August 27th, 2007 admin
If you’re going away to college, you have probably already gotten a list of things to bring to college—like a refrigerator, a computer, and extra-long twin sheets. That list is a good place to start, but it’s amazing how important little things can be once you don’t have Mom’s stockpiled cabinets to rummage through (especially if you don’t have a car). Here’s my top 10 list of things to take to college that might not have made the school’s list.
- Bowl, Plate, Cup, and Silverware
College students tend to have late hours; campus cafeterias don’t. Having your own dishes and such on hand means you can eat cereal or ramen noodles (both staple college foods) any time, day or night.
These mean access to the wonders of the laundry room, soda and candy machines, and parking meters. College kids can be surprisingly reluctant to share quarters, so it’s better to bring your own.
- Comfortable Pillow, Blanket, & Mattress Pad
Maybe you think it sounds silly to bring a mattress pad to college, but remember that nice comfy mattress you have at home? That’s not what dorm beds feel like. The comfier your pillow, blanket, & mattress pad, the better your college experience. Really.
- Dry-Erase Message Board & Markers
These are a great investment (and just kind of fun)—it’s the best way to get messages when you’re gone, especially if your roommate isn’t really motivated to take messages for you.
In warm climates, a good fan is your best friend. Though some dorms have thermostats, they are not necessarily reliable (I had a friend whose thermostat wasn’t working, and when they checked into it they found that the wires inside the wall weren’t connected to anything).
- Extension Cord & Surge Protected Power Strip
Power outlets can be set in pretty inconvenient places, so an extension cord can make a huge difference (but make sure to pay attention to the safety precautions). Also, with so many people using so much electricity, it’s better to protect your more expensive electronics with a surge protector (I lost a really nice TV to a power surge).
Even just having a screwdriver and a hammer can make assembling desks, fixing bikes, & hanging new dorm decorations a million times easier—and you can bet a lot of people forgot these, so it’s also an easy way to meet people.
I know this is probably already on the list from your college, but it really is a life saver when you get hungry in the middle of the night (see item #1). If you can, find one with a little freezer. Also, it’s usually more cost-efficient to buy one than to rent. Microwaves & toaster ovens are pretty nice, too, if you’re allowed to have them. (Check with your roommate so you don’t bring two of these!)
- Decorations & Photos from Home
Dorm rooms can look pretty depressing at first—bare walls, bare shelves, bare beds. Even with some of your stuff in place, the bare walls can kind of get to you. Bring posters, photos, and decorations in colors you like to liven the place up and make it feel more like home. (Most colleges let you hang this stuff with painter’s tape, so bring that, too).
- Anti-Virus Software for your Computer
If you don’t already have an anti-virus program, get one. College networks mean a lot more exposure—and more file sharing goes on, too. That means a way higher risk for your computer (I got a virus the first DAY). Better to catch it early than to have your computer crash in the middle of a final paper.