College Essentials

Notebooks? Check. Pens and pencils? Check. Computer? Check. Packing for college, it’s likely that those things are high on the priority list. But there is more to preparing for college than just focusing on the necessities for classes. Moving from home to a dormitory room can be a trying task. Those fresh out of high school typically want to bring everything with them that’s significant in their lives – stereos, TVs, mp3 players, game consoles. Unfortunately, it’s the little things that are forgotten that turn out to be important in the long run.

Batteries. Whether they are AAs, AAAs or Cs, most gadgets these days require batteries to function. And usually, they go dead right when they are needed most. Batteries may not seem like a necessity until the remote for the TV quits working or your old-school Walkman stops spinning your discs.

Can opener. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard people tell me about the day after they move into their dorm room. After enjoying a meal with the folks following the initial move, they are left to put all of their belongings away prior to the start of class. Following a day filled with setting up the computer, hanging posters and getting acquainted with the other residents on the floor, it’s time for dinner. For any college student, this will likely involve some sort of canned goods – Chef Boyardee, Dinty Moore, etc. Grabbing the can, they soon realize that they don’t have a can opener … guess it’s Ramen tonight. While several of those canned items now have lids that peel back, there’s always something that requires a can opener.

Power strip. If you’ve ever set foot in a dormitory, you know that most of them aren’t very modern. Unless you are lucky enough to move into a recently erected building, chances are you’ll end up in a room with a total of four or five dual electrical outlets. While one will be needed to keep the refrigerator and microwave running, the others have to handle all of the rest of the electronics in your room – including those of your roommate. That means two computers, two monitors, two printers, a TV, a DVD player, a stereo, an alarm clock or two all have to be plugged into the remaining six to eight sockets. Even if you don’t have a college education, you can do the math and figure out that it will not be even remotely feasible. Thus, I have learned that a power strip with about six sockets is an absolute necessity for any college student.

Feminine hygiene products. For the ladies heading off to start their college education, it’s extremely exciting – new friends, new environment, freedom and lots of boys to occupy their time. With so much to look forward to, it’s inevitable that many female coeds will forget about that time of the month … until it comes. Instead of panicking and knocking on all of the doors on your wing of the building, desperate to find someone who can help you out, make sure you pack those tampons and pantyliners.

So to avoid the call home to Mom and Dad or a trip to the store, it is imperative to make sure you have everything you may need. Even if you don’t think you will need something like a screwdriver or a flashlight, chances are they will come in handy at some point during your dorm experience. And to be certain you have packed all of the essentials, make a checklist. Sure, it may sound uncool, but it will help you prevent some sticky (and even embarrassing) situations.