When you get to college, you try to pack as minimally as possible according to your packing list that the school provides. However, when you actually get to college you realize that you need more than what the list says. Because of that, here is a list of the top 10 items every college student needs (that isn’t in the handbook)!
I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I’ve gotten four mugs over the course of this year, all as gifts. When you’re in college, no matter what your preference, you end up drinking tea, hot chocolate, or even coffee. Besides, mugs are an easy way to show your personality and are great gifts to give as well!
2. Storage Bins/Baskets
Some schools may include this, but my school didn’t. Depending on what dorm room you’ll be living in, you may or may not have cabinet space, so in lieu of that, storage bins and baskets help make organizing your belongings a lot easier! If you are lucky enough to have your own bathroom in your dorm (like I was), these are especially useful in organizing cleaning products for your bathroom area. These can also be used to show off your personality and preferences depending on the color, size, and look of the storage container.
My planner is my best friend! I write every single thing in that thing–events, appointments, due dates, homework, anything that involves my schedule and my time, which is most things. Use whatever you’re comfortable with, whether it is the calendar on your phone or a physical planner. I prefer physical planners because writing it down helps me remember it and I like being able to add in post-its or other add-ins if necessary.
4. Ear Plugs
Not every person has this (not even I do), but if you’re not used to loud, late nights and thin walls, then you might need them. Dorms (especially freshman dorms) get very loud and rowdy at night and although it is fun, if you are trying to sleep or study, you might not enjoy it as much. If you are one of those people who isn’t used to or doesn’t like yelling down the hallway, you might need these to stay sane.
5. Lemon Juice
This sounds very random, but I promise, it’s not! All college students know that a larger than what’s healthy portion of their diet consists of instant noodles and top ramen. Lemon juice simply adds a nice, sour kick to the noodles that adds to the flavor and is great. I introduced it to the girls on my floor and now they can’t have top ramen without it!
6. Shower Caddy
Whether you have communal or your own bathrooms, these are needed. If you have a communal bathroom, portable shower caddies are useful take your toiletries to and from your room and into the shower with you. If you have your own bathroom, these are useful so that your shampoos and conditioners aren’t just sitting on the floor of your shower or about to fall off the edges of your bathtub.
7. Water Heater/Electric Kettle
I didn’t realize how useful these were until this year! I use this for heating up water for tea/hot chocolate or any kind of instant food. I use it for instant noodles, my roommate uses it for oatmeal. Since underclassmen usually do not have kitchens in their dorms, these help with basic food and drink needs.
Now this one isn’t absolutely necessary because people can’t have these for whatever reasons, but I think that people should at least know someone with a smartphone. I would say that this is most especially useful for finding new things to do and using GPS to find it or searching up something online for a class on the spot when you don’t have your laptop nearby. Some apps are actually really useful and can help with saving money or doing homework.
9. “Mint” App
Unfortunately, this will only be able to apply to people with smartphones, but I think that this is essential for people that can get this app or something like it, even for their computers. The Mint app tracks all of your bank accounts and spending and helps you budget for each month. I love this app because I don’t need to keep all of my receipts anymore. I can just load the app and see how much I am able to spend on certain categories of things each month, like food, clothes, health insurance, or entertainment. It even divides a few of the categories into subcategories for easy budgeting and organizing of money. For college students on a limited budget, this app can save you tons of money just by becoming aware of where your money is going.
10. Nerf Gun
I don’t have one myself (but am planning on getting one soon), but I think college students should all have some kind of nerf gun of some sort. Nerf gun wars with your friends are always great stress relievers, and they are also useful for a game that is growing in popularity among colleges called “Humans Vs. Zombies.”