Instead of studying for my last two finals, I took a break to continue to pack my room. While I was packing I realized that there were certain things that I was SO glad I had during my freshman year.
My inner writer came out of hibernation and thus we have this post. I hope these help any rising freshman in their journey to college/moving out/ the real world.
I LOVED my Keurig. As seen above, I have the Keurig® K15 Coffee Maker. I love this little machine. It only brews one cup of coffee which is perfect for any time of day. It was great to have coffee available 24/7 especially when I had 8:30AM classes. If you love coffee like I do, a Keurig was the best idea.
This originally was an impulse buy during one of my many trips to TJ Maxx last summer. However, this stool came in so handy all year. Whether it was to hold my coffee or food while I was sitting on the futon, to give me a boost while trying to reach the top of my closet (#shortgirlproblems) or just a footrest, this stool did it all. Also, it was only $5.99!
Protip: These exact same stools can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond, however they are $12.99 there! Make sure to compare prices before going wild at BB&B. A lot of their things can be found for MUCH cheaper somewhere else. TJ Maxx is honestly where I got 75% of my room items.
I lived in a suite-style residence hall. This meant that I shared a bathroom with 2 other girls who lived next door. The showers only had one small…VERY SMALL… shelf in them. I would encourage you to see if you can find out what kind of shelving your shower will have so you can plan accordingly. Of course you could just purchase a shower bag, but these shelves seen above worked great! This is a 4-Shelf Tension Pole Shower Caddy from Bed Bath and Beyond. This caddy held all of our shower supplies and it was so much organized and cleaner than if we all had personal caddies. It runs for $19.99 but if you use a BB&B coupon you can get it for even cheaper!
After drinking all that coffee as mentioned earlier I, of course, used a lot of mugs. This dish mat was a mid semester purchase. Originally when my roomie and I would wash dishes we would just dry them on paper towels. We soon realized just how many paper towels we were going through… it was a lot! These dish drying mats can be found at many stores and they made drying dishes so much easier and less wasteful. Protip: Bringing my own coffee mugs and travel mugs to school was great. Travel mugs came in handy when I had to make a cup of coffee to go. Also, make sure to be diligent about washing dishes. It may be a hassle but you do not want something growing on a dirty dish.
I attend the University of South Carolina. Last October we were impacted tremendously by flooding. I could not have survived that week without my rainboots or an umbrella. These two things not only were handy then but also on any rainy occasion. I highly recommend investing in two umbrellas and a good pair of rain shoes. Keep one umbrella in your room and one in your bookbag so if a spring shower pops up you will be covered. I got these boots from TJ Maxx for only $20… they save my life in all storms. Here is a similar pair.
I was raised doing chores, cleaning my room and the bathroom so when it came to keeping my room and bathroom cleaned I was no stranger. I would make sure to have a variety of cleaning supplies on hand. Toilet bowl cleaner, a daily shower spray and disinfecting wipes are good starting supplies. Thankfully, my residence actually had the bathrooms cleaned every two weeks so that was nice. However, I would usually do a deep clean about once a week. Protip: Set a day to clean. My roomie and I set Thursday as our cleaning day. We would do the dishes, clean our sink, sweep, and clean the bathroom. Having a set time for cleaning really helped make cleaning easier. A clean room = a happy Michaela.
If you are able to purchase a printer… do it! Having my own printer in my room made printing assignments, notes, and more so much easier. I got lucky because this printer was given to me by one of my dad’s coworkers. Ask around to see if anyone does have an old printer you could take to college. I promise you they are worth it! Protip: Sometimes older is better. In my residence, we were not allowed to have the “wireless printing” option on. It messed up the wifi for students in the building. So maybe look for a printer with a regular connection cord. Also, get creative with storage! As you can see mine is under my bed on a box. Some people chose to put theirs on their desk but that just takes up a lot of room. This is totally personal preference though.
One thing I didn’t learn how to do well was iron clothes. I know what you are thinking… “Who irons in college?”. Well, on many occasions I was wearing wrinkled clothing to class but when it came to professional events I didn’t want to be known as the girl with the wrinkles. I got this steamer for Christmas and it was a great gift. It is the My Little Steamer from Bed Bath & Beyond. (Again make sure to use a BB&B coupon to save even more on items). This steamer is so easy to use. You just fill it up, turn it on and steam away. It came in so handy for my clothing.
Having an extra blanket in your room is just great in general. From keeping me warm from naps on the futon to becoming an Eskimo at my desk while doing work, I always used my blanket. These blankets can be purchased anywhere. The photo above is of some from Target.
Moms and Dads, make sure to stock your students up with extra necessities. Sometimes it is good to go to a store and buy a few things in bulk because always having an extra tube of toothpaste or body wash available is a good idea. Trust me, you don’t want to be taking a shower late one night only to find your favorite body wash has run out. The best things to stock up on I would say would be toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels, toothpaste and deodorant. Having a small stock of these things was nice becasue it was one less thing I had to worry about.
Well, that is it for the TEN things I couldn’t live without my freshman year. The year flew by and I cannot believe it is already almost over.
Two more exams to go… I should probably get back to studying.
Let me know if you would like to see the top ten things I regret buying for my freshman year of college. Sometimes trusting those “everything you will need in college” lists aren’t the best thing.