Three Things: College + Life

I wouldn’t call what I’m about to say groundbreaking, or even new. Honestly, I’m sure many of you use variations of these objects in your day-to-day, post-graduate life. But I’ve only just embraced these brilliant, obvious inventions in my final year of college (and I’m a lifer as you recall—what does that say). I’d love to go back and find myself as a freshman, only to hand these items over into her arms with a resounding, “You’re Welcome.”

Three indispensable things for merging college and a full life:

The shoe bag. Michigan State University’s campus is sprawling, and walking up to 20 or 30 minutes between classes is the norm. The winters and springs can be particularly dirty, salty, or just deep with snow, and wearing the same boots day in and day out becomes a drag. So many crisp and beautiful options in the closet remain untouched for months on end because the elements would just kill them. So I pack them! The key for me is something that slips on. Since I commute in boots without any laces or zippers, it makes for a quick changeout when I reach my building.

Evernote. I’m a list person. I’ll write it all down, and continuously revert back to my notes as I work. Evernote keeps me effortlessly organized as I shift from open-ended personal projects to planning a weekend visit to academic design deadlines. We all play 100 different roles, and Evernote keeps all of my roles at the forefront of my mind, everywhere, across all devices, all at once. My favorite thing about the app is that when I’m burned out with one project, I have a seamless, creative refresh by looking through another notebook of things to do.

A convertible clutch. I used to use a clutch that was big enough to hold the necessities and then some, and it would bounce from my backpack to a tote on my days off campus. That was fine, but let’s face it, who wants to take a tote on a quick coffee run—every time? Not only did the clutch lack a hands-free option, but I’d leave it in one bag, forget, and run out with another.

The clutch I use now is a game changer. It’s genuine leather and a year later, still looks brand new. The special touches, like the sleek profile and angled zipper keeps it edgy enough for evenings out, but is basic enough for the everyday run. On a school day I detach the strap and toss it in my backpack where it’s so slender it barely takes up any space. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me about it while at the art shop’s counter buying coffee after coffee, or when I’m out at night and a friend excitedly discovers it has a strap.

What's something that has made your life easier? Is there anything you would have loved to tell yourself?

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