Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
High School Grads: What to Take to CollegeBy Evan Nehring
Sheri and I traveled light to college. The Hornet hatchback was full, but not crammed-to-the-gills full like the two U-Haul trucks we rented for a recent family move. I've never traveled as light since the Hornet. Expanded life commitments bring expanded luggage compartments.
Music. One of my prize possessions me was the big ol’ boombox my parents had presciently bought me as a graduation gift. Music has a way of reflecting your spirit back to you like your image in a mirror. Hitting “play” is like asking the artist to befriend and shape your soul. Long study sessions in my closet office were okay because Andrae Crouch, Degarmo & Key and Sheila Walsh helped me through. And Phil! Of course, always, Phil Keaggy.
Then exam week would arrive. The dorm floor would go quiet…until someone down the hall decided it was time for a four-minute study break with a hundred decibels of Idle Cure’s Breakaway.
We had Walkman’s back then: mp3 players for tapes. Those were very important too. I don’t think many can do college without music.
Clothes. If music reflects your spirit, clothes radiate it. Go ahead, make a statement about who you are! This wasn't wildly different from high school for me. I chose a creative, classy style with a boyish blue fun side. Maybe, though, you’ll choose to broadcast who you are with your brilliant conversation or brawny athleticism and be more minimalist with the clothes.
Car. My sisters and I—yes, Heather, joined us later, leaving little Stephanie at home—drove my parents’ vehicles at college. None of us ever owned a car before graduation. Having a car at college was liberating. Not owning a car was even more liberating.
One of my later roomies, Tim, had this great muscle car: a red Camaro dripping with cool. He had a lot of financial pressure to make payments and maintain it. The Camaro also made a statement to his friends that said, “I’m ready for a night out any night of the week.” So focusing was more of a challenge. I'm sure Tim had more fun than I did.
Interests. Sometimes your interests provide Breakaway-type relief and sometimes they grow into something more. I brought my bass guitar along and ended up hanging out with music majors and later becoming one. I brought my leather Wilson Jet basketball along and watched my passion for team sports be replaced with the slow realization that fitness is for life.
College is a place to decide what will help you make a living, what will help you make a difference, and what will help you make it through.
Survival. Of course, there’s always the basics as well. You’ll need bedding, a few kitchen utensils, computer and gadgets. You’ll need to be able to survive the heat, the cold, blizzard snow, monsoon rain and seasons of being locked away in your room.
Comments Are Always Welcome...So, tell me, what are the absolute must-have's for your first trip to college?
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