Did I date myself by saying “get psyched!”? It’s that time of year again, back to school time. I’ve been trying to help a niece and a cousin get ready for college this year and so I’ve decided the first Back to School post this year would be things you need for college. Most of these assume that you’ve a freshman living in a dorm, but many could be useful despite your year status or dorm status.
Please post in the comments if there is an item you think I’ve missed or if there is something else that really helped you get ready for college.
General gift cards to places like Amazon, Chegg or visa gift cards (or cash) can be great so you can buy books online in the fall and save some cash. The bookstore is HORRIBLE for the most part price wise for buying books. Also check the library on campus if you need a book and can’t afford or are waiting on yours to arrive.
extra long sheets
small trash can
footlocker with lock
a printer (depending on school printing rules…if you don’t get “free” printing on campus or limited sheets less than what you think you’ll need…if you’re going to buy one, i highly suggest a black and white laser printer – no need to replace toner or drum often!)
binders or spiral bound notebooks or a padfolio
pencils (and pencil sharpener)
calculator (ti-83 or ti-84 if you don’t have one already; business calculators are different so look at your need)
plastic tupperware with lids (double as bowls and even plates)
a good backpack that is actually made for heavy books – those flimsy bags with strings or single strap bags are not good for carrying books or laptops necessarily and certainly aren’t great for your back. messenger bags are good to a certain weight point
laptop (not a netbook)…most software you might be able to get from your school for free or cheap
a good academic planner
surge protectors – dorms don’t allow extension cords and “power strips” don’t protect against surges. get good ones and don’t worry about killing your electronics
good pair of shoes to walk campus in – if you are a great flip flop wearer that’s fine. but your feet need good support so give it to them!
noise cancelling headphones (the library is NEVER quiet)
flashlight – you will use it
a 4gb flash drive (good quality; you could get bigger or smaller but a 4gb could get you all the way thru school)
towel sets – ok they don’t have to be real sets. but you have to bathe. if you don’t wanna, everyone on your floor and in your classes will hurt you
shower caddy – please don’t put your stuff on the floor in a dorm shower. ever.
shower shoes (flip flops or slides that don’t get worn elsewhere) – same premise as shower caddy. dorm showers are disgusting. and if you have a suite, the cleaning is when you and your suitemates clean it. assume they don’t clean
ramen noodles – staple of the college diet
a small marker board/white board for your room door or for you to write notes on by your desk in the dorm
money for laundry – quarters are still in use some places, but a lot of schools are switching to wash card based systems. you’ll need bills or potentially online method to pay for this. it probably won’t be free unless you go to a school where it’s a perk
a really good laundry bag or basket (bags are easier for dorms since you have limited space)
whatever toiletries you like to use
a good coffee or tea travel mug (if you drink that)
a spill proof water bottle – nothing like showing up to class with a wet butt and a ruined paper
forks, spoons, knives – you gotta eat. and ramen with your fingers gets messy
an open mind – college is a new experience and a chance to meet with people who are of different thought schools and different walks of life. keeping an open mind can allow you to truly find yourself and happiness in college
what helped you get through college?