13 things every college freshman should have (but might forget to pack)

Julia Nicholson, page editor

  1. Command products: You can use them to hang posters, hats, lights, towels, and more with the comfort of knowing that they won’t leave behind a scratch. Leave for college with a wide variety of Command hooks and strips because you never know what purposes they might serve.
  2. Duct tape: Like Command products, duct tape can be used for almost anything. If you break something, duct tape can probably fix it.
  3. Shower shoes: If you don’t have your own bathroom and have to walk down the hall to take a shower, cheap plastic slide-on shoes can come in handyespecially if your communal bathroom turns out to be grimy.
  4. Bed tray/pocket: If you’re going to be lofting your bed, you might want some place to store your phone, water, or anything else you need within reach.
  5. Reading light: Just in case you find that your roommate’s studying habits are different than yours, you’ll want a small light to use for late nights.
  6. Tool kit: Every college and dorm is different, and you never quite know what yours will be like until you live in it. A small tool kit with a screwdriver, wrench, hammer, and other basic items is good to have on hand just in case your school is old or slow to provide assistance when something breaks.
  7. Laundry detergent: If you’re thinking of holding off on bringing detergent and counting on buying it when you get to school, you should probably look at the price and availability beforehand. Laundry products, especially on college campuses, can get extremely pricey and hardly come in bulk, so it’s best to leave with enough to help you through the first couple of months.
  8. Stapler (and staples): It might seem weird to purchase one of these since you’ve likely been borrowing them from your teachers for years, but you’ll need one of your own when it comes time to turn in work or compile your papers.
  9. Index cards and sticky notes: If you like to study on paper and learn terms or definitions quickly, don’t forget index cards! Also, if you like staying organized through physical reminders, sticky notes can be crucial to staying on top of things. Their size makes them easy to pack, but also easy to forget.
  10. Power strips/exension cords: Power strips are key to dorm life because dorms rarely have more than a couple of power outlets, many of which often get covered by furniture.
  11. Earbuds/headphones: It’s unlikely that someone would forget these, but it’s worth mentioning. Whether you’re looking to use them for music, blocking out noise, or signaling to people that you don’t want to engage in conversation, they do the trick. (Tip: If you’re hoping to use them primarily for either of the latter two, invest in headphones.)
  12. Lint roller: Whether you’re planning on wearing dress pants or leggings to class, you’ll want a lint roller on hand to save you some mild embarrassment.
  13. Basic medicine: Don’t be the one kid who goes to college without the basic pharmaceutical necessities like cough drops and ibuprofen, and has to borrow from everyone else. Keep a small amount of these both in your dorm room and in your backpack.