10 Essentials that Need to Come to College With You
Moving from your home into a dorm room can be hard. Suddenly, you have to transport all of your belongings into a room that you are sharing with someone else. All the everyday items that you take for granted in your house have to be accounted for. To help alleviate some of the stress, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten things I think are necessary to survive college.
- Band-Aids: The need for these may be partially due to my own natural clumsiness, but if you don’t bring a first aid kit to school, Band-Aids are definitely an essential. CommonVU (freshman orientation before classes start) is hectic and jam-packed with activities, and you can easily walk 7 miles a day in the first few days of being at Vanderbilt. Band-Aids will come to the rescue for those pesky blisters, as well as the multitude of paper cuts you’re destined to get throughout the school year.
- Shower shoes: These are ESSENTIAL! Pretty much every bathroom on Commons is communal, so you will be showering in the same place as multiple other people. The showers are cleaned regularly, so I never consider them to be gross or dirty, but shower shoes protect your feet, and give you much needed peace of mind.
- Planner: In college, keeping track of your life is tough. It can feel like you have a million assignments and exams due all the time, and it’s easy to forget about something until you’re sitting in class watching everybody else turn it in. To avoid this, using an academic planner to organize deadlines and exams can be super helpful. It’s a lot easier to get A’s if you turn in all your work.
- Reusable water bottle: Hydration is key. It can be easy to forget to take care of yourself, but do your body a favor by giving it plenty of water. And while you’re at it, you can also do a good thing for the environment by skipping getting a water bottle from Munchie Mart in favor of using a reusable water bottle. Vanderbilt is a super environmentally conscious campus, so you’ll never have to look far to find water bottle filling stations and water fountains everywhere on campus.
- Plastic Tupperware: I started using these more during finals week, but it’s definitely worth having a few plastic containers. Commons dining doesn’t provide to-go boxes because they understandably want to promote community and freshmen eating together. However, when you have three exams, or a final, coming up and are prepared to study for the next twelve hours, taking a break to sit in Commons and eat dinner can be tedious. Plastic containers allow you to skip a fake dinner from Munchie Mart and get real food, without the time constraint of sitting down for the whole meal.
- Curtains (and curtain rod): All Commons dorms with a window come with blinds that cover the window, but if you are used to sleeping in pitch darkness, you will probably want to get some curtains to cover the window as well. Also, there is no way to hang them up, so you will also want to invest in an adjustable curtain rod.
- GroupMe: Ok, so this isn’t something you bring necessarily, but GroupMe is key to download for freshman year. It is the easiest and most convenient way to contact large numbers of people at the same time. You will definitely be in a GroupMe for Visions, any club you join, and probably for a lot of your classes too.
- Fuzzy blanket or picnic blanket: I’m sure you’re bringing a comforter for your bed, but an additional blanket is also a great thing to have. It is more easily portable, so that you can take it with you when you go study in the library (have I done this before? Not no), but it’s also just really nice to have an extra blanket to cuddle up under during the winter. And once spring comes and the weather becomes perfect for being outside, a blanket is great to have for stretching out on the lawn.
- Umbrella or Rain boots: Something that I didn’t realize until I got here is that Nashville is really rainy! It can go from beautiful and sunny one day to downpours the next. To avoid getting soaked during your walks between classes, it’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella with you. If you’ve got a water bottle holder on your backpack, it’s a handy place to store your umbrella so that you can easily whip it out if it starts raining. Rain boots are great too, because they keep your feet warm and dry so you don’t have to sit through class while your socks are soaked through.
- Pictures: Let’s face it. Even if you think you aren’t going to be homesick once you move into your dorm, there will definitely be a point when you miss people from home. I know I definitely hit that point. To make me feel closer to people at home, I covered the wall next to my bed in photos of family, friends, and even pictures of the beach. While you don’t have to go as all out as I did, even one or two things to make your dorm feel a little more personalized or homey will make you feel a lot better.