College. It may feel as though it’s taking forever to reach graduation, but the reality is that once senior year begins, things move at the speed of light! You’ll find that between senior projects, graduation parties, and all of those sweet milestones, time really starts flying by (whether you’re the parent of a graduate or you’re the senior!). As you prepare to leave nest or send off your little fledgling (gulp!), it is really smart to begin preparing the physical items that will be useful at college. If you’re making a graduation wishlist or amazon registry, you could even include some as ideas for family and friends! Here is a small list of things you’ll really need during your freshman year:
-A mini ironing board and iron: They make awesome tabletop ironing boards now, and you’ll use it way more than you think. You’ll want ironed clothes for things like presentations or interviews, especially if you’re using a shared laundry facility where you can’t easily pop something into the hot dryer. Mini ironing boards can slide under a bed, or be hung over a door if they come with a little hook. If you really don’t want both pieces and are tight on space, opt for a hand held steamer instead so you don’t have to wear wrinkly clothes all year! Pro tip: Ask your parent to demo the heat settings and explain which things take which heat so you avoid accidentally scorching your favorite dress!
-Toolkit or basic tools: Even if you’re not a handyman, you need just a few tools, like a screwdriver and a hammer. You will use these for things like hanging pictures, changing batteries in various household items, and more. You can purchase a basic toolkit for under $20 on Amazon, or you can buy them separately and keep them in a plastic tote (we recommend adding items you may need to hang pictures or decor up to the same tote so they don’t get separated).
-Laundry supplies: If you are using a shared laundry facility, which is most likely the case for dorms and apartments, be sure to put together a little laundry tote. Fabric softener, laundry detergent, stain remover, lint roller, and dryer sheets can all be kept together and put into something with a handle so that you can carry it with your laundry hamper. Look for a fold-down laundry hamper that flattens completely to save space. Don’t forget a little sewing kit in case you lose a button or need to mend something.
-Chargers: You may not think of chargers as something you’d forget, but you’d be surprised how many don’t realize their Fitbit or laptops use various chargers that they only used via their parents! Make a list of all your tech items that you’re taking with you, and match up chargers to each. Color code them if you’d like, and pack a surge protector with multiple outlets to increase the things you can plug in at once. Many dorms only have a few outlets and your dorm-mates will likely need to share them, as well.
Basic medications: Although most colleges have basic medications available anytime in their health centers, it is handy to have things in your room that you may need. Remember to properly store them, and don’t include prescription narcotics in your stored meds for safety. We recommend things like Tylenol, Midol, Ibuprofen, vitamins, allergy medication, antacids, and anti-itch cream. Don’t forget bandaids, nail scissors, and tweezers in your little medication kit!
Freshman year can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have be because you weren’t prepared. Even little things like checking off your shopping list will make your first year less stressful, and give you and your parents a sense of security! For more tips on preparing for college, stay tuned here to the blog!