10 essential things you’ll need your first year

By Meredith Sweet on July 28, 2017

You're an A+ student, so you've done your research. You've read all the blogs and seen all the lists. Almost everything you own has been pressed, folded and crammed into cardboard boxes at the foot of your bed. It's two weeks before move-in day, and you think you're as ready as you'll ever be.

But what if those lists are incomplete? What if you have to run out to the store on the second day of school, and you end up missing out on part of freshman orientation? What if you survive your first semester, only to realize how much easier your life could have been if you'd only had the one thing you needed all along?

The Strategy

Don't let yourself be caught unprepared. Here are ten essential things you'll need for your first year of college that you may not have considered yet.

  1. Hot water kettle

    Whether you're a tea drinker, a hot chocolate lover or just short on out-to-eat funds and need to make some Ramen, a hot water kettle will save you time, money and a trip to the nearest microwave.

  2. Command hooks

    You literally can't go wrong with these. Use them for frames, clothes, cork boards, whatever you feel like. Stick them anywhere and everywhere.

  3. Extra toothbrush

    There's no worse feeling than losing your toothbrush. Unless you still have to go to class afterward. Save yourself the trouble and pack an extra one, just in case.

  4. Toolbox

    You never know when you need a screwdriver or a wrench handy.

  5. Umbrella

    Newsflash: It will rain, and one day, it will surprise you. Make sure you invest in a good, travel-sized umbrella that you can take with you when you're on campus.

  6. First aid kit

    Whether it's a splinter from a chair in the Dining Commons or a paper cut from a textbook, you need to take care of yourself. Bandages, tweezers and gauze pads are a must.

  7. Flash drive

    Computers break. Printers stop working. Don't let yourself become that student who has to email all their assignments. Get a flash drive, and keep it updated to backup your files in case of a computer crash.

  8. Full-length mirror

    Sometimes, a portrait-sized mirror just won't cut it. To get a full picture of a head-to-toe look, skip the acrobatics of trying to see yourself in a portrait-sized mirror. Buy a full-length one instead.

  9. Needle and thread

    If you're on campus and you burst a button, your mom won't be around to sew it on for you. Don't know how to sew? Watch a tutorial, grab a needle and learn a new skill. College can teach you more than just book-smarts, you know.

  10. Duct tape

    Remember the silver rule: When disaster strikes, duct tape fixes everything.

The Result

Life is full of surprises, especially at college, but there are problems you can anticipate. Learn from other students' mistakes. Make like a Boy Scout and "be prepared."