If you are off to college this fall for the first time, you have probably already started shopping for all of your dorm and college essentials. Regardless of where you are in your shopping, here is handy list of items you may not have thought to buy or pack for college.

  1. An umbrella

This one may seem like common sense, but you will be surprised to see how many people forget to back one of these. Cute, but most importantly functional, an umbrella will save your life on those rainy days. Trying to get from one class to the next in the pouring rain is no fun for anyone. Often times, rain boots and a rain jacket just is not enough. Get a smaller travel umbrella if you prefer something that can be thrown in a bag or a larger one if you prefer more protection.

  1. Boot tray

Just like an umbrella can save you in the rain, a boot tray can save your carpet when it comes to the aftermath. Boot trays are easy to buy and just as easy to make. They are something you can leave either outside your door or have it right when you walk in. Everyone is always unsure of what to do with shoes that are wet from rain and snow. A boot tray helps you resolve that problem by giving them a spot where they can dry without making your floor or other items wet.

  1. First aid kit and OTC medicine

You are bound to get hurt one day, even if it is just a paper cut. I cannot tell you how many times my first aid kit has come in handy not only for myself but roommates and hall-mates.  Not only this, but over the counter medicine was also something everyone needed. Ibuprofen, Dayquil/Nyquil, and Motrin are just a couple of things you should consider packing. College introduces you to a lot of new germs and getting sick the first few weeks is commonality. It is much nicer when you already have what you need on hand instead of having to drag yourself to the drug store when you are sick.

  1. Duffle bag

Sure, you may have a suitcase or two from moving all of your clothes, but not everyone remembers a duffle bag. Duffle bags are great for quick trips home or a small weekend get away with friends. Trust me, it is not fun when you go on a last minute trip and the only options you have are your back pack or suitcase to pack your stuff in.

  1. Pivot power outlet

These are the absolute best. You definitely will need a power outlet here and there, but make sure one of them is a pivot outlet. These are great because you can manipulate them to go around bed posts or make them a squiggle if there is no straight spot for them to lay. They are just as good as any other power outlet. It is much nicer to have something you can make work for your space.

  1. Swim suit and beach towel

A swimsuit and beach towel is something I had so desperately wished I packed my first year of college. I had seen it in my room at home and knew I would not be using the pool at our gym, so why bring one? Turns out there is an annual slip n slide the day before classes at my school and several other water related events that took place during the school year. Many colleges will have events similar to this one. There is more than likely a time where you will need a swim suit and towel even when you did not think you would.

  1. Cleaning supplies

Sure, you are going to a college where freshmen have community bathrooms so there is nothing you really have to clean, right? Wrong. Yes, your bathroom may be taken care of. Your floor, desk, and anything else in your room is not. Mini vacuums are good to have for your carpet and other cleaning products are nice to have when you need to clean out and wipe down your fridge or when you want to get the dust off the top of your desk and dresser. You never know when a spill may happen or when things may get messy. Having cleaning supplies on hand is always a good idea.

  1. Water filter and reusable water bottle

A reusable water bottle and a water filter are great to have because not every hall has a water fountain and not every room has a sink. Even if you do have a water fountain on your hall, a filter saves you trips back and forth. Also, even if you do have a sink in your room, do you really want to drink that tap water? The nice added bonus to a filter and water bottle is that you do not have to spend money on plastic water bottle and you are helping save the Earth all at the same time.

  1. Duct tape

It is your best friend, your life saver. Things will break and duct tape will be there to fix it. Honestly, not much explaining is needed here. This is just a great thing to have on hand in case on emergencies.

  1. Tool kit

You do not have to be Miss Fix-It to own a tool kit. Something may break that just need a simple screw or someone’s car (maybe your own) may need to be jump started. It is great to have a kit that at least has some pliers, screw drivers, a wrench, and jumper cables in it just in case of an emergency. Also, these things, minus the jumper cables, could come in handy if you are doing some crafting.

  1. A sewing kit

You do not need to know how to sew in order to own one of these. A button may fall of your shirt or you may get a hole in your favorite pair of leggings. Having one of these on hands gives you quick fixes to these problems and if you are not sure how to use a needle and thread, a quick YouTube video can give you a 30 second lesson. Plus, most kits have safety pins which can always come in handy.

  1. Business attire

As a freshman, you may think you will not need any business or business casual wear, but if I am being honest you are probably wrong. I found myself needed some business casual attire a handful of times for presentations, job interviews, and meetings with higher ups for my job. You never know when an opportunity might show up. It is always good to pack something that fits the business dress code just in case.

Overall, I hope this list helps you and makes you think of the little things you may be forgetting. May your move-in to college be smooth and may it truly be the best adventure you have had yet!

ALEX B
CONTRIBUTOR