What You Need for College—And What You Should Leave Behind

What You Need for College—And What You Should Leave Behind

By Ashley Spencer

We’ve just celebrated our nation’s Independence Day, and those of you about to venture off to college will soon let freedom ring in your very own dorm room. Life, liberty and the pursuit of the college degree is your destiny this fall. Mid-July is the perfect time to hit up your local Bed Bath and Beyond for all the college essentials. But what do you need? Is under-the-bed storage completely essential? And what about duvets? Are those some kind of medicinal device? Here are the things you need, and the things that are completely and utterly useless.

ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY: Mini-fridge. Nowadays, Diet Coke is expensive. It’s not something you share with just anyone—it’s a treat reserved for your best friends and any foreign dignitaries who happen upon your dorm. Bring your own mini-fridge to signal to your roommate that you’re an only child who doesn’t like sharing, or that you’re the kind of person who values carbonated beverages above most things. Since other people’s fridges are generally considered off-limits, they also make great hiding places for your best jewelry and your favorite bra. (Plus, cold bras feel awesome and make you ace exams.)

TOTALLY STUPID: Hot plate. Think you’re going to make pasta in your dorm? Newsflash: you're no Giada De Laurentiis. With your campus meal card, going to the cafeteria and swiping for food will be irresistibly easy. Chances are, you won't even find the energy to heat Easy Mac. You'll use your hot plate only to leave mysterious burns marks on your roommate’s boxers.

SUPER ESSENTIAL: Full body pillow. Who doesn’t like to snuggle with a life-sized object? When your roommate is shacking up with her boyfriend, you can cuddle your pillow, taking comfort in the fact that it's completely disease-free. Besides snuggling, a full body pillow has tons of other potential uses: sword to fight off said roommate, divider to break the tiny dorm room in half, and, if you have a beach party, makeshift tiki head.

CAN YOU SAY USELESS?: Throw pillows. At first glance, the ornate throw pillows from Urban Outfitters seem absolutely perfect. What better way to decorate your dorm with a little flair and personality, and show that you’re so grown-up and totally un-high school? But the reality is, these pillows will become throwaways. Instead of resting on your bed, they’ll wind up lying on the floor, just one more thing you have to walk around in your disastrous dorm.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Digital camera. Capturing the memories of all your time on campus will be a great way to show your parents that their money is going to great use. Plus, you can post all the pictures on Facebook to make everyone jealous of your amazing college experience. Take your camera with you to football games and concerts at the student union, but think twice about toting it to the dorm bathroom. That’s kind of creepy.

What are you debating bringing to college?

Related post: You Can't Bring Your Ferret (And Other European Travel Tips)

Topics: facebook, college, supplies, dorms, packing, pillows, diet coke, easy mac

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