Are you gearing up for the excitement of freshman move-in day? Or perhaps you're a seasoned college student looking to level up your packing game for sophomore, junior, or even senior year? Look no further, because we have curated the ultimate list of college essentials that may have slipped your mind.
Cold and Flu first aid kit: The dreaded college cold. I hate to break it to you, but it happens to just about everyone. Whether it’s just a scratchy throat or a few sniffles (hopefully), or a full blown back-to-school illness, you’ll want to already have a stock of medicines ready to go before you’re facing symptoms. Oh, and it’s nice to have your parents splurge on those costly medicines ahead of time if they’re willing, too;))
- A good speaker: Now, I’m not saying that you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a sound system that can crank down the walls of your dorm -- that’s simply unnecessary. Just get a good enough speaker that it is easy to turn on, has a long battery life, and can be easily transported. Sonos or similar brands can be difficult if you are in a dorm with a university locked wifi, but JBLs and similar speakers can be great.
- Air purifier: Dorms, apartments, and even college houses are never going to have clean air -- trust me. Even if you don’t think the musty air will bother you, it will inevitably only make the routine back-to-school cold even worse. It doesn’t have to be a crazy expensive one, either. Just get a solid, working air filtration system going with your roommates and you will all be thankful.
Full length mirror: In most cases, the only mirror that will come with your place of residence is the one above the sink in the bathroom. If you’re lucky, this will be big enough for some quick makeup or getting ready for class. But if you know you’ll want a full sized mirror for an outfit check, I highly recommend investing in a good one. You could even get one with built-in storage in the back if you’re tight on space, or hang one up on the back of a door. Maybe even throw up some photos or stickers around its border and make it a focal point! Have fun with it!
- A large trash can: Dorm trash cans are always just little buckets that can barely fit anything, and require you to take out the trash just about every day or two (which, let’s face it, you won’t do). So, do yourself a favor and get a big trash can with full sized trash bags. Oh, and make sure it has a lid…especially if you are planning on using it for food. This is just cleaner and less smelly for everyone.
Noise canceling headphones: Noise-canceling headphones are another must-have item for any college student. Whether you're studying in a noisy library, trying to focus in a crowded dorm, or simply want to enjoy your favorite music without disturbance, noise-canceling headphones provide a sanctuary of tranquility in the midst of a chaotic environment.
- Basic kitchen necessities: Even if you just have a microwave or simple dorm kitchen, don't forget to pack some basic kitchen essentials. While most college students rely on a meal plan or eat out, having a few essential kitchen items can be helpful for those times when you want to cook a simple microwave meal or prepare a quick snack. Consider bringing a microwave-safe bowl, a set of utensils, a can opener, and a reusable water bottle.
- A waterproof backpack: Being stuck in the rain is no fun. Being stuck in the rain with a soaking wet backpack is even worse. Being stuck in the rain with a soaking wet computer and notebook is THE WORST!! Invest in a good backpack -- you’ll keep it all four years and won’t regret it.
Theme party clothes and accessories: 80s in Aspen, Neon, Hawaiian Luau, Space Cowboy… the list can go on and on. Theme parties are one of the greatest college traditions, and you want to be ready. Throw in a few props and accessories for common themes at your future school. You’ll be happy you did!
- An extra pair of sheets: In all likelihood, your college dryer will be… well, less than subpar. My dryer was known to leave sheets about 70% dried through -- requiring that I drape my fitted and top sheets around my dorm room until they were no longer damp to the touch. Whether your dryer is as crappy as mine or you simply do not want to feel obliged to do a full round of laundry before getting into bed, an extra pair of sheets is always a good idea.
NextDay Original: Created to alleviate the symptoms of hangovers and provide a pick-me-up after a night of drinking, these small cans are one of the most important college essentials. DHM, B6, a blend of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, natural caffeine (about a Diet Coke's worth), and only 35 calories are tucked into each small can. Stock up on a couple of cases before heading to school and stock up your mini fridge. Future you will thank yourself for this purchase. Trust me.
Whether you're embarking on your freshman year or returning for another year with your college friends, preparing for school is always an exhilarating experience. Apart from the often overlooked items mentioned above, don't forget to include essentials like a coffee maker, mattress topper, desk lamp, fan, storage bins, and a vibrant rug (preferably not white) in your packing checklist. The list of important items can truly be endless. We'd love to hear your favorite "forgotten" packing essential in the comments below!
Armed with this comprehensive packing list, the NextDay team is confident that your packing process will be a breeze. Most importantly, we wish you a fantastic year ahead filled with success and memorable experiences at school.