For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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May 26 2017
by Lauren Chin

10 Things You've Already Forgotten to Pack for College

By Lauren Chin - May 26 2017

Your dorm room is your new pad, your new home away from home, your refuge. But will it have what you need to prevent it from becoming the room of nightmares? Here are some essentials you definitely need to remember to pick up before the fall.

1. Broom


Just about the most asked for item in my entire dorm, especially during move-out season, a broom will be something dearly missed when it’s absent. Who has the patience to pick up every piece of that spilled bag of trail mix on the floor by hand? A small-handled broom and dustpan are not only easy to control and use, they also store well in luggage and tight dorm situations. Save yourself the trouble of inquiring the entire hall for the whereabouts of the questionable looking communal broom, if there is one at all.

2. Tissues


Tissues are crucial to surviving those nasal problems, be they runny noses from allergies or stuffy noses from winter colds! Have a box in your room and carry around portable packs in your backpack to prevent any mucus misfortunes or having to brave the embarrassing trip to the restroom for one-ply toilet paper. Even if you’re lucky enough to have paper towels in your bathroom, you might as well use sandpaper on the delicate skin of your face.

3. Tape


Tape is a multi-purpose wonder! Use it to hang up schedules or posters without having to harm the paint or walls. Use it to seal boxes, folders and envelopes. Even stick it on your belongings and write your name to create a personal label! Tape is also a life-saver in emergencies, whether you need to close that button gap in your collared shirt for your interview or need to hold your ripped notes together until the next midterm.

4. Vacuum


An easily overlooked item, most students think they can live without a vacuum in their life. That is, until they spill the crumbling remainders of their family-sized chip bag onto the carpet and a broom just won’t cut it. A small handheld vacuum is ideal for easy storage and reaching into tiny spaces. A nozzle attachment for the vacuum is even better for cleaning precision and also allows you to suck the air out of plastic bags to reduce the space your clothes take up!

5. Toolkit


Within an hour of moving into my dorm room, I was pulling out the screwdriver I never thought I would have actually needed to adjust my bed frame to my preferred height. You don’t necessarily need every single tool, as they tend to be rather heavy, but I highly recommend having Phillips and slot head screwdrivers and a wrench, as these were often requested by my dorm mates. From adjusting dorm furniture to fixing bikes and skateboards to ingenious DIYs, these items are mechanical necessities.

6. Mug


A large microwaveable mug with its trusty handle is more portable than a bowl and is much easier to handle and carry when hot. Heat soups and other food, water for tea or instant meals (as many packages aren’t meant to be microwaved and could be hazardous to your health if they are) or even try your hand at those dozens of mug recipes found online. Choose a mug that reminds you of home or shows off your unique style to have it double as a cool room accessory too!

7. Utensils


Almost as important as food itself are the utensils needed to eat them! Rather than raid the dining hall for worn out forks or producing waste from countless disposable spoons, keep a set of a metal fork, knife and spoon in your room. These will be durable enough to last the entire year from buttering bread right before running to your first class to late night ice cream sundaes and all the washes in between. A pair of chopsticks is also an option as they are thin, light and extremely easy to store as well.

8. Speaker


A requirement for fun, a good speaker makes all the difference in your social life. Trying to watch a video with friends? A speaker provides clear sound without having to blast your laptop or phone speakers or share earbuds. Having a wireless speaker also removes fuss and worry about extra wires and allows you to move your speaker to wherever you go, even the shower. Or if you just need to relax, put on your favorite playlist and host a dance party in your room!

9. Nail Clipper


A nail clipper will save your hands time and time again throughout the year from painful hangnails to accidentally chipped nails. Clipped nails are also essential to maintaining a well-groomed appearance. Nail clippers are much smaller than scissors and are also perfect for clipping split ends off your hair and stray threads off clothing as well.

10. Lip Balm


No one enjoys painful, uncomfortable, chapped lips — not you, not the people you’re speaking face to face with and definitely not the people who see your Snap stories. Never be caught with cracked lips again; keep a lip balm in your room and another in your backpack! It makes all the difference in adjusting to dry climates and seasons and is one less thing you need to worry about in your busy college life.

Now you’re all prepared to take on a new chapter of your life head on! You and your hall mates will definitely thank yourself for being the savior of the day with these items.

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Lauren Chin - Occidental College

Lauren Chin is a sophomore at Occidental College interested in life sciences and music studies. She plays in the college band and orchestra and loves the outdoors, sports and making music covers. Follow her on Instagram @luckylauren32 !

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