Sparklers, if you’re going away to college this fall for the first time, you’ve probably already started the whole shopping for college process. If not, you might want to get on that because you have two months left and you’re going to need every minute of it. Trust me, I went to college. Well, for one year anyway. But I know some things, and if you read this article, so can you!
Here are the 15 things I forgot to bring to college...
1. Can opener: Picture this scenario. It is 10 degrees and snowing. Classes were long and hard and you’re pretty sure you’re coming down with a cold. You have just trudged up the terrible hill and made it back to your dorm. You open the door to your room and you see it—that can of organic chicken-less noodle soup. You know in two minutes you’ll be enjoying its hot and savory contents. All you need is a—you mean you don’t have a—but your friend down the floor has a—she’s in class still isn’t she?
2. Filter water bottle: The idea of drinking right out of the tap makes me gag. That’s why I fed most of my money to the vending machine in the lobby when I first got to college. But with a filter water bottle, not only can you save money, you can save the whales. Go green!
3. Cleaning supplies: You need a vacuum. I’m pretty sure only two kids on our floor actually owned one, and the rest of us borrowed from them. So your vacuum could make you friends! Also, disinfecting wipes are good to keep around, and if you have to clean your own bathroom you’re going to need toilet bowl cleaner, a toilet brush, sponges, and some sort of mop contraption.
4. Backup toilet paper: Speaking of bathrooms, bring a few rolls of TP. A) It can be used as an impromptu party decoration and B) One time the supply of toilet paper for our dorm ran out for two days and spare rolls of toilet paper were used as currency on my floor.
5. Tissues: Unless you’re some sort of alien cyborg werewolf, you’re probably going to get sick at some point. And that backup roll of toilet paper is not soothing to your runny nose.
6. Lots of Band-Aids: Yeah, I brought a box of Band-Aids to college. A single box. I ran through it in a month. I’m much more accident prone than I previously believed.
7. Business attire: I knew I would need a classy pant suit at some point in my life, but I figured I could put it off until junior or senior year. Nope, three separate occasions arose where I needed something nice to wear in my first year of college.
8. Real food: I’m not talking a bag of Doritos that you’ll finish before you’re done unpacking. I’m talking real, this could be a meal, food. Soup, Easy Mac, Spaghetti-O’s, tuna fish—whatever you’re craving when you’re up at 1 in the morning and you NEED second dinner.
9. A power strip: So many plugs, so few outlets.
10. A light: It is surprisingly dark in college dorm rooms.
11. Duct tape: Use it to fix your binder. Mend that hole in your shoe. Make it into a wallet. Nothing to wear to that party? Turn it into a dress. Duct tape—God’s gift to college students.
12. Staples: I brought a stapler to college. One would assume that it came with staples. It did not.
13. An umbrella: A nice one. One that won’t break with a big gust of wind and leave you soaking wet for your 3 hour Chem lab.
14. An alarm clock: Your phone/I-pod does not count. It sure seems like it counts for those first few months. That is until it gets fed up with just keeping time and decides to start making its own time. 7 AM? Not on your phone. Your phone has decided that 3 AM is the new 7 AM. Thanks phone. I didn’t really need to go to class anyway.
15. Silverware: I made it about two months of slurping macaroni before I caved and bought a fork and spoon. Did you know that the handle part of a fork can also be used for spreading peanut butter? True story.
One note on something not to bring—quarters. Most “packing for college” lists tell you you’re going to need rolls and rolls of quarters for just about everything—laundry, vending machines, you name it. But before you turn your life savings into shiny coins, make sure your school hasn’t switched over to everything being on your card, like mine did. I can’t tell you how many times I had someone pay me back in quarters.
What did you forget to bring to college? Leave it in the comments!