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The College Supplies You Didn't Know You Needed The College Supplies You Didn't Know You Needed

Trust me, realizing you need a first aid kit when you need a first aid kit never ends well.

Demand These Supplies

Trust me, realizing you need a first aid kit when you need a first aid kit never ends well.

By Mykaela Alvey, Anderson University

Prepping for college is a stressful time for anyone involved, but specifically the student.

Officially moving from your home for the first time is one of the biggest culture shocks you’re likely to experience in your young adult life. One minute you have to get permission from your teacher in order to leave the room to go to the restroom, and now you are expected to make huge, life decisions that impact the rest of your life.

Talk about a lot of pressure!

When packing for college, everyone knows the basic Pinterest list of things you’re supposed to bring: school supplies, bedding, laptop, clothes, food, cute decorations, etc.

But to be truly prepared, there are a few other key items you should have on your list that no one seems to remember to mention. I’m sharing my knowledge because I didn’t come with them initially and I wish I had. Maybe you can relate, or maybe you were one of those few who truly was prepared for college.

Either way, here it is:

1. Lamp

I never knew I needed a lamp until the first day I had to wake up for class before my roommate. That was the morning I became an expert at finding all of the little things left on the floor for me to run into. There’s nothing quite like stifling a scream of pain at 7am.

Anyway, I won’t even talk about the quality of my makeup on those mornings. And finding clothes from my closet? Forget it! Without a small lamp near your area, you can kiss getting ready, without waking up your roommate, goodbye.

My recommendation: If you want a good relationship with your roommate, don’t get ready in the dark. Get a lamp.

2. First Aid Kit

College just seems to bring out the stupid in a lot of us, am I right? I’m sure many can relate to finding out you seem to get injured at a much more frequent rate while at away from home.

But, it’s in the moments when you think you’re bleeding out and you’re hobbling around your room trying to find a band-aid that you realize items like first aid supplies aren’t just lying around like they were at home.

You mean you have to buy first aid supplies? They don’t just magically appear in your parent’s bathroom closet shelves?

Trust me, buy first aid supplies. Your need for them seems to grow once you leave for college.

3. Sturdy Umbrella

The first time you wake up and leave only to discover there’s a 90 percent chance of rain and for once the weathermen weren’t wrong, you’ll realize another important thing you never bought. Umbrellas are severely underrated, but highly necessary for every college student.

And don’t get some cheap flimsy one. Trust me, you want one strong enough to not break the second a gust of wind hits you. Speaking as someone who has had to deal with drenched clothes in class, fork out the money for the umbrella. The bubble umbrellas may look silly, but at least you’d be dry.

While we’re on the topic of umbrellas, honestly, all rain gear is a solid investment. My university is in a valley, so rain boots are pretty necessary if you want to have any hope of navigating through the lake-like puddles.

4. Brita Filter

I acknowledge the fact that you can get water in your dorm or on most parts of campus. But do you even know if the water is clean?

I’m not knocking any campuses, but I’ve tended to notice a slight lack in water quality in many places, so why take a chance? A Brita filter is an investment! You only have to buy one and you can keep using it even after you move out of the dorms.

I’d say you just made a solid college life choice.

5. Iron

Call me an old lady for the iron, but you don’t realize you need one until you wake up late on a day for a huge presentation only to discover your outfit is wrinkled.

Sure, a straightener works (yes, I know from experience), but they don’t always work the best considering they’re meant for hair, not clothes.

An iron may seem silly, but a lot more pressure is put on you when you enter college. Most employers don’t want you to look like you rolled out of bed to struggle into work on time.

Besides, ironing your clothes with a straightener is a severe test of your abilities and patience. I don’t recommend the practice to anyone.

6. Mattress Topper

College mattresses are incredibly comfy! (Said no college student ever).

If you’re anything like me, you’re a pretty big fan of sleeping. But there won’t be any sleeping in for the next four years if the mattresses have anything to say about it.

One year, my mattress was so bad I could feel the springs whenever I laid down. Nothing says comfy like a couple hundred metal springs digging into your back.

If you have any intention of sleeping even a little bit in college, be sure to pick up a mattress topper. If you are a side sleeper, please make sure that you buy an appropriate mattress topper. There are a lot of mattress toppers designed for side sleepers. Or, you know, an entirely different mattress.

7. Duct Tape

Really, is there anything duct tape can’t fix? I wish duct tape were capable of holding my life together as well as it’s able to hold every material item in my life together.

Whether you’re fixing shoes, appliances, supplies or backpacks, duct tape is a necessity for any student’s life. You won’t likely find an easier or cheaper way to fix everything.

And just think of all of the fancy colors and patterns it comes in. You’re capable of being a frugal, fully functioning, stylish human being!

College will never be easy, but if you make the effort of being prepared for anything life may throw your way, you just might be able to walk, limp or stagger through graduation.


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