The Most Forgotten Items on Your College Packing Essentials List

13 Essentials College Freshmen Can Pack Now To Avoid A spending Spree In The Fall

Going to college can be rough on anyone at first, but these must-haves will help your transition into dorm life.


Leaving home for college is always hard but having a good packing list can help with the stress of finally moving out of your parent's house. As a newfound adult, there are many necessities you may forget to bring with you to college. These are the most forgotten items to bring to your new college dorm, and trust me, they'll save your life during your first few weeks at school.

1. Steamer

You have to remember you're living in a dorm and don't have much space to do your laundry let alone whip out an ironing board. Having a small handheld steamer makes it so much easier to get the wrinkles out of your clothes.

Joy Steamer

2. Extra set of sheets

Okay everyone may be telling you this one is excessive, but just trust me. Sometimes you're just not ready to start a new load of laundry to wash your bedding, but your sheets are starting to look grimy. It's so much easier to put on some new sheets and worry about laundry another time rather than putting it off and using gross sheets forever.

3. Rolling laundry basket

This totally saved me my Freshman year as I had to bring my laundry down a long hallway and an elevator. It may seem kind of silly at first, but it starts to get tiring to carry a huge laundry basket down the hall or some stairs every time you need to do a load.

4. Speaker

It's super nice to be able to have your own speaker to blast some tunes in your room with some friends before a long Friday night. Just remember to try not to piss off your neighbors.

Dorm speaker

5. Headphones

Alright I know headphones are so a thing of the past and everyone uses earbuds now but it's time to make the switch. When you're in the library studying all night, you are going to be super annoyed with how earbuds feel in your ears. Plus, it's kinda awk when everyone in a 5-foot radius of you can hear what you're listening to.

Dorm Packing Essentials: Pink Wireless Beats

6. Water bottle & Brita

Dear everyone, that buys tons of plastic water bottles, YOU'RE KILLING THE EARTH. On a more serious note though, no one wants to constantly spend money buying water bottles, and that's nothing compared to having to carry them to your room. It's just easier to carry a water bottle around with you and refill using filtered water. It's better for everyone, including the Earth.

College Packing Essentials: Brita Filter

7. Surge protector/Extension cord

So. Many. Things. To. Plug. In. You never truly realize how many outlets you use until there aren't a ton available. Also, super helpful tip: buy a surge protector that also has USB outlets, that way you don't need to use a block to charge your phone.

8. Portable charger

Between long rides home or just long days at class your phone is going to die fast, and you'll be in need of a portable charger. They're super easy to carry around and you don't have to worry about bring your phone cord and block with you everywhere constantly trying to find a seat next to an outlet.

College Packing Essentials: Portable Charger Bank

9. First-Aid Kit

As shocking as this may be to some people, you will get sick while you're at school and probably feel like you're dying within weeks after move-in. Constantly being around tons of people in a new environment will definitely have an effect on your immune system. It's good to stock up on cold and flu medicine because once you get sick you won't want to make a Target run.

10. Coffeemaker

For those that have never liked coffee, it's about to be your new best friend. You'll find yourself brewing a fresh new pot of coffee every few hours during finals week. Save yourself some money now and buy a coffee machine and don't waste all your money at Starbucks.

College Packing Essentials: Coffee Maker

11. Cheap casual tennis shoes

In college often, times when going out with friends you will surely be coming home with dirty destroyed shoes. It's good to buy some cheap knock-off converse for when you know you don't want to mess up any of your fresh new kicks.

12. Mattress topper

Shocking enough some people don't realize just how uncomfortable and grimy the mattress your school provides for you is. If you plan on getting any good sleep at school, make sure to invest in a nice mattress topper.

13. Air purifier

I didn't realize how much of a necessity this was until I was sharing a tiny dorm room with another person. Especially if you're living in an old building like I did, it's nice to filter all the water and mold spores out of the air to breathe easier and honestly just feel better.

All items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.

College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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I'm About To Burst, Laughing At The People Who Thought My Pregnancy Meant I Had To Drop Out Of College

I get stared at in the halls and asked if I am going to drop out. Here are ways being a pregnant student has changed my college experience.


I have been pregnant the entire time that I have been in graduate school. It was not how I planned to experience grad school, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and will give me a lovely son (seriously, any second now). There are certain things that I did not realize about being a pregnant student until I experienced it, and maybe my experiences can help better prepare other women, or give them something to relate to since pregnant students are such a rare breed.

As a grad student and a 25-year-old, I am around the average age to have my first child in America. I am not dependent on my parents and the world does not treat me like a child anymore.

However, since I decided to pursue my master's degree, I feel that people are not used to seeing pregnant and student in the same sentence without gasping.

When I first told my father, his first reaction was to ask me if I was to going to drop out.

This became a recurrent reaction from my family and friends (which my boyfriend who is also a student was never asked once). I did not expect the hesitant reactions and it made me feel shameful to be a pregnant student. As my expecting belly grew I always noticed that people on campus would stare at my stomach.

As I walked past, their eyes followed my belly like I had a giant red felt "A" on my chest.

None of my classmates are pregnant and thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a pregnant woman in all of my five years of college. Since none of my classmates were pregnant, I felt like I had no one to relate to. There are a lot of things that pregnancy effects, besides the baby in the tummy part. I could not go out and get drinks with my classmates and bond with them the way that they were all doing. I could not relate to them fashionably because maternity clothes are heinous. I also feel like pregnancy put up a barrier because I would have a baby eventually and will always be busy, so why bother?

Pregnancy side effects would sometimes take a toll on my school work. In the first trimester, I could barely get out of bed because I was so tired. I could easily have slept 14 hours straight and being a working student did not help. I would seep through some of my classes and had to take the hit to my attendance points. I also have "pregnancy brain." Pregnancy brain is a real thing and is not well known enough. My mind can be so scattered that I forget my friend's names while I am speaking to them. I think it is October when it is March. Pregnancy brain has made me forget that I even go to school or that I work in twenty minutes. I missed due dates or completely misread instructions on assignments. For someone who needs A's on every assignment to function, it hurt because I would never make that mistake otherwise.

There are also benefits to being a pregnant student. I am never hungover and I have never been tempted to ditch a night class for a drinking holiday.

Pregnancy has allowed me to prioritize my school work and ignore the college lifestyle.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went with my roommates to bars in Chicago's Lincoln Park. I feel so happy knowing getting wasted from $3 shots on a Wednesday is behind me. I now truly have nothing better to do at night than complete my homework.

Another benefit is that you sometimes get special treatment. The special treatment that pregnant women get is awesome. It is my favorite part and sometimes makes me wish I could be pregnant forever. People feel obligated to wait on me hand and foot. If I drop something, people rush to pick it up. It is completely not necessary but I get to feel like a princess for a day (or 280 days). Even though I was singled out for being the only pregnant woman, I was always treated especially nicely by students and professors.

Regardless of my friends and family expecting me to drop out, I am doing phenomenal in grad school. I have received A's in every class and have loved all of my classes. Being a pregnant student can be tough, but it is totally doable. If you find yourself to be a pregnant student, don't feel discouraged. It is not ruining your college experience but allowing you to do college differently.

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