As a student at a public Florida university, I can say a few things about our college communities here in Florida: we are all about the sunshine, football, spirit, parties, music, fashion, and collegiate experience. Also, Florida colleges are extremely diverse and attract students from out of state who may not be prepared for the humid climate. To assist Florida transplants and Florida natives alike, I have compiled a list of items you’ll be thankful to have at school here in the sunshine state!
Your college lifesavers, presented my Miss Musings!
#1: A Reusable Water Bottle
Tervis water bottle from Bealls
Buying plastic water bottles is an expensive venture, and even if they are reused, they still have to be recycled eventually or wreck havoc on our environment. Also, plastic water bottles can melt in the heat, resulting in plastic particles getting into your drink. Do your health and the planet’s health a favor and invest in a Tervis or Thermos reusable water bottle (I got mine for $15 at Bealls). Bonus Tip: Both Tervis and Thermos products are made in the USA!
#2: An Umbrella
Mini umbrella by totes from Target
Umbrellas are CRUCIAL in Florida, especially if you are attending school in the summer. Some umbrellas can collapse to a small enough size to fit in your backpack or purse. I bought my umbrella for $15 at Target, and it fits in all of my bags. Bonus Tip: Stock up on Publix plastic bags and keep some in your backpack to store your umbrella in!
#3: Bug Spray
Plan on going out for a night on the town? Unfortunately, you might be joined by some unwanted guests. Load up on pocket-sized bug sprays to protect yourself from diseases, especially if you are headed out for a barbecue, late night beach trip, or outdoor music festival. Bonus Tip: Some bug sprays contain dangerous chemicals, including N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (a.k.a. deet). Look for a concentration of 15% deet for best results and minimal damage.
#4: Waterproof Mascara
While waterproof mascara is difficult to remove, it can withstand even the worst of the Florida heat. I have stopped wearing mascara just for convenience reasons, but when I do wear it, I prefer waterproof Falsies by Maybelline to all other brands. Bonus Tip: To remove your mascara without using makeup remover, swipe vaseline onto your lashes with a Q-tip and gently dab off the mascara with a soft rag.
#5: Sleeveless Tops
Want to wear your T-shirts all summer long? Think again: T-shirts can lock in underarm sweat and result in some unfortunate stains. Cute tank tops and sleeveless tops are your best bet for maximum ventilation.
#6: Jumpsuits and Rompers
Jumpsuits are all the rage this summer – and for good reason! They are soft, comfortable, and light. Also, the one-piece fashion makes for an instant outfit for when you are running out of clothes or approaching laundry day.
#7: Stretchy Headbands
Simple stretchy headband from a pack from Target
In case you have not noticed, there is literally no escape from the heat of Florida. You will break a sweat even during a short walk to class. To avoid sweaty hair emergencies, have some elastic headbands in your backpack. You can throw them on and pull your hair back so the sweat is not so obvious.
#8: Bus Apps
University of Florida and Florida State University both utilize the transloc app, which maps out bus routes on your phone so that you won’t have to walk across campus in the heat of the day. This app could very well protect you from heatstroke or having to walk alone at night. Bonus Tip: Bus routes can also be accessed on your laptop. See if your campus has transloc.
#9: A Canvas Bag
A canvas bag I got for free with purchase
You’ve seen them at the grocery store and might be wondering why you need the trendy canvas bag. These bags are not only good go-to grocery holders, as they are more durable than flimsy plastic grocery bags, but they make great gym and beach bags. Why soil your favorite cute purse or backpack with sand and sweaty gym clothes when you have an eco-friendly canvas bag at your disposal?
#10: SPF EVERYTHING
Softlips lip balm with SPF 20 in Vanilla from Target
Sunscreen is critical to every college student, but especially those in Florida. If you don’t like the feel of sunscreen, just follow these three steps for maximum protection and minimal grossness: 1. Wear a moisturizer with SPF under your makeup. 2. Spray your body with unscented sunscreen before dressing. 3. Apply SPF 15+ lip balm throughout the day. Even if you are just outside to walk in between classes, you could easily spend an hour unprotected from the sun’s rays. Protect your skin!
#11: Trendy Sunglasses
My fave sunnies from Forever 21
These are both practical and fashionable. I wear sunglasses everywhere – when I’m driving, when I’m walking, and when I’m exercising outside. I have had my favorite pair of sunnies since summer 2014, a circular black pair, and I only spent $5 on them. Check out Forever 21 and Target for the most recent styles such as the aviator, the vintage, and the circular pairs.
So go ahead and stock up on these helpful items; you’ll be thankful for them when Fall term rolls around!
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What was the best thing you brought to college? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @sammimorri!