5 Things Freshmen Forget to Bring to College

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No matter how many lists you make or older friends that give you advice, you’re bound to forget something when you move into your first dorm. Check out five things you won’t realize you need freshman year.

1) Chip Clips

This is college; you’re going to be eating a lot of junk food. (There’s a reason the “freshman 15” is a thing.) Be it a bag of potato chips, pretzels or popcorn, nobody likes a stale snack. Never underestimate the power of the chip clip. Aside from preserving your drunchies, the clip doubles as a spillage prevention unit, saving your pretzels from an inevitable fall to the floor. Seal that bag nice and neat with your chip clip and you won’t have to worry about any wasted snacks or attracted bugs. (Do you want ants? Because that’s how you get ants.) The simple use of the chip clip transforms you from slob to snack god in a matter of seconds.

2) Shower Shoes

For those who choose the dorm life (which I highly recommend freshman year), listen and listen well: Dorm bathroom floors are gross. It doesn’t matter what college you’re at or how often they’re cleaned, the floors are still gross. Don’t subject your feet to that filth, bring a pair of shower shoes. Whether you go with the simple waterproof flip flop to the world’s fanciest pair of waterproof stilettos, you need a barrier. It may initially feel awkward to shower with shoes on, but I guarantee you won’t regret skipping the foot fungus.

3) Stamps

Snail mail may be a dying method of communication, but it’s not dead yet. The postal service still has a pulse. Whether they’re for letters to your pen pal or thank-you cards to your grandparents, stamps are an invaluable resource. Nobody wants to walk all the way to the post office and wait in that extensive line just to send a letter. You’re going to spend a majority of your freshman year on campus, and you’ll probably need stamps at some point. Don’t be that person who always asks their roommate for a stamp. Bring your own.

4) A Journal

I won’t lie to you: college is stressful. You’ll learn many techniques to manage that stress (hopefully a few that don’t involve making or eating food), but it helps to come in with a few already handy. Keeping a journal has been shown to help reduce stress levels. It may not be for everyone, but it’s a good starting step. Let it be the start of putting your experiences in your own words; between smartphones and social media, you’ll have plenty of pictures to document freshman year,  but there’s something more personal and powerful about looking back in a journal. Whether you choose to write daily or simply scribe when important things happen, you’re going to appreciate the ability to go back and read through it.

5) Yourself, As You Are

Possibly the best thing about attending college is the myriad of people on campus. Your presence on campus helps add to the mix. Hold on to what makes you uniquely you, whether it’s your addiction to Magic: The Gathering or your love of cooking. Don’t be afraid to show excitement about your interests, however obscure, and attend any club or event that sparks your enthusiasm. Not everyone will understand but not everyone has to. With so many people on campus, you are bound to find other individuals who share similar passions. However, don’t forget that you’re just that: an individual.

Michael is a senior studying Creative Writing and Film/Television at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Aside from a passion for writing, film, and television, Michael enjoys his hobbies of cooking and ultimate Frisbee. In the future he hopes to combine his passions for writing and mass media to write reviews and maybe even a screenplay or two.

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