10 things you most definitely need to bring to college

Monday, August 21, 2017
I can't believe it but Tuesday of this week is the first day of school for students at UNC. That means two years since my last FDOC – blegh. That makes me feel elderly. But I always loved the first day of school, really the first week of school, since I was a little girl.

My list might be a little bit late... but I have a few recommendations for you, if you still have time to run to Target before your school year really gets going.

1. A throw blanket. I honestly cannot tell you how awful the temperature situation will be in your dorm room. I lived in a suite-style and shared one bathroom and one air conditioning/heat unit with three other girls, and one of those girls wanted to keep it cold, the other wanted to keep it very warm, and the other girl and I were moderately normal. When it is absolutely freezing inside and/or outside, having a fuzzy throw blanket is a lifesaver. I might even recommend a heated blanket if you live somewhere with cold winters.

2. An air freshener, candle warmer or diffuser. Your dorm room is going to smell funky. And when your next door neighbors get Indian takeout, it is going to smell funkier. And when someone burns popcorn down the hall, you're going to want to drop out of school. You can't burn candles, so I recommend having a candle warmer or a diffuser (or both!) to kill the smell. A diffuser would be an extra bonus, of course, because essential oils have so many benefits.

3. Picture frames – empty ones! You definitely want to have pictures of your friends, family and pets to surround you in your new home. But bring a few empty frames to fill with pictures of experiences you have once college gets started or with prints and inspirational quotes to get you pumped for your final exams.

4. An air mattress. You can get a twin-size air mattress on Amazon for not too much, and if you expect to have friends visit you during the school year, I definitely recommend buying an air mattress. I remember sharing my twin bed with a friend and even though I am down for snuggling any time, it's always nice to have your own space.

5. An iron or clothing steamer. I stored a ton of clothes in drawers or in containers under my bed because I brought way too much to school my first year. So I highly recommend having an iron or a clothing steamer on hand in case you need to wear a dress to an event and it's been balled up in the bottom of a plastic container for a month.

6. One or two sets of dress clothes – a suit, a dress and blazer, etc. Yes. I cannot emphasize this enough. You're definitely going to have dresses and other outfits for parties and fun events, but you definitely want some clothes to wear to potential internship or job interviews or other professional events. Even as a first-year, you want to be thinking about internships and jobs!

7. A planner. Obviously, I am a huge proponent of planners in general, but I can't think of a more crucial reason to have a planner than for college. Seriously. Google Calendar is nice and all, and it will get you far in life, but when your professor bans laptops (and they all do!) and then tells you about an assignment that you absolutely cannot forget, you do not want to be betting on your memory that you remember to put it in your phone's calendar later.

8. Your own printer. I decided to get a small printer for something like $25 once I got to college and it was the best. idea. ever. Most schools give their students printer money or free printing, and there are printing stations across campus, sometimes even in dorms. But when you have five minutes to get out of your dorm and run to class before you fail, you definitely want to be able to print while you brush your teeth, and not have to make a pitstop on the way.

9. Rainboots, a rain jacket and an umbrella. Oh and a waterproof backpack. All four are necessary. I started college with just an umbrella. I was an idiot. Honestly, I never realized how much it rains in the world until I went to college and had to walk everywhere. Buy a quality pair of rain boots because they will be your main choice of footwear at least 50% of the time, a raincoat with a hood that isn't too thick (because it will rain when it is 102 degrees outside, too, and you can layer in the winter) and an umbrella that won't break on the first use (or cut your finger open before you have to go into a meeting for the student newspaper, so you end up bleeding all over the keyboard. OK. Not a common college experience.)

10. A coffee pot or electric tea kettle. Buy a little Keurig in a cute color or an electric kettle. I'm not embarrassed to say that I used my Keurig to boil water to make Ramen noodles. Hot water is essential, even if you don't drink that much coffee. 1) You'll start drinking coffee or tea once you get to college and 2) Ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese cups are essential.


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That's my list of college essentials! Of course, you need things like sheets, pillows, a lamp, a shower caddy, towels, shower shoes, etc. but I hope you haven't made it all the way to the day before FDOC without some of those things. 

If you're starting college this month or in the near future, good luck! I didn't appreciate college at all my first two years, but now that I've been out of college for two years, I really do miss a lot of the things that I got to experience there. Even more so now that I'm living in my college town again! 

What did I miss? 


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