College Survival Kit: The Ultimate Dorm Checklist
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College Survival Kit: The Ultimate Dorm Checklist

College Survival Kit: The Ultimate Dorm Checklist

Going off to college or university is such an exciting milestone – but it can also be a stressful time. Whether your (now fully grown) child is the first in the family to leave home for a dorm room, or if they’re following in their sibling’s footsteps, we’ve got a checklist of what they’ll need most.

College Survival Kit: The Ultimate Dorm Checklist

College Survival Kit: The Ultimate Dorm Checklist

For the Backpack

  • Backpack: Choosing the right backpack for college or university is key – it needs to be roomy enough for everything (including a laptop!), but still cool enough that they’ll want to wear it. Parkland has a great range of backpacks that come in funky prints like daisies or camo. Be sure to check each bag’s laptop sleeve measurements as they offer different sizes. If you’re looking for a bigger backpack, Jansport has big student backpacks that fit up to 34L with lots of pockets for much needed organization. If they only carry their laptop around, a smaller bag like the Fjallraven Kanken would be a better bet.
  • Laptop sleeve: Chances are they’ll be bringing their laptop with them almost everywhere they go, so make sure it stays safe on route with a reliable laptop case. Parkland Pilot Laptop Sleeves feature a cushioned interior and plush fleece lining so their treasured device is in good hands during travel. For cuter options, MYTAGALONGS has laptop sleeves made with neoprene in silver, black with a quilted pattern, or quartz.
  • School supplies: Unlike grade school students, undergrad students will do most of their school work digitally. However, they’ll still need some basic school supplies like pencils, pens, highlighters, a ruler, permanent markers, and correction tape to get through note taking, studying and group projects. Sticky notes and clips will be handy for studying, and a stapler is helpful to have on hand for essays.
  • Agenda: Between classes, deadlines and school activities, a good daily planner is essential for staying organized. Add a monthly calendar like this unicorn one from Studio Oh! to really stay on top of things.
  • Notebook: Some people learn better by writing their notes by hand instead of typing them, so make sure you get a few notebooks for lecture notes or studying. Studio Oh! has really trendy prints like mermaids and sloths. Glitter notebooks aren’t just for kids either—OOLY has colourful sparkly notebooks and writing supplies that are fun for all ages.

For Lunch

For Their Health

  • Multivitamin: Late nights, new friends, and lots of homework can take a toll on their health. Multivitamins can help ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need at this critical stage in life. Getting them in gummy form doubles the chances they’ll actually take them! If they’re coffee drinkers, Coffee Booster is a cool new brand that offers liquid supplements they can add right to their java.
  • Probiotics: Young adults likely aren’t thinking about keeping their gut in check, but studies show that a healthy gut helps with overall health and happiness. A great way to keep the gut happy (no matter what goes in it) is with probiotics – again, gummies are a great option.
  • Tissues: Most dorm rooms don’t come equipped with tissues, so stock up on facial tissues and facial tissue pocket packs to help your son or daughter get through the Canadian winter and dreaded cold & flu season.
  • Hand sanitizer: No explanation needed for this one – germs are everywhere on campus! Purell Jelly Wraps are convenient for travelling, but if a great smell would entice them to use it more opt for Everyone’s Lemon Coconut Spray or Bronner’s Lavender Spray.
  • Sunscreen: When it’s nice out, the last place they’ll want to be is their dorm room – so send them off with sunscreen to keep them protected all year long. Bare Republic has a convenient sports sunscreen with SPF 50 in stick form, and Goddess Garden has a spray option for quick application. If you’re worried they’ll stay in the sun a little too long, send them with Badger’s After Sun Balm.
  • Cold & flu treatments: When you share a floor with twenty other people, you also share their germs. Help ease them through the dreaded cold & flu season with any of these cold & flu treatments. You won’t be able to give them mom’s chicken noodle soup—but you could give them Amy’s, which is the next best thing.
  • Ener-C packs: Ener-C packs are delicious, refreshing, and are even rumoured to help cure hangovers thanks to the added electrolytes. They’ll thank you later.
  • Blister bandages: A new school usually means there will be some new wardrobe items, which includes new shoes. It’s a good idea to send them with some blister Band-Aids just in case. Especially if they’re joining any sports teams.
  • Lip balm: Keep lips moisturized and healthy all year long (especially through the long Canadian winter) with lip balm. Burt’s Bees minty lip balm made with beeswax is a customer fave, eos lip balms are fun and fruity, and if you’d prefer one with SPF, Green Beaver has sunscreen lip balm.
  • Tylenol: Tylenol (acetaminophen) helps with headaches, migraines, fever, sore muscles and cold and flu symptoms. One bottle of Tylenol Extra Strength will help with any pain and fevers they might get throughout the school year.
  • Tums: If they’re drinking more coffee to help with studying, they’re raising acidity levels in their stomachs, which can lead to upset stomachs or heartburn. Tums Antacid Tablets offer the quickest relief! If you really want to spoil them, opt for the delicious Tums Soft Chews.

Just in Case

There’s so much to organize for the big send-off to school, so bookmark this list to be prepared with everything they’ll need for a great school year!

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Please Keep In Mind

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness. You must consult with your professional health care provider before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking, varying the dosage of or ceasing to take any medication.

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