8 Essentials for your First Semester
Welcome, Freshmen! Coming to college is exciting, like, really exciting, but it can also be super stressful. It's hard to know what to expect, what to pack, and what you'll actually use. Here are 8 essentials you won't want to forget for your first semester.
1. A planner - because college gets crazy
Yeah, yeah, your teachers have been telling you to use a planner for years. While that may or may not have been necessary for you then, it definitely will be now. College scheduling is a whole new beast - your professors will have due dates in the syllabus and never mention them in class - so you better have them written down and organized. A planner is the best way for you to stay on top of the countless exams, assignments, mixers, and netflix binge sessions you have to look forward to.
Pick up some of our favorites here.
2. New school, new you
College is great for many reasons, but a large one you have to look forward to: no dress code! Rep your new school with the cutest longhorn gear, and pair with nike shorts, leggings, pj pants, or whatever you please. Dressing up in high school is fun, but in college it's pretty much a guarantee 80% of the class will be wearing the same thing they slept in.
3. A jumbo pack of pencils that still won't last the year
Your parents will probably send you with every first aid item ever created, enough laundry detergent to last your lifetime, and four pairs of sheets - just in case. However, the school supplies always seem to be forgotten. Choose your note-taking tool of choice and buy more than you can count - you don't want to be the person who always asks to borrow a pencil.
4. Febreze, because you probably won't do laundry for a month
Whether your parents did your laundry or you did it yourself, you're probably used to it being free and convenient. Not anymore. When you have to pay to clean your clothes and block out hours of your day to make sure no one steals them, it's hard to find the motivation to actually clean your clothes. In true college-kid style, spray some extra-strength febreze, and fake it 'til ya make it.
5. Headphones - to mask the sound of Speedway construction
College is loud, and often unpleasantly so. Headphones are a must. From blocking out the never ending jack hammers present on campus, to secretly watching that embarrassing Netflix show you don't want your roommate to make fun of - a good pair is a necessity.
6. A water bottle to cover in stickers like the true Austin-ite you are
Here's an easy way to fit in: cover everything in stickers. It's just a thing. And if there are two things UT students love, it's staying hydrated, and stickers. Kill two birds with one stone by turning your everyday water bottle into a work of art - ATX style.
7. Coffee, energy drinks, or your caffeinated beverage of choice
Your first semester will probably be full of all-night studying, late-night partying, and early morning classes (didn't anyone tell you not to take that 8am?). You'll be tired, you won't be getting enough sleep, and you probably won't be eating all that great either. It's truly a recipe for success. The only way to survive in these trying times is down three coffees before you even make it out the door, and keep up the pace throughout the day.
8. So much excitement
Whether you'll be attending your first-choice school or not, know that the transition to college is exciting, challenging, and so-so worth it. You are going to meet an insane amount of new people, learn things about yourself you never would have otherwise, and find yourself in some pretty weird situations at 2am on a Tuesday. Put your all in to your experience, and you'll get just as much back.
Best wishes, class of 2021!