Friday, July 22, 2011

12 Things You Might Not Have Thought To Bring To College

As I've been helping my brother start with some of his college shopping, it's gotten me thinking about some of the things I didn't know would come in handy during my freshman year of college.  Dorm living is a whole new experience, so you should be prepared for anything.  Now, I'm not saying that you need to go out and buy all of these things right away in order to be completely prepared for college.  This is merely a list of things that came in handy during my freshman year.  I also found that if I didn't have some of this stuff, another person on my floor did.  Here are some of the things you probably wouldn't think of while making your list for school shopping:

1. Plastic Baggies/Tupperware Containers
Since you'll probably order out and have leftovers or take something out of Alliot for a snack later, it is a good idea to have plastic baggies or Tupperware containers to keep your food fresh.  It is good for storing food in your fridge or even bringing food you have in your room with you on-the-go.
2. Chip Clips (paperclips work too)
To keep open food bags in your room fresh, have some sort of a clip to keep them closed.  You never know when the urge for a mid-study snack will strike, and you don't want to be surprised with rotten or stale food. A paperclip or rubber band works just as well as a chip clip, but you want to make sure you have something to keep your bagged food closed and fresh. 
3. Bed Risers
For extra storage space underneath your bed and for a cheaper option than a loft, bed risers are the way to go.  More storage is always a good thing, especially when sharing a room with another person. Bed risers make it easier to fit shoe bins, crates, bags, etc.
4. Sponges and Dish soap
Since you'll probably be eating in your room and you'll have dirty dishes, make sure to keep sponges and dish soap on hand.
5. Command Hooks
For those of you who like to decorate your room, command hooks work best for hanging things on the walls or even providing an extra place to hang bags, coats, etc.  The dorm walls are not the easiest to stick stuff to, but command hooks go on easily, stay on as long as you want them to, and come off cleanly at the end of the year.
6. Wrinkle Release Spray and/or Tide to Go Sticks
Wrinkle release spray is the perfect alternative for the college student who doesn't know how (or doesn't have time) to iron.  I've used it many times myself for a quick fix to wrinkled clothing.  Tide to Go sticks also come in handy if you get a stain on a piece of clothing and you want to get it out before it sets in. They are easy to use and work like a charm.
7. Rechargeable batteries
To avoid having to buy new batteries every time old batteries die, rechargeable batteries really come in handy.  It is the more inexpensive option in the long run.
8. Holiday Lights
Holiday lights are great for decorating your room for the holidays or even just for some extra lighting. St. Mike's is all about going green, so if possible, get environmentally friendly holiday lights.
9. Extension Cords/Power Strip
Both of these come in handy if your chord is too short to reach an outlet or if there just are not enough outlets in the dorm room for both you and your roommate. These have really come in handy for my roommate and me in the past.
10. Travel Mug
A travel mug serves many purposes for the college student.  It is handy for bringing both hot and cold beverages to class or on the go.  You can even fill up your travel mug in Alliot, an easy and convenient way to get your daily coffee fix or just keep hydrated.  Water bottles are also great for this.
11. Box Fan
Dorm rooms can get pretty warm sometimes, so a box fan is a good thing to have for those warmer days.
12. Snow Pants
If one thing is certain about northern VT, it's that we get snow.  Sometimes A LOT of snow.  Even if you aren't into skiing, you may want to take a study break and go outside to play.  It's a good way to cure stress or cabin fever during the wintertime.

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