1. Computer- It doesn't have to be a laptop, it doesn't have to be fancy and it doesn't have to run the latest video games, but it does have to be able to boot up, search the Internet with reasonable efficiency and handle word processing software. Going to the library every time you have to write a paper gets annoying really quickly. Doing your homework will require some element of Internet research on a regular basis, so quick access to the Internet is really necessary for a college student in this day and age. Having a computer is extremely helpful, but can be made even more so by the addition of one peripheral, which brings us to our next item.
2. Printer- Whether it is laserjet, inkjet, old or new, a printer for your dorm room can save you not only the hassle of having to use school printers and wait in lines at the computer lab, but also the cost incurred every time you have to print out a few pages for an assignment. The occasional cost of buying paper or replacing cartridges as necessary is likely less than you will spend per year on printing at the computer lab, and is worth the convenience of knowing that the killer essay you worked on til 2 am is ready to go for your 8 am class.
3. Cell Phone- Chances are pretty good that you already have one of these, but if you don't, it's something to consider. If you are not on a cell phone plan with your parents, ask if you can be. It will allow you to keep in touch with them and with friends at home or away. If not, most major providers offer prepaid phone options which allow you to pay for your phone with cash per month and simply cut off service before allowing overages. If you are going to go on a traditional plan, however, make sure you know the limits of the plan. Don't stick mom and dad with a 500 dollar phone bill!
4. Mini Fridge- You might get stuck arguing with your parents on this one, but the convenience of having a small fridge for drinks not only keeps you from wandering around late at night looking for a cold drink, but it also saves you from paying ridiculous soda machine prices. Stocking your fridge with a case of water from the store is much cheaper than hitting up the soda machine. It can also be used to store healthy snacks for after hours.
5. Closet Organizer- Let's face it. You don't want to wake up more than ten minutes before class. Neither do most college students. For this reason alone, having an organizer for your closet that allows you to find socks, shoes, accessories and other things easily and quickly is a huge help. It also allows you to keep your belongings separate from those of your roommate, preventing unnecessary arguments. You will finally stop losing your stuff, and potentially learn some elements of organization.
This article was composed by Ty Whitworth for the team at Santa Fe University; be sure to view their degree options, including their famous creative writing degree option.