7 Essential Items For Your First Year Of College

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If you’re a new college student, you’ve most likely spent your summer organizing and coordinating a long list of essentials to pack for the following year. You may have even found yourself comparing and contrasting profoundly personal, embattled reviews online of those defending mattress protectors and duvets. While shower gel, pillowcases, and your ID are likely topping your list, you might want to consider expanding it. Although you may be able to anticipate many of your needs, some oft-forgotten comforts can help you acclimate to your first year away.

1. Earplugs

If you’re staying in a residential hall or dorm, earplugs are a must-have. It may not seem obvious now, but there will be times when you don’t want to party, when you have a class really early in the morning, and you can’t seem to fall asleep because of your noisy neighbors. If you do find that your fellow dorm mates are determined to be crowned party central, having a pair of these will help you block out all of the unwanted noise so you can sleep peacefully throughout the night. Though nocturnal working is a well-worn student trope, it’s definitely not the most joyous lifestyle for revision.

2. Food Containers

Juggling classes, events, and social activities doesn’t always leave you with a ton of extra time. There will be times when you arrive home late and feel your stomach growling. Having a quick way to prepare dinner on these occasions can make life a lot easier. The benefits of good Tupperware are limitless. Use them to carry your packed lunch with you, organize meal prep, or even store extra food in the freezer for a later date. Preparing your own food, plus Tupperware, equals a cost-effective alternative to takeout.

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3. Folders

If there’s one thing university lectures are good at, it’s overloading students with heaps of information on a regular basis. If you want to remain organized throughout the year, you’d be wise to invest in a few folders. You’re likely to have a several courses each semester and you’ll quickly notice yourself searching through a muddled compendium of class notes, deadlines, and contact information. It can become really time-consuming sifting through so much paperwork, so having a means to organize it all systematically will save you your sanity.

4. A Door Stop 

This little gem could be the savior of your social life. It may not be the most obvious on the list, but a door stop can really come in handy in your first few days on campus. It’ll help your dorm mates know that you’re a friendly person and give them an open invitation to converse with you.

5. Flu Medicine

If you know anyone who attends college already, you’ve probably heard them curse the scourges of “Freshers’ Flu.” After a few weeks of vodka-infused parties and late nights, it’s common to feel a little under the weather. Swaddling yourself in blankets and sipping a hot (non-alcoholic) drink may do the trick in the evening, but before you head to class in the morning, a quick fix is called for. Always keep flu medicine on hand for convenient, immediate comfort.

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6. Latex Gloves

Not everything about going to college will be pleasant…or clean. When it comes to living away from home, you’ll soon realize that someone has to do the dirty work, and that someone will have to be you. If you find yourself with a filthy toilet or a clogged sink, it’ll be you who has to wipe it down or snake the plumbing. In that moment, you’ll be so grateful to your smarter self who thought ahead and bought a pair of latex gloves.

7. A Novelty Item

Why is a novelty item a college essential? When you meet people from different walks of life, you might either find yourself excited or a bit stunned and in need of an ice-breaker. The initial meet-and-greet may seem daunting, but a good novelty item can help diffuse any tension. So don’t throw away that pack of cards you got on Christmas or that silly hat from the fair; they may just come in handy on this occasion.