Monday, August 20, 2012

College Series 1: 10 Things to Pack for College...That Won't be on Your School's List

I am sure that everyone heading off to college in the up coming weeks somehow has a list of things to pack. Whether it be a list from your school, from Target, or from an article on the lists usually look the same and cover all of the basics that you will need to live some place new for an entire year. But what about college life? Sure there are more things you will need for college than what they are telling you. So as current college student here are some useful college items that your school or anyone else won't tell you to bring.

1. Bottle Opener/Corkscrew -  If you plan on drinking in college remember to bring a corkscrew/bottle opener. You don't want to find yourself with a nice bottle of wine or a beer bottle but no way to open it. For the guys, Reefs now make these awesome flip flops that come with a bottle opener on the bottom of the shoe, so you'll always have a bottle opener on you or at least until the snow comes.

2. Popcorn - Popcorn is an essential dorm room snack. Just ask my freshman year suite mates, we used to eat it almost nightly. Although it may not have been the healthiest, our favorite was ACT II Movie Theatre Butter. If you want a healthier option but still want something sweet getting plain 94% fat free popcorn and sprinkling a tiny bit of sugar on it is delicious and doesn't have all of the fat and calories from butter.
Aside from popcorn being the world's greatest snack it is also a great way to make friends. No one will be able to resist talking to you when your floor's lounge is screening the new episode of The Vampire Diaries on a Thursday night and you walk in with a big bowl of popcorn to share.

3. Night Mask  - Part of going to college is learning to live in a tight environment with someone who may be from a different walk of like. The two biggest words to making this work are compromise and communication. So if you are someone who likes to go to sleep early or sleep in late and you happen to be sensitive to light a night mask would prevent your roommates desk light from bothering your beauty sleep and possibly prevent a roomie brawl. This mask from Hipster Chic is pretty fun! 

6. Ear Plugs - Along the lines of the sleep mask, ear plugs are another good thing to have. While no roommate should be intentionally loud and rude while you are sleeping you can't expect them to sit still and not even make a pin drop until they are ready for bed.

5. Strobe light  - I personally have not had the experience of having a strobe light with me at college but my sister brought one last year for her freshman year and claimed it was a huge it! She would have dance parties in her room and leave the door open and the strobe on and people would just wander in. Another great way to meet people and make friends. You can also get relatively cheap strobe lights too, like this $10 one from Party City.

6. Air Fresheners - Air fresheners are definitely something you NEED to have in college. Dorms are not known for smelling flowery and fruity. Many freshman burn easy mac, popcorn, and various other microwaved foods and the stank will reach neighboring rooms, trust me. My freshman year we had burnt popcorn, neighbors who tried to microwave Easy Mac with no water (hint: noodles, cheese, and WATER are the ONLY ingredients in Easy Mac), and a suite mate who left a microwavable pizza in the microwave for 20 minutes with the plastic still on (needless to say our suite stunk for over a week). Air fresheners can also become a life or death situation if you are living in a co-ed dorm. Sorry guys, but you stink!

7. Brita Filter - While this may be more money up front it will save you money on buying cases of water during your bi-weekly trips to Walmart or Target. Another great thing about the Brita is that water will never run out. You also won't run into the problem of finishing your stash of Poland Springs and having to borrow from the roommate.

8. Deck of Cards - A college essential. Cards are necessary for most drinking games but they can also cure boredom when the electricity goes out and Facebook can no longer entertain you.

9. Contraceptives  - This obviously depends on you and your values. If sex in college seems like it is a possibility for you, then its better to be safe than sorry. 

10. Shot glasses/Red Solo Cups/Wine Glasses  - Similar to the bottle opener and cork screws, you need these if you plan on drinking. When you have wine nights with your girlfriends don't you want to be classy and not be drinking wine out of plastic kitchen cups? 

If you can think of anything else please comment and share with everyone! 
Happy Packing! :)

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