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13 college essentials often forgotten

Most students overpack when they come to college and often forget essential items.
Most students overpack when they come to college and often forget essential items.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

New and returning college students will be moving in to residence halls over the next few weeks. Most colleges will provide a checklist of items students need to bring, such as bedding, a shower tote and personal items to cheer-up the space. However, some items might not be listed that no one will want to forget.

Mattress topper. The mattresses provided by dorms are usually not comfortable. They are typically covered in plastic and have many springs. College students need their sleep, so adding a nice mattress topper will make it a little more comfortable.

Earplugs. Most residence halls, even after quiet hours, are louder than most homes. Earplugs will help students that are light sleepers sleep through the night or take a nap during the day.

Power strip. Depending on the college and age of the residence hall, there may not be many electrical outlets. Power strips will let students plug in all of their necessary electronics.

Extension cords. Power outlets are not always in the most convenience places. Extension cords will get students power where they need it.

Water filtration pitcher. Buying water bottles is going to get very expensive. A water pitcher, like Brita or PUR, is a great alternative. Students will save a lot of money and help the environment.

Reusable water bottles. Students will need a place to put the water from their water pitchers. In addition, the reusable water bottles are portable and able to go with students to class, the gym and anywhere else they go throughout the day.

First aid kit. A first aid kit is a great to have around when a minor cut or scrape happens away from home. The first aid kit should be stocked with gauze, tape, bandages and medication such as pain relievers, antiseptic spray and ointment. Many stores have pre-made first aid kits available, or students can create their own.

Tool kit. Everyone needs a screwdriver or wrench at some time or another. Simple tool kits can be purchased at most stores and take up only a small space.

Sewing kit. At one point, a button is going to fall off during college. Instead of throwing the shirt out, or wearing it with a missing button, sew it back on within minutes.

Shower shoes. Dorm showers are a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria, no matter how often they are cleaned. Shower shoes or simple flip-flops are a great way to protect your feet while showering.

Command strips and hooks. Housing offices are very clear about damages in the residence halls. Students are not supposed to put holes in the walls. However, students need to make their room more interesting with pictures and posters. Command strips are great because most things can be hung on the wall and removed without damage.

Social security card. If students want to get a job, they will need to provide their future employer with their social security card. Without the social security card, employment will be delayed until the card arrives.

Health Insurance Information. Sickness is bound to happen sometime during college. Having health insurance information available when visiting the doctor will save money.

Many dorm room checklists provided by teen magazines will tell students it is important to make their rooms homey and comfortable. Some lists include bringing extra furniture. While it is important to make the dorm room comfortable, most dorms rooms are not very big and do not have room for extra furniture. In addition, most colleges do not allow students to remove dorm furniture from the room. Therefore, before making any purchases of non-essential items, make sure the room has the space.

Lastly, before purchasing or bringing anything big, check with roommates. While many colleges allow mini-refrigerators and microwaves, no dorm room needs multiple of these items. Communicate with roommates to ensure dorm rooms will not be too crowded with stuff.

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