Packing for college can be a pretty daunting task. Managing to fit your bedding, books and shoes--not to mention your entire wardrobe--into one vehicle is quite the feat. But after you've stuffed your life into neat little boxes and bags and you start unpacking at school, you might realize that there were a few important things you forgot to pack. We'll save you the call home to mom (and save mom the hassle of overnight shipping!) with these tips.
1. A Safe. It may sound paranoid, but you're better safe than sorry (pun intended). Since college is a completely new environment and strangers may be coming in and out of your room from time to time (depending on how social your roommate is), you're better off having a secure place to store valuables while you're out. (Cost: around $35)
2. Quarters. You will be doing a lot of laundry in college (we hope!). And you'll run out of quarters much faster than you think. So bring a few rolls of quarters that will last you until at least Thanksgiving break. Then you can go home and get mom and dad to fill up your rolls with some more quarters. Now you have one less excuse not to do laundry! (Cost: around $30 to last you to Thanksgiving, or three rolls of quarters)
3. A flash drive and an external hard drive. If you think you had a lot of papers due in high school, then be prepared to write that times five in college. Even if you aren't writing papers, you'll be working on projects, labs and PowerPoint presentations. You'll be working on different computers in different buildings. Instead of emailing every document to yourself, invest in a flash drive. It's small enough that you can stash it in your purse, and you'll never miss turning in an assignment with your handy flash drive. (Cost of a flash drive: $6.00)
You never know when your computer will crash (yet it always seems to happen during crucial times, like finals week). An external hard drive is a solution to potentially losing all of your hard work. Back up your computer to your hard drive once a week! (Cost of an external hard drive: around $100)
4. Old t-shirts and costumes. There will be plenty of theme parties in college, which mean plenty of opportunities to unleash your creative fashion sense! Come prepared with the right materials to make the most of these festive events. Bring old shirts you wouldn't mind cutting, dyeing, highlighting, or doing whatever else to that a theme might require. You can also bring old Halloween costumes, accessories, bar and bat mitzvah favors, or outdated clothes to stock your theme party wardrobe. (Cost: free!)
5. Extension cords and power strips. You don't want to be tied to working at your desk because your computer charger is too short to reach your bed. Bring an extension cord for free range around your room (or the library). Many dorm rooms also have a limited number of outlets, so pack a power strip to charge all your gadgets, because you shouldn't have to pick between a functioning phone and laptop! Plus, you will avoid any arguments with your roommate about being an outlet hog. Now you can both dry your hair in peace! (Cost: around $30)
Find more back-to-school tips on Her Campus and check out Her Campus's new book, The Her Campus Guide to College Life, for everything you need to know to rock your college years.