What Are the Top 5 Essentials for College Life Freshman Year?

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Answered by: Carrie, An Expert in the Surviving Your First Year Category
You've said goodbye to your high school friends. You've hopped in the car with Mom and Dad. You're about to embark on the next stage of your life -- college! And as you pull in to the parking lot of Betterthink First Dorm, you realize: you forgot superglue!

1. Superglue -- You might laugh, but superglue is definitely one of the essentials for college life, or for anytime you are leaving home for the first time. You should prepare a small tool-kit or "emergency repair" kit for those things which WILL fall apart--inevitably at 3 o'clock in the morning the night before your paper is due. Your kit should include superglue, duct tape, screws and a screwdriver, and a needle and thread. If you are prepared to glue your shoe back together after...whatever happened at that Wednesday night study break party at the Kappa house last night, or to sew a button back on your sweater, then you will be prepared to seize the next four years without worry.

2. Microwave/Mini-fridge -- I know people who survived freshman year without one of these, but not without both. Either a microwave or mini-fridge is one of the essentials for college life. You are going to be up at weird hours all the time, you may or may not have a car or a friend with a car to take you to Whataburger at two in the morning, so you definitely need to have some EasyMac or ramen noodles on hand and a way to prepare them.

3. A watch -- I know you probably are thinking, "But I use my cell phone to check the time, so why would a watch be one of the essentials for college life?" It's more of a psychological thing than anything else, but wearing a watch is a really good idea when you go into any totally new environment, because it allows you to feel you have some measure of awareness of and control over your surroundings. Just try wearing one for a day, and you'll see: you feel a lot more secure and ready to meet the challenges that come your way.

4. Keychain Swiss army knife -- Always be prepared for anything. I can't tell you how many times my keychain Swiss army knife came in handy--from getting into a ridiculously difficult to open plastic package to filing a broken nail. If I can stress anything about the essentials for college life it is this: always be prepared! Always, always, always be prepared for everything to fall apart, because it will.

5. $250 for emergencies -- Put it in your piggy bank and don't touch it unless it is an absolute emergency that you can't tell your parents about. Because, believe me, there will be things that come up that you will need (not want, but need), that you are not going to want to tell Mom about. Just use your imagination.

Things to leave behind: your favorite stuffed animal from when you were four, your collection of Ming dynasty porcelain vases, your misophobia, your grumpy attitude in the morning, etc.

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