6 Things Every Freshman Needs

Get ready to stuff your back-to-school backpack with our list of essentials. Just, whatever you do, leave that monogrammed knapsack at home.

Photo by Nate Bolt


You’re entering college as a member of the class of 2017. The days of lugging your monogrammed backpack and three-ring binder are over. Here are a few things you’ll want to carry instead.

Libraries and other study spots can turn into a social scene as the day goes on. When you find yourself in the middle of an impromptu party, your Beats by Dr. Dre will block out noise.

Cardholder phone case
Don’t wear your student ID on a lanyard around your neck. Get a smartphone cardholder case, which has a slit in the back for storing your essentials.

Planner/laptop case
Balancing class and extracurricular commitments can be tough. A padded planner/laptop case is the best place to track your assignments and store your MacBook.

iPad keyboard
The iPad replaced the college-ruled notebook a long time ago. You’ll need a wireless keyboard if you don’t want to type on the touch screen.

Flash drive
It’s the tiniest of college must-haves. You never know when your professor will have trouble opening or receiving an important email attachment.

Drink tumbler/traveler mug
On your way out the door, snag and fill one of these cups. Having an ice water or hot coffee will keep you awake in that 8 a.m. class.


  5 Great Apps for College Students


StudyBlue is the best way to review material on the go. The app is equipped with interactive flashcards that suit nearly every textbook and curriculum.

Use Free Wi-Fi Finder to find the nearest hot spot on and off campus.

When you don’t have time for the gym, Walk Tracker Pro can make even the shortest trek to class feel like a workout, with exercise plans, a calorie graph and playlists.

Don’t have a planner? Keep track of your due dates, grades and GPA with Grades 2.

With weekly spending updates, Mint.com Personal Finance helps ensure that students don’t go over budget.

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