Essentials for being a student at Syracuse Univiversity
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Student Life

8 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed as a student at Syracuse

Everything you need to make your life at college just a little bit better.

Ryan Jacobson via Unsplash

As my sophomore year at Syracuse University quickly approaches, I decided to get ahead of the game and start preparing my packing list. To get some ideas, I looked back on my freshman year packing list and found a number of items I didn't include that I really wish I had.

Once I had arrived at school my freshman year, I discovered a number of items and accounts that I had no idea I needed but wished there was some way to have known of sooner.

Here are some of the products:

1. Brita

Hydration is so important, especially at college. You can purchase packs of water or have a water bottle, but disposable bottles run out quickly and finding water fountains with clean, filtered water can be inconvenient. That is why everyone should have a Brita water pitcher in their room.

Brita is a company that specializes in and produces water jugs, kettles, and tap attachments. What makes them so great though is that these items have disposable filters integrated into the design. This way, you just fill the pitcher up with water from the sink and let the Brita do its job and remove all contaminants! Convenient and cost-efficient.

2. Step Stool

Small and simple, but so necessary. Whether you raise your bed really high for that extra under bed storage and need that extra step to climb into bed or simply need to tape something on your wall, a step stool is something you definitely will need more than you think for your dorm room.

3. Keurig

Yes, the dining hall has coffee and there are a number of coffee shops on or near campus. However, don't waste your swipes just for a cup of coffee or use up your money on coffee. The cost of coffee accumulates more than you think and that's money you could save and spend elsewhere.

If you have a Keurig in your room, not only do you save meal plan swipes and money, but you have access to freshly brewed coffee whenever you want.

4. Handheld Vacuum

This item is a must! People come in and out of rooms, carpets get dirty, dust and dirt accumulate, and its gross. This way, whenever something gets dirty or there's a mess, just turn on your handheld vacuum and problem solved.

5. Scent Diffuser

Sure, you can use Febreeze, perfume, scent packets, but of all the fragrant items and devices you can buy to ensure a good smelling dorm room, a scent diffuser is the best. Not only does it deliver the scent of an essential oil of your choice, you and your roommate receive all the therapeutic benefits each essential oil comes with.

Oh, not to mention it makes a really cute room accessory and some even light up.

6. Cordless Light Switch

Everyone needs to purchase at least one cordless light switch. Stick one anywhere in your room and I guarantee you will use it. You can use this additional light next to your bed, in your closet, by your mirror to get ready in the morning while your roommate is asleep and the lights are off, and so many more reasons. These cordless light switches are a life saver.

7. Zipcar

College opens the doors for a number of new freedoms, however, having access to a car at college brings it to a whole other level. If you can't bring a car up to school, don't worry! Zipcar is a car-sharing company that has a partnership with the university, providing a number of cars around campus.

All you have to do is apply online on the Zipcar site, and wait for the company to approve. Once you are approved, you can use the Zipcar app to book a car for an hour or even a whole week. Not only is it super easy, but it only costs $15 for students to join and $7.50 per hour for the car ($69 for an entire day), allowing you to drive and save time and money that you would have spent on Uber or Lyft.

8. Food Delivery Accounts

Let's be real here; the food at school is not necessarily everyone's first choice. But that's ok because there are many easy and affordable alternatives!

Good Uncle:

Coming to Syracuse, I was thoroughly confused by the many black vans with "Good Uncle" written across them that students would approach and leave with a mysterious white bag in hand. I wish someone told about these strange trucks sooner because they are a game changer.

Good Uncle is a company that partners with great restaurants nationwide, to bring their most delicious dishes to college campuses. All you have to do is download the app, make an account, choose your food and the most convenient time and drop point, and voila!

However, the reason I wish I had known about this brilliant company going into my freshman year, is because Good Uncle offers meal plans. The meal plan gives members access to members-only menu items and is slightly more cost-efficient because you don't have to pay a delivery fee or a meal minimum.

The meal plan is very popular though and the limited amount of spots tend to fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve your spot to ensure delicious and accessible food!


Make sure to make an Instacart account to have fresh groceries delivered from local stores! Once you make an account, you select the store you want items from (Wegmans>), choose a delivery time, pay, and soon enough your dorm room will be filled with food options. This way, you save time and money on transportation. Easy and convenient.


Download the app, make an account, and choose your food! With Tapingo you can place an order to pick up your food, and avoid waiting in line, or you can place an order and have it delivered right to you.


With the GoPuff app, you can select a number of items and good typically found in convenience stores (snacks, drinks, household items, toiletries, and more). The best part is, GoPuff is open 24/7 while most other food and delivery apps close at a decent hour.


GrubHub allows you to order food from your favorite local restaurants! They deliver anything from Dinosaur BBQ to Carvel, or whatever other local items you are in the mood for!

Uber Eats:

Just like Grubhub, Uber Eats allows you to order food from your favorite restaurants. While the two serve the same purpose, they don't pick up food from all of the same restaurants, so make sure to have both apps to increase your options.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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