Autumn means the beginning of the academic calendar, and the entry of fresh blood into the nation’s college campuses. As one of these new students, you’ll be immersing yourself in a new environment, following new routines, and accommodating new ideas. You’ll also be dealing with new challenges, such as how to excel and assimilate in an academic setting that demands so much more than your high school ever did. It’s easy to be anxious if you don’t know what to expect, and you’re also likely to wonder about whether or not you’re fully prepared.
But don’t worry—armed with the basics and more, you’ll be ready to leave the nest in no time. In this article, we’ll fill you in on some items that we consider “must-haves” for your college starter kit. Hopefully, this will help in getting you cruising through your new life!
Book light and book stand
Want to assemble a great workstation that you can take anywhere? Two must-haves that go together hand in hand are a small book light and a book stand. You can set the two up anywhere, whether it’s your dorm room desk, a table in the study hall, or even in a neighborhood café. A portable workstation ensures that you can study well anywhere and with optimum concentration. You may also keep the book light in your bag as an emergency flashlight.
Reliable printer and ink cartridges
Get ready for an influx of new assignments, including essays, problem sets, research proposals, research papers, graphs, plates—and the list goes on. But as long as you have immediate access to a good printer in your dorm, then you’re all set to go. You can even equip it with compatible ink and toner cartridges instead of buying new and expensive OEM cartridges. You don’t even have to worry about the print quality being affected because these high-quality products are manufactured according to the same standards as the original consumables. You’ll also get real-life “bonus points” for saving money, being resourceful, and being environmentally friendly—all of which do matter in the holistic education of a college student!
A sturdy school bag
Your choice of school bag matters a whole lot in college as you’ll be lugging it around everywhere on campus. Protect your valuables with a quality backpack or shoulder bag, preferably the type that’s shock-proof, water-resistant, and has a laptop compartment. Rain or shine, your bag will be of service to you and to all the other items that you need for a regular school day.
A scientific calculator
Subjects like calculus and trigonometry are much harder than they were in high school. A scientific calculator will help you tackle all sorts of problem sets, can show you the graphs behind every equation, and crunch out the big numbers you’ll see in your accounting or engineering classes. You should get the kind that comes with a slide-on, slide-off protective cover.
One set of things that you should bring along with you are an extra set of clean beddings and a pillow. Change the sheets of your dorm mattress when you need to, and alternate the two sets when it’s time to do laundry. You can also offer this extra set of beddings if your siblings or friends come to visit, or another student is allowed to sleep over in the dorm. Your favorite beddings will also remind you of home, and will ease some of the homesickness that comes with going far away for college.
Bowls and cutlery
Another set of must-haves is the dining equipment that you’ll be bringing to your new home. Bring a set of plastic or metal bowls, cutlery, a mug, and a water bottle, and store them in the common kitchen area. Don’t forget to label these as yours, and to wash and dry them after every meal. This will lessen the clutter in the kitchen, and make dorm life more livable.
It’s probably a no-brainer that you’ll need to stock up on school supplies. But to put things in perspective, each college course demands different everyday requirements. Some subjects will require you to do more heavy reading, in which case you should buy more than one highlighter for the semester. Some subjects will involve intensive note-taking, and so you’ll want to have extra notebooks or paper fillers at the ready. We suggest bringing along a multicolor set of pens and pencils, or highlighters in more than one color. Different note-taking strategies suggest that organizing your notes by color will help boost your recall.
Clothes organizers and hampers
Keep your dorm neat by making sure that all your clothes are in the right place. One great way to do so is to bring foldable, portable clothes organizers and hampers along with you. That way, you’ll be able to sort which clothes go in your closet, which clothes you can lay out for class or for athletic activities, and which clothes are due for laundry day.
Congratulations on your admission, and out into the world you go!