Even though it feels like it’s just begun, summer is going to come to a close sooner than you can even imagine—and that brings in fall, which also means the beginning of college for many students around the country. In the mad rush to pack up your entire life and not leave anything important behind, it’s inevitable that you’re going to overlook something. However, there are a few little essentials that you should really try to make sure you have with you when you roll into campus. Here is a list of ten things that will definitely help improve your college experience:
Moving away for the first time brings with it loads of opportunities to make new friends and memories—all of which you’re going to want to be able to show off to your family and old friends back home. That’s why you’re going to want to make sure that you have a camera with you at all times to capture all of the adventures you embark on. If you can, find a digital point-and-shoot with a good sized memory card—you’ll be able to take more pictures without worrying about having to delete some old ones.
Just because you’re going off to make new memories, doesn’t mean that you want to forget the old ones. So make sure that you bring your favorite pictures and albums with you. You’ll be able to hang them up and display them around your room, and they’ll keep you company at your most homesick moments.
It sounds odd, but believe me. There is nothing worse than attempting to unpack all of your clothes into a new closet and realizing that you have nothing to hang your fancy items on. You don’t have to bring a lot, but just make sure that you have fifteen or twenty plastic clothes hangers for your most delicate wardrobe items.
Ear Plugs/Eye Mask
For many people, college will be the first time that they’ve ever shared a living space with someone else. This means that you’ll have to deal with potential snoring, loud shouts in the hallway, and your room mates desk lamp on at 1 a.m. when they’re trying to finish up that last paper. Having ear plugs and an eye mask can really help you get the sleep you need without being that obnoxious person asking everyone to “keep it down”.
Basic Medicine/First Aid Kit
You’re not going to want to run to the school nurse for every headache you get or paper-cut you suffer. That’s why having a small box full of bandaids, Neosporin, asprin, ibprofen, and a few other things will be a lifesaver at certain moments. Just make sure to keep it stocked up throughout the school year and you’ll be good to go.
It’s a good idea to have some cheap flip-flops or other sandals handy for your showering time—you have no idea whether or not the floor in the shower stall has been cleaned, or who’s germs are still hanging around, and you definitely don’t want to find out. Just bring some shower shoes with you for your own (and your mother’s) peace of mind.
It is fairly well-known that many dorm mattresses leave a lot to be desired. They’re often covered in plastic that crunches when you roll and pokes you in the back—not to mention that they’re usually only a few inches thick. Bringing a mattress pad with you (especially a memory-foam one) will guarantee that you get the best sleep possible without having to shell out for a brand-new bed.
Okay, I know it seems weird. But, when you’re absolutely starving at 2 a.m. from working on that paper and everything else is closed and all you’ve got is a can of soup, you’re going to thank me. Just pack it.
Roll of Quarters
This has got to be at the top of every college student’s “Forgotten and Wish I Hadn’t” list. If you want clean clothes without having to go back to the prairie and wash them yourself, make sure that you have a few rolls of quarters so that you can operate the washer and dryer.
Finally, bring your favorite pillow with you. It’ll smell like home, and it will be the most comforting thing you’ve got when all you want to do is run home and crawl in bed. Plus, you already know that you sleep well with it so there’s no need to break in a new one.
So there you have it—ten items that are going to come in handy during your time in college. Happy learning!