What To Bring To College: Things You Might Forget


The third and final post in our college checklist series on what to bring to college focuses on the really important stuff – the stuff you were probably going to forget. Don’t spend your first few weeks running from store to store. Read this checklist, pack accordingly, and let the party begin.

Formal outfits – a suit for job interviews, dress pants and shirts
You might think you will spend all your time in shorts, flip-flops, and your signature COLLEGE t-shirt (yeah, nobody has that one, you’re hilarious), but you might be wrong. If you plan on trying to get a “real job” you will probably be going to a couple interviews. Also, lots of campuses have formal dances where your aviators and trucker hat just won’t cut it. So bring along your favorite dressy stuff and watch them collect dust until that one day you will be glad you read this article.

Football, Frisbee (disc if you want to be a jerk about it)…
Baseball, soccer cleats, soccer ball, birdie, racquet. Whatever your sport of choice is, bring the necessary equipment. Instant popularity. Even if you don’t like Frisbee right now you should consider learning how to throw decently lest be ye be shown up by every college student in the universe.

Social security card, copy of birth certificate, bank account information
When and if you get a job on campus you will be required to prove you exist in all sorts of strange and interesting ways. Best to be prepared.

Desk lamp
Dorm lighting is, uh, minimal at best. It is a good idea to have a desk light incase your overhead light in all its blinky, unreliable, fluorescent glory, is not sufficient. Desk lamps are also handy when you want to study but your roommate is passed out naked and covered in sharpie in the middle of the floor. No, don’t wake them up – it’s a conversation piece.

First-aid kit
When you ram your head straight into the side of a door as you are ogling that hot girl or guy in your public speaking class, you will be glad you brought along some band-aids and aspirin.

Bowl and silverware
Cereal in the morning, cereal in the evening, cereal at suppertime, if you don’t have a bowl how will you eat cereal all the time?

Gym clothes
Maybe if you bring them you will be more motivated to go to the gym when you peer into your drawer and find a dust city complete with dust city hall and dust statue of liberty (when the dressy clothes dust immigrated from the closet, they gazed upon the great dust statue with teary eyes) has gathered on your matching Adidas gym set.

A big jacket
Depending on where you go to school, you might need to bring some more hardcore winter clothing, but for most places just bringing a ridiculously big, puffy, furry jacket can be your winter clothing. Throw it on over pretty much anything (or nothing as the case may be).

Power strip with surge protection and extension cord
Dorm room outlets are awkwardly placed and their number is in no way proportional to the number of electronic devices you are likely to bring. Your laptop, iPod, TV, refrigerator, microwave, cell phone, palm pilot, digital camera, coffee pot, blender and lava lamp will thank you. Don’t forget surge protection for that stormy night when the power goes out and your final essay vanishes into thin air like that 30-pack last night. Unlike the 30, however, the essay won’t be back at 3:30 tomorrow morning.

If you plan on doing laundry, you will probably need quarters in great abundance. If you plan on doing laundry.

Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool.

Speaking of tools, bring a hammer, some nails, and possibly a Swiss army knife and/or Leatherman. You never know when you might need to repair or cut something, or better yet when your sexy hallmate will be in a bind and you can offer up just the tool for the job (if you know what I mean). Ok, we are done with the innuendo for now.

Duct tape
Repair holes in the ceiling, your super-soaker tank, your clothes, and just about anything else.

Extra long TV cable
Chances are the cable hookup in your room (if there is one) is nowhere near where you want to put your TV (and probably not anywhere near where ANYONE would want to put their TV for that matter). For this reason, you should probably invest in a 15-ft. cable.

Mattress pad
Oh, you thought your dorm’s bed would be comfortable? I’m sorry, no. Unless you like sleeping on rocks (I don’t know, maybe you are a transfer student from 30,000 years ago) you should look into a nice egg-crate mattress pad (or a feather bed if you must, to go with your popped collar, yacht and Nautica bedding set).

This indispensable little item will give you hours of joy, though I imagine your dust city (see gym clothes, above) will never forgive you.

Avoid that classic moment when you go to hang up all your clothes and realize you left an important ingredient back home. If you are flying to college you should probably pick these up when you get there though, because they are a major waste of space.

Brita Pitcher
Why buy water when you can have it for free? Well, I guess you could just drink unfiltered tap water but I wouldn’t trust your college’s circa-1800 pipe system, so why would you? First you get the water, then you get the… well you know the rest.

Bed risers or cinder blocks
Not only will a higher bed boost your self-esteem and contribute to that holier-than-thou attitude that everyone finds so sexy about you, it is also a great place to store stuff. I recommend scooting your dresser under there. Now you have so much extra space! Just don’t make the bed too high or you may injure yourself when getting in and out (see first-aid kit, above).

Don’t forget to read what you should share with your roommate, and the essentials of college packing, the other two articles in this series.

Did we forget something on our college checklist? What did you forget when you came to college? Leave a comment and help everyone out!


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