A College Student's Guide to Overlooked College Essentials

Do you know a new college student who's about to embark on the best four years of his or her life? There's no doubt he or she is both excited and terrified...so why not be the coolest aunt/uncle/friend/neighbor/sister/brother/parent, and gift one of these under the radar college essentials recommended by an authentic college student (his name is Kevin, he's a junior at the University of Wyoming, and he had the privilege of working at our office this summer—yay!)? Take it from us (and Kevin)—your college student will thank you.

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College: it’s an experience unlike any other. This four-year adventure brings with it countless unique experiences, new companionships, and of course, the reason we’re all really there—knowledge. Summer is great, but as it comes to a close, eager freshmen and upperclassmen alike begin counting down the days until they move in. Going away to college can be a confusing time for anyone, and it’s hard to know what exactly you’ll need for the first year of your journey. While most “essential item” lists contain the really fundamental things a college student needs, many of them don’t name the crucial items that only a seasoned college student knows he or she will want. I’m talking about the stuff you wouldn't necessarily think of as an “everyday” college essential. As a junior myself, I’ve become pretty familiar with the oft overlooked items, gadgets, and services that’ll make for some seriously great gifts for all the students you know.  

Amazon Prime Subscription

While just about everyone has heard of Amazon, not everyone may know one of its best services, Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime gives members access to fantastic benefits like free Prime videos (Amazon’s answer to Netflix), and free two-day shipping on Amazon products. Whether it’s watching movies or online shopping, Amazon Prime gives students a nice way to wind down after a long day. Plus, the free shipping is nice when you need something in a crunch—maybe a textbook for an exam, or an outfit for the themed frat party Saturday night. With this service, you can get that textbook or outfit in a hurry at no extra charge. These are just some of the amazing benefits Amazon Prime offers, but it also comes with other things like streaming music, free books, and member discounts. And, Prime comes at half the cost for college students—so, it's a deal you obviously can't pass up.

A Sewing Kit

For many of us, college is the first time we’ll be away from our parents for more than a couple of weeks—and that introduces a few challenges, to say the least. Your parents won’t be there to cook for you, to do your laundry, or to fix the button that falls off your pants (you may think this last situation won’t happen often, but at some point or another, it definitely will—take it from me). If you don't know how to sew, a sewing kit is still incredibly useful…and, of course, you’ve got YouTube at your fingertips to actually show you how to use it. Between the needs of you and your roommate(s), a sewing kit is bound to become an essential item that’s often forgotten.

Plastic Utensils/ Dishes

New eating habits and schedules are one of the most talked about adjustments you have to deal with in college, whether it be the all-you-can-eat dining halls, or late-night junk food runs. Most eating will take place in the dining hall your freshmen year, but trust me: you’ll want to be prepared for the last-minute meals that’ll creep up in between all that studying and partying. Sometimes, it’s inclement weather or pure laziness that keeps you from walking all the way to the dining hall. Regardless, we can all agree that it’s pretty difficult to eat ramen without a bowl or fork; that’s why it’s nice to have the necessary utensils in your dorm room. I promise that a set of dishware will prove to be an important (and cheap) essential any new college student will be glad he or she had.

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