Knowing what to bring to college can be a daunting task. College is a brand new experience and, often times, you are far from home. The best way to prepare is to buy all of the essentials before you leave and be ready for anything once you get there. Out of all the school supplies on the market, there are ten essential items that any college student should consider purchasing.
The most important thing any college student can have is their own computer. There is nothing worse than realizing that you have a paper due and having nowhere to write it. Relying on school computers can be touchy at best. Purchasing your own computer is essential to any college student and a laptop is the best choice. Laptops are portable and often cheaper than a desktop computer. You can take it to class with you, work on it in the library, or go to the local coffee shop to do your homework. Try to find a computer that suits all of your needs, whether you will only be writing term papers, working on graphic design assignments, or playing video games in your free time.
Behind the laptop, a printer is the next essential tool for any college student. Relying on the school printer network is never a good idea. Often times the network will be down or you will realize that you need to print something well after the college has closed for the night. Being able to print your work in the comfort of your own home will save you a lot of time and effort. Look for a printer that fits your budget. You don’t necessarily need a photo quality printer but opting for a all-in-one printer, fax machine, and scanner might save you money in the long run.
#3 Messenger Bag
Having the perfect bag for carrying your school supplies is equally important. The messenger bag is a favorite of college students. Messenger bags are perfect for holding all of your supplies, including your laptop computer and they are easier to carry than a back pack or tote bag. Choose a bag that is roomy and fits your personal style. A messenger bag with a flap clasp, adjustable strap, and lots of pocket options is a good choice.
#4 Blank CDs or a Flash Drive
It is important to have some means of carrying your work from your dorm to the college. Purchase a flash drive or a box of blank CDs. You will often need to bring your paper to school to print or turn in. Some college professors prefer to receive their assignments on CD. If you are taking any media related classes you will most likely need to bring music files, video projects, or any number of things to class. Relying on email attachments is not a solution so having a dedicated memory stick or an ample supply for blank CDs is good planning. Opt for rewritable CDs if you will be bringing many files to a class on a frequent basis.
College can be a very stressful time with classes at all hours and multiple assignments due on one day. The best way to keep organized and to ensure that you get everything done on time is to purchase a day planner or agenda. Look for a planner that has daily or weekly entries and allows enough room to write all of your assignments, due dates, and requirements.
#6 Paper Supplies
It is always a good idea to have extra paper on hand. Remember to stock up on printer paper and loose leaf paper. You do not want to run out of paper right before that big research report is due. Loose leaf paper is great for writing homework assignments, creating study guides, or brainstorming.
You should purchase one notebook per class and bring it every day. Look for notebooks which have multiple sections, each of which you can designate for a specific purpose, such as lectures, in class assignments, and lab work. Three or five subject notebooks are typically perfect for a college course. Try to have a different color for each class.
You should also purchase a folder for each class and bring it each day, along with that class’s notebook. Folders are perfect for keeping all of those handouts that your professor gives you along with your homework assignments. Look for folders that are sturdy and have bungee cord security across the front. It is a good idea to have a different color for each class, perhaps matching the notebook for that class.
Most college professors will want all of their assignments to either be typed or written in pen. Some teachers will not take assignments written in pencil. Be sure to have a good supply of pens on hand at all times. Make sure that you purchase only black and blue ink as any other color will most likely be unacceptable. Opting for refillable ink pens can save you money by the end of the school year.
#10 Index Cards
No matter what classes you take in college you will most likely need to either study for an exam, prep yourself for a quiz, or give an oral presentation. Having standard size index cards are perfect for all of these scenarios. Use index cards to study for your test or as guides for your next oral presentation. Many teachers require that the cards you used in an oral presentation be turned in for grading. Some professors will allow you to use an index card as a “cheat sheet” for an exam.