This post may contain affiliate links. I will be compensated when a purchase is made through these links.
School is back in session, and am I fully prepared? Probably not.
Throughout the last few weeks I have been trying to prepare myself for back to school – college, (for the second time) for me.
Having already taken a year of Digital Media in college a few years ago, I already kind of know the jist of how college is gonna go. I’m mentally trying to put myself back in the state of mind that I was when I first attended college, and with that I’ve come up with ten absolute must haves for being in college.
Here in Canada, college is a pretty different experience compared to the States. People aren’t as big into Greek life, and college and university are actually different things here lol.
So technically I am going to university, and I am also not staying in a dorm, so this list will not be regarding any sort of dorm life.
We’re bringing it down to the nitty gritty basics of school work and college life, and all the items that I find super necessary in attending college.
10 Must Haves For Attending College
1. Laptop & Mouse
I cannot stress enough how much you need a laptop in college nowadays. Most schools have online platforms for you to read assignments, submit them, have your e-textbooks, and look up important dates. Having to trek to the school computer lab, or a library just to complete most of your assignments would be ridiculous.
I know laptops are a big expense, but they are absolutely so worth it in the end. I use a HP Pavillion 15 Notebook PC, similar to this laptop.
And with using a laptop, depending on what programs you’re using, the touchpad can get kind of irritating after awhile. I use a Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 and it works great. Plus, no annoying cord to deal with!
2. Planner or Calendar
I looove to be organized, so I make definite use of a planner and calendars (yes, calendars). I have a whiteboard calendar, the calendar in my phone, and the calendar in my planner that I make sure to write everything down in.
This way I am more likely to remember things because I’ve written it down so many times, as well as I will always have a calendar with me no matter where I am.
The planner I recently purchased is a Ban.do Planner, and I’m a big fan. It has weekly views broken down into each day, a calendar view, plus room for notes. Not to mention it’s oh so adorable.
Planners help to remind yourself of important dates & homework you need to get done. The process of actually writing these things down help to input them into your brain better than just keeping it in your head.
3. Markers or Pens
To write these things into your lovely planner, you need a writing utensil! Personally I love to use colorful fine tip markers, these markers being my favourite.
If you’re a fan of writing your notes as opposed to typing them, having colorful pens or markers really helps. Color coding notes into different topics, or having one color for each class helps to distinguish your notes better for when you come back to read them again.
4. Microsoft Office
Most courses in college require you to write essays, or do some writing of some sort. In comes Microsoft Office 365. With Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so many other wonderful programs, it will make doing your assignments so much easier.
Quick Tip: Make sure you get the correct key card depending on if you have a PC or a Mac!
Whether it’s for those late night study sessions with your jams, or your sitting at school watching some YouTube on your lunch break, headphones are a necessity.
It’s always a good idea to have some regular ol’ earbuds, such as the ones that came with your cell phone when you bought it, or fancier ones such as these earbuds.
I also recently got some wireless Samsung Level On over the ear headphones that I absolutely love. They’re noise cancelling, bluetooth, and super comfortable. I find normal earbuds tend to hurt my ears after wearing them for a long time, so these are a nice break. Plus, being wireless is sooo nice; no dang cords to tangle up!
6. Oversized Sweaters
I don’t know about you, but I have always found classrooms to be so damn cold! Especially with fall rolling in, and by the time finals are here it’s friggin winter, I am damn cold. Oversized sweaters are my go to outfit choice for fall and winter, because not only can they be cute, they keep you nice and warm while you’re sitting in class. Now if only we could bring blankets to class…
7. Water Bottle
Keeping hydrated is so so important, and the likelihood of you actually keeping up with that dramatically increases when you carry a reusable water bottle around. Drinking plenty of water has so many benefits for you. It increases your energy and relieves fatigue, which is soo important for those early morning classes.
Water can also help keep your skin clear! Which is a definite pain to deal with along with the stress of midterms and finals. Drinking water can also help to prevent headaches, which for me is the deciding factor in why I drink so much water.
I know some people may find carrying around a backpack lame, but when you have textbooks, your lunch, and a laptop to carry around, you’ll thank me. I recommend going with a backpack with a laptop compartment to keep your laptop safe while you cart it around.
All of my classes require having my laptop with me, so I got a backpack with that compartment. It’s also a very cute backpack! You don’t have to have a big ugly black backpack that reminds you of crazy cargo pants (hello pockets!), just make sure it will hold the weight of your belongings.
Remember, you get what you pay for. A ten dollar backpack will probably rip at the shoulders over a $60 one.
9. A Good TV Series
Let’s be honest, you’re not gonna spend every waking hour of your time studying. Sometimes you need a break from that! And nobody knows how to binge watch some TV like a college student does. I put together a bunch of TV series to binge watch here, or just cruise through Netflix and choose something that seems interesting to you.
I’m a big fan of dramas because I can really get into the show and completely forget about all the stress I’m dealing with. They’re usually kind of exaggerated, so it makes me feel a bit better about my life knowing that they have waaaay worse problems to deal with than me lol. I recently started Chicago P.D. and I’m really digging it!
Comedies are great for giving yourself a laugh when you’re feeling down about school. Modern Family has the best sense of humor and always puts me in a good mood.
10. Something To Look Forward To
This is a little far off from college in general, but I think it’s extremely important to plan something for you to look forward to. Whether that be a vacation, a trip to see your relatives, a party, Christmas – anything that will have you excited.
Having that anticipation for something fun will really help you keep going and help to keep you out of the rut of school and studying and thinking that’s all you’ll ever be doing.
College is extremely stressful; I’m not going to lie about that. I had a really rough go the first time around, and I completely fell into an anxiety filled hole of college doom that I felt like there was nothing good to look forward to anymore.
Your happiness is so much more important than a 4.0 GPA and whatever you need to do to get there, do it.
So there we go! My top ten must haves for going to college. What are some of your must haves for college? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below, or you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!