Get in gear

School materials will never be the same

Ah college, the best four years of your life. Or was that high school? And who completes college in four years these days, anyway? Regardless, as a freshman entering college, you’re going to need to be prepared for higher learning. I’ll let you in on a little secret: All those pencils, pens and binders you used in high school will still work in college. But I’ve also put together a selection of items I wish someone had told me to pack on my first day of college.

Sure, college is designed to enlighten our minds and provide for a better tomorrow, but what’s the point of all that if you forget what tomorrow can hold—literally. At the beginning of the semester, your trusty daily planner will be filled with meticulous notes detailing each assignment and classroom location, but these will give way to doodles and dire reminders that Friday holds a “Party! @ Doc Bootleg’s!” Show your Wolf Pack pride and check the university bookstore for a planner emblazoned with the school logo. You’ll never miss a party—or assignment—again.

USB flash drives
More and more professors prefer assignments to be turned in via an electronic method, so you’re going to need to have backups of all your files. USB flash drives are perfect for storing all of your school work because they’re portable, and you can take them from your dorm to class to the library and back. You can get 512 MB flash drives—more then enough for a semester’s worth of work—from most office supply stores for under $10. Or go raw with the USB Sushi drives from Dynamism. These drives ($65-$250) range from 256MB to 4GB and come in a variety of nigiri and maki selections.

If this talk of sushi has you hungry, then the next item will suit you perfectly. Just because you don’t bring your lunch to campus doesn’t mean that those retro metal lunchboxes are useless. Web sites such as offer plastic, cloth and the ever versatile metal lunchboxes. Represent yourself with cartoon characters, rock bands, classic TV shows, and political statements all the while carrying mp3 players and highlighters or storing toiletries and candles back in the dorm. My favorite is the Outer Space Dome Lunchbox ($14.50) because it combines the dreams of yesteryear with the possibilities for the future. Isn’t that what college is all about?