With college being a little more than a month away, it’s easy to let the strange combination of excitement and anxiety get the best of you. Let’s face it, freshman year is overwhelming. The amount of school work, the giant lecture halls, and on-campus living are each acquired-taste-like characteristics that are unique to the college experience.
But with proper preparation, anyone can survive (and maybe even thrive!) in the first year. Here is a list of college essentials that you may not have seen in your previous “what to bring to college” Google searches. These things may not be obvious necessities at first, but trust me, they will make college life a lot easier.
Power Strip with USB Ports
Laptop, coffee machine, desk lamp, your cell phone, and friends’ cellphones. Do you see where I’m going here? We all know that gadget chargers are a big college essential. A power strip with a USB port is a useful tool to power up all of the many gadgets we typically own, especially when multiple friends come over to the dorm with dying cell phone batteries.
Getting up to get a glass of water in the middle of the night won’t be very easy in the dorms, which is why a reusable water bottle is a big necessity for college. Even outside of the dorms, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, whether you’re going to class, the gym, or anywhere else. The recommended daily intake of water is 2 liters (half a gallon), so drink up!
Fabric Protector for Shoes
Fashion forward, sneaker-head students will need to pack multiple of this college essential! Having class in multiple buildings means that walking from place to place will become a daily ritual. Keep those brand-new canvas shoes nice and clean by spraying it with fabric protector. Water-proof fabric protector is especially useful for rainy and snowy weather.
Snack Stash Drawer
Some colleges offer a grab-n-go dining option where you grab an entrée and 2-3 sides to-go. The sides usually consist of chips, crackers, cookies, and more. Smart students take the opportunity to stash the non-perishable sides to save for later, which is why it’s important to keep extra storage around the dorm! Affordable plastic drawer stands can be bought at most supermarkets. Even store-bought snacks can be stashed in these handy storage drawers. Those snacks are especially useful when you’re tired of dining hall food.
Social Security Card
Most of the time, part-time jobs are a necessity for college students. Students looking to find a job in college should have their social security cards in their possession because most companies are required to keep this information in their records. SS cards do not belong in wallets! Instead, store the card in a folder of important documents and make sure it stays in the dorm.
Some college campuses have dorm halls that have been around before air conditioning was common. Because roasting alive in a dorm would be inevitable otherwise, it’s a good idea to invest in a rotating fan. Coordination with the roommate is important here because one fan is usually enough. But sometimes, dorms can get so hot that having two fans isn’t such a bad idea.