College Essentials from a College Student
I, along with my fellow class of 2020 members, will finally be heading off to college in the fall, a moment that we have all probably been waiting for. I don’t know about you, but I am just as nervous as I am excited. I have no idea where to start when thinking about what to bring. How many clothes? What appliances? The best study snacks? So, I turned to my best friend and basically big sister Liv Sheridan, who will be a junior at Boston College this fall, (BC is also where I will be going, which is actually the most exciting thing ever!), to tell me her top college essentials and what she recommends every freshman to bring (or not to bring) to campus come september.
An Old Pair of Sneakers: These are perfect for “football games, going out, rainy days, and parties” Basically, shoes that are comfortable, go with everything, and that you don’t mind getting dirty.
A Jacket that you don’t care about losing: Liv calls this the “fracket” or the jacket that you wear to parties or out to dinner and don’t mind leaving behind or accidentally being taken by somebody else.
A lot of clothes: Liv recommends you pack all your clothes, and then get rid of like 90% of what you packed. Face it, you’re probably mainly going to wear leggings and sweatpants, so while it is good to pack some nice clothes, don’t take up all your space with them.
For Your Dorm
A Nutribullet: This is one of the “best” appliances to have in your dorm to use for all kinds of things, especially breakfast smoothies.
A Kettle: Some colleges are pretty restrictive on what type of electronics you can keep in your dorm room, like a keurig or nespresso. If your dorm allows it, great! But if not just buy a kettle and a hot plate to make tea or instant coffee.
Board Games: Some of the things that Liv wished she had freshman year was board games that her and her friends could all play together! She says that they are perfect for when you just want a night in.
Lights, more than you think: The usual lights in a dorm room are pretty fluorescent and can “give you headaches”, so Liv says to bring a bunch of smaller fairy lights or lamps to use to not only decorate your room but to replace the annoying white light with softer and more relaxing light.
A MATTRESS TOPPER (ideally tempurpedic): Liv says that you will basically not survive if you don’t have this. Some colleges also don’t allow tempurpedic mattresses because they are a fire hazard, but Liv says to just hide it in a trash bag when you move it, because you absolutely just need to have one.
Sooooo many Command Strips and Hooks: You will basically use hundreds of these during the school year for hanging stuff up and for keeping your dorm room organized, so it is important to have as many as you can.
Storage Cubes, but cute: Cubes to put under your bed are perfect for extra storage, but don’t just get plain plastic ones so you don’t get tired of having to look at them all the time.
Hangers with hooks to hang other hangers on: In freshman year, Liv’s closet was super thin, but had a lot of vertical space, so these were really great to maximize storage.
A Doorstop: This one is kinda random, but important. Some dorms have open door policies freshman year so you can meet new people who are living on your floor, so Liv says to buy a door stop so you can always keep your door open and your RA doesn’t always have enough doorstops for everyone.
A Britta Filter: Liv says to “for sure” bring one of these to make sure that you’re drinking clean water, and she says it’s worth it to get a big one, even if it takes up all your space in your minifridge (also it’s good to have a minifridge).
A Top Sheet: If you want to keep your room clean, then it’s a good idea to make your bed every morning. But, if you’re running late, you won’t want to have to worry about tucking in an extra sheet. Just use a duvet, and obviously a bottom sheet, and bring extra blankets if you’re scared of getting cold.
Shower Shoes: This is just a no brainer for college bathrooms. Bring shower shoes because you do not want whatever germs are on that ground. They can literally be any old flip flops.
Velcro Towel: Liv says that this is a really good item to have, especially if you have to walk from your dorm room to your bathroom. After your shower, you can just velcro the towel on and then not have to worry about holding it to keep up while you walk back, and it keeps your hands free to hold your shower caddy.
In Your Backpack
Five Subject Notebook: Liv says that she typically has around 5 classes a semester, but she doesn’t want to carry around separate individual notebooks for each class. So, she uses a big 5 subject notebook which keeps everything consolidated and more organized.
Muji Pens: Liv is literally the biggest fan ever of Muji Pens. If you take only one thing from this post, buy muji pens. She uses the .5 width clicky pens, but they have all different kinds. She says they are “beautiful, they write so well, and they’re cheap” - what more could you want?
Phone Chargers: You should bring as many phone chargers as you can to college, because you’re always going to want them and they are pretty easy to lose. Liv says to keep one in your backpack at all times so you can always have a charged phone wherever you go.
Textbooks: So obviously you are going to need textbooks for your classes, but Liv recommends waiting until after your first one or two classes to buy your textbooks because sometimes your professor might say that you don’t actually need to purchase one because you can find it for free or the professor will just use their own pdfs of the textbook.
The Best Snacks
Yogurt and Granola: If Liv wasn’t having a smoothie for breakfast, she would have yogurt and granola. It’s super quick, yummy, and perfect to take on-the-go.
Pretzels: Liv and her roommate would go through so many bags of pretzels freshman year; she says they were the perfect study snack
BarkThins: Liv says that when her and her friends are studying and want to treat themselves, BarkThins is their go-to choice!
A Lanyard: You can bring one, or buy one at your school’s bookstore, but Liv says that these are really good to have if your school provides you with a physical ID, because it is easy to keep track of it with a lanyard. Lanyards are also good to hold other things, like keys. Liv and her roommates have a hook right in the front of their room where they leave their lanyards as soon as they come in so they never lose them.
The Lyft App: Yes, most people use Uber, but Liv says that Lyft can sometimes be cheaper but “just as efficient” as Uber on busy nights.
Nyquil and Dayquil: If one person gets sick in a dorm, most everyone else gets sick, so Liv recommends you keep Nyquil and Dayquil in your room just in case.
Clorox Wipes: These are perfect to clean your room when you first move in because a lot of dust accumulates over the summer and because you really just don’t know who was living there before you.
Dustbuster: Liv says that the floors in your dorm can get dirty with crumbs and other random things, so having a dustbuster is really important. Literally “everyone on your floor will want to borrow it.”
Batteries: So many random things need batteries, so it is always good to have a couple of packs.
Hammock: This isn’t really an essential, but Liv says that it is still a really good thing to bring. She uses one from the brand “ENO”; it folds up really small and is super easy to bring with you and set up around campus whenever you want.