiced their support, while others begged their followers not to vote for Kanye or play into the joke. Overall, people had a lot of questions. 

          It's difficult to determine the reality of this tweet. According to Bloomberg, Kanye has not filed with the Federal Election Commission or created a campaign committee, and he has missed the deadline to appear on six state ballots for president. Additionally, Kanye has openly praised Trump and was photographed wearing a MAGA hat while visiting the Oval Office.

          The most likely option seems to be that Kanye’s tweet about the 2020 race is solely a publicity stunt for his upcoming album, “God’s Country” of which the first single was released this week.

          Still, Kanye is an eccentric and notable celebrity. The media ate up Trump’s campaign, and there’s potential for Kanye to also soak up mass amounts of attention. Voters find themselves frustrated with the current presidential candidates, and a familiar face and famous musician may seem like a reasonable choice to write in. But voters overall must think long and hard about the future of this country — a celebrity president sounds enticing, but we’ve learned that political leadership experience matters more. Additionally, some believe that Kayne’s presidential run would damage the Biden campaign, putting power back into the hands of Trump.

          Kanye’s run, publicity stunt or not, simply serves as a distraction. A distraction from an economic crisis. A distraction from a worsening pandemic. A distraction from change. So whether or not the musician's name appears on the ballots, it is necessary to think critically about who should be the next leader of our country during this time of immense collective struggle. 

          As a fashion lover, the thought of the next president delivering his inauguration address in an oversized hoodie and Yeezys excites me. As a college voter with much uncertainty for her future, Kanye’s potential presidency incites fear.

          For more information about voter registration read here.

          Celebrities & Fans Respond to J.K. Rowling's Comments on Gender Identity

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          Last month #ShutUpJKRowling began trending as thousands of people online began reacting to the Harry Potter author’s Twitter thread and 3,700-word essay about the transgender community. Despite claiming to “know and love trans people,” the writer continues to invalidate trans and non-binary people by asserting that only women menstruate, and that prescribed hormone medication is similar to conversion therapy

          Pretty much the entirety of the Twitter universe responded negatively to this, including celebrities, the cast of Rowling’s film adaptations, and many of the franchise’s devoted fans. Here’s a complete roundup of their thoughts and feelings regarding Rowling’s recent controversy that you need to read ASAP.

          Cast

          Daniel Radcliffe

          The face of the Harry Potter film series, who has contributed and worked with The Trevor Project for the last decade, was one of the first to respond with an official statement. “While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken...I feel compelled to say something at this moment,” Radcliffe wrote. “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.” Radcliffe continued assuring readers that their connection to the book, and how they feel about the gender or sexual identities of those in the book, is sacred and should not be tarnished by Rowling’s words.

          Emma Watson

          Miss Hermoine Granger herself, a long-time supporter of the intersectional feminist movement, went to Twitter in response to Rowling’s statements. “Trans people are who they say they are," Watson said to her 29 million followers. “And [they] deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” She then went on to list a few organizations that support the LGTBQ+ community which she donates to, urging her followers to do the same if possible. 

          Rupert Grint

          Grint told the UK’s Sunday Times that he agrees with his Harry Potter castmates and stands with the Transgender community. “Trans women are women. Trans men are men,” Grint says. “We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.” 

          Eddie Redmayne

          Redmayne, star of the spin-off series Fantastic Beasts as well as The Danish Girl (a film loosely based on the transgender Artist Lili Elbe), describes his role in the movement as one that is ongoing and changes when provided education. “Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” he told Variety. “I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”

          Bonnie Wright

          Wright, known for her role as Ginny Weasely, went to Twitter in support of LGBTQ+ fans. “If Harry Potter was a source of love and belonging for you that love is infinite and there to take without judgment or question. Transwomen are Women. I see and love you.” 

          Celebs

          Jonathan Van Ness

          JVN, who came out as non-binary last summer, expressed disapproval of Rowling in a quote-tweet, saying “Trans women are women. Trans Black people & trans non-Black people are discriminated against every single day. They’re dying. We’re fighting for Black people & trans people and you’re doing this?” He didn’t forget what’s important here, either, and made sure to link the Homeless Black Women’s trans fund in a reply tweet as well. 

          Munroe Bergdorf

          Bergdorf, an English transgender model and activist, did not hesitate to create a Twitter thread regarding her thoughts towards Rowling. “J.K. Rowling is not a scientist. She is not a doctor. She is not an expert on gender. She is not a supporter of our community,” she began. “If you want to know what is best for trans people. Listen to trans people. More specifically, listen to black trans women who are navigating covid19, racism and transphobia...black trans women are fighting for our lives. Trans kids are at home scared and navigating unsupportive environments and the government are debating our civil rights. J.K. Rowling, you are not helping us.” 

          Billy Eichner

          The star of Billy on the Street and the 2019 adaptation of The Lion Kingis someone who is known to post in support of marginalized communities to social media. On June 11 he tweeted“If you’re someone getting satisfaction out of publicly denouncing trans or non binary people then there is something else going on in your life and you need to see a therapist.” In a separate tweet, Eichner made sure to include a mantra to live by: “Life is short. Let people be who they are. It doesn’t concern you!”

          Fans

          Mugglenet and The Leaky Cauldron

          Popular fansites Mugglenet and The Leaky Cauldron issued a joint statement regarding Rowling’s comments. They state that they stand with Harry Potter fans during this time, “Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused. Our stance is firm: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary.”

          Gabrielle Bellot

          Bellot, a writer for Lit Hub with pieces in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and more, expressed her feelings towards Rowling as a transgender woman and fan. “Time and time again, I’ve become accustomed to having to defend my womanhood when public figures declare that transgender women are not 'real' women,” she writes. “That this is the issue she has chosen to focus on in the wake of international protests against anti-Blackness and police brutality is all the more absurdly tone-deaf, suggesting her fanatical obsession with trans people.”

          It’s clear that those who graduated from Hogwarts learned from the best, and know that Harry Potter’s story is one of love and acceptance. Maybe we can all read the books and pretend that Harry wrote them instead from now on.

          Here’s Why You Keep Getting UTIs (& What To Do)

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          If you find yourself dealing with frequent urinary tract infections, know you’re not alone. UTIs are the second most common infection, according to Everyday Health, and actually account for millions of doctor visits annually. If you find yourself dealing with multiple UTIs —specifically, more than twice in a span of six months—this is considered a recurrent UTI. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that one in five women have a recurring UTI.

          So, how are you supposed to deal with what seem like non-stop infections? Here's what you need to know.

          First of all, what is a UTI?

          Essentially, a UTI is when bacteria enters the urinary tract, resulting in frequent trips to the bathroom or burning feeling when you pee.

          "A UTI is an infection of the bladder or kidneys," says Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine."When healthy, neither of these have bacteria in them, so an infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra, which connects the outside of the body to the bladder and proceeds up the body into the bladder or kidney. UTIs are more common in the bladder and more common in women."

          According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, symptoms of a UTI include:

          • Frequent urgency to pee

          • Burning sensation when you go

          • Pee that is tinted or has a strange odor

          Why do you keep getting recurring UTIs?

          1. You don’t pee when you should.

          A key factor in preventing a UTI is peeing. Basically, peeing is part of your body’s self-cleaning process (another reason why you shouldn’t be using hygiene products besides simple soap and water). Peeing is meant to flush out your urinary tract and get rid of harmful bacteria, like the kind that causes a UTI. Trying to hold it when you really have to go can result in a UTI.

          2. You don’t drink enough water.

          Dehydration means infrequent trips to the bathroom, resulting in your body being unable to execute its self-cleaning process. Drinking enough water everyday will keep harmful bacteria from infecting your urinary tract by keeping your peeing cycle regulated.

          "Staying hydrated is always a good idea," says Dr. Gillespie. 

          3. You don’t pee after sex.

          Again, peeing is a cleansing process!

          "One of the easiest ways to prevent UTIs is to always urinate shortly after intercourse," says Dr. Gillespie. "Since UTIs happen when bacteria travels up the urethra and into the bladder (and the bacteria can be introduced with intercourse), think of this as a way to 'flush out the bacteria' before it has a chance to settle and create an infection."

          4. You use scented feminine hygiene products.

          Since your body has its own self-cleaning plan, douches and deodorants are unnecessary. If you do use those products and they are scented, they can actually do your body more harm than good because they can mess with the balance of healthy and harmful bacteria. Plus, the fragrances can cause irritation.  

          5. You wipe from back to front.

          This can transfer harmful bacteria towards your urinary tract instead of cleaning things up — so make sure you wipe from front to back.

          6. You wear the wrong kind of underwear.

          Cotton underwear can help prevent recurring UTIs because it's a more lightweight and breathable material, so it isn’t super sweaty and gross down there.

          7. You use the wrong kind of birth control.

          Sometimes the pill can be preferable to other forms of contraception. "Consider a new method of birth control if you use spermicide, particularly if you also use a diaphragm, as that may increase your risk of recurrent infection," says Dr. Gillespie.

          Treating a UTI

          As soon as you experience any symptoms, head to your doctor to get tested so you can be prescribed an antibiotic.

          "One thing I see is that women mistake another infection (such as a yeast infection or other condition) for a UTI, since they may have similar symptoms," says Dr Gillespie. "However, they have very different treatments! So, especially if you have not had a UTI before, it's important to see your doctor to get tested, so you can get treated appropriately."

          Recurrent UTIs can occur when the first one isn’t treated soon enough. Your usual family doctor or healthcare provider can treat a UTI. Do NOT wait to go to the doctor — UTIs can quickly progress into bladder infections.

          Preventing a UTI

          Drink lots of fluids throughout the day to keep your urine flow consistent and flush out your urinary tract; when you gotta go, go. Keep things clean down there with soap and water —nothing scented. Taking a probiotic can help regulate the balance between good and bad bacteria by boosting healthy bacteria that can then kill off any harmful bacteria. According to Women’s Health Specialists of California, eating acidic foods such as berries, citrus, and apples can also help prevent an infection.

          And that urban myth that cranberry juice can prevent or treat a UTI? Completely untrue. "When it comes to cranberry juice and cranberry products, there is not strong evidence that they help," says Dr. Gillespie. So, regardless of what the internet tells you, do not expect drinking cranberry juice to cure your UTI!

          UTIs may be uncomfortable to talk about, but they are even more uncomfortable to deal with. Taking precautions to keep your urinary tract healthy now will save you in more ways than one. If you're frequently dealing with UTIs, try the preventative measures suggested and try to determine the cause. Dr. Gillespie advises talking with your doctor if you continue to deal with a recurring UTI, as it may actually be something more serious, or you may be put on a preventative antibiotic.

          As Schools Announce Reopening Plans, Many Students are Left in Limbo

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          This fall, college will be a bit different. After universities evacuated in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, questions about fall semester were left in the air. While some states like New York and New Jersey have seen case numbers go down on a daily basis, many states continue to experience surges in positive cases. The United States now gets around 50,000 new cases a day, with hospitalizations also increasing. In recent days, universities began announcing their plans for the upcoming semester. For many students and faculty members, these plans have been unsatisfactory or insufficient. 

          Harvard University announced its reopening plans on Monday, July 6. Only 40 percent of undergraduates will be allowed back on campus, with all first-years coming back in the fall and all seniors coming back in the spring, where first-year students will be expected to return to remote learning for the spring semester. However, even students living on campus will have all of their classes online.

          “Without a vaccine or effective clinical treatments for the virus, we know that no choice that reopens the campus is without risk,” the University said in a statement. “We have worked closely with leading epidemiologists and medical experts to define an approach that we believe will protect the health and safety of our community, while also protecting our academic enterprise and providing students with the conditions they need to be successful academically.”

          This comes as ICE has announced that international students whose universities are doing all-remote learning, or those who have all remote classes will have to leave the United States. Harvard’s President Larry Bascos claimed to be working to forge a path forward, but has not announced any changes to his plans. In this case, all of Harvard’s international students would not be allowed to be on campus in the fall. 

          Students that are on-campus will have single bedrooms and shared bathrooms. There will be restrictions on who can enter other dormitories and non-residential buildings. Students who do not live on campus will not have to pay room and board, but tuition will remain at $50,000. Many have condemned Harvard for this decision, calling it completely financial-based. First-years are more likely to transfer than upperclassmen, so some speculate that is why they are prioritizing students that have never stayed on campus. 

          Michael Miller, a political science professor at Barnard College of Columbia University claims that students’ demands for reduced tuition will come at the expense of their professors’ jobs. For universities like Harvard and Columbia, which have endowments of $40.9 billion and $10.9 billion respectively, the question of whether the University has money to spare does not seem very legitimate. 

          Some students, however, look to be more concerned about the adjustment of the students expected to enter campus for the first time rather than the financial side of bringing first-years to campus. 

          Other students claim that this will put first-years in a hard position as they will need to transition to college without any guidance from upperclassmen or opportunities to socialize. 

          For students at Rutgers University, the “Returning to Rutgers” guide announced that only 35 percent of students will be allowed back on campus. All of those on campus will be required to wear face coverings and there will be frequent testing. Students will also experience a tuition freeze at all three of Rutgers’ campuses, which house over 70,000 students. 

          Graduate courses will begin to resume, with the arts and engineering courses being the priority as they must be done in-person. 

          Students quickly went online to complain about the University’s decision to continue with almost-all remote classes but not decrease tuition at all. Some students cited Rutgers’ high athletics funding, questioning why the university was okay with excessive spending on a failing football team, but is not willing to invest that money back into its students. 

          But as students yearn to be back on campus, or at least be given a decreased tuition, faculty across the country seems skeptical about plans going forward. Faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which plans to have classes in-person this fall, have published a letter urging the University to make some changes before classes begin in August. 800 of Georgia Tech’s 1100 faculty members signed onto the letter, which condemned the Georgia state university system for a reopening plan that does “not follow science-based evidence, increase(s) the health risks to faculty, students and staff, and interfere(s) with nimble decision-making necessary to prepare and respond to Covid-19 infection risk."

          Faculty pointed out that the plan only encourages students to wear masks while the University will "aim to retain as much face-to-face interaction as possible.”

          The university system mandates that Georgia Tech follow its plan, despite Georgia experiencing a surge in cases, averaging over 2,600 daily. A major tenet of the letter demands that Georgia Tech be given autonomy to determine how it should open outside the Georgia Board of Regents. 

          If COVID-19 cases continue to rise dramatically in some states, Universities might be forced to shutter their doors once again. The University of Southern California already reversed its reopening plan due to increasing numbers in California, however, this back and forth can take a toll on students and faculty, leaving many stuck in a position where they are unable to trust what their University says and being unable to generate concrete plans for college in the coming weeks. 

          7 of My Favorite Online Boutiques That Are Actually Legit & Affordable

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          It seems every year at this time we get into our biggest shopping rut. There is so much shopping to do for the summer season from beach vacations and lake days, to weddings, last season’s closet just isn’t going to cut it. While we love our H&M and Pac Sun dearly, you can only refresh the “New Arrivals” tab so many times. 

          In today’s world, just about anyone can make an online store through their shoppable Instagram account and there are hundreds if not thousands of shady sites that just look too good to be true. It’s hard to know which stores you can trust, especially when you’re on the hunt to find lesser-known stores. That’s why I’ve done the digging for you and rounded up a list of my all-time favorite online boutiques you will be shopping at all summer long.

          This Product Saved My Curly Hair When Stylists Could Not

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          There are few appointments I actually look forward to. The dentist frightens me, and so does the gynecologist. However, the hair salon is a different story. I eagerly await my appointment, hoping to emerge from the salon a new woman — but something always goes wrong. 

          I have been to countless salons, from the Supercuts that my dad swears by, to my mom’s expensive salon, to the notorious “Curly Hair Wizard” that my sister trusts with her life. One cuts it dry, one cuts it wet, one cuts it straightened. To say they have all disappointed me is an understatement. I once found myself looking like a cross between Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite and Justin Timberlake circa 2000. Each visit ended in tears and a visit to my local Dairy Queen.

          The Problem

          My hair troubles emerged long before my first visit to the salon. In kindergarten, my classmates and I would draw pictures of one another, and to my disappointment, every single student drew me as a stick figure with onion ring hair. The straight-haired girls got dimples, triangle dresses, and even earrings. I got nothing. This was when I realized that my curly hair is a curse — but also a blessing because you can see my untamed hair from a distance and just know it is me. It’s cool that I’m recognizable with a standout trait, but my hair’s high-maintenance nature is unfathomable.

          My feelings stem from the fact that curly hair doesn’t play by the straight hair rule book. I don’t brush my hair for fear it will look frizzy from electrocution. Regular ponytails cause matted clumps and painful bald spots. When I take out my diffuser, my friends have no clue what it even is.

          Although my curly hair issues have been ever-present, my problematic frizz, and therefore anxiety, escalated this past year. For as long as I can remember, DevaCurl products were my savior. I basically came out of the womb wearing their “B’Leave-In” Plumper. However, a few months back, curly people everywhere began claiming that DevaCurl products were causing hair damage and hair loss, and the company entered a major lawsuit. The DevaDamage lawsuit proved me right. My curly hair won’t win. I was determined to find a solution. 

          After futile attempts to tame and grow my hair, my hair resisted. In fact, it gave the appearance that it was getting shorter and shorter despite not cutting my hair. I returned home at the end of the semester with a different look. My friends stared at me with bewilderment. “You cut your hair.” They smiled awkwardly. “I… um… really like it.” Something was up. Perhaps one of my ex-enemies came into my room while I slept and cut off my curly locks? Or, just like a scene from Monsters, Inc., a monster crept out of my doorway to feast on my delicious smelling curls as they were disappearing without explanation.

          Fortunately, I am blessed with two curly sisters (and a curly brother) who provide me with much advice. My sister told me that change was necessary. She introduced me to the YouTube channel that is Manes by Mell. I watched Mell’s video titled “How to Grow Curly Hair That Doesn’t Grow.” The title itself filled me with relief. This was a real problem. 

          Mell’s video suggested Olaplex for my hair-growth woes. When I first read of Olaplex’s power to work on a molecular level I was skeptical because companies have exploited my lack of scientific knowledge and desire for luscious locks before. But 12 minutes and $100 dollars later, I bought the Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, and Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother. 

           
           
           
           

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

          A post shared by OLAPLEX (@olaplex) on

          The Solution

          When my beautiful box finally arrived, I raced to the shower. The conditioner instructions said to leave the product on for three minutes (the length of one shower sing-along).

          The results were not instantaneous, but now that a few months have passed, my hair is stronger, healthier, and happier — and I can see the difference. Yes, maybe it doesn’t look like I have natural extensions, but I am on my way there. The secret is the H-word: hydration.

           
           
           
           

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

          A post shared by Aliya Hollub (@aliyahollub) on

          The life had been sucked out of my hair after years of bad salon visits and using the wrong product. Olaplex was a gallon of water I so desperately needed after 19 years in the Sahara.

          Although Olaplex is expensive when you’re on a budget, it has saved me money in the long run. I have yet to visit the salon for a major split-end hair cut, and I haven’t splurged on countless products that don’t work. A major plus: Olaplex products are vegan, color-safe, cruelty-free, made without sulfates, parabens, and oddly gluten. Most importantly, they are celeb-approved.

           
           
           
           

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

          A post shared by OLAPLEX (@olaplex) on

          In time, my goal is for my hair to look like the child of Julia Roberts and Zendaya. (Personally, I don’t think that is too much to ask.) So ditch the constricting gels and the yogurt hair masks, because Olaplex really works. Yes, it’s pricey. But, I am on my way to looking like a trendy Goldilocks.

          So You've Got a 5-Star Island in 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'– What Now?

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          One of the biggest milestones to hit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a 5-star island rating, but for players who think there's no purpose in playing after this coveted achievement, think again! From exciting events like bug-offs, new summer updates – Nintendo has a flurry that will release throughout the year – and milestones yet to be completed, there's a lot more to do after you achieve a 5-star rating. 

           

          Blue Bunny is Giving Away Inflatable Pools For One, and I’m Kind of Obsessed

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          Your local pool might be closed and your beach may not be open for swimming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cool down in the water this summer thanks to Blue Bunny. Celebrating National Ice Cream month, they're giving away 100 pools in honor of the 100 days of summer. Can you imagine anything more refreshing? 

          At only five feet long, each pool is the perfect personal size for any adult, and should fit on almost any porch or in any backyard space, no matter the size! The pool also comes with a free pump, so your personal pool party can begin as soon as you unbox it! This pool is not only guaranteed to be super euphoric on any hot and sticky day, but it's also super cute! Its bright blue and white pattern scream summer, and it features one of Blue Bunny’s new loaded cones on top, which looks so good you’ll be wanting ice cream all summer long. 

          Remember how your parents always said you couldn’t go swimming right after you've eaten? Well, did they ever tell you you can’t swim while you eat? Blue Bunny has added not one, but two cup holders to the pool, so now you can drink your beverage of choice and eat a trusty ice cream while lounging in the water! Catch me out there all summer long.   

           
           
           
           

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

          Pool closed? Not this one! Head to Funlightenment.com between now and July 13th for a chance to win your own personal pool to help you find Funlightenment this summer. (No need to wait 2 hrs after eating Load’d Cones to get in this pool) Link in bio for more information on the rules of the sweepstakes! . . . . Blue Bunny Pool Giveaway NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Open to legal residents of fifty (50) U.S./D.C, who are 18+ (19 in AL and NE). Sweepstakes begins at 5:30:00 a.m. CT on June 30, 2020 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. CT on July 13, 2020. Limit one (1) entry per person/email address. Odds of winning are based upon the number of eligible entries received. One hundred (100) Grand Prizes of a Inflatable personal pool with pump, ARV: $50. For complete Official Rules, visit Funlightenment.com/rules. SPONSOR: Wells Enterprises, Inc., 1 Blue Bunny Dr. SW, Le Mars, IA 51031.

          A post shared by Blue Bunny (@blue_bunny) on

          To enter, all you have to do is go onto https://www.funlightenment.com and enter your name, email address, birth date, and current address. Everyone living in the United States is eligible to enter as long as you’re 18 or older. The sweepstakes ends on July 13, so enter quickly! Your potential summer happiness depends on it.

          College Women Hope Elizabeth Warren Is Biden's Vice Presidential Choice

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          According to Her Campus’s pre-election survey, Elizabeth Warren is the preferred candidate as Joe Biden narrows down his pick for vice president. The survey, which polled over 500 students, found that 37% of college women consider Warren the top choice.

          Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams were the runners up in the survey, with 22% and 13% of college student support respectively. However, even with their totals combined, Warren outpaced them. The majority write-in responses expressed urgency that Biden choose a Black woman as his running mate.

          Many college students are not as enthusiastic about Biden as they have been about past candidates in the race. “Biden offers a slightly better future than Trump,” one student wrote in, while another said, “He is the lesser of two evils.” 

          A newly published study from Monmouth University shows that as many as one-third of liberals have a negative view of Biden. Young voters are looking for reassurance that he will make the right decisions, and choosing the right woman as his running mate will bolster his case. 

          This Woman-Owned Company Can Help You Celebrate Your Loved Ones, No Matter How Far Apart You Are

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          There are many things that will put – and keep – a distance between you and your friends and family throughout your lives, from long-distance moves to busy work schedules to unexpected pandemics bringing global travel to a standstill. When you're used to being moments from your best friends – like right next door in your dorms – this distance can make you feel like you're missing out on the most important moments you should be a part of, be it the more difficult parts of life or a milestone moments, and everything in between, from illnesses and wedding postponements to promotions and proposals.

          Whether you have time to plan for the occasion or it sneaks up on you, Small Packages has stepped up to help you be present for the important moments in your loved ones’ lives, even when you can’t be there physically, with beautifully packaged gift boxes that you don't have to fill yourself and handwritten notes! 

          A "New Home" Small Package, including a package of coffee and an avocado recipe book 

          Offering twelve positive packages, from thank you gifts to housewarming boxes to something that just says, “I miss you,” and four for the not-so-great moments in life, like a breakup, Small Packages curates their themes from small, women-owned brands, and have made the 15% pledge as well, promising to source at least 15% of their products from Black-owned businesses. Small Packages also offers a Give Back box, which shines light on a different community each quarter and shares 10% of this profit with charitable organizations. This quarter, 100% of the items featured are sourced from Black-woman-owned small businesses, and the profit share benefits The National Bail Fund Network, so if you're not sold on a specific theme, you can support a cause that needs your help while sending off your love!

          Whether you’re trying to celebrate life’s next big thing, offer your condolences or just send a reminder that your thinking of them, Small Packages will do most of the work for you. Packages are available in a variety of sizes and values at $35, $50 and $100, and every single one comes with a handwritten version of whatever message you wish to include on an original letterpress card, ensuring the recipient gets the full impact. As they say, it's the little things in life, and these Small Packages will shine a bright light in your loved ones' lives!
           

          How to Help International Students & Push Back on ICE's New Policy

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          On Monday a new order put forward by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made a requirement that at least some education has to take place in person for visas to be granted to international students. In a statement, ICE said: "Students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States." One exception is for schools that are on a hybrid model, with some classes online but others in person — these students will be allowed to stay in the country.

          However, to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff, many universities have made the decision to host the majority of their fall 2020 semester online because of the threat of coronavirus. If students want to remain in the country, ICE suggests "transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status"— meaning to avoid legal consequences, including deportation.

          Her Campus stands with international students. We know that taking online classes from home countries just isn’t the same with unreliable internet and time differences. We know that you need access to healthcare, libraries, labs and support facilities. We know that you are worried, confused, and frustrated. We know that you have worked extremely hard to get where you are. Below, we’ll be updating a list of ways you can take action and help push back on this federal order. 

          Petitions to sign

          Petitions have quickly spread online after news of the ICE policy. Consider signing the ones listed below, which are addressed to President Trump and ICE urging them to reconsider and allow international students to stay. 

          Call on your university

          In 2019 more than 360,000 students were enrolled in universities on visas that will be affected by the change. Harvard and MIT have already filed a lawsuit against the rule, arguing that for international students, "returning to their home countries to participate in online instruction is impossible, impracticable, prohibitively expensive, and/or dangerous." Harvard (which plans to hold its courses entirely online) also said close to 5,000 of its students study on F-1 visas, and MIT said it has nearly 4,000. 

          Other schools are thinking creatively to find ways to require international students to be on campus (and be safe during the pandemic). NYU, Brown, and Columbia have announced plans to create hybrid classes with both in-person and online opportunities.

          Wondering how to work with your school? Email your university president, deans, and appropriate offices asking them to create special in-person classes with absence excuses. You can also start a petition asking your college to protect international students. 

          Call on congress

          Call or email your senators/representatives asking them to demand that ICE repeal the policy. @basdonamuca on Twitter has shared an example template of what you can write or say: 

          You can also send a letter of your own to your representatives using @resistbot by texting “resist” to 504-09. 

          Other resources

          @community_equity_ on Instagram is actively posting Google Sheets with lists of available in-person classes that international students can enroll in.

          This story will be updated as information develops.

          International Students Could Face Removal From the United States If Their Schools Go Full Remote This Fall

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          As colleges across the nation continue to announce their reopening plans for the upcoming fall semester, many students have been devastated to find out that online classes will be their only options. For the more than one million foreign students, there is now the added devastation that they will no longer be able to remain in the United States, according to new guidelines released by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, July 6. Students at universities that have implemented hybrid models of both in-person and online instruction must have proof "that the[ir] program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of classes required to make normal progress in their degree program," according to ICE’s new guidebook.  

          While only eight percent of universities are planning on doing a completely online semester, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which has been tracking the plans of over 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide, 23 percent are operating in a hybrid model, which still leaves international students with the possibility of being deported if their program, year or a selection of their chosen courses are not included in the in-person options.  

          This announcement follows Harvard University’s decision to allow all of its first-year students back to campus, though all classes, both graduate and undergraduate, will be conducted online. While Harvard’s President Larry Bascos condemned ICE for its decision, he put out no solution for the fact that every international student attending his University could be deported. 

          Federal guidelines stipulate that international students must make the choice between transferring at the last minute, which is not an option for most students, or returning back to their home country. For the international students getting ready to attend the nine percent of universities that have yet to reveal whether their classes will be in-person or online, the State Department has made that decision for them; now they're no longer able to be issued a visa, thus they cannot legally enter the United States. 

          Besides the negative impact on the students at risk, universities stand to take quite a hit as well. According to an economic study from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, international students at United States universities contributed $41 billion during the 2018-19 academic year. The vast majority of universities do not offer need-blind financial aid, need-blind admissions, or even financial aid at all to their international students, so their contributions to universities are a necessity to keep schools running. 

          "Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," ICE's Student and Exchange Visitor Program statement said. "If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings." The statement confirmed that students will not be deported if they take alternative measures, "such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave." But for most universities, taking a reduced course load is not an option to remain a registered student and one cannot take medical leave unless one consults with medical professionals. Even then, the road to returning from medical leave is not always easy, with some colleges rejecting students who wish to return to campus. 

          How very American of ICE to hide under the cover of Covid-19 to remove international students from the country – international students that followed all of the guidelines required to attend school in this country and have been given no time to find another solution to keep their "legal" status. At least students and intructors alike are rallying behind them; here's how you can help, too

          How to Make the Most of a Virtual Job Fair

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          Navigating a virtual job fair may be new territory for a lot of students. Although it looks different from a regular job fair, there are just as many opportunities to take hold of. To make the most out of your experience, it’s important to be prepared to speak to employers and show your best self. Additionally, many of these events have video and audio capabilities, and you’ll want to look polished and professional when meeting with employers.

          Preparing for the fair

          Have your resume and pitch ready

          Having your resume and “about you” pitch ready beforehand makes it easy to communicate in the moment. You may want to practice your pitch a few times to make sure it’s professional, and that you remember to hit all your talking points. With an accessible resume, you won’t be scrambling through your laptop and can spend more time focusing on why they should hire you.

          Research the employers

          Knowing which employers you want to speak to helps maximize your time. Virtual career fairs have less freedom to move from booth to booth easily, and sometimes the fair will even recommend or set you up with employers to speak with beforehand. Other virtual fairs will have chat rooms or video calls available for you to attend, so you can pick and choose which “booth” you want to go to and wait in line.

          Test your video and audio capabilities

          Making sure your video and audio features work beforehand gives you the advantage of spending more time with employers rather than fussing around with technology. Bonus: familiarize yourself with the website to show off your tech-savvy skills. 

          Related: How to Rebrand Your LinkedIn & Make It More Useful

          During the fair

          Follow online etiquette

          Being professional isn’t just about being prepared. During the virtual fair, make sure your environment is free of distractions, so you can focus your attention on making valuable connections. Being attentive is a sign of respect, so situate yourself in a quiet place before logging on, and turn your phone and laptop to do not disturb. Make sure to dress the part, use positive body language, and speak clearly, as it can be more difficult to make a strong impression virtually.

          Ask questions

          A career fair isn’t just about an employer getting to know you. Make sure you take time to ask questions about the company, the position, and their values. In person, there are usually brochures and signs that state things about the employers, positions they're hiring, etc. These may or may not be available virtually. It’s a good idea to ask the employer about these and take notes or see if they have an email list or online brochure so you can recall this information later on.

          Grab contact information

          This is vital when attending a virtual career fair. It gives you a chance to stand out even more in an environment that makes it difficult to do so. After getting their contact information, make sure to follow up with a thank-you note, or thank-you email — this is virtual after all. Thank the employer for their attendance and for meeting with you. You can also add in a fun memory or moment during the fair so they can better recall who you are. By thanking the employer you show gratitude and thoughtfulness — good qualities in a potential employee!

          Related: What to Do When You're Not Feeling Super Motivated About the Job Hunt

          Trying something new can always be intimidating at first, but with these tips, you’ll nail any job fair you attend. With an ever-changing world, virtual opportunities provide a safe, accessible, and tech-friendly way to connect with employers. Good luck!

          7 College Students Share Their Honest Opinions About Going Back to Campus in the Fall

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          As the fall semester draws closer, colleges and universities in the United States have begun to make plans for the new school year. On Monday, Harvard University announced that up to 40% of undergraduates will be allowed to learn on campus, tuition remaining the same for all students regardless of how they take classes. Princeton University, meanwhile, only plans to allow freshmen and juniors to return to campus for the fall semester, while sophomores and seniors can return for the spring semester. As more and more schools roll out their teaching plans amidst an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, students face a variety of fears.

          I spoke to seven college students to gauge how they’re feeling about campus re-opening and their hopes for the fall semester. Here’s what they had to say:

          Trying to make the best of it

          “I’m not very excited about going back to school because I’ve been home for so long and on my own schedule that I’m going to have to get used to waking up early again, holding myself accountable for deadlines, working in between classes, etc. I’m also not excited because this is my last semester of college and I’m not going to be able to enjoy it in the ways I’ve enjoyed college thus far. I took college for granted not realizing how long COVID-19 would go on. I sound so selfish because as Kourtney Kardashian said to Kim, ‘People are dying!’ But in all seriousness, there’s not going to be the final s’mores and karaoke night on my campus and no events held by clubs. I won’t get to hug so many good people goodbye on my last day. I’ll even miss eating in the dining hall— despite how crappy the food is at my school. I’m going to try to make the best of it, but my heart feels broken to be going back because I’m not really going back. I’m afraid of not getting a job right away and being stuck at home with my family for far longer than I had planned. I’m going to try to see the bright side of everything, like that I even have a home to go back to with food and a family. There are people who have lost far more than I have. But my feelings and fears are still valid.” - Tirzah, Lasell University Class of 2020

          bright white bedroom with desk working space

          Maintaining social distancing guidelines

          “I feel like I’m unaffected by my school’s decisions because all of my classes will be online next semester. But I’m planning on returning to my college town and living off campus anyway. I do think that since so many courses are online, my school could easily have chosen to make all courses online, but instead they’ve put students living on campus at an increased risk. I also think they’re putting low income students in an unfair position, as they are giving them the incentive to take all online courses and live at home to save money, which may limit the courses they are able to take. I do not have faith in the student body to maintain proper social distancing guidelines, so I personally plan on avoiding campus as much as possible and just seeing a close group of my friends. I think I’m fortunate that I am able to do this, but students who live on campus or have to take a certain class in person don’t necessarily get to decide who they come into contact with. Overall, I understand why my school made the decision it did, but I am skeptical of it.” - Katherine, Emory University Class of 2021

          “I feel anxious, especially because cases are increasing. Students are expected to self-regulate their social activities, and I have a feeling people will be quick to violate social distancing recommendations, making a lot of people susceptible to infection.” - Shreya, Emory University Class of 2021

          “I’m personally very excited to go back to school because the part of [my school] I love the most is all the friends I’ve made and haven’t seen in a long time now. However, I also understand that the problems with testing and social distancing in the country means the pandemic is far from controlled. While I’m lucky to be from a very low-risk age bracket, that’s not true for the older and immunocompromised people at Emory. I realize that my presence, along with hundreds of other students, on campus is possibly endangering others. I hope my school is taking serious consideration regarding the risks of in-person school. As much as I love being at campus, it would be selfish to prioritize my happiness over others’ lives.” - Cameron, Emory University Class of 2021​

          Navigating online classes

          “I’m excited that we have finally been told we can go back to campus this fall. I know I was worried for a while then there was a chance that things might be entirely online for the semester, because I knew that wouldn’t work well with my learning habits. Additionally, being home and away from friends for so long would be difficult because I enjoy being a part of my school’s community. I am most excited to be back with my soccer team, even though we don’t know that we’re going to have a season yet. Right now, the mindset is to plan for a season and hope it can happen. I am worried that cases will spike when we go back to campus despite all of our safety protocols and precautions. I am also worried that there is a big chance our social environment will be very isolated for most of the year and I don't think it can possibly be a healthy situation for so many college students.” - Emma, Emory University Class of 2022

          “I am both excited and nervous to be going back to school in the fall. Most of my classes are happening in person, while a few others are taking place online. In my experience with online classes, it was very easy to fall behind and lose interest in the class. As this will be my senior year, I am hoping that it all runs smoothly, and I’ll still have a good experience even with everything going on. As a performance student, I am most concerned about the performance aspect and the possibility that we won’t be able to perform for an audience or put on the show as scheduled. My major is a collaborative art and needs to happen in a physical space. Just as the theater word has shut down, I fear the same will happen with my department.” - Cathy, Salem State University Class of 2021

          The impact on income and international students

          “It has been really interesting seeing the different types of plans universities have been implementing — particularly in terms of dorm situations considering it will be the more complicated part of returning to campus. As a senior, I like the plans of schools like Princeton and Yale that are working on a system of allowing freshmen on campus in the fall when they need to start meeting new people and allowing seniors on campus in the spring when they will want to experience their last semester of school. However, I think the universities are forgetting students who rely on the on-campus work options or already confirmed part-time work in their college towns. By banning students from being on campus, many are losing their source of income during the year. Along with this, international students are facing more and more uncertainty when it comes to new regulations and last-minute schedule changes. I am happy I live off-campus, so I did not need to worry about dorm changes and food. But I still worry the anxiety that comes with this changing environment and the impact on campus will be felt by every student no matter their situation.” - Emily, Emory University Class of 2021

          You Can Win the Weekend When You Win a Free Case of Ohza Mimosas

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          If the stars align right this weekend, you could be upgrading your upcoming virtual brunch plans thanks to Ohza. The ready-to-drink mimosa brand will be giving away two free cases as part of a weekend giveaway. Whether you prefer the Classic Mimosa, Classic Bellini or Mango Mimosa, you can get a free taste of summer. 

          Two lucky winners will receive an Ohza prize pack, complete with a free case of canned mimosas and a merch item of their choice. Options include dad hats, totes, T-shirts and, of course, koozies, so you'll be able to rep your favorite brunch essential with whatever your favorite accessory may be. 

           
           
           
           

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

          A post shared by Ohza (@ohzamimosas) on

          Best of all, no purchase is required to enter. All you need to do to enter is follow the brand on Instagram at @ohzamimosas and subscribe to their newsletter on the website’s home page.

          Act fast though, because winners will be chosen randomly on Monday, July 13! After all, the weekend can’t last forever. 
           

          This Instagram Artist is Putting a Body-Positive Spin on Taking Nudes, But Her Account is at Risk Because of it

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          A college graduate from the UK is using her extra time in quarantine to promote body-positivity through art. Her Instagram account, Ru’s Nudes, looks to shed love for womxn’s bodies through nude art, taking customer's nude photography and recreating them in a different medium. 

          Ruth Wormington, the artist behind @rus.nudes, is a recent Childhood Studies graduate from the University of Bristol. When Wormington attended a life drawing class at the suggestion of a friend, she found that she really enjoyed the creative process. “It felt really quite empowering to be embracing nudity in that way and presenting it as an art form,” Wormington said. She created pieces to put on her personal Instagram and, with an encouraging response, set up a separate account earlier this summer to exhibit her work. 

          Between customer testimonials and her own discoveries, Ru’s Nudes became something deeper. “It went from just doing something artistic and drawing some people to something actually quite special,” Wormington said. “People requesting pieces have never taken nudes before. Some people said, ‘Even if you don't draw this, I'm so glad I've done it because I found it so empowering.’”

          While studying at the University of Bristol, Wormington experienced a lot of freedom and encouragement to be very liberal, but at the same time she began to understand how that's not widely accepted. The stigmatization of womxn’s bodies that Wormington witnessed provided a personal motivation for creating Ru’s Nudes. Her dissertation surrounded LGBTQ+ sex education and in her research, she studied the difference between what women and what men are taught in sex ed classes. While boys are taught about “wet dreams,” girls are taught about their periods, and are not taught about embracing their own sexuality. 

          “It gives boys the idea that girls shouldn’t be sexual – they should be innocent – therefore stigmatizing female sexuality,” Wormington said. “Then it also has dangerous repercussions for [boys] feeling that sex is their right. So through conversations about female sexuality and female sexual empowerment, I think it can sort of crossover into that right to ownership of your own body.”

          One of the most inspiring effects Wormington experienced from her art is its ability to help subjects reclaim their bodies. The art shows their bodies in a different light after difficult and often traumatic experiences, including eating disorders and sexual assault. “The act of taking nudes is amazing, and I feel very empowered doing my own body; that was like, almost a catalyst of loving their body,” Wormington said. “Like people seeing [their] body as a piece of art and being like, ‘Oh, but that's me.’”

          One of the next steps for Wormington is to focus on intersectionality. Ru’s Nudes is an organically inclusive account, inviting artwork of all womxn, including non-binary individuals and drag artists; she wants the page to be a “safe space for all aspects of feminine expression.”

          “It's just really important to me, because I think if it's around the theme of reclaiming your body after negative impacts the patriarchy caused, then that is covering a whole wider ground,” Wormington said. And while Wormington never planned on the wide reception of Ru’s Nudes, she’s appreciated its power and the ability to facilitate body positivity. By representing body diversity through her art, she takes the trust that people place in her with their nude photos and creates self-reflections they can love and keep. “It's really important to try and create real bodies as well,” Wormington said. “Show them for what they are, which is a work of art without needing to be adapted.”

          Commissions for Ru's Nudes are charged based on a sliding scale, including postage, with postcard nudes offered between £4-£5, A4 line drawings are £8-£10, and A4 acrylic paintings are £9-£12. Normally potential customers could DM Wormington with their interest, to which she would respond with instructions for safely submitting nude portraits, but unfortunately, Wormington's art account has been disabled and is under review. Instagram cited a violation of community guidelines, stating that @rus.nudes was publishing "sexually suggestive content" that isn't allowed on Instagram. Wormington is currently going through an appeal process to have the account reinstated. You can provide support during the appeal by navigating to "Settings" in the Instagram app and leaving feedback under "Report a Problem", reminding Instagram that the female-presenting body is not inherently sexual. If you're interested in art from Ru's Nudes, for now you can email Wormington at ruthewormington@gmail.com, where she's accepting commissions and providing updates, such as for the Etsy shop she is setting up under the same name.

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