Top Ten Things to NOT Forget to Bring to College


As we get ready for “Back to School Season” Here is the latest edition of our infamous Top Ten lists for those heading out to college, or living on their own!

1. Fan or noise machine; those dorm hallways echo, and doors are constantly slamming, people are usually drunk and loud, and you need more than three hours of sleep! (I used a fan AND a noise machine and still noises percolated in from the halls).
2. Tupperware; this is an often overlooked necessity, but we used to hide the Tupperware in our tote bags, fill it with food at the Cafeteria, and then bring it back to our room for later. At my school, the dinner hours ended at 6:30, so we were starving by the time 3am came around and we were up studying! This is sort of a sneaky suggestion, but done right, it works! (And it’s always fun to offer to bring back food for your crush!)
3. Flip flops; yes, even if you go to school in the coldest parts of the world, you will need flip flops. Why? For the showers! The communal showers are the most disgusting on college campuses, they are cleaned, but they’re used constantly, and sometimes used by people you don’t even know. Don’t forget those flip flops! (While you’re at it, remember a bathrobe too, those are great for hanging around the hallway in!)
4. Canned foods; sometimes on really cold nights, there was no getting me to walk all the way over to the Cafeteria. Having canned fruit, soups, etc. around reassured me of a dinner on those cold and snowy nights. Just buy a bunch at the supermarket and keep it in a box under your bed for those special occasions.
5. Camera; of course you need a camera! I’m sure in this day and age, most college students have some access to a camera (or Facebook pictures), but sometimes it’s nice to take pictures of your friends and room on your own. If you can’t afford a digital camera, buy some disposals and use them every now and then. At the end of the year you will be so happy you captured all those memories!

6. Power Strip; most colleges don’t allow extension cords because of fire hazards, so one can never have enough power strips! You’ll be shocked at all the things you have to plug in (computer, television, fridge, DVD player, iPod player, chargers, lamps, fans…). I think I had like five in my room!
7. Alarm Clock; simply put, you can’t be at college without an alarm clock. There are only so many times you can be late to class! Make sure the alarm is loud and will wake you, but try not to get the ones that wake you up with music, for that can be very distracting for a sleeping roommate.
8. Ear Plugs/Eye Mask; just like with the fan/noise machine suggestion, having ear plugs or an eye mask protects you from internal room noise. What if your roommate is studying out loud before bed? What if she has her light on? Luckily you brought those ear plugs and eye mask! Further, if you’re sensitive to light at all you’re going to need an eye mask to fall asleep because often colleges don’t turn out the hall light at night and the light permeates directly under the door thresholds into the dorm rooms.
9. Cups/utensils; you never know when you’re going to have people over for drinks and pizza, so be prepared! In my college days we had paper/plastic cups and plastic utensils, but try to be more eco-friendly and buy some cheap mugs and a set of utensils at the supermarket. I guarantee you will use them during the year!
10. Cookies; cookies?! This is my favorite suggestion of all! When I went to college my sister made me what seemed like 1000 chocolate chip cookies to bring with me. On my first night there, my roommate and I walked from room to room, offering everyone cookies; we must have made 100 new friends! I highly suggest this if you’re a little shy and need a reason to talk to people. I’m still friends with most of the people I offered cookies to!
Olivia March Dreizen, © 2008
*PS– A new “The Spoon Theory” poster would look great on your dorm wall.

  • Nicole Danielle

    13. Microwavable heating pads. Most dorms do not allow electric blankets or heating pads, so popping one (or more) or these puppies in the microwave to snuggle with while you fall asleep can be a life saver, especially on painful days. They are also nice to warm up and let sit in your bed for about 10 minutes before you go to sleep for the night–nothing like the joy of climbing into a warm bed!

  • jamie

    11. “egg-crate” foam mattress-topper- or other variety. Dorm mattresses are NOT known for being plush. If you need more support, or just more to your mattress than the thin thing that they provide for you, this is a must.
    12. A waterbottle. Do you really want to have to stagger out to the water fountain if you’re thirsty at night? Also can be used during the day, but crucial for those “midnight thirsty moments”