Going to college is a big step in a person’s life. If you are moving into the college dorms, you will have a limited amount of space, so you have to be somewhat picky in what you take. Be sure that you pack (or plan to buy) these essential items as you head off to college. The list is slightly different if you are living in a university-owned or off campus apartment, but many of the items will still be the same.
1) A way to wake up. Your parents won’t be around to make sure that you don’t sleep in late, so you want to make sure that you have a way to wake up in the morning. Many people need alarm clocks to get up in the morning, but if you are able to wake up to your watch’s alarm, you may be able to get by with that.
2) Shower accessories. The college is not going to provide towels, so you’ll need to bring (or buy) your own. Unless you plan on dressing while still in the bathroom, you will also want to bring a robe, so you don’t end up running into somebody unexpectedly in the hallways while wearing only a towel. Shower shoes are also important, as you don’t want to be sharing communal foot germs with the entire floor.
3) Clothes. This is a given, but you want to make sure that you pack for all occasions. You will be there for the entire school year, so you will need fall, winter, and spring clothing. In addition to casual clothes for everyday use, you will also want to have one or two nice outfits to wear to fraternity or sorority banquets, church, or other special events.
4) Trash can. In a dorm, a small trash can that you can keep by your desk will probably suffice. In an apartment, you will probably want a larger trash can, as you will be producing more kitchen waste.
5) Mini fridge. If you’re staying in an apartment, you won’t need this, but this is important to have in a dorm. When the cafeteria is closed, you want to have some way to get something to eat. You can store fruit, vegetables, and drinks in the fridge, allowing you to have something to snack on at any time of day or night.
6) Computer. Unless you want to spend a lot of time at the school’s computer lab, you will want to bring your own computer. Your professors will probably expect you to produce all of your papers using a word processor, and your school will probably also require you to take at least one computer class. Whether you bring a laptop or a desktop computer is up to you. Some people like to bring laptop computers to class and take notes, but some professors have banned laptops in class, and you may find it just as easy to take notes the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.
7) Laundry items. You can probably wait until you arrive at your college to purchase these, but you will want to buy laundry items. In order to do laundry in college, you will want a laundry bag or basket, quarters, and laundry soap. Save all your quarters or buy rolls from the bank, as you will be going through a lot of quarters during the school year.
8) Ear plugs and/or a sleeping mask: If you don’t have them already, you can probably wait to see if you will need them before you make a purchase, but be aware that you may need them. Your roommate comes from a different background and may have sleeping habits that are far different than yours. I once had a roommate that liked to sleep with the light on all night long. I, on the other hand, like the room dark. If you find it difficult to sleep under distracting conditions, you may wish to take these items along.
9) Music. If you enjoy listening to music, don’t forget your iPod. Although this is not an essential item, it is one that will make your life a lot more pleasant. If you have a small iPod dock, bring that along as well. Your roommate’s taste in music may be a lot different than yours, but if you get lucky, you might end up with someone that likes the same artists.
10) Planner or Calendar. You will be very busy in college, and a planner is essential for keeping track of due dates, study group meetings, and fun parties. Whether you use a notebook-sized planner, a desk calendar, or a wall calendar depends on your personal taste and what you are most likely to use.