The first few months before entering college are a mix of excitement, curiosity and stress. Your mind creates a million questions that you just can’t seem to answer. However, I might be able to guide you in answering one of the biggest fear-filled questions: “What do I bring?”
Though Fairfield University’s Fall Welcome list does a fantastic job labeling some of the most important items, there are definitely a handful that are missing. These next eight items are the few necessities I couldn’t imagine not having during my first year.
- Storage Ottoman – I will never not recommend a storage ottoman to a college student. This triple purpose item will not only act as a step stool for your lofted bed and a hidden place to store your valuables, but it also serves as another place to sit for when you have friends over. It’s comfortable, it’s neat and you will, without a doubt, use it every day.
- Extension Cords/Power Strips – There are only a few outlets spread out within your dorm room, and some of them are in hard-to-reach places. Purchasing an extension cord or two will become extremely useful. Since you already have to dedicate two outlets to your micro-fridge and microwave, a power strip will allow you to use multiple electronic devices at once. As a student in the 21st century, you definitely don’t want to have to add unneeded stress to your day trying to find an outlet to charge your computer and get that homework assignment in.
- AC Unit/Window Fan – Most of the Fairfield residence halls do not have air conditioning. I know…the horror. However, once the first few weeks of school go by and fall weather appears, it is no longer unbearable. But in order to “survive” the brutal humidity at the start of the year, I recommend buying a window fan to move around the air. Though air conditioners are generally not permitted, students with certain medical conditions can actually install an AC unit with permission from the health center. Nevertheless, a bedside fan will always come in handy for people that enjoy a cool breeze at night or white noise.
- Bedside shelf – I purchased a bedside shelf a few months into the school year and it was one of the best things I could’ve gotten. At night, I had nowhere to keep my phone in reach, along with my chapstick, hair ties and phone charger. After buying an urban shelf, I had easy access to anything that I didn’t want on my sheets. It looks clean and is super easy to store.
- Laundry Basket With Wheels – Most of you will not be lucky enough to have the laundry room on your floor, which means you will have to lug your dirty clothes up or down a few flights of stairs. You can make this dreaded process a little bit easier by purchasing a basket with wheels instead of a bag with a handle. This will make the transferring task much easier as you won’t have to carry a 15-pound bag of laundry in your arms with a large bottle of detergent, fabric softener and your key card. The basket also just looks a lot neater under your bed than a random sack laying on the floor.
- Reusable Water Bottle – Hydrating is a huge part of everyone’s daily routine, especially for college students, and keeping a water bottle with you will remind you of its importance. Additionally, continuously buying packs of plastic water bottles would be a waste of money, a waste of space in your room and a threat to the environment. While most people own Hydro flasks, a popular thermos, Amazon sells more affordable reusable water bottles that actually tell you how much you need to drink by a certain time of the day. I found this very useful because with busy schedules it’s easy to not prioritize hydration.
- Shower Caddy – To make the communal bathroom experience a bit more tolerable, you’re going to want to make sure you have everything you need to get in and out as quickly as possible. A shower caddy allows you to hold your soap, shampoos, hairbrush, toothbrush and paste, razors and basically everything you need at once. It’s also great to have in your room because all your bathroom necessities are in one place making them easy to locate and store away.
- Mattress Topper – The mattresses they give you at school aren’t much more than a plastic mat, which is understandable since they’re not going to give every student a Tempurpedic bed that will be used to sled down Bellarmine hill. With that being stated, it is up to you to create your own comfortable, safe haven. Even though a mattress topper may be expensive, it should last you all four years of school if you take care of it properly. Furthermore, why not splurge on something that will make one of the things you will be using the most even better?
While I highly recommend getting each of these items to help you ease into your first year of college, try not to stress out if you are missing a few of them. As you progress into the year, you will find some of your own must-haves items or things that aren’t really needed for your type of living. Nevertheless, good luck on move-in day!