Oh yeah… We’re going there. As we approach August the College Frenzy begins, and I know how I was when I was going through it. What things are important, what do I need, what matters. All in all here is my Top 5 things that every University student needs.
1. A SOLID BACKPACK OR TOTE
This may seem obvious, but for some reason I still see people struggling with this all over campus. If you’re a full time student invest in a functional backpack with a laptop sleeve and compartments. It will make things and study trips so much less stressful. You don’t need an Osprey backpacking pack, but a little Michael Kors one isn’t going to cut it either. I personally opted for the North Face Recon pack. It has a laptop sleeve, tablet sleeve, and a mesh outer pocket for random things you might need to bring with you. My favorite thing about it is the extra padding on my lower back and shoulders so that I don’t hurt myself when I’m hiking across campus to the library.
If you’re more of a tote kind of gal (like myself) then invest in one that is cute AND functional. I say this because you’ll probably end up using it as a purse when you’re running errands before and after class. And you want it to look great with everything if you’re going to be using it that often. My current favorites are my Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Large Tote and Kate Spade large tote. I swap between these two frequently throughout the semester since my Kate Spade has about twice as much room as my Michael Kors does. They are so perfect and totally durable.
- A PARKING PASS
I only say this because unless you have 7:30a classes there is no way you’ll be getting any of those free parking spots on or near campus. Let’s be real. We all know that one car who is always parked in the free spots day in and day out and we’re all pretty sure they camp out there too. And from someone who racked up more than $300 in parking tickets my Spring 2015 semester alone… INVEST in a parking pass. Not only will you save yourself the headache of looking for a spot, but you’ll also save money.
Here comes the Finance Major in me:
For instance… I generally paid $2 – $4 dollars each time I parked in the garage next to my building about 3 times a week. So on average $9 a week… For 15 weeks (not including Spring Break). That alone is $144 dollars. Now I usually got a ticket about once every other week for those 16 weeks of the semester ranging anywhere from $20 – 90 (Yeah I know… Bummer). So on average that about an extra $35 every other week. Which roughly totals $280 for just one semester. So that totals… $424 spent on parking during my Spring 2015 semester. A parking pass from August to May is $360. (Yeah… I hate me too)
So what I’m saying is… INVEST IN A PARKING PASS OR SUFFER A VERY EMPTY BANK ACCOUNT.
- A PLANNER
Who was waiting for this one? But on the real. GET A PLANNER. It not only keeps your weeks and class schedule straight, but it is a great way to keep track of what you’re doing and when.
I’ve used both paper and electronic, but I always go back to paper. I do put big events in my phone though for quick reference, but everything goes in my paper planner. I’m very fond of writing things down whether it’s in my planner, notes, or ideas. For some reason just typing them doesn’t work for me.
Right now I’m using the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Plum Paper Planner, and I love it. Of course there are some things that I would change, but it keeps my life straight and that’s what matters. Check out my Instagram for more ways to use your planner!
- YOUR STUDENT ID CARD
Sure this may seem like a no brainer, but seriously keep it with you at all times. You can receive student discounts almost anywhere, access the on campus Rec Center, and to eat on campus. I personally always lived off campus so I mainly use it for student discounts, printing on campus, and accessing the Rec.
- A GOOD STUDY SPOT
This is probably the MOST important thing on this list. I’m not even close to kidding. I have a very hard time studying at my house because everything becomes a distraction. From cleaning my room, doing laundry, taking naps, and the list goes on. I absolutely had to find somewhere to study away from my house.
I tried the coffee shop near my house, but there’s this strange squealing noise that the espresso machine makes when the steam does something or another. Anyway… Whenever it squeals I always jump out of skin. So that was a no go. I then tried studying inside the Business Building on campus. Being around other people in the same field seemed like a good idea until about 20 minutes after I started studying and every other table was filled with 5+ people working on group projects. So again that was a no go.
Then as I was walking across campus to grab some food, and I happened upon the library. Mind you my University was a JuCo in 1935 and then became an established University in 1965, and the buildings on The Quad definitely reflect that. So as I was walking by I decided to check it out… And it has been my study spot ever since. Second floor, table in the back corner, with an outlet, and a window (I like sunshine).
- *BONUS* GOOD FRIENDS
Seriously THIS. A solid group of friends will help you study, check in to make sure doing alright, and of course will be there with you when the poop hits the fan as it does when you’re away from home. Nobody makes it through college without a solid core group of friends. I’m so lucky to have made the friends that I did. Of course we argue and things don’t always work out, but in the end we’re there for each other, and that’s what matters.
- *EXTRA BONUS* A DECENT JOB
Yup. The “J-word”. Maybe you had one in high school and saved enough to not have to work for a while, and that’s awesome. Seriously, good for you. I knew once I turned 18 any little sort of outing I wanted to do I had to pay for. Even if it’s an on campus job working in the Admin Building, it’s money. The great thing about living in a college town is that most jobs near campus will work around class schedules and understanding of study schedules.
YOU’RE A STUDENT FIRST! REMEMBER THAT!