The Most Essential Items and Information You Need for College

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  • Going off to college is a huge step in anyone’s life, and it’s bound to cause some nervousness. The best way to calm your nerves and get the jitters out of your system is by having a concrete plan in place of just what you’re going to need to bring and what you’ll want to know. Let’s take a look at the college essentials:

    The Absolute Basics

    While everyone knows about the basic school work essentials, such as notebooks, pencils, pens, calculators, rulers, and staplers, getting a dorm in college is whole new step up when it comes to preparedness. Make sure to bring the following:

    • Plenty of towels, a robe, and a pair of shower shoes (flip flops) for the shower.
    • Sheets for your mattress (extra-long ones are even better!).
    • Detergent, a laundry basket, and plenty of quarters to use on the washing machines.
    • A few dishes, some silverware (if not provided), and a can opener.
    • Some basic tools for quick fixes: screwdrivers, hammers, and duct tape.
    • Decorations like posters or photos to hang up on the walls
    • Earplugs, as they can be a huge help if you’re sharing a room with a noisy sleeper or a building with loud night owls.

    In addition to that, one of the best investments to make before going to college is a good quality laptop and printer. You’ll be able to transcribe notes quickly in class, do homework, and connect with your peers much easier than you would be than by bringing a home desktop computer.

    Don’t try to bring too much—even if you’re attending a school far from home. A specialist from The Storage Center recommends storing your non-essential belongings in a secure storage unit, to reduce the amount of things you’ll have to take with you to school. This will give you both the assurance that your belongings are safe and the freedom to move without worrying about too much luggage or the security of valuable items.

    Getting to Know the Campus

    College is a place of exciting new opportunities full of new people and new sights. Make sure to completely familiarize yourself with campus so you know just how to get around on your first day. Knowing where your classes are is easy enough, but make sure you also know just how long it takes you to get from your dorm room to your class (remember that the campus is going to be super busy on the first day). Locate any bathrooms you may need to use during or in-between classes and make sure to familiarize yourself with the location of any tutoring labs, as they’re often disconnected from the central library.

    In addition to that, locating the nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and parking lots will make your first day a lot easier.

    Getting to Know the People

    Aside from the education itself, one of the most advantageous things about going to college is all of the networking opportunities. Make sure to check and see if there are any new student mixers or cool clubs you’d be interested in joining. In addition to that, make sure you get a hold of your roommate ahead of time to organize who’s going to bring the television, the mini fridge, the microwave, and the other higher priced items to your room.

    Plan Ahead

    In addition to the things to bring, the campus to explore, and the people to get to know, one of the most important things to do prior to heading out to college is getting everything totally organized and planned out on paper.

    • If you’re looking to get a job soon, make sure to get your resume up to date.
    • College can be deceptively expensive, so make a budget for the entire school year.
    • Commit your social security number to memory.
    • Make sure to completely understand your health insurance plan.
    • Make your course selections carefully.
    • Find the right meal plan for you.
    • If you have it, make sure you completely understand your financial aid packet.

    There are a lot of things to prepare for when first going to college. Some financial assistance from your parents can be a great help for you prior to attending. Make sure to ask them if they’re able to assist in anyway. While your friends from high school may be going to other colleges, you can still compare your college checklist with theirs. Overall, getting everything organized and understanding just what needs to be done is the best way to prepare for college.

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