The college year is just weeks (or even days) away from starting up again, and for many students starting out as freshman, it's the first time being away from home and living on your own. Packing and trying to figure out what to bring can be a big challenge, and chances are you'll forget some things or at some point during the school year realize you really wish you had something and frantically buy in on Amazon. After my first year, here are some things that I recommend bringing that I either brought with me at move-in or had to pick-up at some point along the way.
1. Power Strip
You'll be lucky if your room has a couple of outlets, so it's a good idea to bring a power strip to plug in all your electronics. Check with your school's policy first to make sure what you bring abides by the fire safety rules.
In my freshman year, I had carpet, so bringing a hand-held vacuum was so essential to cleaning up every week or whenever something spilled. It was easy to store away and depending on what type of flooring you'll have, it'll probably be a great option.
3. Rain Boots
Nothing is worse than walking across campus is the gross, rainy weather and soaking your shoes and having to deal with them all day. My rain boots were great throughout the year, and I definitely won't be starting the next school year without them.
If you're planning on decorating your room at all, command hooks and strips are such a necessity. They're much better than double-sided tape and are easy to pull away at the end of the school year. My dorm room was covered with stuff and I had (almost) no issues.
Sometimes, you don't want to trek across campus to get something to eat, and you'd much rather just heat something up in your dorm. I always had some cans of soup or ravioli and having a microwavable bowl was really helpful and made it a lot easier to eat.
6. Lock Box
Whenever you have important documents (like your Social Security card or your birth certificate), expensive jewelry, or any other valuables, having a lock box that you can put under the bed or in a drawer is a nice thing to have and just have a sense of security with your personal items.
7. Mattress Pad
I hate to break it to you, but school-provided mattresses are not comfortable. It's a great idea to buy a mattress pad, which you can find great ones pretty cheap, to give you better nights of sleep and school and maybe give you more home-like comfort.
8. Mini Speaker
Whether you're listening in your room, the shower, the quad, or wherever you may find yourself, playing music is a must and a lot of the time your phone just isn't loud enough. Getting a mini Bluetooth speaker is a good buy and will definitely get a lot of good use.
While you don't need major medical supplies, having a small number of first aid supplies, like Band-Aids, Neosporin, or Advil, just when you get cut or have a headache. If you live far from home and don't want to go to the health center just for a headache, having some supplies is a good choice.
This isn't something you might remember to bring, but I definitely got a ton of use from something basic: a pair of scissors. Whether you're opening all the dorm stuff you brought or needing to cut a few things here and there, having scissors was so helpful.
While you'll need a lot more than just these ten items, it's a good starting place and some things you might not bring otherwise.
Now, go off and enjoy your freshman year!
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