Miscellaneous College Essentials

If you’re an out-of-state college student like me, then you’re probably familiar with the disorienting and stressful process of checking off a list of important dorm supplies and packing EVERYTHING into a car that never seems big enough to fit all your things. You ask yourself: how is it possible for me to own so many things? Will this even fit in my room? With your car filled to the brim, you drive to your dorm convinced that you have all that you need, and maybe even more than that. That is, until the first few weeks of college pass and you find yourself face-palming because you forgot that ONE discrete item that you now desperately need or that will make your life easier. Below, I’ve written a list of non-obvious college essentials that you should bring with you to college or purchase for the future.

  1. Envelopes. Typically, I receive packages but on the rare occasion that I have to mail out documents, I realize that to my horror, I have no envelopes. Of course, you can purchase a box of them online, from the bookstore, or ask one of your friends for one...but let’s be honest, it’s much more convenient to have some on hand. You don’t need a whole box, just keep a few individual envelopes in one of your drawers.

  2. Stamps. Speaking of mailing out documents, you definitely need stamps...but where do you get them? Here are a few places to purchase them: at the mailroom kiosk (1 sheet=$5.00; card only), online at USPS.com, or in-person at a USPS Post Office. I recommend buying and storing a sheet of stamps in your dorm. Better to be prepared than stressed!

  3. Electric Kettle. As the Fall weather draws to a close and the freezing Winter waits just around the corner, we crave a cup of hot chocolate, apple cider, coffee, tea, etc. Keeping an electric kettle to boil water allows you to savor your hot beverage as the sun rises on a chilly Winter morning. Target and Amazon both carry a variety of affordable electric kettles.

  4. Insulated Water Bottle. An insulated water bottle is great for keeping your beverage cold or hot for several hours. No more disappointment because your beverage is lukewarm in the Summer or cold during the Winter. I’m a happy owner of the Takeya Insulated Stainless Hydration water bottle (18 oz).

  5. Spare Earphones and Phone Chargers. I can’t live without my earphones or phone charger and that makes it all the more devastating when either or both of them break. So I always keep at least one extra pair of earphones, an adaptor, and a charging cable in my room.

  6. Stain Remover. As the clutz I am, I often spill whatever I’m drinking or eating onto my clothes. Occasionally, I get pen ink on my shirt too. Each time; however, I’m grateful for the stain remover in my closet. With a few spritzes and rubbing, the stain almost completely disappears; it’s kinda like magic. After a cycle in the wash and dryer, it looks good as new! 

  7. Small Mesh Laundry Bag. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of having my bras tangled up with other articles of clothing or losing my underwear in the crevices of the washing machine. Now, I simply collect my bras and underwear into a mesh laundry bag and toss them in the wash with my other clothes. No more untangling and losing my underwear!