Going off to college is such an important step in life and is an amazing opportunity for new experiences. For many of us, college is our first time moving away from home and it can be quite overwhelming knowing what to take with us. It is really important to make sure that you are fully prepared for college because it will make the transition so much easier. There are a lot of supplies that can help to ensure that you settle in just fine. To help all the freshmen out there pack accordingly, here are 18 things you need for smooth college life.
1. A Laptop
A laptop is an important thing that can really help you out at college because it enables you to do your work wherever you are. Laptops are also great for watching movies and browsing the internet in your downtime and also for chatting with your friends and family back home on Facetime and Skype. These days, you can pick up a laptop for relatively cheap, but if you don’t have your own then don’t worry because every college has plenty of computers in the computer labs that you will be able to use any time you need. Make sure that you have plenty of USB sticks to keep your work backed up and so that you can work on your assignments on multiple computers.
2. A Printer
As well as a computer, it is always worth getting a cheap printer so that you can print out your work. All colleges have printers in their computer labs, but there are often big queues to use the printers, especially at busy times. It is really important to stock up on toner and the folks at Premiumtoners.com explained that there are lots of toners available online that are cheap and can be delivered quickly directly to your dorm. Color toner is more expensive than black toner but as you will mostly be printing out essays and other academic assignments, you will usually only need black toner anyway.
3. A Backpack
A great backpack is an absolute essential for every college student because you are going to have to carry around a huge amount of books, papers, laptops, pencil cases, and much much more. Make sure to choose a big backpack with separate compartments for all your stuff. It should also have padded shoulder straps to protect your shoulders because your backpack is going to be pretty heavy once you fill it with everything that you need for class. There are loads of great backpacks available, but investing a little extra money is never a bad idea because it will last longer.
4. Bathroom Caddy
The majority of college dorm rooms have shared bathrooms, so the first thing you need for smooth college life is a bathroom caddy. A bathroom caddy enables you to easily carry all your shampoos, body washes, and other products to the bathroom. It can be very difficult to carry armfuls of wet soapy bottles and tubes every time you want to take a shower or have a wash and you can’t leave everything in the bathroom because it may go missing.
5. Power Strip
Most dorm rooms are pretty small and this means that they don’t usually have a lot of power outlets. In this day and age, you need a lot of power outlets, especially in college when you need to charge your phone, laptop, and tablet as well as outlets to plug in your TV, fridge, and microwave. It can be a big point of tension between college dorm roommates when one person is using all the power outlets so a power strip with lots of outlets is necessary for maintaining a harmonious relationship with your roommate. You can pick up power strips in practically every big store, but just don’t overload them because this can be a fire hazard.
6. Disposable Utensils
Whether you’re doing an all-night study session before a big exam or you’re just chilling out watching Netflix with your friends, you’re going to be eating a lot of snacks at college. Dorm rooms may have a microwave and a small refrigerator, but they don’t usually have a full kitchen or much storage space for utensils and plates and bowls. Disposable utensils are great for enjoying snacks and microwave meals and allow you to just throw everything away when you’re done without any washing up. Look out for disposable utensils that are recyclable, so that after you use them, they don’t just end up in the trash.
7. A Desk Lamp
Many dorm rooms do not have too much natural light so a good desk lamp is absolutely essential. There will be so many occasions when you need to stay up late to study or finish an assignment and your roommate may not take too kindly to you working with all the lights on so make sure that your desk lamp is powerful enough to study at night but that it has a focused beam to stop you from annoying other people. You can get a desk lamp from any electrical store and they come in every color and design so you are sure to be able to find the perfect one to brighten up your dorm room.
8. Lysol Wipes
Lysol wipes are really great because dorm rooms can get really dirty, really fast and so Lysol wipes are a useful solution. Accidents can happen with drinks and food and you will need to clean up your dorm regularly and using Lysol wipes is a lot easier than buying a mop and loads of other cleaning products. College students are not known to be the cleanest people and so if you don’t want to live in a grimy, dirty room, make sure to stock up on Lysol wipes.
9. Protective Duvet Cover
One of the best things about living in a college dorm is the feeling of community and so a lot of people are going to be coming in and out of your room all the time to chat and hang out. You are going to be having friends over all the time and they’re going to sit on your bed. It’s always a good idea to put a protective duvet cover on your bed for when people sit on the bed that you can take off when you go to bed. A really big blanket or bed cover is perfect and will make your bed really comfortable for guests to sit and will help to keep your bed nice and clean for you to sleep.
10. Mattress Topper
As well as a protective duvet cover, another bed essential is a quality mattress topper. Dorm room beds are notoriously uncomfortable because the mattresses are usually so hard. Look out for a thick, soft mattress topper which will help to make your bed a lot more comfortable. Mattress toppers only cost around $10 but it is worth spending a little more to make sure that you get one that is quality and will last the length of your time at college.
College is a great place to meet new friends and have new experiences, but you will be spending a significant amount of your time studying. It is really important to make sure that you have all of the stationery that you need to be able to study effectively. Pens, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes are all necessary items and it is worth having two sets of everything, one set to keep on the desk in your room and one set in your backpack to take to class. Get yourself a really cool pencil case to keep all your stationery safe.
12. Storage Boxes
Another absolute essential for every college student is plenty of storage boxes to store your stuff in your dorm room. Plastic boxes are great because they are cheap and they can fit just about anywhere. Storage boxes are great for keeping your clothes, books, and other items packed away in an orderly fashion. It is advisable to get many different sized storage boxes for keeping different things. Bigger storage boxes that can be pushed underneath your bed are great for clothes while small storage boxes are good for medicine and stationery.
13. Laundry Essentials
One thing that you may overlook is that you will have to do your own laundry at college and so make sure that you have all the laundry essentials that you need. You can pick up a laundry hamper for just a few dollars and try to look out for one with a strong handle so that you can take your laundry straight to the laundry room without needing an extra bag. As well as a hamper, you will need a big box of laundry pods or detergent. One great tip is to use the same detergent as you use at home so that every time you do your laundry, the scent will make you feel comfortable and remind you of home.
14. An Umbrella
If you live somewhere that often gets a lot of rain, it is really important to get a great umbrella for when you are walking across campus to and from class. The last thing you want is for your assignments, books, and laptop to get wet and so an umbrella is always necessary. If you buy a small umbrella, you will be able to keep it in your backpack at all times and just pull it out if you get caught in a downpour. Umbrellas are very cheap and you can pick one up for just a few dollars.
15. Photos From Home
One really easy way to make your dorm room feel more like home is to fill it with lots of photos of your friends and family. Print out some photographs of your loved ones and stick them up on the wall above your bed or make a cool collage on a pinboard. Alternatively, you can buy a digital photo frame for your desk and put all your photos on a USB stick. That way you can see them all one after another in an awesome slideshow.
16. Digital EBook Reader
One way to reduce the number of heavy books that you need to carry around with you is to buy a digital ebook reader. This will enable you to download all the textbooks you need as well as your favorite novels and books. You can pick up an ebook reader for less than $100 and then download the digital books for significantly less than it costs to buy paper copies. Older books are totally free to download so you can build up a huge collection of classics for no cost at all.
17. Simple Cooking Equipment
College dorm rooms do not have full kitchens and you will eat the majority of your meals in the campus cafeterias or in local cafes and restaurants, but you can make a lot of quick meals and snacks with just a few simple gadgets. Most dorm rooms will provide a microwave that you can use for heating up food and cooking microwave meals, but you should also look at buying a toasted sandwich maker and a smoothie maker and you will be able to make lots of different snacks.
18. Pot Plant
It is great for your health and environment to inject a little greenery into your dorm room. A cute little pot plant or a cactus make perfect additions to any room and help brighten up your space. Try to find a plant that doesn’t need too much attention because college life is so busy it can be easy to forget what day you need to water your plant.
For many people, the years we spend at college are some of the best years of our lives. To ensure that you make the most of your time at college, it is important to prepare everything that you will need. If you are heading off to college soon and you are fretting about what you need to take, pick up some of the items on this list and you will be all set for the semester ahead.