Remember when you sent your child off to their first day of kindergarten? You struggled to pack a lunch that would be both nutritious and cool – perhaps some apple slices or grapes, but certainly not a tuna sandwich – and maybe a little note to let them know you love them. You may have fretted over the school supplies list, examined every cartoon-adorned backpack to test both its fashion and durability, and wondered if the new clothes you dished out money for would survive a few falls or rough play during recess.
Those days seem so far away and, well, easy now. As a parent of a college student, you may feel a lot of those same stressful emotions coming back again as you prepare to not only launch your child into the world, but also make sure they have everything they need to be comfortable and succeed.
The trick to letting your college student stay healthy, maintain a clean dorm room, and be prepared for classes and exams lies in a simple but often true notion: if what you’ve bought them is lying around their dorm, they’re going to use it. This goes for everything from nutritious snacks to new pens – you can rest assured that the essentials you choose to purchase for your student are going to be taken advantage of. So, how do you go about picking a few of the best ones? We’ve made it simple by breaking down six of the top college essentials we feel every student needs:
#1: Stain Remover Pens
Most college students find laundry to be a time-consuming hassle. While some campuses have gotten smarter and included laundry apps to let students know when their loads are done, many students still equate laundry day to at least a three-hour ordeal of setting up camp in the laundry room as they wait their turn for the best dryers, or even just to ensure their clothes aren’t being stolen (yes, it happens!).
For those with large campuses and long days, students may find that they just don’t have time to start a load of laundry and make it back in time to avoid a stiff, wrinkled mess that has to be washed all over again. This may mean that the days of weekly laundry are a thing of the past; if anything, a luxury reminiscent of their days back home.
This is where stain remover pens become a great college essential: they fit easily into a backpack or purse and allow your college student to treat stains on the go. For days when their third cup of coffee during mid-terms lands on their blouse, or the greasy slice of cafeteria pizza leaves sauce on their pants, these pens can not only allow your student to ease the embarrassment of looking sloppy, they also can save their clothing from being permanently ruined.
#2: An Assortment of Great Snacks
Dining options for universities vary by size. Your student may be attending a large university with plenty of dining halls, fast food joints and shops, or they may find it really hard to grab snacks in between meals if their options are limited.
Regardless of the situation, purchasing snacks on campus means either quickly running out of balances on their campus dining cards, draining your student’s personal fund, or simply spending money that could best be used for other expenses. Fast food options and snacks in student shops are tempting, but they are often unhealthy and terribly overpriced. None of this will stop a student from snacking, however. In fact, 51% of students snack when bored, and half of those shoppers snack to help them study.
Sending your college student a great array of snacks – from crunchy treats to nutritious granola bars – gives your child great options to pack in between classes or to munch on in their dorm rooms. Even if your student does not have a nut allergy, choosing to send snacks that are nut-free helps ensure that they are being respectful roommates and classmates. To kick it up a notch, provide your student with sandwich bags so they can mix a few different snacks, like chips, popcorn and candy, into their own customizable trail mixes.
#3: Cleaning Wipes
Living in close quarters means the possibility of germs running rampant in your student’s dorm room is pretty high. According to one source, these health hazards can include everything from the flu to mold, mononucleosis or pink eye.
Cleaning wipes are an important college essential to help keep your student’s living quarters clean in a few quick, easy swipes, as opposed to sending them off with a mop and hoping for the best. Look for wipes that come in easy-to-seal pouches that can be slipped into shower totes for communal bathrooms or quickly grabbed to wipe down grimy microwaves, sticky desks or any surface they come in contact with the most. Your college student will stay healthy, which means you won’t be getting called in the middle of the night.
#4: Extra Writing Supplies
Do you remember being in school and having a classmate ask to borrow a pen or pencil, all the while knowing you would probably never see it again? Those days aren’t over for your college student! As they travel from classroom to dorm to study hall to coffee shop, multiple opportunities to lose writing supplies present themselves.
Sending your college student extra pens, pencils and Sharpie markers is a great way to help ensure they are prepared and have more than enough to go around. Ideally, they should have at least two or three available in their backpack or purse at all times, plus a few additional ones for their desk area. After all, exams are stressful enough – no one wants to show up for a test realizing they have nothing to write with! Even still, sometimes all it takes is the allure of a fresh pen to jumpstart homework or study guides that may have been put off otherwise.
#5: Energy Drops
If your student is a college freshman, they’ll quickly learn that college is all about maintaining a balance of motivation and energy. As they progress further into their studies, they’ll be relying on caffeinated beverages to help them get up early for morning classes, stay up late for study sessions, or even just to give them the boost they need to attend extracurricular activities.
Energy drops that a student can add to their water, such as Mio Energy, make the perfect college essential. Only a few drops can add 60mg of caffeine, all while avoiding unhealthy energy drinks that are loaded with sugar, or high-calorie blended coffee drinks that are truly more dessert than beverage. These energy drops come in small bottles that can fit easily into any backpack or pocket, and they come in a variety of flavors.
#6: Command Hooks
Even if you’ve sent your student off to college with plastic bins and storage cubes to keep their items organized, they will probably discover that they need extra options for keeping their belongings off the floor and in their line of sight. This is where Command utility hooks come in handy for any college student: they come in a variety of sizes, and they are dorm-friendly because they stick and peel off of any wall with ease.
Utility hooks can be used to free up space in your student’s dorm in a variety of ways: use them to hang up bags, towels, keys, decorations, cooking utensils, scarves, jewelry… the list goes on and on! They’re the perfect companion to any college living area, be it big or small.
Wondering how you can send these six essentials to your student in time for the new school year? They’re all found in each of our monthly crates. Check it out!
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