Whether you’re a college freshman or a seasoned delinquent in your sixth year of extended childhood, there is no doubt that the return to school will yield some forgotten items. Every year, I manage to forgo packing a few things…just not the basic necessities you might think of.
In general, having a passport will be important if you choose to study abroad during your time at college. You may not think to bring your passport with you to campus, but you never know when the opportunity may call for it.
For those of you who attend school near the country’s border, bringing a passport to college can have its advantages, like taking road trips to Canada for a fun weekend with your three best friends for cheap, all-you-can-eat sushi and drinking Labatt Blue domestically.
Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to go because you didn’t remember to bring your passport with you to get into another country. But that’s okay – you just won’t have that incredible memory of the French-speaking bum following your friends around Montreal for an hour.
During my freshman year, I was surprised by how much college students enjoy throwing Ugly Sweater parties, particularly in the weeks leading up to the December holidays. I was equally surprised to find out that I would be socially shunned for not owning a sweater that smelled like Grandma’s closet.
Thankfully, I was able to borrow a sweater from one of my friends, which led to another discovery: there are people in this world who collect ugly sweaters as if it’s a form of currency. Some even trade sweaters with one another. Some go on an annual thrift-store shopping spree solely for the sake of finding cheap, over-sized, multi-colored wools hemmed prior to 1988.
I quickly learned my lesson and managed to find an ugly sweater that became my staple “holiday spirit” outfit. Despite being more of a costume piece than an actual article of clothing, sweaters of this sort certainly have their advantages: they’re warm, comfortable, and will likely remind others of Bill Cosby. There can be nothing wrong with that, right?
Hair Spray (Yes, Guys Too):
To the discerning guy who’s about to skip this section because he saw the word “hair” in bold letters, hear me out for a second. Yes, hair spray is a strange substance that turns hair into a plastic and tastes like death if you happen to get it in your mouth (which is inevitable).
Besides the usual uses for hair spray, the product can also be used for random, quick fixes for your dorm room. Does your fly keep unzipping? Hair spray makes the zipper stick in place. Don’t like killing bugs? Hair spray can also serve as insecticide by immobilizing an insect’s limbs and wings. Enjoy setting trashcans on fire? Hair spray is 100% flammable!
This may seem like an obvious choice for frequent coffee drinkers, but as someone who doesn’t really drink coffee, bringing a travel mug to school was about as foreign to me as bringing along ancient runes for my dorm to prevent nightmares about Rod Stewart’s creepy smile.
Weird childhood dreams aside, travel mugs obviously don’t have to contain coffee; if you’re rushing to class and can only afford to stop into your dining hall for a quick bite, travel mugs are great for making a bowl of cereal to-go, allowing you to loudly munch on Fruity Pebbles from the back of your lecture hall.
Just make sure you clean it out between uses; rumor has it that the residue of coffee, Fruity Pebbles, whiskey, soybean salad, and Fun Dip can make your stomach explode when combined.
No, I am not recommending that you attempt to prank your roommate by reenacting the iconic shower scene from Psycho. However, if you’re thinking about trying your hand at cooking in your dorm, it’s virtually impossible to make anything more advanced than frozen pizza without a sharp knife.
Chances are, the cutlery you bring from home or steal from the dining halls won’t be sharp enough to do anything beyond denting the surface of your chicken cutlet, so if you’re planning on getting any cooking done in your time at school, even if you’re just making a salad, you’re going to need a sharp knife to get the job done.
Then again, maybe you can try to reenact that scene from Psycho and see how that plays out. I’m sure nobody will be horribly maimed in the process.