12 Things We Wish We Had Packed For College

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Shower shoes? Check. Favorite pajama pants? Check. A million pencils and pens? Check. You have your dorm room planned down to your desk lamp location and have analyzed the heck out of your future roommate’s social media. You may think you have packed everything you need for a stellar first year–both inside and out of the classroom. Sorry, but you’re missing some major items.

Here are the top 12 things we wish we had packed for our first year of college. Bring these along and you are sure to have a fabulous year.


1. Door Stop

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Your first-year hall is the easiest way to meet new people. You are all in the same boat– clueless, nervous and excited to be here. Keep your door open during your Netflix time, when you are getting ready to go out or any other time you just want to be social. This can facilitate forming new friendships and even establishing your room as the hall hang-out. Just be wary of noise levels and the RA if you decide to make your room the party spot.


2. No-Spill Water Bottle With A Straw

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Everyone loves some sweet sweet water in bed. Get a no-spill water bottle with a straw and you can keep it right in bed with you–perfect if you do not have a bed-side table. When you are not feeling your best (for whatever Friday night related reason), this is the way to feel better in no time. Major bonus: water bottles with straws are also way easier to drink in class as well as when driving. Stay hydrated my friends.


3. Thermos/Insulated Water Bottle

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Early morning class in the winter? Get yourself an insulated water bottle for your tea or coffee. Your hands and heart will be warmed as you trek across campus. Find a cute thermos for something to make you and your classmates smile on cold early mornings.

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4. Mattress Pad

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We won’t beat around the bush on this one–college mattresses suck. If you have any sort of preexisting back, neck or sleep problems a good mattress pad is a must-have. Even if you usually do not notice mattress quality–making your bed extra comfy is only going to improve your quality of sleep.


5. Full-length Mirror

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Your dorm room may come with a mirror–or it may not. Get a full-length mirror to hang on the back of your door so you can be sure to check your entire outfit before heading out for the day or night. Your roommate will be sure to thank you for this sharable purchase.


6. Great Headphones

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Noise-canceling and comfortable. You never know when you are going to need to block out the sounds around you–in the library, gym or when you need a nap.

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6. Cleaning Supplies

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If you want to limit the amount of time you get sick (or something gross like pink-eye)–clean your room. Disinfect doorknobs and desktops, dust windowsills and vacuum the floor. Keeping things neat will ensure you feel less stressed and more at home in your space. You need real cleaning supplies for this because nothing is worse than your cute study partner stopping by for your notes and asking “what’s that smell…?”


7. Medicine

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College is awesome! And full of germs. Keeping your room spotless will limit how much you get sick but it will not completely prevent it. You will get sick. Every school has their own version of the “freshman plague” that leaves first-year classes nearly empty germ cubes for a month every Fall. Be prepared to fight this illness the minute you hear a sneeze across the quad. Bring a crash-kit of day and night-time medicines, fever reducers, cough drops and tissues. Talk to your parents about what medicines work best for you when you are sick and be quick to book an appointment at student health if you start feeling under the weather. For added medical preparedness–bring a small First Aid Kit. You never know when you or a hallmate will skin a knee or nick themselves shaving.


8. Futon

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Futon, couch, bean-bag chair–just something someone can crash on. Your next door neighbor will get sexiled (sex-exiled) when their roommate’s boyfriend visits. Your friend will be too tired after a study sash to walk across campus. Your little brother will visit. You get the picture–get a futon.


9. Slippers

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Do not go to the bathroom barefoot and pulling on real shoes is a pain. Get a super comfy pair of slippers and your feet will thank you when you shuffle to the bathroom to brush your teeth before 8a.m. French. Extra worth it if they are durable enough to wear outside.

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10. Drying Rack

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Putting bras and other spandex items in the dryer can wear them out quickly. Get a drying rack and your athletic wear and *delicates* will last longer and look better.


11. Fracket

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A “fracket” aka “frat jacket” is a sweatshirt or jacket you are 100% fine with losing. Walking downtown shivering in your backless bodysuit while flurries begin to fall is not a situation you want to be in. Do not bring your nice winter jacket out to a party. Instead, snag your brother’s middle school wrestling sweatshirt he forgot he had or head to Target and get a $10 children’s large spiderman jacket. Go for something warm, washable, cheap and most importantly–completely replaceable.


12. Photos

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Print out photos of family, pets and friends and frame or hang them. Having photos in your room will remind you to call home as well as be helpful conversation starters when new friends or hall mates (thanks to that doorstop) come to visit your room–”Hey I have two dogs too! Want to see a picture of them?”


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