CostumesGrab every pair of cowgirl boots, American flag printed shirt, ugly Christmas sweater, and neon clothing item you own and throw it in your luggage immediately. As much fun as it is to make a pre-party run to the thrift shop or costume store before each themed event, do yourself a favor and bring what you already have. It's worth it to have an extensive costume wardrobe.
You never know when you'll need a neon printed sweatshirt or an ugly Christmas sweater
Craft SuppliesEssential if you plan on rushing a sorority. All those jokes about crafting and Pinterest ideas? Totally true. By the end of college, I had accumulated four bins full of scrapbook supplies, paint, brushes, and the like. Even if you don't plan on going through recruitment, painting a picture frame or a canvas can be a fun project to do with your new roommate.
Ear Plugs and a Sleep MaskDorms are loud, period. One semester, I lived under the basketball team. Imagine not only the sound of a 6'7" man clomping around, but also the dribbling of a basketball. At all hours. Over my bed. When you do have time to sleep at college, you want it to be quality sleep. These items can also help avoid a disagreement with your roommate about lighting and whether the television should be on while you're sleeping.
Extra SheetsOkay, I think most moms out there will have this covered, but just in case - bring at least two sets of extra sheets for your dorm bed. In a dorm, your bed is basically your little sanctuary - the hub of your studying, TV watching, roommate chatting, Starbucksing days.. In the event of a Diet Coke disaster, or your roommate's smelly boyfriend putting his feet up there, have a few extra sets of sheets on hand. Last-minute laundry on campus tends to be inconvenient, especially when you're ready to crash for the night.
Reusable Water BottleI had about five of these at my disposal. I used them in the gym, in my school bag, the library, wherever. Water fountains are ubiquitous on most campuses, and staying hydrated is so important for your health and appearance. Pick a cute one, and carry it everywhere.
This bottle lets you add your own flavor
How cute are these monogrammed bottles?!
Anything I missed? What were your essentials?