Whether it’s your first day as a Freshmen or you’re heading into your senior year, there are definitely things you will need. So, instead of letting you learn on your own, here are a few things I would not have survived without and am glad I had extras of later on.
Brita Water Bottle/Pitcher:
You’ll learn quickly that the tap water is pretty gross, but a lot of the times that’s the only water that’s available to you. I personally suggest the Brita water bottle over the pitcher because I would always find that I would forget to refill the pitcher. The water bottle you can fill up anywhere on campus and have nice clean filtered water in an instant!
Cell Phone Case with Card Slot
I had this iPhone case in pink for most of college and it is the only reason I didn’t lose my key and school ID (most of the time). While wearing your ID on a lanyard seems like the greatest thing ever, at schools like Penn State, your ID on a lanyard instantly labels you as a freshman. I used my phone case to hold my ID and also tucked my key into the clasp. It was great because I always took my phone everywhere with me so by default my ID and key were always with me too. Plus, it’s a lot easier to pop your ID out of the back of a phone case versus taking it out of an ID pouch when swiping into the dining commons and if you’re heading out on a Friday night, you don’t have to carry a wristlet or bag because everything is right there in your phone case.
If you want something less bulky, definitely get ones that have just a card slot, like this one.
Agenda or Calendar
Between club meetings, greek life and class, my weeks could get really crazy. I relied on my agenda to get me through and keep track of everything. I love Lilly Pulitzer agendas because they come in so many different sizes. If you’re not a fan of physical agendas, I love the app “Sunrise.” The layout makes it easy to keep track of everything and it will sync multiple calendars like the ones from your phone or gmail all into one!
This one is totally dependent on where your school is. However, talking to friends from all different colleges, we all seemed to complain about the same thing…rain. Sometimes the weather will say sunny and 95F all day and you’ll walk out of class to find yourself caught in a torrential downpour. Always ALWAYS carry an umbrella and definitely invest in a sturdy one (or have a back up one in your room). I just left mine in my bag at all times so I had it for those surprise storms.
Rain Boots are another thing that you should invest in. Last year, I finally got myself a pair of Bean Boots and they are actually the greatest thing ever but if you’re looking for something less heavy, a regular pair of rain boots is the way to go. For days when it’s raining all day, you really don’t want to spend the day in soggy shoes because you will accidentally step in a puddle and it will be terrible. Rain boots will be your life saver and if you’re like a lot of people, you’ll fall in love with them and be waiting for it to rain so you can justify wearing them.
Bags for Every Occasion
There are so many different kinds of bags that you should have on hand for class. A backpack is pretty much a must have. There are going to be times when you need to lug 3 textbooks across campus and tossing them into a tote bag will likely break your bag and probably your shoulder. If I had classes and meetings all day, I definitely threw my stuff into a backpack for the day. For backpacks, the most popular ones on campus are Vera Bradley and Jansport. If I had one class in the afternoon, a totebag was the way to go. A lot of girls carried totebags from Longchamp or Kate Spade. On top of those, I loved having a small crossbody for going out and for any sporting event because it meant I would be hands free and wouldn’t have to worry about my bag slipping off my shoulder. This one from Forever 21 is perfect because of the size and the price!
Now I know this one seems weird but you can ask my first roommate and she will agree, Pillow Pets are awesome. If you think you’ll be spending some time studying in your room especially in your bed late at night, pillow pets will save your neck, literally. Flatten them out to add extra support for you back if you’re leaning against the wall or fold them up to put behind your neck when you’re lounging to do work. My roommate used to steal mine all the time until I got her one for her birthday. Don’t feel worried about them seeming weird, pretty much every girl I knew, including most of my sisters had one on their bed!
Now I’m sure everyone will know to bring headphones, but I’m saying make sure you pack a spare and stick it in a drawer for later. Your headphones are likely to break or mysteriously disappear at any point and it is seriously one of the most frustrating things ever. A backup pair will save you from tearing apart your room trying to find them or spending way too much for a new pair at the campus bookstore. Personally, I like the ones with the microphone on them so I can answer a phone call from Mom on the way to class without having to hold my phone the whole time (which is really convenient when it drops to -10F in the winter).
Pictures of Friends & Family
Whether you’re excited or nervous about heading off to college, sooner or later you will probably feel a little homesick. Having pictures of your favorite people will no doubt brighten your day.