Setting up for Success: College Essentials Edition


Graphic by: Colin Alfonso

Gabriela Carvajal, Web Manager

   A bright future awaits as the summer and fall semesters begin to edge closer to reality. With many seniors beginning to prepare to embark into adulthood, it looks like planning may come in handy after all, especially if you are moving away. The transition to these ‘big leagues’ can certainly be confusing and conflicting at times, as times grow extra complicated; to overcome these pressures it’s time to take a moment and gather all your college essentials. To account for those daily necessities/desires, considering your routines and habits will guide you through the trouble of packing everything possible. Have no fear! The list isn’t as complicated as it may seem since a lot of it stems from your own household.


  • It’s a Wrap!

   With technology being a key to our livelihoods, be sure to have all the life-saving cords that connect you to the ‘multiverses’ beyond reality. The power brought along by extension cords and power strips will allow for you to be connected from any part of the room. To keep you extra safe during times of bad weather or nasty power outages, having a variety of batteries at your disposal will certainly be your life saver–especially if you have a paper due at 11:59pm. Basic batteries to carry with you include AA, AAA, D, and even rechargeable ones! “Funny enough I didn’t even consider this! While I am going to live off-campus it didn’t really hit me yet how valuable my connection is, especially when I think of those late night sessions…,” senior Alexa Conrado says. When considering the ways you stay productive these items will surely benefit you long term. 

  • Snoozing into Comfort

   While college may bring you far away from your comforts you can certainly have them tag along on your journey! With dorm life being an exclusive opportunity for personalization, it’s best to bring your own bedding materials. To ensure a good night’s sleep (from late-night studying of course…), tagging along a comforter, two sets of sheets, and pillows will certainly help deliver those grades. Don’t forget to get the best alarm clock to light up your morning routine! With these bedding essentials, your college experience will be comfortably in your favor. 

  • Showering with Style

   There’s nothing better than cleaning up after a long, busy day filled with newfound adventures. But, with a different bathroom setup awaiting you, it’s best to have your own caddy/basket full of your bathing essentials. These essentials extend to your personal favorites like your shampoo/conditioner combo, washcloths, towels, shower cap, and even your soap! To combat this new petri dish, you may even want to factor in a bath mat and slippers to account for the dirty floors that line the halls. 

  • Staying Healthy

   As you grow more independent, it leaves you to consider the ways you can stay healthy. Unlike the Magic Schoolbus, you can’t go see inside yourself so it’s time to be in tune with your body, starting with your own first aid kit. For those unplanned accidents, this will surely come in handy. But, by moving away it’s also time to master that self-care routine. So bring along your deodorant, perfume/cologne, and your hair care products (i.e. brush, dryer, gel). To keep these clean you may want to account for your traditional bathroom cleaning supplies, such as cleaning wipes, multi-surface cleaner, and cleaning solutions for the toilet, shower, and sink. With a little bit of care, your body will reward you with a responsive immune system and a healthy state of mind.

  • Decorating to Your Taste

   One of the best parts about going to college is testing your style. With the ability to dress freely, college will certainly serve as your runway to a successful career. To get there, you may want to consider a couple of outfits that fit each occasion, such as casual, formal, and “house” wear (be wary of bringing anything that may give you the impression of being 12…). If you are looking to stick around in the Sunshine State or elsewhere, carrying a pair of sunglasses and a packable raincoat may come in handy when you least expect it. “When I think about college I can imagine myself trying out new styles. For me the basics are definitely important in this case, like your t-shirts, hoodies, and shorts, but I think you should also consider your footwear that goes along with outfits; it will definitely make a difference when you are making that first on-campus impression,” expresses junior Ryan Bodden. In fact, your accessories will be one of the most essential parts of your closet so bringing along your hats, watches, bracelets, and necklaces certainly won’t hurt. Don’t let this inspire you to overflow with more than what you need for that first semester since you (ideally) can get some more on your first trip home. In the meantime, having laundry detergent, hangers, an iron, and a lint brush can hold you over till you get the hang of things. Before you know it you will be strutting the campus like a true model!

  • Built like a Nerd!

   While college can be all fun and games there will always be a time to get serious with the help of those friendly textbooks. To be prepared for those early morning classes, having your preferred backpack that comes with lots of room/pockets will definitely leave you at peace knowing all your important goods are stored safely. Speaking of importance, having access to a personal laptop may be of service to you long-term as online school is on the rise for many freshmen, so be wary of this as you enter college life… Beyond that, sticking to the classics is the best way to go to ensure your college career is on the right track with a pack of the best highlighters, pens, pencils, binders, etc. to consider.

  • Embracing Food like a Foodie

   As a new student on campus, curiosity will take over your brain at times when food calls to your attention. To take advantage, consider having food storage containers to store leftovers from the night before. Even having your own sets of cutlery (forks, spoons, knives) accompanied by microwave-safe plates/bowls will come in clutch during those group study sessions. With a secret stash of to-go snacks, you will come in clutch on those on-the-go hungry moments. As you begin to master your schedule, food will eventually come naturally, just be sure to bring along your favorite recipes to share!

  • The Forgotten Goods…

   Unlike the other essentials listed throughout the article, there are always a few important things we overlook. To avoid such a moment make it a point to have these things secured in a vessel that is definitely coming with you: 

  • Umbrella
  • Personal identification information such as car, medical, social security, etc.
  • Emergency contacts
  • Flashlight
  • Rice cooker 

   “While I may have a little while till I begin to consider my own dorm essentials I would have never even considered emergency equipment to be high up on my list. Nevertheless, I think packing my own blankets would be super important for me to bring along since at least there I can know I’ll feel [at] home,” sophomore Mia San Angelo says. 

   Naturally, the shift to college doesn’t hit you until the summer of senior year, but don’t let that stop you from getting started earlier–this will at least ensure that you won’t miss a thing!