MUST HAVES For Your Freshman Year (that you would not think to purchase!)

During the summer, you and your mom will head out to endure the two-hour (or longer) trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to purchase all of your “College Necessities.” Yes, this shopping trip could potentially take 2 or more hours…BB&B can (and should) print out a College Packing List specifically for IU Bloomington. This is very helpful! However I would like to point out 3 things specific to this list:

1. You can have a coffee maker or Keurig. Everyone had them in the dorms and trust me, I have never heard of anyone having theirs taken away. Get it. You’ll use it for coffee or just to make hot water (like I did for tea).

2. Get a Swiffer Sweeper. Most of the rooms have a rug that cover the majority of the floor space, yet the tile portion of the floor can get gross with hair, makeup, spilled coffee, you name it. I recommend cleaning with the Wet Cloths. These will be sure to remove any spills or sticky spots.

3. Iron. Yes, you can have one. But just be careful when using it and do not ever leave it plugged in.

Now, here are the MUST HAVES:

1.     Planner

I cannot emphasize how important this is! This is the BEST way to stay organized. Between homework, group meetings, tutors, and the rest of your social life, you NEED to be on top of things.

There are several ways to keep track of your life:

  • Some people prefer to put everything in their phone which then uploads to their computer, if you like this method, go for it!
  • I, personally, prefer to write everything down in my paper planner. This way, I write it, I see it, and I will be more likely to remember what I have scheduled.

Also, its nice to know when there is a tailgate coming up or Fall Break or Parent's Weekend, it gives you something to look forward to, which gives you motivation to get your work completed just in time to celebrate. Be sure to write (or type) these special events in your planner as well.

2.     Sticky Tack

I would say this is better than tape. You’ll use it to stick posters and pictures to the wall.

3.     Hooks

I regret not having using these. I think I used six different coats during the winter time (i.e. long puffy coat, short puffy coat, North Face fleece, Patagonia fleece, Patagonia vest, windbreaker) and they all ended up on my desk chair; Therfore, I couldn't use my desk. Get hooked on hooks!

4.     Extension Cords

You really don’t realize how much you’ll need these. As my dad always says, “you can never have too many extension cords.” I think my roommate and I used 5 in total but they were all different lengths and sizes. Be sure to get plenty of different kinds either at Target or BB&B.

5.     Light for beside/above your bed

This was great for those mornings I had 8:00 AM class and my roommate didn’t have class until 1:00 PM. Yes, that happens. I would hate to disturb her by turning on the big room light so I would use a small light above my bed. Worked like a charm!

6.     Stackable Hangers

All girls should get these…trust me! Think about it, if you have 5 pairs of jeans, you can stack them altogether instead of taking up that space in your closet. I don’t know how I would have fit all of my clothes in my closet without these. You can purchase these at BB&B or Target.

7.     Rain/Snow Boots

I advise investing in a good pair of rain/snow boots. I have a pair of Hunter boots which can cost up to $190.00 and as low $125. It rains a lot but sometimes it’s just wet outside. A lot of girls wear Hunter boots but you find rain boots for a lot cheaper. Sperry makes cute rainboots and so does Target.

8.     Smartphone Gloves

These are great to have when it’s cold and you’re walking on campus. You don’t have to splurge on $100 gloves, it’s just not worth the money. I found mine for $15-$20!

9.     Headphones

A lot of people listen to music while walking around campus or studying. I have a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones and they are amazing. If you want to splurge, these are worth it!

10. Diversified Coats/Layering Pieces

Like I said before, I wore six different coats during the winter. The weather can be very odd so it is nice to have at least one other option in case it’s warmer (or colder) than expected. I am from the Midwest and have experienced extremely cold temperatures and snow. If you’re from Florida or California and have never experienced cold weather or snow, I highly recommend investing in a warm coat!

Here are a few more tips from other IU students:

About The Author
Jane Bock
  • Sophomore at IU
  • Involved in Greek Life
  • From the Midwest