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art by caeli harman

College Essentials

  • Coffee/Tea Maker, a good laptop with lots of storage and a touch screen if it helps you take notes, shower shoes (i.e. flip flops) if you’re living in the dorms, cleaning supplies for your dorm (a handheld vacuum cleaner is useful) and a microwave, if allowed, for quick meals that will save you a lot of time. A mini fridge to keep food, a trash can, a first aid kit in case of emergencies, blankets (for optimal comfort!) food to stash in your dorm, and headphones for studying and classes. 
art by caeli harman
  • Look through the college packing list that the school you are going to provides. It will usually tell you what items are prohibited and what is recommended to bring, and will usually give you somewhere to start when you begin packing.
  • College cafeteria food can be very different from what you’re used to eating, so food can be essential, especially microwavable food that is quickly made in a pinch.  
  • If you can, do not take your whole wardrobe! If you plan on living in the dorms, you will not have a lot of room, especially if you’re living with a roommate. All you need is a basic wardrobe– everyone is too tired and broke to really care what you’re wearing. 
  • When looking for a roommate, find someone you can talk to and communicate with. Before moving into your dorm, make sure to set some ground rules like noise levels, cleanliness, and sleep schedules. Communicate to your roommate when they do things that upset you, and if you can’t, find another roommate. College life already has enough stresses: let your roommate/dorm life not be one of them.
  • Look for ebooks if your class allows it! They’re usually much cheaper than physical copies of textbooks. Also try and see if you can rent your books used, it will be much cheaper than your college bookstore. Try Amazon!
art by caeli harman
  • Get to know the people in your major early on and they might have books you can buy used, rent, or borrow. 
  • Older editions of the textbooks will be cheaper to buy, but the downside is that they probably will have different page numbers.

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