Right now many parents are frantically trying to squeeze in as much as possible in the last few days with their college aged child. Precious are the remaining hours for imparting wisdom, sharing jokes, and stealing hugs from your incredible child/adult that is about to embark on a new adventure in life.

Now is the time for growth and discovery as well as the transition into  independent people. However, They’re not there yet! So, be sure to get them started on their way by sending them off of their freshman year with the essentials needed for college.

5 Most Common Essentials

  • Slippers/flip flops – No one wants to walk around the dorm in bare feet and most dorms only have some form of a shared bathroom.
  • Quarters/Detergent – Be sure that they have exactly what they need to do a load of laundry. Of course, one load may be all they do as they will most likely bring laundry home when they visit.
  • Bath Caddy – When sharing a bathroom, everyone will need to keep up with their own supplies.
  • Mini fridge – Having a mini fridge really helps late night study sessions and any other time the cafeteria is closed
  • Safe –  Use this for keeping up with credit card and personal items.


5 Essentials Freshmen Forget

  • A power strip – Dorms are tiny and not loaded with many outlets. Throw in an extension cord too for good measure.
  • A Light – Depending on the room, all that may be available is some sort of fluorescent lighting. Even a small reading lamp can be a life saver, especially for late nights.
  • Cleaning supplies – Freshmen often forget wipes, sponges, toilet bowl cleaners. They WILL use these!
  • Rain gear – That campus can seem quite large when forced to truck around in the rain. Make life easier with rain boots, a raincoat or at the very least, an umbrella.
  • Tupperware/Dishes/Can Opener – These basics make a sort of makeshift kitchen and will be appreciated. Many a freshman has longed for a way to get into that can of soup or a better way to store some leftovers or homemade cookies.

Quote from Aristotle on Education

5 Not-So-Essentials They Can Skip

Sure, college is exciting and you want them to be prepared, but some things are simply not necessary and you can save money by skipping them altogether.

  • Candles – For some reason college bound kids really want to bring candles to the dorm. They are not necessary and are a fire hazard. Opt for air fresheners instead.
  • Stereo/TV – There is no reason to send anything beyond a computer for the dorms. Electronics are often stolen and/or simply unused.
  • Highschool Memorabilia – A photo album is sufficient, but very few freshman ever spend time reading old letters or looking at their high school yearbooks.
  • Bottled Water – Get a Brita filter or pitcher instead. The bottled water takes up precious space.
  • A Car – This will depend on the college set up. However, since most freshman live on campus, the car is very likely to sit and if there is any way to avoid taking it, money is saved on both gas and parking.

Despite the best laid plans, something will be left behind or overlooked. It’s okay; while you may not be able to prepare them for everything, you can at least get them off to a good start. It will be up to them to now to figure some things out as well.



Want to know some of the secrets of successful college students? Read the article here and share with yours!