The fall semester is right around the corner. Most college students are more than mentally ready to leave home, but their suitcases might be far from ready. I have been packing things to take back to school for a couple of weeks now, and each time I think I'm done, that I have everything ready, I remember another item I need.
It is important to remember that there is a major difference between wants and needs. Half the things you may want to take to college may not be essential at all, but there are some items that are entirely necessary. I have compiled a list of things that you may need but will most likely either forget to bring or not even think about.
This one is vital if you're living in a dorm or an apartment with a cooking area. If you're not on the meal plan, eating out everyday will most likely break your bank, and kill your health. Make sure you bring pots, pans, plates, knives, and utensils so that you can make yourself a proper meal whenever you have the chance to. These things are must haves in order to eat right and save money! Your local dollar store has an array of cooking utensils you can get for a dollar each.
2. Fuzzy blanket
Blankets are important especially if you go to school somewhere that gets cold in the winter. Fuzzy blankets are amazing and you can get them pretty much anywhere. They keep you warm and cozy in the harsh winter months. Trust me, you'll want to bring a small throw blanket that you can wrap around yourself when it's cold. It is comforting and keeps you toasty.
3. Your own little pharmacy
Medicine cost a lot of money. Have you ever tried to buy some pain relievers from a school store? Their prices are ridiculous. Make sure you bring all the medication you think you might need with you, so that you don't have to rush somewhere and pay anything for some pills. Also, having these things available to you is good because you never know when you'll get sick. I can't count the amount of times I had to run to the store to grab some type of medication I never thought I would need. When you are used to living with your parents who always have all the medications you need, you don't think about what they are until you're faced with an issue. Make sure you know what you need and go out and buy them now.
4. Storage bins
Dorm rooms and rooms in apartments near college campuses have one thing in common: they're typically tiny. You will most likely have limited space to store all your books and belongings. The beds in these rooms usually have a lot of space under them where you can put storage bins. You can store books and supplies in here, things that could be cluttering up your space if they were out in the open. You can buy these at Walmart for cheap, and you can even get small ones at the dollar store.
5. WiFi-Router/Ethernet cable (if applicable)
I know that most dorms have WiFi included since they are part of schools, but some apartments do not come with routers inside the units, or the routers are not good. I remember having my WiFi cut out multiple times in my apartment building last year. The router was not good. It was always a stressful time because I had assignments to turn in and no way to turn them in. If I had an Ethernet cable to connect my laptop to, or even a router of my own that was working, I would not have had those struggles.
6. Command hooks
Command hooks are one of the world's greatest inventions. These little hooks allow you to put things on your dorm/apartment walls without leaving damage. They are priced decently and last the whole year if you don't put too much weight on them. You can hang up pictures on your walls with them or you can even use them to hang curtain rods. They have many uses and you will be happy you brought them when you are trying to set up your living space.
7. Pictures of loved ones
Decorations definitely fall under the "wants" category, however, photos of loved ones should be a need. It's nice to be able to look at your walls or your desk and see a picture of your family, best friends, or significant other. Being away from home can make you homesick at times and having that little reminder of home can go a long way. Make sure you pack something that will remind you of the people you love.
I hope you will keep this list in mind when considering what else you need to be ready to go back to college. These are things that I found myself needing a lot last year. Good luck on your packing and have a great fall semester!