Most of you are going back to school this month. For some, you’re already in school. Either way, for those of you going away to college, you’re probably wondering what essentials do I bring to my new dorm room? I was in your shoes once, just a quick five years ago. And yes, I did over pack. (Just ask my mom.) I also had to go out and buy more necessary items that I didn’t already have. How do you pack for college? And how does one pack everything into one single car? And how in the world do I avoid that dreaded trek to Walmart with the other college freshmen who forgot shower shoes?
I got you covered, peers. Here’s the complete college essentials list, ready for you to shop with.
- Twin XL everything—this includes a mattress topper (this will save your back!), sheets, comforter and at least two pillowcases. Check this comforter out. Don’t forget a throw blanket too for when you’re going across the hall for movie night!
- Everything for those community showers. Lord help us all. A shower robe, shower caddy and at least two towels, if not three. And for the love of God, do not forget shower shoes. You’ll thank me later.
- Laundry bag/hamper for when you have to lug your laundry up and down two, three—sometimes four flights of stairs. Pro tip: get one of those laundry bags that have a string to close! That way, the boy down the hall won’t peer into your bag and see all of your (dirty) clothes.
- Hangers, hangers and more hangers. Because you’ll need hangers. Just do it.
- A bedside tray—to put your phone, jewelry, glasses or anything you want right beside your bed. Don’t get the flimsy tray, either. Get a stable and firm tray that won’t come crashing to the floor in the middle of the night.
- Organization—this can encompass hanging door shoe holder, desk organizer trays from Target or bins for under your bed. No matter what you get, just don’t go overboard. I recommend the bins that you can put under your bed and never touch until you have to move out.
- Power cord—yes, yes, yes. Some schools don’t allow them, like mine, but sometimes…just sometimes…you can get away with just one as long as you don’t have countless plugs. Invest in one that stretches from your bed to your desk so that you can work on your laptop on both your desk and your bed.
- An extra phone charger and pair of earphones. Honestly, pack a couple pairs. When I was a freshman in college, it seems that clubs and organizations gave away multiple different earphones that eventually broke within the first month. Invest in a good quality pair of earphones—or two. And then an extra phone charger—and while you’re at it, get the portable charger, too. That will come in handy when you’re out with friends and your phone suddenly gets on 1% and you have to race to your phone to save it.
- A backpack. Yes, college students still use these. Get a durable one, too. In high school, I went with the “trendy” backpacks where they looked cool but eventually, it didn’t last long. When I went to college, I invested in a hiking, outdoor backpack. I still have it to this day, five years later. (It’s sitting underneath my bed.)
- A phone case with card holders. Clubs and organizations give these card holders out like candy. If you want to invest money in a nicer one, they sell on Amazon for up to $20.
- Agenda/planner because what college student isn’t organized? (Read: all of them.) I’ll link the one I use here.
- A to-go cup for all your coffee and tea needs! It beats having to spend your hard-earned dining dollars on a $4 cup of coffee every day. Get the big one, because you’ll need it at all those all-nighters you spend at the library. Which leads me to my next item on the list…
- A Keurig. Because it’s precious cargo and every college student needs one. Especially if you have a to-go cup! It doesn’t matter if you don’t like coffee, Keurigs can make tea too.
- A box fan, because dorm rooms don’t have the best air conditioning. This is a must. They fit in your window and are the best invention for college students since the Keurig. They’re like, $20 at Walmart.
- Command hooks for your precious wall art needs!
- Tapestry—hang with your new command hooks, of course. I recommend shopping at Urban Outfitters, Target or Society 6. It will brighten your room and elevate your mood as soon as you walk in the door every day!
- Clip-on lamp—because when you’re not studying at the library, you’re going to be reading in your bed. Let me link this one here, and of course, it’s from Amazon.
- Drying rack—because you’re an adult now and some things just don’t belong in the dryer.
- Laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies. Again, with the laundry already. You’re an adult—you need to learn how to do your own laundry. It’s OK if you haven’t done a lick of laundry until now. Pick up a lesson from your roommate. Or, if you know everything there is to dark colors and permanent press, why not give a lesson to your hallmates?
- Wastebasket. Get one, even if it’s a small one, because hon, you need it.
That’s it, college freshmen. I wish you the best as you embark on this incredible journey. I only pray that you stay true to yourself but step out of your comfort zone. You’re on the road to becoming an adult. Make some mistakes and learn from those mistakes. And always remember: God is always with you. Oh, and call your Mom.