Stepping out of high school into college is a new phase of life that demands a lot of adjustment. You leave the sheltered cocoon and support of your family and parents and have to fend for yourself; until now, they have always had your back. You have to take care of your own chores, shopping, laundry and countless other tasks now you are on your own. There are things that every freshman needs when he or she enters college. Your requirements differ based on whether you are a commuter or away at school. To make the transition easier for you, we have compiled a list of things every freshman should have.
A Planner or Organizer
A planner or organizer with a handy notepad helps you maintain a record of all deadlines along with the timetable of your classes. College is different than high school in that you may face fewer, but more significant assignments spaced across the semester. Exams and papers will require a lot of advance planning. At the same time, your week is going to be filled with group meetings, clubs, and smaller assignments not to mention budgeting in some time for a social life.
These planners are handy and convenient to use, help you organize your work methodically, and are visually attractive. You can even get them customized according to your personal likes and dislikes and incorporate reminders to keep you updated with the deadlines you need to meet.
Instant Wi-Fi Printer
There will be days when you are rushing towards your deadline and need urgent printouts. You stand in the library queue for printouts only to find that when it is your turn, the printer runs out of paper. Can there be anything more exasperating than that? This is where your instant wi-fi printer comes in. There is no need to stand in long queues or even leave your dorm room; take your wi-fi printout and submit your work within the deadline. Not only that, but this printer is also very budget and user-friendly.
Your Personal Stationery Supplies
Even if you have left school behind along with the pencil and compass boxes, you are, nevertheless, going to need a complete set of stationery supplies if you don’t want to keep borrowing from others all the time. Your personal stationery kit should have a set of pens and pencils, eraser, sharpener, post its, and highlighters. If you are very finicky about tidy work and do not like scratches, go in for an erasable pen, which is a very useful innovation for the neatness freaks. Whatever you write with this pen can be easily erased without much effort and leaves no marks.
Portable Vacuum Insulated Mug
In addition to the ubiquitous water bottles students tote, for the coffee addicts, the ones who always need a cup of coffee on the go, a vacuum insulated mug is a must. Team it with a non-breakable mug, and you are set to go! You won’t need to look for the cafeteria when you feel the urge for a cup of hot coffee. Just pour a cup and sip, sip, sip! Moreover, it is not only for hot coffee; if you want your coffee cold, it can also be used for that.
A Big Calendar
Along with the planner and notepad where you keep a record of your deadlines, a big calendar hung on the wall of your room is very useful as well. Whenever you have any important projects or papers coming up, you can chart them on the calendar. It will serve as a constant reminder of the tasks at hand. And let you see how your month is going to develop.
Though you have outgrown your school bag, a backpack is going to replace it. In fact, in college, you will be carrying a lot more things than you did at school. You need your pens and pencils, laptop or iPad, snacks, notebooks and notepads, books, the entire paraphernalia. Why? Many days it just will not be worth walking all the way back to your dorm or apartment and your backpack needs to last the day.
Obviously, you will need a backpack big enough to accommodate all your material. Don’t forget to get one with the maximum number of pockets! It helps to keep your things separate and well organized. It is advisable to invest in a waterproof backpack; you never know when you will get caught in the rain without an umbrella.
Kindle or other e-reader
With the advancement in technology, everything and everybody is turning digital, offices are turning paperless, so why not students. A kindle helps save money otherwise spent on books throughout your college education. Online books are cheaper and often free. You can easily recoup the money spent on an e-reader by saving on the expenses for physical copies of books needed for your studies. An e-reader is also handy to carry; you don’t have to lug around heavy books wherever you go. Look to the traditional kindle series for technology that will also reduce eyestrain.
Spare Battery Charger and a Power Bank
Mobile phones are the trend. Students use them to communicate with peers, participate in team calls and meetings, gather information on the net, and, at times, even type documents. Your phone battery might not be able to survive the onslaught of so much work or there is a power outage, and your battery is on 2%. Lots of classrooms have limited outlets. So a spare battery charger or a power bank kept handy can come to your rescue in such times. Just plug in your charger, recharge your phone battery, and you are on the go again!
A Book Light or a Flashlight
If your roomie is someone who goes to sleep early while you have the habit of studying late nights, it would not be fair to keep the overhead lights on. Be considerate and use your book light or flashlight to read while your roommate sleeps.
A laptop is a must for any college freshman. You don’t need to depend on the computer lab at your college for your work. Nowadays, you find laptops that are very light and convenient to carry around. Newer versions can last all day on a single charge. Coupled with a lap desk, it is just the right thing for your work environment. Some lap desks also have an additional cup holder for your coffee mug. What more do you want!
The school to college transition is often a difficult one, especially emotionally. A new place, new people, new environment; everything needs adjustment. We have tried to make this transition a little easier by providing a list of things you will need as a freshman. Stock up on the items in this list and be prepared for your freshman year. All the best!