Saturday, August 18, 2018

College Back to School Essentials

How is it the end of August already? It feels like just yesterday I finished up my finals and came home for the summer and now it is almost September. While the end of summer is always a bittersweet time of year, there is much to look forward to during the fall season. With school starting up again, it’s the perfect time to purchase new supplies and identify the items that are necessary for a successful new year. I’ve been a college student for several years now, and I find these items are the most beneficial. 

A reliable laptop is the most important thing you can purchase for yourself. During my college courses, I used my laptop more than anything else. Most of my work was done and submitted electronically, which made a good laptop come in handy. My professor also uploaded Powerpoints online to my class website, and I found it easier to take notes in Microsoft Word versus handwriting them. In terms of brand, I use a Macbook Pro. The technology is up-to-date and I am familiar with the features since it is an Apple product like my iPhone.

While the laptop is the most convenient way to take notes or read information, it’s still a good idea to own sturdy notebooks. I do like to take notes in my notebooks as well, and some professors do not allow technology in their classrooms. I also find that notebooks are helpful to have when studying or just for extra paper in the event of a test or quiz.

External Harddrive
When my laptop crashed last year, I credit my external harddrive to saving my files. The tech center at my college was able to salvage all of my files and download them onto my external harddrive, which I still use to save my files to this day. They can be a little costly but are definitely worth the price and you can get good use out of them.

If you live on campus, you no longer bring lunch from home. However, I found myself using my lunchbox all year long. I took food to eat during my internship, on long bus/train rides, or even during a regular day to store snacks to eat while completing assignments.

This is another item that may appear silly to place on this list, but if you are an avid music listener like me, then you’re aware of the importance of headphones. I listen to music while running, walking to class, completing assignments and studying. Investing in a quality pair is just as important. I can’t tell you how many times during the year my headphones broke so carrying around a backup pair or two wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Extra Chargers
My chargers break all the time on me so I like the option of having a backup. I recommend bringing both a backup phone and laptop charger just in case they stop working. You can purchase fairly cheap ones from Amazon. 

Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are a practical item to invest in. S’well water bottles, Camelbak, and Brita are among my favorite. During the day, I’m constantly drinking water and need a big enough bottle to hold my water and that can be refilled. This is a common item to own and most college bookstores sell them. Currently, my favorite bottle is from Lilly Pulitzer.

If you have a meal plan, you do not need to bring much food to college. However, I always like to have a few snacking options with me in my room. These can include fruit, yogurts, granola bars, almonds etc. You may get hungry during class or while studying and having the option of a light snack comes in handy. 

Office Supplies
This can include anything from a stapler to paperclips. Having my own set of common desk items was helpful because I didn’t have to rely on my college’s. When the stapler runs out or there aren’t any pencils in sight, it’s comforting to know that I have my own set of items waiting for me in my dorm.

Sturdy Backpack
During the school year, I always manage to carry around a lot of stuff with me. Purchasing a well-made backpack is in your best interest when attending classes because you can fit a lot of items in it. I carried my laptop, a book or two, a few notebooks, chargers and more in mine. My favorite one of the year is by Madeline and Co.

I love to plan out all of my assignments to keep track of them, and my Lilly Pulitzer planner helps me do exactly this. Keeping track of my schedule and assignments by memory is basically impossible, especially when there’s so much to do in so little time! Owning a planner also reduces my stress because I can see right in front of me what I have to do.

I didn’t use a calculator much, but depending on your major, you may need one. Owning a reliable calculator, preferably a graphing calculator, is probably your best bet. From simple math to complex equations, you’ll be able to solve any problem with this device.

Cleaning Supplies
I can’t stress enough how important it is to buy cleaning supplies. Dorms can get so messy and gross, especially if you room with more than one person. Trashbags, air fresheners, Clorox wipes, Swiffers, bleach, toilet brushes, plungers, trashcan are just a few examples.

Laundry Supplies
You will have to do your own laundry at college. I did not mind doing mine but it does take fairly long. Purchasing Tide or Gain pods make doing laundry so much easier because you don’t have to measure the detergent. You will also need dryer sheets when drying clothes so they smell nice. Owning a laundry bag or basket to put dirty clothes in is also advised. I had separate bags for dirty clothes and laundry

Dorm Supplies
You will need plenty of d├ęcor and supplies to make your dorm feel like home. For basics, you’ll need items like a mattress cover, pillows, comforter, sheets, mirror, trashcan, storage baskets or bins, lamp, rug and more. You can bring fun items like posters, pictures, monograms, picture frames, etc for your wall. I also have a few stuffed animals from home.  You may also invest in a mini refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, etc., if you plan on making simple food. Do not forget shower items like a shower caddy, shower shoes, soap dish, loofa, etc. for showering. Lastly, it may be helpful to own disposable or reusable utensils, a mug, travel mug and napkins for the room when you do cook something or want to bring coffee to class.

Check out this link for more options! 

Thanks so much for reading and good luck with the new school year!

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