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10 unexpected dorm items you'll need in college (or in a new apartment!)

If you're heading off to college (or even just living on your own for the first time), you'll need more than a cat, a rat, or a toad when you get there. Apologies to non-Potterphiles for that reference. You already know you'll need those long bed sheets and shower shoes and maybe a mini fridge, but here are 11 unexpected dorm items you may not have thought of that will surely come in handy…

Yep, there actually are cute laptop bags out there to carry all your crap

If you've found yourself on your first day at your big new job (or preparing for school in the fall!) with a hideous briefcase a la Andie in The Devil Wears Prada, worry not. There are tons of cute laptop bags from which to choose so that you can look chic and fully prepared at the same time.

Let's find a new home for your goodies, lappies, and electronics…

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A 100-year-old house in the middle of a West Virginia college town

We live in the middle of a college campus: it surrounds our neighborhood on three sides. We're part of the few owner-occupied hold outs, trying to keep a nice home, surrounded by college rentals. While our neighborhood poses unique challenges — such as random frat boys passed out on our porch, and beer cans in our yard every weekend — it has amazing perks.

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How and why endometriosis caused me to voluntarily become a single mother at 22

I know that I am the one who needs to get up with her every time, without exception. I have no one to be angry and resentful towards because they don't live up to whatever expectations I have put in place for them. I'll never worry about a custody battle or if her dad will let her get a tattoo after I say no. Doing everything yourself is immeasurably easier when you know that is the case from the start. Sure, there are great men out there and resentment is not always the case — I just prefer the ease of not worrying about maintaining a relationship along with my other responsibilities. A personal choice, for sure, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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I survived starting college early

I took my first college class when I was a fourteen-year-old freshman in high school. By fifteen, I had dropped out of high school to become a full-time resident student at a private college three and a half hours away from my parents. So, based on my experiences, and some of the things I've heard from my former dormmates, I thought I'd shared the pros and cons of starting college early.