College is a new beginning for most students who arrive on campus. This was most definitely true for myself. I had no idea what to expect, aside from the dreadful cafeteria food, it was a completely unfamiliar environment for me! I read up on a few blogs regarding College essentials prior to moving in on campus. Some essentials really helped out during the first semester while others made no appearance. Throughout these last four months, I collected my own list of essentials!
The semester is finally almost over! All that is left are finals. I couldn’t have made it this far without my essentials for everyday use.
I brought my MacBook Pro ’13 along with me to college and I would recommend this to every incoming or current (if you don’t already have one) college student. I use it everywhere I go, everyday! Most universities provide desktops throughout campus; however, you’ll tend to get tired of walking to these locations. Having a handy dandy Laptop by your side can have its advantages! I especially love to cuddle up in my bed and finish my homework on my laptop. When I’m in class, I like to take notes on my Mac. After the first few weeks in class, it will become apparent very fast that hand taking notes lead to aching hands. I prefer typing my notes, as it is a whole lot faster and efficient. You will be shocked at how much you use your laptop, from taking notes to turning in essays, it is a major essential in college!
Bonus accessories: I bought a keyboard cover for around $1 on amazon and it is life saving! It helps to keep your keyboard from getting dirty from dust and crumbs (laptop=coffee/food by your side). Also, I purchased a laptop case to slide it into before class or on the go (Vera Bradley).
Another important essential is an iPad or kindle. I have an iPad mini 3. Books are extremely pricey for the amount of time you use it; I ended up not even using half of my books. I found that using an electronic device for e-books is very helpful! Most apps let you search in text terms or phrases, something that hard copies do not let you do. Did I mention how cheap they are too? Because they are CHEAP. One of my books estimated at over $100 and the e-book version of it was less than half of that price. I also found that having all of your books into one tiny device makes life a whole lot easier. Lugging around several books at once plus your laptop and etc., can be overwhelming. I purchased an iPad over a Kindle, as you can also browse the Internet on and what not. It also is a sneaky way to text during class without looking disrpectful to the professor (but, shhh…that doesn’t happen). I have had a lot of students tell me, “I should’ve bought one of those,” as I finish my reading much faster than those with hard copies. These devices are a little pricey, but end up being the least expensive path over the next four years. If you like to take notes and highlight, you can do that on there too! E-books are most definitely essential!
I do however, love writing when it comes to flashcards. Writing out my terms on flashcards helps me remember the key concepts better than just reviewing them via notes. I like to punch wholes on the end of them and clip them onto a ring, thus, making them much more accessible. My boyfriend’s mother gave me this idea when she bought me a study buddy from Vera Bradley; it has become my best friend! You can remove the cards and insert new ones once you use up the ones given to you in the set. I like to use colorful flashcards; this helps motivate me to study! You can almost always find me in the classroom prior to a test doing last minute studying… these are essential for a quick session of cramming.
I like to write in my Planner and take notes (when I’m in the mood) with colorful pens. My favorite brands are the Sharpie fine tip and Paper Mate felt tip pens. These brands don’t usually bleed through, which is important when writing in your planner. I like to color code and make my writing look bright and fun, hence my collection of every color of pen possible. It just makes the time go by much faster while keeping your planner and notes appealing. I would suggest these to the girls who are strictly organized and obsessive over their school material.
My planner is another one of my best friends! Okay, maybe I shouldn’t phrase it like that, but it is! I am absolutely in love with my beautiful planner. You can get them just about anywhere. Kate Spade and Lily Pulitzer are among the most popular planner brands. My wonderful boyfriend purchased me a planer with one of my favorite quotes, “Always be yourself, unless you’re a mermaid, then always be a mermaid,” plastered on the front cover. A basic planner can make planning and tasking much more organized than posting sticky notes everywhere. You may have gotten by in high school without making use of those basic planners that the school provides you. Don’t get too excited, because it is absolutely essential to have a planner in college. Professors will definitely keep you busy along with extracurricular clubs and meetings. You won’t want to forget those important deadlines, trust me!
But first, coffee! We have a tasty coffee shop on my campus and I have been extremely obsessive over it. Unfortunately, I spent way too much on it this semester. For Christmas this year, I am asking for a Keurig for my dorm room. I just about drink coffee everyday. Without my cup of the day, I feel completely lost! Caffeine and espresso are an essential to college students. I wouldn’t have made it through all of those all-nighters without it. It is also a great way to wake you up in the morning.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, tea is a great alternative!
A low-maintenance indoor plant
While in college, you spend a lot of time in your dorm room. My room is extremely tiny, especially when there are two of you. It can get a little crammed at some points. I love being outside and getting fresh air, but the majority of your time ends up being spent inside, working on assignments and writing essays. I bought a simple indoor plant a local grocery store as a joke (I often kill plants very easily), however, I ended up making use of it. Bringing a low-maintenance indoor plant(s)inside helps bring the outdoors in. I am not sure what the name of the plant is, but it only requires a few hours of sunlight and water every two weeks. Keeping plants in your dorm room can help freshen up your room and also make great accent pieces. They also help keep you a little saner while studying (if sanity is even possible in college). This is one essential that most people don’t think of while making their checklist, but is serves as a great essential for those who spent a lot of their time inside.
DEAR LIFESAVING ESSENTIALS,
THANKS FOR BEING YOU
an exhausted college student.
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