July 15, 2016

26 Must Have College Items

We’re not even going to mention that summer is winding down, but instead we’re going to focus on a new school year. This is especially exciting for incoming college freshman. Packing is stressful and you can never have too many lists. Crane’s recent college graduates put their heads together to come up with a list of items they wish they had remembered for their freshman dorm rooms. Happy packing!

  • Microwavable Tableware: There will be nights, mornings and let’s face it days when you are sick or just need a quick meal. Microwavable meals in a pinch are great, having something to heat them up on is even better. Don’t forget silverware too!
  • Favorite Movies: After a long day of classes and studying, unwinding with your favorite movie is a great way to relax. Plus it’s a fun way to connect and spend time with new friends.
  • Droplet Humidifier: Dorm rooms can be small and stuffy. Not to mention living closing with that many people, it’s important to develop habits to stay healthy. Using a humidifier will help relieve dryness in the air, help you clear any congestion and help you sleep better so you’re more productive. Viruses also tend to move slower in humid air, so use a humidifier to help keep cold and flu viruses at bay. College goes by fast, stay healthy to enjoy every minute of it!
  • Bulletin Board: Decorating your dorm room helps make your room feel more like home and allows you to express yourself. Use a bulletin board to put up photos of family and friends or to hang posters and other clippings. This will also help prevent sticking or tacking a bunch of things to the wall.
  • Photo Hanging Materials: For anything that doesn’t fit on the bulletin board, use Command strips or hooks to hang photos, lights, mirrors or anything else that helps make your room feel more like home. Just be sure to use materials that will come off cleanly so you don’t have to pay for the damage later.
  • Sports Equipment: A Frisbee, volleyball, soccer ball, football or whatever your into is something you’re going to wish you had on that warm fall day when you want to be outside. These are also easy group activities to try with a new group of friends or people from your dorm.
  • A Robe: You may be thinking, but I’ve packed towels, no you need a robe or something that ties and covers you. Here’s the deal, when you walk to the bathroom to shower, you’ll be carrying your shower caddy and maybe other toiletries, you may not always have a hand to hold your towel up. Using a robe will be easier and save you from any embarrassing situation.
  • Water Bottle: College is about building good habits, as we mentioned earlier. Drinking water helps to keep you hydrated and healthy. Our experience tells us that if you have a water bottle, you’re more likely to drink water than when you forget it. You’ll also save money from not needing to buy a water bottle while you’re out.
  • Boxes of Tissues: Remember in grade school at the beginning of the year each student had to bring boxes of tissues for the classroom? You might be older, but you still need to bring your boxes of tissues to school. Don’t forget the to-go packs for your backpack. When that first cold hits and you’re sniffling in class, you’ll thank us.
  • First Aid Kit: When you catch a cold or aren’t feeling well the last thing you want to do is drag yourself to the drug store to get medication. Pack yourself a first aid kit or a care package with your basics: bandages, pain relievers, thermometer etc. You’ll be so happy you thought of this the first time you get really sick. Don’t forget to restock as you run out of things.
  • Tool Kit: While we’re on the subject of kits, get yourself a tool kit. Many stores will have them already assembled for you with a hammer, screw driver, a few nails and other basic tool supplies. You’ll be able to use this if you buy any assembly required furniture or if you need to hang or fix anything. Of course you can always add what you think you’ll need.
  • Interview Clothes: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. For internships or student organization meetings you may need to wear more a more professional outfit. More than likely you’ll have more options shopping at home before you leave for school than if you wait until you’re on campus.
  • Calendar: Time management is an important skill to develop while away at school. Using a calendar, whether that’s in your phone, on your wall or computer will help you stay organized and keep you from missing the important stuff like your upcoming exam or the homecoming parade.
  • Sewing Kit: Oops, we forgot an important kit to add to your list, a sewing kit. You’d be surprised how easy it is to use a needle and thread to fix up a hole in your favorite shirt. You’ll also save a little money from maintaining the clothes you have instead of buying new ones.
  • A Fan: Most dorm rooms to not have their own thermostats and many do not have AC units. Bringing a portable fan, as many alumni will agree, is one of the smartest things you can do. Not only will you be able to cool down your room, but the white noise will help drown out your roommates snoring or any other noises you’re not used to sleeping with.
  • Slippers: Who doesn’t love a cozy pair of slippers? These will come in handy often but especially when you’re studying or hanging out with friends in the common room. Be sure to get a pair that has real soles on the bottom in case you head out for a late night snack run.
  • Travel Mug or Tumbler: Whether you’re running late or just want to enjoy your favorite hot drink on the way to class, a travel mug is an essential at college. Look for ones that are dishwasher safe, but don’t waste your time finding one that’s microwavable- most are not.
  • Power Strip and Extension Cords: Most of the time dorm rooms only have a few power outlets and with all today’s gadgets, you’ll have a lot to plug in. Bring a power strip to keep behind your desk for your lap top and phone charge. Just to make sure you’re electrical needs are covered, throw in a few extension cords.
  • Clothes Drying Rack: We all have some of those clothes we’d just rather hang up than dry. Just set up your drying rack in your room, near a window if possible, and leave to dry. This will also come in handy if you get caught in the rain and need to quick dry your clothes.
  • Pepper Spray: Serious note. Always walk with a buddy. Avoid walking home at night, but if you do, walk down well-lit busier streets. Carry pepper spray. We hope you never have to use it, but it’s always better to have it than wish you did.
  • Laptop Case: Most backpacks have a sleeve for your laptop, but we encourage you to buy one that you can put your computer in and carry separately. Taking good care of your laptop is important at college. You’ll take most of your notes on it and use it for most if not all your school projects.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Be sure to pack the basics: disinfectant wipes, surface cleaner for the microwave and fridge and a stick vacuum. One note on the vacuum, see if this is something the dorm provides. It can be a huge space saver if you don’t need to bring it. Try to clean a few times a semester. You’ll stay better organized and getting rid of dust will help prevent coughs and colds.
  • Portable Charger: If you don’t have one after playing Pokemon Go, you should get one. These are great for traveling should you travel abroad, but also for long nights at the library or charging your phone on the way to class. Most portable chargers should be able to charge your phone fully twice before needing to be charged themselves.
  • Zip-Lock Bags: Plastic bags (please always recycle them) can be very useful. Pack snacks for in between classes, storing school supplies or organizing your dorm room. We recommend bringing two sizes, sandwich bags and gallon size, just to have in case.
  • Can Opener: When you’re sick, busy or let’s face it, just lazy, an easy microwavable dinner sounds great. Remember your can opener so you don’t have to get creative to open that can of soup. Then you can use your microwavable bowl you remembered to pack (see item 1).
  • Travel Humidifier: You’ll have the healthiest table at the library when you bring your portable travel humidifier with you to study. You can plug it directly into your lap top and use it for up to 10 hours. Especially during midterms and finals, you’ll want to be healthy and on top of your game to ace your exams.