“No, Mom, I do not need a laptop cooling stand.”

Move-in day is nigh, and freshpeople are busy stuffing their lives into bags. If you’re anything like us, you’re spending hours researching and cross-referencing lists of things to take to school. We’ve combed the archives for past generations of Bwoggerly wisdom and compiled a list of the things we forgot when we came to school for the first time, as well as a few things that the more ambitious will take but never need.

Veterans, leave your suggestions in the comments!

The Forgotten:

  • Earplugs & eye shades. You might think you’re a deep sleeper but nothing’s louder than your roommate’s frantic term paper typing at 3 am. Singletons aren’t immune. John Jay walls are thin, and your neighbor may be learning the viola de gamba.
  • Shower slippers & caddy. Your dungeon-like bathroom will be shared by no fewer than four people. You’ll want to let as little as possible touch those grimy tiles. Girlies, it might be worth dusting off those hideous platform flip flops from middle school to minimize water wading. While you’re at it, don’t forget the antibacterial hand soap to wash away all those germs you got taking a shower.
  • Trash can & trash bags. Some rooms come with them, but even if they do, you’re going to have more garbage than you know what to do with. Plastic bags from Westside will also suffice, and the Ecoreps will applaud your sustainable instincts.
  • Disinfectant spray, paper towels, & mini-vac. New York is dusty and men are hairy. You may have checked “neat” on the roommate preference form but remember that the slobs did, too.

  • Galoshes & umbrellas. Manhattan is miserable in the rain. Expect murky puddles that never seem to dry. Your sneakers don’t stand a chance.
  • Ethernet cable, extension cords, & power strips. Seriously, no one thinks to bring an Ethernet cable. Enterprising students have been known to traipse through freshmen dorms selling bookstore cables at a large markup. Bring one 50 feet or greater in length and you’ll be set for four years.
  • Packing tape, painter’s tape, Scotch tape, & duct tape. For boxes, posters, papers, and roommates, respectively. Anything for attaching one thing to another. The gummy stuff is surprisingly sticky.
  • Stapler, scissors, hole punch, ruler. Never ever lend your stapler out because you’ll never see it again.
  • A coffee maker. Brewing your own coffee is sooo much cheaper. Like hundreds of dollars by the end of the semester for daily drinkers.
  • Febreze. When all of your clothes are dirty and you’re too busy to do laundry.
  • Extra sheets, drying rack, & two hampers. You’ll be wanting to dry some things in your room instead of sacrificing them to Mac Gray. In addition, keep an extra hamper (or basket) for bringing your clean laundry back to your room. As for the sheets, someone will throw up on them one night right before you go to bed (we promise!) so it’s handy to have an extra set.
  • Electric kettle & weekend-sized suitcase. Ramen and tea will soothe the soul, and the suitcase can be your weekend escape. Or you’ll just be looking for a way to transport your books to Butler, a tried and true finals tactic.
  • A lamp. Get enlightened.
  • Picnic cloth or big beach towel. For splitting the spoils of JJ raids.
  • A greater tolerance for group activities.

The Unused:

  • Clock. Trust your cell phone to give you a sense of time when you’ve lost your own.
  • Organizational goodies like hanging wire cubes, crates, and cubbies. There’s no room in the tiny dorms we’re confined to for these. At most, you might find plastic under-bed boxes useful. Don’t get swallowed by the Container Store black hole.
  • Iron. C’mon, Mom. Either fold your laundry when it’s fresh out of the dryer or don’t wear things that wrinkle. For those few occasions when you just have to put a crease in your pants, there’s always that one kid on your floor who has everything. Pro Tip: hang your wrinkled garment by a steaming shower and watch the rumples dissolve.
  • Robe. College life isn’t luxurious and everyone’s used to moderately naked people. Hone your towel skills and maybe spend your money on a Slanket/Snuggie instead.

The Great Printer Debate:

  • Some wax rhapsodic of the printer, while other regret wasting the money. If you’re a humanities major writing lots of papers and you like to print out your drafts, it’s probably worth the investment. Granted there are dozens of printers scattered around campus, but right before you have to turn in your paper, you’ll always end up stuck behind some enterprising club leader in the printing line who has decided to print 100 flyers. Both printers combust and your LitHum magnum opus is late. But, if you get a printer, then you become that kid tasked with printing everyone’s WIAs. Conundrum!