…That you probably didn’t think of.
First year college packing list: ruler, tooth brush, shot glass… Ya ya ya, we all know you have that covered, but what’s missing? That’s where I come in. This is a list of the Top Ten College Essentials with all the things that you probably didn’t think to pack and that can make all the difference in your first year.
1) Studying 101
College classes move quickly so it’s really important to start off on the right foot and figure out what study strategies work for you. Online study resources are extremely beneficial because they’re accessible, easy to edit, multimedia and you can collaborate and study with your friends online. ExamTime is a fantastic free online site that offers a ton of great tools like Study Planners, Mind Maps, Flashcards and Quizzes that can all help you get organized and make the most out of your study time. Be prepared for college classes by adding this online learning site to your study tool belt.
2) An Extra Pair of Ears
Aka headphones, and good ones. It’s totally worth spending a little extra for noise cancelling ones because you’ll be amazed at how many hours you’ll spend with them on. From studying, to watching movies, to simply trying to block out noise, headphones are a necessity. Along with headphones, you should also definitely invest in a few good pairs of earplugs because you’ll need them for sleeping and writing exams.
3) Practical Backpacking
Obviously we all want to look our best, especially on campus, but that can be a real struggle when you’re lugging around 20 pounds of textbook and laptop. Trust me when I tell you it’s worth taking the time to find a good solid bag, preferably a backpack. A good bag will not only save you the back pain but also the stress of having to choose between your pencil case and water bottle because both won’t fit in your fashionable tote. Practical > stylish.
4) Universal Serial Bus
Translation: the USB, a definite college essential. We’re living in the 21st century here people, so anticipate your laptop becoming your best friend and your notes all being typed. Sure emails are great and all, but they don’t always cut it, especially when you’re “borrowing” an entire GB of notes from last semesters psych class. It’s also good practice to always back-up important work on something external, just in case your soup decides to spill and tsunami all over your computer.
5) Fresh H2o
Bring a Brita water filter and a kettle. You’ll be so thankful for both of these water cleansing machines, trust me. A) You’ll be able to filter out any funky stuff that will inevitably be found in the water B) tea is the best study buddy (or coffee, oatmeal, instant mac & cheese…) and C) for convenience because rolling over in bed to get a fresh glass of water definitely trumps stumbling down to the cafeteria.
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6) Mini ‘Life Saving’ Kits
Having a little first aid kit and a mini sewing kit will be a life savour, and probably on multiple occasions in first year. This may seem like a “just in case” kind of thing that your mom insists on packing, but trust me, the time will come when you’ll be so thankful she thought ahead. It’s good to be prepared for those times when college gets a little messy and even if you don’t end up using it, chances are your friend who thought it was necessary to do parkour on the way back from a kegger, will.
Bunny ears, tacky Hawaiian shirt, police hat… Bring it all! College is all about the impromptu themed party so it’s good to think ahead and make sure you’re prepared for anything, any day of the week. Rule #1 is always dress up. Even if it’s just throwing on something small, you definitely don’t want to be that person who thinks they’re too cool to dress up because lets be real, anytime there’s face paint involved you know it’s going to be a good time. Did someone say toga party?!
8) Be a Social Media Mogul
Step 1: have a Facebook account (which 99.9% of you already have covered). Step 2: Add new friends. Something that you will soon come to realize is that your social media self is pretty much as important as your real self (little depressing I know). Networking is one of the most important parts of college, so delete those old embarrassing photos and whether you meet someone at a pep rally, club days or in a class, make sure to add them on Facebook. There’s real truth behind the saying “it’s all about who you know.”
9) Something Homey
Yes, you’re moving to a new town, yes you’re ready to meet new people and yes it’s time to start this new chapter of your life. But no matter what and no matter how ready you are for college, you’re still going to miss home, even if you don’t want to admit it. It’s worth packing that little comfort of home, whether it’s your favourite pillow, old sweatshirt or mug, you’ll be glad to have it to cuddle when you’re about to have a mental breakdown thanks to Intro to Finance.
10) Get Organized
Make a trip to Ikea, make your life easier and make the most out of what little space you’ll have in your dorm room. Throwing your clothes on the floor might of been okay back home, but now you’re probably sharing your room with another person so it’s time to grow up and get organized! Under the bed roll-out organizers are great for extra jackets or shoes, hanging shelves are perfect for underwear and socks, and desk organizers are great for school supplies or makeup.
Now that you’ve got all the college essentials, you’ll be totally ready for your first year. It’s true what they say, these will be some of the best years of your life so make sure to make the most of it. Work hard, play hard.