15 January 2013

College Essentials

In all the excitement of preparing for heading off to school, certain items can be lost or forgotten along the way.  Arriving to school only to find yourself without these things might not be the kiss of death for your college career, but they can put you at a disadvantage when you’re trying to start off on the right foot.  This can make for a little more aggravation and distraction during a time when you want to be focused on starting your college career. 

Campus Map/Schedule

A campus map can be more valuable than you might imagine.  Even on a smaller campus, getting the layout of the campus itself, and where your classes are located on that campus, can take some time.  Having a map can save you time wandering about aimlessly or having to stop and asked for directions.

And until you get your schedule down and where your classes are located, it can be a good idea to carry a print out of your class schedule along with you as well.  Since you likely won’t be attending your classes on a daily basis, instead having them spaced out on a Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday type schedule, it might take longer to make them a part of your routine.  Carrying your class schedule with you, tucked safely away in something you regularly take with you to campus, can help protect against brain freezes when you just can’t seem to remember which class comes after Psych. 101 or where it was located.

Student ID

A student ID can be a valuable item to have with you for a number of reasons when you hit campus.  From swiping it for treats at campus food services, to getting discounts at movies or venues on campus or around town and gaining entry to various student facilities, your student ID can be your ticket to a variety of options and discounts aimed directly at students.

Credit Cards/Banking Information

While your tuition and possibly room and board might be prepaid through your particular educational institution, this doesn’t mean you still might not need credit cards, a checking account and a little spending cash.  Arriving to school only to find you have no way to pay for incidentals such as books, extra student fees, supplies, and miscellaneous items such as toiletries, food, and entertainment, could put you in a bit of a bind. 

Having your financial information with you and available when arriving to campus can help you set up a bank account, move money between home accounts and your campus location or whatever might make managing the financial aspects of your student life a little easier.


These days, having a computer at school is almost a necessity.  While you’re likely to find computer labs on campus, having your own personal computer or laptop came make writing reports, doing research, maintaining contacts with professors, classmates, friends and family much simpler.  You might also find that many of your classes will put assignments, notes, syllabi, and grades up online, and having access to such items at a moment’s notice when in your dorm room, apartment or out and about on campus by way of a laptop, can be quite convenient.

Cell Phone/Call Book

A cell phone can be a useful tool while at school.  Not only can you contact friends and family this way, but you may have access to the Internet and a variety of applications that could be useful in your studies.  And while a cell phone can make life easier, it may not be a bad idea to keep a written record of your contacts and their numbers in the event that you lose or misplace a phone or its memory is somehow wiped out, costing you time and effort to replace your lost information.


This article was written by Todd Garner for the team at All American Colleges


This article is for informational purposes only.  The author is not an educational professional or academic advisor.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.


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