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Maybe it’s the smell of a pot roast in the crockpot or freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that bring back the reminiscent thoughts of being home. For others, it could be seeing “the old truck” in the driveway or dad’s muddy shoes by the back doorstep. Home is the place that raised us and where your people are.
The end of summer brings many things, including the potential of packing up kids and sending them off to college. After that first delivery and freshman year, it does seem to get a bit easier. Often, there are fewer tears, less emotion and a sigh of relief knowing your pantry doesn’t have to be quite as full. And the pretty pillows on the couch might stay put for more than 10 seconds.
But there are a few things that you can add to your dorm room packing list to make it feel more like your Arkansas home while you are away.
Snacking is a college pastime – used with permission from J&M Foods
Yes, it has been a long summer, and for the last three months the pantry has been raided daily. Favorite snacks are sitting eye level and usually out of a box with no idea of how many you have consumed. The same can happen at college, so make sure you are careful about the Freshman Fifteen, it’s real!
A little bit of advice: chocolate chip cookies don’t really survive the mail, no matter what techniques you use. But leftovers always reheat when you’ve been home for the weekend.
Candles can add light and ambiance to your dorm room-pictures used with permission from Candles and Crème Collection and Wax Candle Company
There is something about the sense of smell that can take you right back to a situation. Whether it’s the inside of your hometown skating rink, popcorn at the basketball gym, or a bag of summer beach toys. One smell and you are right back in that place, reliving the special moments you made. Scents connect us to memories, and having a smell of something like home will make some of those tough days a little easier.
Arkansas based companies who sell candles and home scents:
A little bit of advice: use a Mason jar, cut a set of chopsticks in half and fill the jar with water and essential oils. You’ll have your own room diffuser, avoid the flame, and cover-up whatever that funky smell is in the carpet.
When you hit snooze on the alarm one too many times, you will not make it to breakfast before class. Having a loaf of bread or English Muffins handy makes for an easy breakfast or quick snack on your way out the door. While her homemade biscuits may not be there, having some of grandma’s jelly to slather on top will make you feel like you are sitting on her bar stool.
Arkansas based companies who sell jams and jellies:
A little bit of advice: If your grandma offers you a treat in a jar, just take it. You can open it later and find out what flavor it is. Oh, and don’t be scared of figs or dates, they always work well on a sandwich.
When you need something to drink, you want your favorite beverage sitting right where you like it. Now, you may have to be the one to restock the dorm room fridge or pour your own cup of joe, unless you work out a deal with your roommate or another pledge.
Arkansas-based companies selling our favorite beverages:
Whether it matches your dorm room décor or not, you will want a decorative pillow or your favorite blanket. You can throw it across the end of your bed or in the trunk of your car for watching intramurals, studying on the lawn or hanging out at a tailgate party.
Arkansas based companies who can help with home décor and fabrics
If it’s not already on your list, you’ll need a clear bag for football games. While searching through bags is a common practice at most arenas, it is becoming more common that a clear bag, tote, clutch, or wristlet is necessary to carry anything to the game. Save yourself a return trip to the parking lot and have your clear bag in hand.
If you are looking for a gift for a college student, anything on the list above will work. But, they might appreciate it if you focus more on the snack section. And, if your college student is heading out of state, make you include a little extra Arkansas love!
Cover image was provided by the Communications Department at Ouachita Baptist University.
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