Consider bringing these college must-haves


The Daily Illini File Photo

I-Guides help a student unpack her belongings from her car and put them onto a cart for easier transport to her room. I-Guides are there to make to make your move-in as smooth as possible.

By Rachel King, Assistant Copy Chief

I’m an out-of-state student, so when I’m at school and realize I forgot to bring an essential item, I can’t just ask my mother to bring it next weekend; I have to go to the store to buy a new one, and that adds up when you have to do it at least ten times every year. As if that isn’t reason enough, there are some things you need immediately and cannot wait to buy, which makes it very difficult and inconvenient when said thing is missing. So for all my fellow out-of-staters as well as in-staters, I have provided a guide for some of the must-have supplies you never would have thought to bring to school. You can thank me later.


There may only be one or there may be many, but it is highly likely you will be invited to a themed party, whether it’s Hawaiian, ‘80s or whiteout. You could go to Ragstock every time you need themed articles of clothing, or you could wear your own clothes you brought from home in preparation for something like this, which is about a million times better. Plus, it means no one else will have the same outfit as you, so you will stand out in a good way.

Disinfecting wipes

Messes are easy to create and time-consuming to clean up if you don’t have the right materials. That’s where disinfecting wipes come in. They are easy to use and will remove any lingering smells to ensure your room stays as good as new. Not only can you use them to clean messes but also to freshen up an area and keep it sanitary. You’ll be glad to have these during flu season, which, in college, lasts just about all year.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Ziploc bags

    I would never have dreamed I would need Ziploc bags, but you would be surprised how useful they can actually be. You can bag snacks for class, pack up a suitcase with less of a fuss and seal foul-smelling garbage when you don’t want to make the trek down the hall to the floor’s trash bin, among other things.

    Multiple phone chargers

    I brought two phone chargers to school because one was falling apart, but it’s still functioning today, and two chargers ended up being one of the best investments I ever made. Keep one in your backpack for those long days that will drain your battery and one in your room as a default option. If you only have one, you will have to unplug and plug the same charger everywhere, and it will likely be easy to forget to bring when you need it or you might leave it at a friend’s house. Two chargers will help you avoid being chargerless.


    Maybe you want to picnic with friends on the Main Quad, or maybe you know you’re going to get hungry later and want to save some of that dining hall food as a midnight snack. Tupperware is the answer. Without Tupperware, you will realize how difficult it can be to fit a pizza box into an already-overflowing refrigerator, so save yourself the trouble and just buy it.

    Duffel bag

    If you’re planning on going on a few trips with your friends during the school year or going back home for a weekend, bring a duffel bag. They are convenient to carry around and compact to store, and while your backpack is easy to carry, it is likely not large enough to bring all the essentials on your trip, so make sure you have a duffel as a backup.

    Sewing kit

    You might never even need it, but for that one emergency situation in which you or your friend does, you will be thanking your lucky stars you thought to bring it with you to school. Whether it’s a rip in your pants, a dress in need of hemming or a broken shoe strap, sewing kits can mend fashion disasters in a flash.

    [email protected]