This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So the time has come. It's mid August and summer has come and gone so quickly. With Labor Day right around the corner, that could only mean one thing...back to school.

For the first time in my life, I am not going back to school and it's a struggle that is all too real. It's really sad that I'm not going back to college because shopping for back to school was always my favorite time of the year.

New pencils, notebooks and everything in between were my favorite purchases. School shopping got even more exciting when I went away to college and had to buy so many more things than usual.

From bedding to bath caddies to shoe hangers, dorm room shopping is unlike anything else. There are so many necessities that you're going to need because you're actually living at school. It's so different from what you're used too.

There are a lot of things I wish I knew I needed when I went away to school for the first time. When I would arrive on the first day, I would see all my roommates' belongings and think "I wish I would've brought that!" or "That is such a good idea!"

Well, here is a list of things that I wish I knew I needed in college so you don't have to feel silly like I did!

1. Power strips: These babies come in handy way too often. I used them all over my room and they're great because most colleges or universities don't allow extension cords. Put one near your desk or bedside and you'll have all the outlet space you need for chargers, lamps, and hair straighteners! 

2. Command Hooks: Hammering a nail into the wall won't do in your dorm room (you want that damage deposit back don't you?) so the next best thing are command hooks. They're great for hanging decorations on your walls but also use them for jewelry organization, coat racks, and stringing lights. 

3.Brita ® FilterThis is hands down one of my favorite items because tap water in the dorm rooms just don't cut it. I've never used a Brita ® Filter till I got to college but it's changed the way I think about drinking water. My freshmen year roommate brought us our first Brita ® Filter and we used it throughout the 4 years (replacing the filters every few months as directed, of course). If you're living in a dorm with no kitchen space, keeping a Brita ® filter in your mini fridge will help save money on bottled water. Having a Brita ® on hand is always an essential. (Brita ® Filters are available at Target)

4. Bath Mats: I didn't even think of a bath mat to place in the shower or a bath rug to put outside the shower when I was a freshmen in college. These are definitely essentials and I'm glad my roommates were smart enough to bring them otherwise it would've been a slippery mess.

5. Weekender Bag: I didn't have a sufficient weekend bag until Christmas break when my grandparents bought me a Vera Bradley duffel (#socollege). This made traveling back and forth to home during the semester extremely difficult because I was traveling with 3+ tote bags with all my belongings. Having a weekender bag or duffel will make packing for quick trips home or week long breaks a lot easier. 

These are things that weren't really on any packing list I looked at before I went to college for the first time so it was a learning experience.

College is the best time of your life, make sure you're fully prepared!
What is on your ultimate college packing list? Tell me in the comments!

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