When you pack for college, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Clothes? Notebooks? Toothbrush?
Take my advice: Start by packing items that are difficult or expensive to replace (like your laptop) along with items you’ll need within the first 24 hours of moving into your dorm.
With that in mind, here are six thing’s you’ll want on day one:
1) A Functioning Alarm Clock
Dad’s not there to wake you up in the morning, and Mom won’t be over your shoulder reminding you what time it is. And believe me, your college roommates absolutely do not want to hear you fumble with your alarm clock at 7 in the morning or — worse yet — press snooze seven times.
Pack an alarm clock that you know how to set. And then be sure to set it! It’s more important than ever to get a full, restful night sleep in college. And being late to your first class isn’t exactly the best way to make a good first impression on your professor.
2) Photos of Friends and Family
Transfer them to your new computer. Save them to your phone. Bring hard copies. It doesn’t matter how you store them as long as you pack photos of your family and friends somewhere.
Even if you can’t wait to shoo Mom and Dad out of your college dorm room that first day, that night you might be glad to have a few family photos (and maybe one or two of Fido as well).
Your college dorm will provide your bed, but the bedding is up to you.
Refrain from stripping the sheets off your bed at home, however. Many college dorms have extra-long twin beds, which means your fitted sheet from home might be a few inches too short. Make your first night in college a restful one by packing the correct bedding.
4) Sturdy Backpack
In high school, your backpack was useful, but it also was probably a fashion statement. In college, however, your life (or at least your academic life) has to fit inside the zippered compartments.
Buy a backpack with enough room for several textbooks, notebooks, folders and maybe even lunch! Also make sure it can stand up to the weather. Studying for a biology midterm is even less fun when you’re reviewing notes that got soaked in a torrential downpour.
5) Shower Shoes
Maybe you were lucky like me and were placed in a dorm with private showers. Not the case? Then invest in a pair of shower shoes.
For a buck or two you can get a cheap pair of sandals that will protect your feet from the grime that washed off of your two dozen floor-mates. No, not everybody cleans up after themselves. Yes, some people were born in a barn!
The absolute, number one most important thing you should pack for college is your patience. You’ll need it on your first day of college and every single day that follows.
When your parents want to linger for a few extra moments before saying goodbye, be patient. When your roommate plays his music too loud, be patient. When you just can’t wait to take in the town off-campus, be patient.
The first day of college is exciting. There’s a lot to take in, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But be patient. You have four years, and you won’t miss a beat if you start with these 6 supplies to pack for college.