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9 Things Every Midwest College Student Needs in Their Car

This winter has been even more horrible and tedious than previous years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it is getting better anytime soon. If you are a college student who has your car on campus, you might not think of everything you may need until it’s too late and unfortunately Mom & Dad might be too far away for help. I drive a mustang, which in my opinion, is the absolute worst car to have when you go to school in Iowa; so I feel for all of you out there. Here are some cheap things that I think everyone should invest in, as these have kept me stay sane and somewhat able to use my car, even this winter.



1. Ice/Snow Scraper

Duh... You might think that this is obvious, but I have had to lend mine to multiple people, even 8 snow storms later.

I personally don’t recommend the car windshield covers because my friend has one and it is more of a pain than just cleaning everything off.


2. Ice Melting Spray & Wiper Fluid

So you scrape and scrape, but there are 3 inches of ice on your windshield. Sprays like these will help a lot! Definitely not flawless and if it’s -20 out, it won’t help much, but this is great for average ice coverage.


3. Lock Spray

Ever had your locks frozen on your car? Not fun and not much you can do about it. This spray is so cheap and so tiny; perfect to keep in your purse! (This may seem obvious, but don’t keep this in your car…)


4. Extra Gloves

After you pry your frozen door open and clean off your car from the blizzard mix, almost always your gloves will be soaked and freezing. Keep an extra pair in your cup holder and change them out after they get wet.


5. Collapsible Shovel

Please get one. They are fairly inexpensive and save you! I’ve had dozens of people in my parking zone barrow my shovel. This is perfect for when they *plow your parking lot* but block every car in with 3 feet of snow. Shovel your car to freedom! (This is also helpful if your wheels are stuck--probably more relevant in low/older cars).

6. Salt & Kitty Litter

So you’re in your car, but you can’t get traction because your car is parked in a lot that is covered in 4 inches of ice and 7 inches of snow. *Borrow* some salt from the locations on campus that have it and spread this around your tires to melt the ice covering your wheels. Lay some Kitty Litter down next to get the traction. This isn’t a flawless technique and still may require 2 of your friends to push you out, but it definitely helps! Also, please get one with a lid, not a bag.


7. Jumper Cables

If you don’t have these normally, you wild. Even a newer battery can die when it gets super cold out. Keep these with you to prevent a towing fee and an emotional breakdown. QVC sells a new kind of jumper cable where you can jump your own car! (bc we independent ladies). You charge this battery which is in a flashlight every 3 months and then just keep it in your car. It has safety features so you can’t blow up if you hook it up wrong. Also, it comes in rose gold!

8. Wheel Tracks / Floor Mats

Whether you want to buy real tracks or just use floor mats, these can help when you need even more of a push out of the snow. Just realize that this is an option before the crying starts.

9. Sand Bags

Now, if you have a good ‘ol mustang or another type of tiny car like me, invest in some sandbags for your trunk to prevent sliding on the road. These help me so much and it’s a very easy solution to a potentially deadly problem.


With global warming (WHICH IS TOTALLY REAL), I expect winters (especially in the midwest) to continue to be horrible. Do yourself a solid and pick up these items.



Majoring in strategic communication & multimedia journalism and minoring in graphic design & radio and television at St. Ambrose University.  
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