With Tufts move-in happening this weekend, campus seems to feel a little more chaotic than usual. Parents struggling to find parking spots, friends reuniting after a long summer apart, TUPD directing traffic – these are all signals that the school year is starting up again.
Moving in always doubles as a workout for me, as I usually drive to campus myself from my home in Boston. I’m all about making the process as efficient and quick as possible so I can start to build my study cave of a room immediately.
Naturally, one of my biggest concerns about moving in is always the sheer amount of materials I want and need to bring. Am I over-packing? Under-packing? Do I really need to bring a fly swatter? How often will I actually use that broom AND vacuum? I must say, I have gotten better over the years, but I always find situations where I need something I do not have.
That’s where I’m coming from when I write this – I know that at this point, most of the dorm and back-to-school shopping is completely done. However, I wanted to point out a few items that I have found that I didn’t think I needed or wanted, but ended up finding very useful over the past two years.
1. Laptop Fan
Okay, definitely not the coolest item ever, but definitely very useful. I know many of you stay up on long nights with your laptop in your lap on your bed. This is a pure recipe for disaster – I think we can also all relate to the realization that our laptops overheat and make for a very less than ideal situation when we’re stressed about writing papers and studying. A laptop fan is a device you put underneath your laptop and it turns on when you plug it into one of the ports. It’ll keep your laptop at a normal temperature so you don’t get that awful blue screen of death. As someone who has bad luck with laptops (and technology and general), you really shouldn’t afford to skip out on this one.
2. Intricately designed coloring books (AKA adult coloring books)
I kept two of these with me during sophomore year and it was honestly a huge stress reliever. Even just spending 20 minutes a day coloring led me to essentially tell myself that I was slowly working toward a goal of completing something (even if it wasn’t a class assignment). It served as a great motivator and also way to let out some of the pent up creative energy that I couldn’t exactly use in my classes.
I’ve rushed to class across the academic quad with a drink in my hand, only to have it splash all over my face and clothes since I have to drink out of a tiny hole in the cover. I’ve decided to keep some straws in my bag to stop this from happening. Also, it’s good to have these when I’m having a good lipstick day and don’t want it to transfer on the lid of my drink.
4. Splash guard for your Nalgene
Segueing from the previous item, a splash guard is a piece of plastic that you put in your Nalgene bottle and it stops the water from splashing in your face as you drink. Have you ever tried drinking from your Nalgene, with its large drinking circumference, while walking quickly or in a moving vehicle? The water just gets all over you, right? No big deal, but it still is unpleasant and can be embarrassing especially if other people see you. A splash guard will fix that!
5) Some kind of puzzle book (Sudoku, Crossword, Word Search)
Okay, these seem a little counterproductive to have during the academic year because you may argue that they distract you from your actual school work. However, I have found that spending even spending as few as 15 minutes a day sifting through the different puzzles can keep my brain sharp and even improve my focus when I work on other subjects. I also like doing these puzzles because I feel challenged in a way that does not strain my brain the same way a homework assignment for a class does. Try it out!
Whether or not these specific items are ones you find that you need, I think it is important to be aware of any useful tools that make life a little easier! It’s always exciting to find hidden gems and tools that we end up incorporating into our daily routines!