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A College Must Haves List

September 07, 2010 By: Category: Campus Life, What to bring

Last week we covered what NOT to bring to college, so now it’s time to reveal our college must haves list.


(Photo by kosmonautica.)

 And now……a list of what you should bring to college:

  1. Rubber boots and an umbrella. It was my first weekend at college in my first year- the streets flooded. Check out my 15 lessons from my first week at college.
  2. A fan. Maybe not the huge, prehistoric thing in your parents’ basement, but a small personal-sized one you can put on your desk. I’d go for one that plugs in, vs. one that uses batteries. Which reminds me…
  3. Battery charger. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved since I purchased a battery charger. TV remote, wireless mouse, camera- they all use AA batteries. Yes, a charger can be pricey in the beginning, but it’s well worth it. (Just don’t try to charge regular batteries in a charger by mistake, like I did. Woops.)
  4. Day planner. I keep an iPod Touch and my phone in my purse at all times. Both have a calendar application, but I still use an actual day planner for my schedule. Between going to school full-time, working part-time, driving lessons and trying to squeeze in sleep and social activities, I’d rather use a big paper page than squint at a mobile device screen- and potentially miss something. Plus, devices get glitches and need to be restored. Day planners don’t.
  5. Ear plugs. I no longer live in a dorm but I still swear by ear plugs. You’re roommate might be a snorer or there might be construction going on outside your window. They’re always good to have on hand, especially on those rare, precious days you get to sleep in.
  6. As many quarters as you can find. Soon after arriving at college, you will find yourself leaving tips at restaurants in nickel and dime form, because the thought of leaving a quarter is too painful. When you eventually get around to doing your laundry in October (you lazy slob), you’ll understand how precious those quarters can be.
  7. A familiarity with Google Maps. Before I moved onto campus, I already knew where the closest grocery store, convenience store, park, dollar store and diner was. Google Maps is your friend- but don’t always follow their estimate for how long it will take you to get to a place.
  8. Pillows. This seems like an obvious one. Make sure they are the type of pillow you can actually sleep on. Big, fluffy ones might seem the way to go- but personally, I prefer a flat, firm pillow. Buy some fluffy cushions later on so you and your friends will be comfy during those late-night Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons.
  9. Vitamins. Your diet will be both appalling and shameful. These bad boys will probably keep you alive.
  10. The right level of expectation. College can be wicked fun. It’s a new place, you will meet new people and a new sense of freedom. But also remember why you’re there- to learn and transition into an adult. Go to your classes (you lazy slob), shower at least semi-regularly, don’t wear sweatpants and don’t take your laundry home on Thanksgiving for your mother to do (you lazy slob).

With this college must haves list, you should be good to go. But if you need a little extra help with packing, check out Packing for College (Part 1 of 2): 25 Must Haves and Packing for College (Part 2 of 2): 25 Items NOT to Bring to College.

* * *

Jillianne Hamilton is a multimedia student and graduate of the Journalism program at Holland College in Charlottetown. She is the creator of Kill Jill Goes to College, East Coast Overture and, most recently, PeaceOwl. Find out more about her at

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