MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1)

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

Greetings, outstanding young girls!!

Hopefully, by now, you all have been able to follow the MYGirls Blog Series  These blog entries, along with suggested reads from @, @, and @, are here for your viewing pleasure, as well as to provide insight and tips on how to be successful in school, build & maintain friendships, improve on home-based routines and responsibilities, and overall navigate through life in general.  We bloggers speak to you from experience, to both inspire and prepare you for what’s to come in the near (and distant future).

So far within the MYGirls Blog Series, we have covered Social Media Etiquette, Appearance & Personal Hygiene (broken into two parts), and Academics.  Today’s topic (now broken into two parts) will zero in on something that affects all young girls, worldwide:  Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1).

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Leadership & Self-Esteem are extremely important to me when it comes to young girls, because they are things that young girls struggle with everyday.  But what is a leader?  A leader is someone who can make decisions with a sound mind, considering both the pros and cons of a particular situation.  A leader is someone who takes initiative, without having to be instructed to do so.  A leader is responsible, and holds him- or herself accountable for any mishaps.  A leader is knowledgeable, in one or many areas, by either study or experience.  Simply put, a leader handles business, and other people trust in leaders.  Many young girls lack the traits needed (confidence, bravery, ambition, strength, focus) to exhibit effective leadership.

This is largely because girls are typically discouraged from displaying their leadership abilities, and because the two go hand-in-hand, such discouragement directly affects their levels of self-esteem.  discouraged_child-250x250

Many times in school, girls are teased for raising their hands if they can answer questions presented to the class by their teachers.  How many of you young girls have been called offensive names like, “goody two-shoes?”  What about “know-it-all?”  I know I have, when I was your age.  Girls are often ridiculed for showing their intelligence, and it is treated as though it were against what society considers normal girl behavior.  In many cultures around the world, girls are discouraged or even restricted by law from learning anything outside of domestic duties (cooking, cleaning, raising children, being a wife).  Because boys grow to be the men who will lead the families & communities and males are to protect females, it is believed that a boy’s worldly education is more important, whereas a girl’s focus should be on homemaking skills.  It is believed that males are supposed to lead and females are supposed to follow (by nature, which is a topic that should be taught by your parent(s) ).  While all cultures are different in their traditions, it is no secret that girls are unfortunately kept from expanding their minds beyond what is accepted by their families, friends, and others in society. Attending school, which would take their minds away from the home, is definitely out of the question.

Here in America, girls are able to attend and participate in school, however the treatment isn’t too far off from being discouraged from attending school altogether.  Girls are usually shy, and that shyness is fueled by fear of being put on the spot by their peers.  A fellow student, most commonly a boy, will blurt out a joke in an attempt to embarrass a girl, and silence her from speaking up any further in class.

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Young girls, I’d love to know, and I’m sure you’d like to know within yourselves:

  • Do you find yourselves raising your hands slowly, and halfway in the air, to avoid attracting too much attention to yourselves?  When the teacher calls on you, do you answer in a low-toned voice?
  • Do you have trouble making eye contact, or do you hold your head down when speaking?
  • Do you say “I’m sorry,” “excuse me,” or “I don’t mean to . . . ,” more than necessary?
  • Do you find yourselves holding back on correct answers?  Do you hold back on your thoughts and opinions?
  • Do you hold back on group projects, for fear of being called “bossy” if you can facilitate the progression of group work?  Do you adhere to when people say that you can’t be in charge?

 

Young girls, I’ve been there before.  I know what it feels like to second-guess yourself because someone has challenged your thinking . . . even when I know I had the right answer.  I know what it feels like to not put my all into a class project, for fear of being called names.  I know what it feels like to not be sure of the sound of my own voice, and to speak timidly.  It is a painful feeling, and believe me, I know how it feels:  it’s like we’re expected to be clueless, and then ridiculed for being clueless.  Seems like a losing battle, doesn’t it?  Well young girls, I’m here to tell you, it’s not.  As a matter of fact young girls, it’s not a battle at all.  Especially, if we don’t make it one, or allow it to become one.  self-esteem

 

Young girls, there will always be people who will try to divert your attention away from your goals.  There will always be people who will try to discourage you from achieving.  There will always be people who will doubt your skills, your smarts, your intelligence, your potential . . . and many of those people will do so simply because you are a girl.  Many will try to take control of your confidence and self-esteem levels.  Well young girls, this is where YOU come in.

You see these words over here?  These are all POSITIVE traits. womenroles.euwomen-300x187

And each one of these traits, can be found in each and every one of you wonderful young girls.  Each of you has the ability to master every trait listed in this fun illustration.  It would be damaging to believe that girls cannot be powerful, or ambitious, or outspoken.  It would diminish the confidence in a girl who is ridiculed for giving a presentation in front of her class.  Consider these words, your self-esteem boosters.  Utilize your tools, these boosters!!  Because I can bet that if each one of you amazing young girls repeats each word listed here in the above illustration, in the mirror, affirming it by first saying “I am,” and then each word right after . . . what I believe in you, you will be believe in you, too!

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Remember young girls, all great leaders didn’t start out that way.  Not everybody believed in them.  BUT, they found what they were good at, and excelled, becoming a leader (or expert) in that particular activity.  They fought through failures (which are only temporary setbacks), they continued on despite naysayers, they believed in themselves even when others around them didn’t.  Boys and girls are fit to be leaders, and it doesn’t have to be in the same activity, line of work, belief or practice, etc.  Remember that there will always be people who will purposely try to put you down.  However, you continue on regardless.  Girls are just as valuable, just as important, just as special, and just as powerful as boys . . . all in your own ways.  A boy might lead in math, a girl might lead in science.  A boy might lead in history, a girl might lead in social studies.  A boy my lead in business management, a girl might lead in economics.  A boy might lead in a group project based on art.  A girl might lead a group project based on literature.  Both might lead in finance.  Both might lead in politics.  Both might lead in medicine.  See?  We ALL can be leaders!  So young girls, let doubters (or, as many of you say, “haters”) motivate you to excel even further than you thought you could!  Those who try to discourage you, might be intimidated by you . . . so, let them be!  The only person you can control, is you.  The only person you have something to prove to, is yourself.  So make yourselves proud, young girls!  Prove yourselves right!

Believe that you achieve goals, and excel in school.  Believe that your voices matter.  Believe that YOU matter.  Don’t fear raising your hands if you know the right answers . . . be afraid of keeping it to yourselves!  Be afraid of NOT letting your lights shine!  Do not be afraid to be who & what you are! Screen-Shot-2014-03-10-at-11.27.06-AM

Our last GU4AP / MYGirls event on July 12, 2014, “Park Beautification Day” in Moreno Valley, CA, incorporated a Leadership workshop from Ban Bossy, an initiative brought to you by Lean In & Girl Scouts of the USA.  The Ban Bossy website has various downloadable activity & workshop booklets for students, teachers, parents, and troop leaders.  Each booklet contains several facts regarding females in school settings, the workforce, and environments in which girls interact with their friends.  I encourage you all to check out these booklets, as MYGirls will be using them for our upcoming Mentor / Mentee workshops.

As I conclude, young girls, I want to leave you with another list of self-esteem boosters:

self-esteem-tips

Though all of these tips may not apply to your lives, some of them will . . . so utilize your tools, your boosters!!

Next Friday’s blog:  Competition, and “Frenemies” (Part 2)

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Academics

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

Hi there precious young girls!!!

 

So last Friday, I completed Part 2 of the 2-Part mini-series, Appearance & Personal Hygiene.  The focuses were taking care of yourself, and presenting the best of yourself.

While the next blog is Academics, I think @ has this department covered.  She is an expert in academic preparation:  staying on top of your grades, effective study habits, campus involvement, and financial responsibilities (for college students, so this would mean our 18-year-old MYGirls).  Follow her blog entries for great academic advice!!

the young girl studying to her examination

 

Before I go, I do want to leave you with a few pointers on balancing academics with other aspects in your lives:

 

Balance your time between academics and friends.  We love spending time with our friends.  We love to hang out, go to the mall, the beach, to each other’s homes, and we love relax a little, without responsibility.  However, we DO have responsibilities.  Young girls, you are responsible for completing your own classwork, completing and turning in your own homework.  You are responsible for your own studying, and you must develop your own study habits (for example:  you might not be able to concentrate on your work with music playing, even though your friend can).  You are responsible for making good grades.  Because your name is the only name on your report card.  So, let your name shine in lights with awesome grades!!

 

Balance your time between academics and extra-curricular activities.  We love to play sports.  We love to be involved on campus.  We love to gather with our friends and our peers for club meetings, school dances, team tryouts, school play auditions, talent shows, and other fun activities.  These exciting things to do, really stimulate the artistic sides of us.  They can also interfere with our academic progress.  Young girls, understand that extra-curricular activities are an EXTRA part of school; they do not make up the entire reason for being in school, and should not be the only reason for focusing on your studies and maintaining good grades.  Campus involvement is very important, as it makes for a well-rounded student . . . make sure, young girls, that you put scholastic activities at the same level of importance.  Maybe even a little higher.
**All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, but no work and all play keeps Jill from graduating! 

 

 

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Balance your time between academics and boyfriends.  In school, we sometimes find that special someone of the opposite sex, who makes us laugh, comforts us when we cry, buys us lunch and other nice things, carries our books for us, defends us, protects us from harm, supports us at our games, and might even help us study.  Just like our friends, we need to find time away from our boyfriends to stay on track with our studies.  Love is a beautiful thing, and sometimes, we find it at a young age.  Young girls, please understand that love is a very strong word, with a very deep meaning, and you might be too young to fully understand it.  When you’re in love, it can take your mind away from so many things . . . including your responsibilities.  Our boyfriends cannot turn in our work for us to our teachers.  You must find a balance between the boy you love, and the schoolwork that will get you to the next level.  Talk to your parent(s) about it!

 

Balance your time between academics and household chores.  Our parents put a humongous effort into raising us.  Their children.  Their offspring.  Their reflections.  We must honor our parents.  Therefore, we must adhere to the responsibilities they give us, as well as our scholastic responsibilities.  When Mom says to wash the dishes, we do so.  When Dad says to clean our rooms, we do so.  When we are told o vacuum the livingroom floor, we do so.  No questions asked.  Why?  Because our parents are molding us into well-rounded individuals who can later function in life, as adults.  This may sound like a bit much, but truthfully, young girls, it’s not.  With time management and learning how to balance everything, it’s a piece of cake!

 

Young girls, it helps to invest in an organizer.  Or a monthly planner for the year. cd90133890fa6c20e977ac3162c31815

In it, write down all homework assignments, class projects, club meetings, team practice dates & times, and other important school-oriented responsibilities.  You can also write down your household responsibilities, like when you are to wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the bathroom, clean your room, cook, and anything else your parent(s) delegate as your task.  Besides, when you leave for college, you might attend a college or university far away from your family.  So life skills must be intact if you plan to succeed on your own . . . which I’m sure you all want to eventually do!

 

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Let’s stay focused!!  Have a beautiful weekend, young girls.

 

Next Friday’s blog:  Leadership & Self-Esteem

 

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Appearance & Personal Hygiene (Part 2: Appearance)

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

Hello lovely young girls!

How are you all doing???  School is back in session, how are you classes going?  Are you well-adjusted to the teaching styles of your instructors?  Are you grasping the work in class, and understanding your homework?  Hopefully the answers to all these questions, is a confident “Yes!”  However, do not be discouraged if you have to answer “No.”  It is okay to need, and seek, help for yourselves.  We all are imperfect creatures, and a helping hand is typically a non-judgmental hand.

Last Friday’s blog piece was on Part 1 of a 2-Part entry:  Appearance & Personal Hygiene, with Part 1 being Personal Hygiene.  Last week’s topic focused on the importance of minding how often you allow your friends to use your health & beauty products (soaps, lotions, body sprays, lip balms & glosses, etc.), lest you make yourselves susceptible to the passing of germs, which can lead to allergic reactions, infections, and other possible ailments and illnesses.  As Part 1 pertained to how you take care of yourselves, Part 2, Appearance, will focus on how you present yourselves.

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Presentation is SO important when it comes to showing yourselves to the world.  There’s an old saying that goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  While it is true that wo/man makes the clothes and not the other way around, the way that one dresses sets the tone for others to formulate their opinions about him or her, whether accurate about the person or otherwise.

When you are making yourselves visible to the world, you are showing the world who and what you are, based on the first impression they get from you.  No, you should not judge a book by its cover, however there is a reason why an author puts much time & thought into how he or she would like to illustrate the book title and cover.  Something has to attract the reader, and the visual must be persuasive enough to prompt the reader to check out the book’s overview . . . and possibly make the purchase from the bookstore or check-out from the library.  It’s all in the presentation!

Young girls, how do you see yourselves when you look in the mirror? stock-photo-10337028-young-girl-tries-on-crown-looking-in-mirror While we are defining ourselves based on likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and how we relate to the rest of the world, we must also keep in mind that we are defining ourselves AND being defined.  Not initially by others, but rather by what we do when we present ourselves.  While no one else can define you, what you do to define yourself, can actually work against you.

If you have been keeping up with the blog entries from our GU4AP / MYG bloggers (outside of the MYGirls blog series), you will notice our fabulous blogger Ashley ( @ ) gave insight on great ways to present yourselves in her blog entry, “Age Appropriate Back to School Fashion Outfits for Young Girls . . . ”  I would like to expand a bit further on the importance of presentation, regarding possible messages others could be interpreting when viewing your first impression.

  • Wearing age-appropriate attire is extremely important, especially in young girls whose bodies have developed into shapes usually seen on adult females.  A young girl must first understand her body and its development, puberty, her sexuality, the vast differences between an adolescent and an adult, and the possible message she could give off if wearing makeup, tight or revealing clothing, high heels, hairstyles typically seen on adult females, long acrylic or press-on nails, and anything that screams “grown-up.”  Makeup is not for young girls.  High heels are not for young girls.  Tight or revealing clothing is not for young girls.  Multiple ear or body piercings are not for young girls.  Certain hairstyles are not for young girls.  We stress confidence, self-love, and we also stress self-respect.
  • As much as we must pay attention to how we are fixing ourselves up, we must also pay attention to the times we make NO effort to give good presentation.  While the exterior does not speak for the interior, the exterior could possibly distract the viewer, turning him or her away from the main goal of getting to the interior.  Hairstyles nowadays straddle the fence between ‘neat’ and ‘unkempt’, so there is really no defining base.  However, that does not mean to present yourself looking as though you rolled out of bed five minutes prior.  We must dress for what we want, and look the part.  Why?  Well, because you wouldn’t want to sit at the station of a manicurist who has dirty nails.  You wouldn’t want to sit in the chair of a hairstylist whose hair is all over the place . . . not in any particular style or pattern.  You wouldn’t want to buy food from a chef who came to work looking like he or she ran through a dust storm.  What clients would trust them and their service(s)?  None of those people would be dressed to look their parts.  It’s only fair that they don’t expect business to be good.

Young girls, remember as I said, you always want to “look the part.”  You always want to dress for what you want.  Your initial appearance is what gets others to believe in your words, your business, your product(s), your insight, your views.  And this means way more than the labels and price tags attached to the clothing you wear.

If you want success, you must dress like you’re going to find it. iammichelleO_v2

 

 

Please understand, young girls, that paying attention to your appearance and presentation, is not to make you stuck-up, snobby, self-conscious, or to make you superficial.  Paying attention to the way you look, is exhibiting self-love, self-worth, self-respect, and self-esteem.  When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you tend to want to DO good.  And when done with the proper guidance, you’ll always BE good.

 

Remember young girls, 1098168_10152162918519128_581882700_n1, and show the world how to love you too!!

 

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

Maintaining And Forming New Friendships

girlfriends

 

Greetings and Blessings!!!

I hope you ladies are doing well!! I hope that you all are getting adjusted to being college and embracing this new experience and adventure. In this post I wanted to share with you how to deal with in maintaining friendships and forming and establishing new ones. Maintaining long-distance friendships while in college can be difficult. But there is also that wonderful experience of forming and developing new ones. A friendship that was formed at home usually shares a kind of bond that is irreplaceable. Friends like these do not grow on tress, so holding onto these friendships while away from home is just as important as forming new ones. When it comes to maintaining your friendships with those back home, open communication is very important. With the friends that you have back home you can stay connected with them either through phone calls, emails, or both and of course social media. Also, homecoming and the activities surrounding your homecoming is a great way for you and your friends to hang out and see one another.

When it comes to forming and developing new friendships while at school, it can be a challenging time. You’re  in a new environment and you are becoming adjusted to your new surroundings. By living in a dorm and having a roommate that can be a great opportunity to establish friendships. By having a roommate, it is a great way for you to bond together over how it feels to be in college and see if you share any other interest in common. Now, having a roommate is great but it can be a real test to see how well you both can handle being in each others space. Being able to compromise and respect each others differences is very important when you are living with someone that you don’t really know. Some people who are roommates are just that and haven’t developed that bond and trust factor with one another to become friends. It is okay if you and your roommate don’t end up being the best of friends. Just be cordial to one another and if issues arise go to your floor monitor and work out any issues you guys are having.

 

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A great way to build on and develop new friendships with other students is becoming involved in organized campus activities. As you increase your involvement in college life, you will build new friendships and relationships, which will have a positive effect on your well-being. You will maintain and improve your relationships, as you build your communication skills, show concern for others, and develop your problem-solving skills.

It is important to know that when it comes to friendships whether its close friends from back home or new ones that you’ve formed, that it takes the work of both individuals in maintaining that friendship. A true friendship is not one-sided. It is important to surrounded yourselves with individuals who are helping you in achieving your goals and dreams and vice versa. If you are surrounded by individuals who are yes people and people who are not doing anything productive with themselves it is time to re-evaluate that friendship. Everyone that you come across is not meant to be your friend. Having a true and genuine friendship with someone is a blessing and it is important that one cherishes it.

 

Be Blessed

Christina

Off-to-College Checklist

college

Greetings and Blessings!!!!

Hope you ladies are enjoying your summer break!!! But as we all know some good things must come to an end and that means summer is almost over and it will be time to get back to school. Some of you will be entering into middle school, high school, and college. For those of you who are entering into college you are about to embark on an incredible journey that will set the foundation of entering into adulthood. During this time you will experience an abundance of things that will help you and guide you into figuring and finding who you are.

Whether you are leaving off to go to college or staying near home and attending a local university, it is important that you take items that you will need and will be able to fit into your dorm room. But first, you have to make sure you have a checklist.  This checklist helps you in becoming organized but it will help you in getting and having all your basic essential items that you need. The first will be making sure you have all of your paperwork together. This paperwork includes making sure you have your FAFSA filled out and completed, having and making copies of your SAT/ACT test scores, and transcripts. When I was in undergrad I learned to make copies of EVERYTHING and keep the original for myself. I have heard many of times about the financial aid office at my school losing or misplacing a student’s paperwork. You will only need this paperwork when dealing with the financial aid office, you don’t have to carry it around everywhere with you. So in order to avoid anything from happening make sure you have all your important documents placed in a folder. You will be assigned a financial aid counselor and it they will help you with everything pertaining to financial assistance for school. So it is good to build a rapport with them because they will be there to help you if you have any concerns or questions.

The next thing to tackle would be getting things for you to live in your dorm room. Now, I did live in a dorm room up until I transferred to another school and those rooms are not spacious and you really have limited space to put everything once you unpack and get settled in. All dorm rooms have a twin size bed, dresser drawer, closet, mini-refrigerator, and a desk. So it is important that you take with you what you need from home but you can also buy what you need when you get there as well.

PERSONAL SUPPLIES

  • Clothes – The number and kind of clothes you plan to pack will probably depend on the weather conditions of your college, your budget, how often you plan to do laundry and the size of your closet. That said; do not forget essentials such as hangers, belts, underwear, socks, scarves, pajamas and a weather proof jacket. A pair of ballet flats or sandals, boots, and sneakers.
  • Bedding 2 to 3 sets of extra-long twin sheets, pillowcases, a memory foam mattress pad and a quilt.
  • Toiletries– Other than your regular make-up, skin and hair care items, essentials such as a small mirror, nail clippers, nail file, tweezers and wet wipes will come in handy.  Be sure to pack bath time essentials such as toilet paper, bath and hand towels, a shower caddy, soap dish, bathrobe and flip-flops.
  • KitsA tool kit (very necessary), a sewing kit and a first-aid kit which includes vitamins, allergy meds, and pain killers.

DORM ROOM SUPPLIES

  • Dorm decoration some colorful rugs, personal mementos, framed  pictures and wall posters can brighten up your dorm room and make you feel more at home.
  • Dorm Cleaning products and supplies-broom, dustpan, cleaning rags and a wastepaper basket.
  • Kitchen essentials– utensils, a set of basic cookware, mini-fridge (if your dorm doesn’t already have one), dish soap, kitchen towels, storage containers, can and bottle openers, Saran wrap and aluminum foil, chip clips, water, and some disposable utensils.
  • Laundry itemssuch as a laundry hamper or bag, detergent, a clothesline or drying rack and rolls of quarters for laundry.
  • Electronic items– such as a blow dryer, TV, laptop, iron, radio alarm clock, phone, headphones, chargers, batteries, hand-held vacuum, an extension Cord (if allowed by the college) and a power strip.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

  • Writing essentials– such as pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, notebooks, loose-leaf college-ruled filler paper, folders, binders and computer paper to print out assignments.
  • Organizational supplies– such as post-its, thumbtacks, glue sticks, scissors, scotch tape, stapler, paper clips, a desk organizer and a backpack.
  • Study tools– such as index cards, highlighters and permanent markers, USB drives, study lamp or clip-on reading light, clipboard, dictionary  and calculator.

OTHER ESSENTIALS THAT WILL COME IN HANDY

  • A couple of combo locks– for safeguarding valuable stuff in your dorm room or you can purchase a lock-box.
  • Passport or state ID– for colleges and university travel abroad programs.
  • Miscellaneous items– Stamps, envelopes, some favorite books, under-bed storage, umbrellas and duct tape.

These items are pretty much the basics of what you’ll need for living in your dorm room. As you progress each semester, you’ll develop your own pattern in what you need and what you don’t need. Also, having a roommate and interacting and getting to know the other young ladies in your dorm will be an exciting time. Being able to develop a bond and friendships with them is one of the things that’s needed during your first semester of college. Living in a dorm and being right on campus is a great experience.

I enjoyed writing this post, it took me back to when I was just starting off as a freshman in college and how I had to learn and find my own way but I was also glad to have help along the way! So I hope you ladies that are getting ready to start college find this post helpful and I look forward to writing more post about the college experience!!!

Be Blessed

Christina

 

 

College: Back To School Shopping List…

Greetings!
I thought I share some items that maybe incoming Freshmen/college students may need to purchase as they prepare for the school year. Being a college graduate that lived on campus, I have insight & know certain items that are a MUST have.

Shopping list:
  • College Rule paper
  • Pens (black, or blue)
  • Scientific calculator
  • Laptop Vs. a Desk top (I say this because 9/10 you’re going to be on the GO, you’ll want something that’s light weight.
  • 3-ring binder
  • Backpack
  • Post its
  • Index cards
  • Highlighters
  • Tape recorder (Record lectures) this comes in handy for midterms/finals or if you like going over things over & over.
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Planner (The student union on campus should be handing these out/selling them on campus) It’ll have on-campus event dates.
  • Scissors

For those that will be living on campus in the doors/apartments:

  • Lysol
  • Shower shoes (if you’re sharing a bathroom/shower with others)
  • Clear storage containers
  • Desk lamp
  • Headphones
  • Case of water
  • Microwave (If there isn’t one & if Housing allows you to have one)
  • A small refrigerator (If there isn’t one & if Housing allows you to have one)
  • Sheets/comforter
  • Pillows
  • Stamps
  • Envelopes

Check back soon for more items added to the list!