Going off to college, especially if it’s your first time being on your own, can make any student nervous. It’s hard to know what to take and what you’ll need. There are some basics that every freshman should have when going off to college for the first time.
1. A laptop has become a must for college. Some classes even list them as a requirement. Don’t fall for sharing one with a roommate. When you have a research paper due in three hours and someone else is using the computer, you’ll wish that you had your own. Not to mention that if you think you may take online courses, a laptop will be even more useful. Along with your laptop, take adapters and at least one power strip. An extension cord will be useful as well.
2. Having a mini-fridge in your dorm room will save you not only trouble, but money, too. By keeping a few quick meals and plenty of snacks ready in your room, you won’t be tempted to go spend $20 on one meal in a restaurant when you’re ravenously hungry.
3. Don’t forget to bring comfort items. No matter how excited you are to be out on your own for the first time, there will be days that you get hit by homesickness. Bring photos, stuffed animals, pillows, books, and anything else from home that you think will comfort you when you feel down.
4. Keep a bank account with a debit card. For safety reasons, never keep cash in a dorm room.
5. Take a tool kit. It will be invaluable to you because not only will you probably have to assemble some furniture, but you’ll certainly have to fix things. Your tool kit should include a hammer, both Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, pliers with a wire cutter, a heavy duty utility knife, a level, and a couple of adjustable wrenches. Duct tape is a good idea as well. It will help with everything from repairs to wrangling runaway power cords.
6. Ear plugs will be useful, whether you have a roommate who snores or you have someone on your dorm floor who finds subwoofers at 3 a.m. a good idea. Ear plugs will allow you to sleep in peace or concentrate on course work when there’s other noise around.
7. Storage containers will keep your things together and out of the way in a tiny dorm room. Shoes, course work supplies, dishes, cleaning supplies, and anything else that doesn’t need to lie around the room can go into storage containers and can be stowed beneath the bed or in the closet.
8. Find stick-on hooks and picture hangers for the walls so you won’t have to damage them with nails, tacks, or tape. Removable stick-on hangers are available in most stores now, and some varieties have poster hangers, too.
9. Buy a closet shoe organizer. This isn’t for shoes, it’s for your toiletries. Shampoo, hair products, lotions, brushes, styling tools – anything that can fit can go in a compartment. Hang it on the inside of the closet door and everything will be in one place and out of the way, ready to grab when needed.
10. Last but not least, take some kind of shower shoes. In a dorm, you’ll have to share a bathroom with a lot of other people. Dozens of other students may have stood in that shower before you. Shower shoes or flip flops will keep your feet clean and eliminate worries about what you’re standing in.