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You may have your laptop, notebooks, and pens all ready for the first day of school, but you’ve likely missed a few items. School supplies for college are different from what you’d get for high school — you have an entirely new living space to think about in addition to your academic items.
The best way to make the most of your college experience is to ensure you have everything you need. Adding any of these supplies to your inventory could improve your academic performance.
1. File Organizer
Go beyond folders and choose an organizer that will allow you to store your loose papers from classes. You can’t focus in a cluttered environment as well — you need space and organization to give you room to breathe. If you’re worried about saving space, you can opt for a file organizer that sticks on the wall.
As long as your essential papers, like syllabi, are filed somewhere you can easily reach them, you’ll feel more organized and know where to turn with your questions.
You should be reading outside of what you’ve been assigned to further your growth and expand your worldview. Dog-eared pages might have been OK for high school, but as an adult, you should invest in bookmarks to keep them pristine. You might have a higher chance of selling back your textbooks if the pages are smooth and unwrinkled.
3. Color-Coding Materials
Now that you’re in college, you should pay attention to how you take your notes and even review them if you haven’t been doing so up until now. Color-coding can draw attention to related concepts.
Rather than rewriting your notes, you can use color as a quick reference when studying. That way, instead of scanning for words, you can look for specific hues and make connections.
4. Workout Clothes
Exercising can help keep you physically fit and decrease stress. You don’t want to forget your workout clothing and have an excuse for not taking advantage of your new school’s gym.
As most people know, regular exercise can reduce stress, but it can also improve your memory, which means you might perform better in class with a workout routine. Even if you’re not a fan of exercise, daily movement may be worth trying for the classroom benefits.
5. Positive Affirmation Pencils
If you haven’t bought pencils for the upcoming semester yet, consider finding ones with positive affirmations engraved on them. Reading and reciting positive statements can possibly improve your GPA. They help you realize what you’re capable of and decrease stress by encouraging you to set reasonable goals and break larger projects into smaller ones.
6. Flash Drive
You need to keep your projects in more than one place, especially since they’re worth so many points in college. A good rule of thumb is to save them on your computer and the cloud, but you should have another option just in case. When emailing it to yourself won’t cut it, especially during an internet outage, you may need to rely on a flash drive.
Since it’s portable, your USB flash drive can go with you to class, and you can keep it in your backpack or on your desk when you aren’t using it. For something so small, it’s convenient, particularly if you plan on giving several presentations in a semester. It may be one of your most used school supplies for college.
7. Desktop Plant
Amp up your responsibility a little and add a fresh plant to your desk. When you can’t go outside, you might feel soothed by the bit of nature in your dorm. If you worry you can’t fully take care of a plant, opt for a succulent, which requires very little maintenance.
In addition to adding a plant or two to your room, you can incorporate the color green into your environment to potentially deflect the symptoms of anxiety. Whether you find it in curtains, art, or something else, you can’t go wrong with having a pop of such a calming color.
8. Printer Ink
You may find yourself waiting until the last minute to print out one of your assignments. While not ideal, the situation isn’t entirely unheard of and is commonplace for many students. If it happens to you, you should prepare with extra printer ink.
Know what kind of ink your printer takes in case you ever need to run out for it. Keep an eye on your levels, mainly after you print out something lengthy. If you’re prepared ahead of time, you’ll likely be able to avoid turning in a late assignment.
9. Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning your dorm room might impress your roommate and improve your focus. You likely won’t study well in a messy room, as clutter only adds to your stress. Cleaning your room could also give you an excellent opportunity to unwind after class while keeping you productive.
Because cleaning is more of a routine than something that requires active brainpower, you can use the time to think about other things, such as what you’re going to study after dinner.
An umbrella is one of the supplies you don’t realize you’re missing until you need it. Get ahead of the game and find one large enough to cover yourself in case of a downpour. Stormwater can leak into your bag and soak the unprotected papers inside. An umbrella is your line of defense against the rain until you can get yourself and your materials somewhere safe.
Find the Right School Supplies for Your College Needs
Not everyone will use the same supplies, just as not every method of learning works for everyone. Pinpointing the proper school supplies for college might be easy, but it’ll take some trial and error to learn what methods work for you. Maybe you try color-coding and decide you prefer notes written in different colors of ink. If you never try, you’ll never know what you like.
Put your mental health first and prioritize learning methods that can mitigate stress. If you find that nothing works for you, keep searching for and inventing new techniques until you find something that does. You’re in college now, which means you get to decide what’s best for your academic career.