College Essentials No One Will Tell You to Bring

Whether this is your first year at college or your fourth, you’re probably eagerly packing and getting ready for The Big Move. You’re making your list, and checking it twice: pencil case – check, backpack – check, Aggie Pack t-shirt – check, sunscreen – check. But what about the less obvious, but no less crucial things?

(We’re not sure what that thing is in the photo – maybe a gnome? – but obviously your grandmother thought it was a necessary part of her college dorm experience.)

Going away to college is a unique experience, and requires its own checklist. Fortunately, we and are here to the rescue.

1. Safety Pins

Etka Partani, a junior at UCLA, says she took her mom’s box of safety pins for granted before she arrived at college. “I know it seems random, but sometimes they’re completely necessary to adjust an outfit or make sure the costume that you threw together for a party doesn’t fall off,” she says. You can keep safety pins in a small box with other random knickknacks, such as paper clips and bobby pins.

5. Electric Kettle/Water Boiler

Emily Willeman, a junior at Western Washington University, suggests bringing an electric kettle for making late-night ramen. Sometimes you won’t feel like walking to the dining halls or they won’t be open when studying late at night and get hungry, so it’s nice to have hot food options in the convenience of your room! An electric kettle is also great for making hot tea or soup when you have a cold or want to make hot chocolate during winter months. Add some Tim Tams to the hot chocolate and invite friends over for a snack social!

6. Brita Pitcher

Not all college dorms have a water fountain on every floor, so invest in a Brita pitcher to filter tap water so you can stay hydrated. If you are lucky enough to have a fountain in the hall, you may want to buy a pitcher anyways so you don’t have to run back and forth for another cup of water!

8. External Hard Drive

You never know when your computer will crash (yet it always seems to happen during crucial times, like finals week). An external hard drive is a solution to potentially losing all of your hard work. Though some collegiettes use online storage programs (or use the old email attachment method), it doesn’t hurt to have a local copy of your work in case there are Internet connection problems. Be sure that you buy the right hard drive for your computer!

9. Earplugs and Sleep Mask

Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for a roommate who doesn’t snore, head to college prepared for the worst. Even if you are a deep sleeper, it’s better to have these aids at your disposal than to wish you had them while tossing and turning at two in the morning or waking up as the sun rises on a Saturday. Dorm halls have an unpredictable mix of students—some who may not have had the same level of respect for others as you do. Earplugs are a safeguard against booming speakers, awkward hallway arguments, disturbing noises through thin walls, and anything else you could (literally) lose sleep over!

10. Extension Cords and Power Strips

You don’t want to be tied to working at your desk because your computer charger is too short to reach your bed. Bring an extension cord for free range around your room (or the library). Many dorm rooms also have a limited number of outlets, so pack a power strip to charge all your gadgets, because you shouldn’t have to pick between a functioning phone and laptop! Plus, you will avoid any arguments with your roommate about being an outlet hog. Now you can both dry your hair in peace!

11. Duct Tape

People joke about it being a poor man’s tool kit, but duct tape is incredibly useful, versatile, and cheap! Use it to cover up wires, secure loose items, and solve problems you can’t even imagine right now. It actually works magic.

And if you find you need other crucial supplies, don’t sweat it. You can buy them here in town.

For more great suggestions, please click on the link above. Happy packing!