It’s that time of the year again. Maybe you are a college student, and you just don’t know what to bring. Maybe you are a parent who wants to ensure that their child has the essentials for the best college experience. Either way I hope to help you out by listing my top ten college essentials. These are the best things to have for college, in my 4 years of experience:
10.) Extra Sheets — If you or your child is like me, you will find that laundry takes a backseat in college, especially when it comes to sheets/bedding. By making sure you have at least one extra set you can ensure that you have a fresh bed every once in a while.
9.) A Whiteboard — A good whiteboard and lots of colors of dry erase markers can really let you have a fun college experience. In my case, it really helped me get organized. I got a whiteboard that had each day of the week on it (Mon. thru Sun.). This allowed me to write down what I had going on each day, like what classes I had and whether or not homework was due. For someone who was already pretty organized, like my roommate Denise, it allowed her to be creative and draw a new picture each day. Additionally, if you are going out, people can either know where you are (if you post it on your whiteboard), or leave you a message on there for when you get back.
8.) An Open Mind — You may be thinking, hey I thought this was a list of essential supplies I will need. Well let me tell you an open mind is an essential for college. In most cases, you will be around people you don’t know well, a place you may be unfamilar with, and dealing with circumstances you have never dealt with before. In college you can really expand your horizons, but in order to do so you need to have an open mind be ready to take on new experiences.
7.) Gift Cards — This is more for the parent wanting to know what to send with their child to college. Gift cards to places they like are always a good bet. This last Christmas it was all I asked for, was gift cards to the places I either enjoyed shopping at or eating at. In all likelihood your child will spend their money on things you won’t expect them to, like fast food and alcohol over having more pens to write with in class. By giving gift cards you can make sure that your money is going towards important things like clothes, or a good meal at a restaurant. For the college student, asking for gift cards is an easy way to ensure that you get what you want, and in turn have money to spend on the things you like as well.
6.) Patience — This goes along with an open mind, in the fact that you might not really be thinking about it when you prepare for college. However, a little patience can help you go a long way. For example, if you have a roommate whom you don’t always agree with on certain things, being patient and communicating your issues can help alleviate tough situations. Additionally, there’s going to be times where your teacher or teachers will be slow in grading your work. For example, it might be time for the midterm exam, and you’d really like to know what you need to get in order to continue passing the course, but your teacher hasn’t graded any of your homework/projects yet. Being patient can help you stress less over waiting on grades and focus more on the fun you can have at college.
5.) Bathroom Supplies — Making sure you have deodorant, shampoo, body wash, tooth paste, and a tooth brush is very essential to college life. No one wants to get a reputation as the kid who smells funny. Good hygiene will not only benefit you health wise but also your social life.
4.) An Alarm Clock — This is by far one of the most useful things you can have. Early classes? A good alarm clock will make sure you wake up in time to get ready for it. Been out partying all night? An alarm clock will make sure you make your classes on time. Have a part time job? You need an alarm clock to make it to work on time. Honestly without my alarm clock, I would have been late for work, late for classes, late for meetings, and in general just late. Punctuality is important not in school but in life altogether. Get an alarm clock and make sure that it’s one that will wake you up through the deepest sleep.
3.) Toilet Paper — You may be wondering why this wasn’t included in bathroom supplies. That’s because toilet paper is on a whole other level. Unless the dorms/school supply it in the bathrooms you will NEED toilet paper. I lived in a suite style dorm situation and as a female we were always using up roll after roll. Buy it in bulk. Have your parents buy it for you. Set up a rotating toilet paper buying schedule with your roommates to ensure that you aren’t the one always buying it. Running out of toilet paper is possibly the worst thing to happen to you.
2.) Notebooks — You can’t go wrong with notebooks. For the studious they are an easy way to take notes, especially in classes where laptops might be banned. For the less studious they can provide entertainment in boring classes by letting you pass notes to classmates, or doodling the time away. In my opinion Fivestar notebooks are the best, but really, any will do unless the teacher specifies a certain kind.
1.) Snacks — Snacks are probably the most essential thing for college living. In my case, they were a way to maintain sustenance, as my dining hall had terrible food. Even with the best food in the world at your dining hall though you will find snacks will always come in handy. Too lazy to walk to the dining hall for breakfast? Have a bowl of cereal or a granola bar in your room. Up late studying? Have chips and salsa on hand. Need a quick meal before rushing to class? Ramen noodles are always a good choice. Basically by having snacks you like in your dorm, you will never need to worry about food.
I really hope these things help you. Remember that college is a journey in life, and that you will almost always forget something you need. The best part is though, that most times you can find what you need at Walmart and get on with life and college.