It seems like yesterday was my first day of college and I was very well prepared. My family and friends had purchased me anything and everything I could ever need. Actually, most of the supplies (paper clips, staples, post-it notes, etc.) my family and friends bought me lasted me my entire 4 year tenure at college.
Now, when I look back, I realize there were a few essential materials that I kept going back to the store to buy, because no one thought of telling me about this stuff ahead of time.
- Agenda/Planner – Very useful for staying organized, unlike high school, your teachers don’t constantly remind you what needs to get done, instead, you have to learn to become organized.
- Dry-Erase Board Calendar – This was the best way to keep everything that I needed to complete at eyes-reach at ALL times, it’s what ensured I never forgot to turn in an assignment on time.
- Dry-Erase Markers – My dry-erase markers were constantly running dry. I would use them to fill out the calendar AND to write myself or my roommate messages on the mirror. This was the perfect way to stay informed. First, it was environmentally friendly (no wasted paper). Second, I would never lose my message. And third, it was creative, my friends loved coming over to leave me messages on my mirror.
- Pens – In college, you can never have enough pens. In every class there would inevitably be someone that needed to borrow a pen and would never return it. Having lots of pens, ensured that I was able to take notes in every-single class.
- Lysol Air-Freshener – Let’s face it, in high school everything seems clean. After all, you’re living with your parents and they keep everything clean. However, when you get to college and you don’t have anyone regularly around to clean your room or to remind you that it’s time you clean your room. Things can start to develop strange odors. Most colleges don’t allow plug-in air fresheners. So, bringing Lysol spray air-freshener can resolve many of these issues.
- Notebooks – You have to take your notes down somewhere. Having a designated notebook for each class makes it much easier to stay organized, and when finals come around, a breeze to list through to make sure you’ve memorized all the material.
- Laptop – Most colleges require that papers be typed. It’s much easier if you have your own laptop and you can go sit anywhere in the school library and work, instead of focusing on your roommates schedule.
- Surge Protector Power Strip – You want to make sure you have enough outlets to plug everything in, from your mobile phone to your laptop.
- Alarm Clock – Unlike at home, in college you have to wake yourself up and get yourself to class on time. Sometimes, just having a good old-fashioned alarm clock will help keep you from missing your first morning class.
- Memorabilia from Home – Even though you’re in college, don’t forget your roots. Bring something that will remind you of home (pictures, stuffed animals, mugs, etc.), everyone does it, and it makes being in a whole new environment much easier.
Although, I have graduated college, I look back at those four years with fondness, and would advise any first year college students to make the best out of the experience. Take advantage of the new environment, learn all that you can, but never forget where you came from.