It’s getting to be that time of year again: college students are packing up and moving off to school.
Here’s a list of 15 items that may (or may not) already be on your packing list that I personally found helpful my freshman year.
1. Mattress pad/topper
This may be the most important item on the list. The mattresses provided in dorms are so horribly cheap and uncomfortable. My first night at college I spent hours awake due to the discomfort.
Buying a nice, thick, high-quality mattress pad or mattress topper will not only improve your sleep, but will improve the quality of your college life. Not even kidding.
Just be careful regarding which type you buy. My school doesn’t allow foam mattress toppers (like the egg crate kind) so I had to buy a cotton one. Since most college dorms have XL twin beds, make sure to check the packaging before making the purchase.
2. Mugs, bowls, silverware, & dish soap
Probably a duh item(s) to most people, but I had thought that since I had a meal plan and no kitchen of any kind freshman year, I wouldn’t need these things. I did. You need something to cook your ramen packets in!
3. Sewing kit
It’s kind of ridiculous how many times I had to use a sewing kit these past two years at college. Granted, a lot of the time I was fixing my friends’ clothes, but a small sewing kit still comes in handy!
Makes brewing tea, cooking ramen, and making hot chocolate a lot easier (and tastier).
5. Filtered water bottle
The only water available in my freshman dorm was from the bathroom sinks. And no, it was not filtered. If that type of thing bothers you, then bring a water bottle with a filter.
6. Business attire
This is most applicable to any fellow business majors, but for anyone who plans on seeking a job/internship, bring some nice clothes you can interview in (such as a blazer). You gotta dress to impress!
7. Alarm clock
I know I know, who still uses an alarm clock when practically everybody nowadays has a smartphone? Well, I would still suggest bringing a backup. Sometimes phones get lost or submerged in water and need to relax in some rice. Plus, if you have a super important exam first thing in the morning, it’s nice knowing that you have a safety net.
8. Seat cushion
Dorm furniture is not particularly cushy or nice. And, there’s a decent chance you’ll be spending quite a bit of time sitting in your desk chair. Bring a seat cushion to make it a bit more comfortable.
9. Non-plastic desk lamp
This probably seems like a very odd item to include, but more than one (three!) of my friends somehow melted their plastic desk lamps. A desk lamp is still a super important item to bring, so try to find one made of metal.
10. Cleaning supplies
I don't think I need to elaborate on this one. If you (or your roommate) is a bit on the messy side, your room can get a little gnarly if you let things go too long. Trust me on this one!
If you plan on working on campus, you’ll probably have to fill out a form (I-9) declaring your eligibility to work. You’ll need either a picture ID + Social Security card, or a valid passport. I would recommend the passport, especially since it can come in handy in case you and your friends decide to take an impromptu trip to Canada for spring break (or something). And your passport is not something you want floating around in the mail. Just make sure to keep it in a safe place.
12. Duct tape
Things break. Duct tape fixes everything.
13. First aid kit
Band-aids, anti-biotic ointment, cold medicine, etc. School bookstore prices are absurdly high, and you won’t be feeling up to travelling much further for these types of items especially if you've sliced your finger and need a Band-aid NOW!
“But my phone has a calculator on it,” you say. Yeah, I don’t think that will fly with your calculus professor on your next exam. “Ew, I’m done with math,” you say. Fair enough, but other classes often also require a calculator (accounting, economics, finance, etc.).
Not necessarily an actual nightstand, but maybe a stool or some kind of hanging organizer you hang from under your mattress. Somewhere you can keep your phone, box of tissues, or place your glasses when you go to bed.