Among the many lists circulating the internet, department stores, and family gatherings that detail what you should bring to college, there is always something people tend to leave out. Here are the top five things I couldn’t have made it through freshman year without:
iPod. Your music will be very important, especially if your dorm is loud or you work better with music. Music will get you through late night papers, quiet moments in your room, and anything that college throws your way. You can use your mp3 in the gym, on bus rides, or if you want to be left alone. Be careful walking around with your headphones on: I prefer to save them for when I’m inside so I can hear cars and people when I am walking around campus. Trust me, you will need your music.
Flashcards. There is three times as much information to learn in college as there was in high school. Flashcards made it easy to study material and organize what I did and didn’t know. It also helped me visualize information. When I saw something on the test I could picture how it looked on the flashcard. You may not have used them before, but they are lifesavers. Flashcards can be time-consuming, so make them throughout. Then, when a big test arrives you don’t have to spend as much time (if any!) making them.
Something from home: For some people it’s pictures, stuffed animals or posters. I kept cards from family and encouraging notes to go around my room. While you don’t want to bring your entire room to college, or all of your most valuable possessions, it is worth it to bring a few personal items that mean a lot. They can pick you up if you’re having a rough day or provide the courage to try something new. Keep them in a box under your bed or sprinkle them around your dorm to make it homier.
Camera. I used my camera phone throughout my freshman year, but you may choose to bring a digital or video camera with you. No matter what, make sure you have a way to capture the memories from freshman year. A lot is going to happen in your first year. By the time May rolls around you probably will already forget things that happened your first semester. A camera is essential to remind you of all the good times and why you love your college experience.
For the fifth thing, check out this cool video!
(Photo by USC Upstate under Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0)