When it comes to college shopping, there’s a big difference between throwing your money away and making an investment. After all, college is about investing in ourselves. So although it’s important to watch your budget and pinch your pennies, these are a lot of things that are worth spending more money on so that you get good use out of them, rather than have to replace them every year (and spend more money in the long run). This list breaks down the 5 items worth investing more money in for college:
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1) A Foam Mattress Topper and a Mattress Pad
In the weeks leading up to college move-in, I was dorm shopping with my mom when she threw a plush, $50 foam mattress topper into the cart. I gawked at it. $50!!! On just the mattress topper! And we hadn’t even gotten the mattress pad, sheets, pillows, or comforter yet.
I shifted nervously. I had been planning on just getting a cheap one.
“Believe me,” she said. “Those mattresses are going to be the most uncomfortable things in the world. You’re going to want a really nice one.”
And she was right. The few nights I spent without my foam mattress topper and mattress pad (during Spring Break interim housing) were the worst, most uncomfortable nights of sleep I’ve ever had in my life. I hadn’t realized just how big of a difference the two items had made.
So when it comes to dorm room shopping, a high-quality mattress topper and a mattress pad is a MUST for your college dorm room. After all, with as much as you’re going to use it, it’s worth investing in a good one.
Looking for a good foam mattress topper from Amazon? This mattress topper is similar to the one I use, as well as this mattress pad. Although these will be some of the more expensive items in your dorm room, they are well worth the extra money.
2) An Efficient Laptop
When I moved away for college, I had a lot more on my mind then getting a new laptop. After all, my old one still worked! Why would I bother getting a new one?
The thing is, that laptop was 4 years old and bulky. It was too heavy for me to haul everywhere, which meant I could never take it to the library or to class without my back aching from the stress. Even worse, it’s lifespan began to quickly dwindle; it consistently had a hard time connecting to the internet, began running slow, and couldn’t survive more than 15 minutes without being connected to a charger. It was time for a upgrade.
So after Christmas, I bought myself a new laptop. The problem was, I wasn’t willing to make a huge investment in it, so I chose a cheap laptop that only cost me about $130. While it worked great the first couple of months, I quickly learned that it could not handle the stress of college work. There were several occasions when it said the memory space was completely full, even after I deleted all documents, pictures, and apps. This wasn’t even going to last me the rest of the semester, much less the rest of college!
So about a year after buying that laptop, I forced myself to face the facts and bought a new one. This time, however, I did my research ahead of time. I got recommendations from friends and professors, as well as a list of the computer requirements for my major. Then during a sale, I swooped in and got the laptop I had been wanting (which had previously been too expensive for my budget) at $200 off!
This laptop was the Lenovo Yoga 710 laptop, which is perfect for me because it meets all the strict requirements of my Interior Design program (since we use a lot of architecture/rendering programs), has a ton of memory space, and is even touch screen!
One of my favorite features is the rotating screen, which means I can change it from a laptop to a tablet at will. If you’re wanting to check it out, just click here!
Either way, a high-quality laptop is a must. Before buying one, you may want to check and see whether your program has any computer requirements. But no matter what your major is, a lightweight laptop with good RAM and storage space is a must.
3) An Agenda
I’m going to be completely honest: I’ve never understood the whole agenda/planner craze, especially when people spend $50+ dollars on them. I don’t even want to think how much it costs when you add in all the stickers, markers, and accessories. Call me crazy, but I think that’s just a huge waste of money.
However, I do believe that a high-quality planner is a necessary investment in college; after all, there’s a big difference between a $5 planner from the grocery store and a $25 planner you find online.
Believe me, I have used a $5 planner before…it was awful.
A good planner is one that’s not going to fall apart at the seams and can handle a lot of wear and tear. After all, by the end of the semester, that planner is going to help get you through 8 or more college classes. You need to invest in a good one.
I currently have a To-Do planner, which I love because it’s just a place to write all of my to-do lists. This planner is fits me and my needs for college because I have less assignments than a traditional student because they’re all big projects, rather than smaller essays, worksheets, etc.
However, most students will find themselves in need of a traditional agenda, such as the Bloom Daily Planner (via Amazon). From address pages to vision boards to monthly calendars to week-by-week plans, this planner has everything a college student needs to stay organized throughout the semester, which is essential to staying on top of your classes!
4) A High-Quality Backpack
Throughout the years, I’ve been through my fair share of backpacks. I’ve tried so many brands that claim to be durable, but they never last me more than a year or two. It was extremely frustrating, especially when I was investing my money in them with the impression that they were going to last me a long time.
So when I was backpack shopping for college, I decided to do a bit of extra research before hand, and found that the High Sierra brand had a ton of great reviews. It was a bigger monetary investment in a backpack than I had ever made before, but I decided to take my chances. I bought it and…
I loved it.
I’ve been using my High Sierra backpack for three years now, and it still looks brand new. (Which is absolutely insane!) It has the perfect number of pockets and plenty of space no matter how many books I need to take to class.
The best part, however, is the padded back and shoulder straps. They have been a lifesaver for me, especially on the days where I’m carrying my laptop AND my textbooks around campus. Now I couldn’t imagine considering a backpack that doesn’t have them.
The High Sierra backpacks come in plenty of designs, and even a few different styles. You can check them out on Amazon by clicking here.
5) A First Aid Kit
You never know when you’re going to get sick, and if you’re living on campus with no transportation to the store for medicine, you’re stuck feeling awful with few options for feeling better anytime soon.
So let’s take a little walk down memory road to my freshman year of college: It was just an ordinary Sunday and I woke up feeling great and ready to start my day. My only plans were to meet up with some classmates to work on a group project, and I would spend the rest of the day studying my Biology notes. But it quickly took a turn for the worse. In less than 9 hours, I had gone from feeling fine to feeling like I had been hit by a truck. But it wasn’t a truck…it was the flu. It hit me out of nowhere, and I was completely unprepared. I didn’t even have any medicine with me to take, much less a first aid kit! I felt so stupid.
That’s why I beg you to invest in a first aid kit for college. Customize it to your needs. Feeling sick in college, especially if you’re living away from home, is stressful enough. Don’t add not having any medicine to the mix.
A great first aid kit for college is this one from Amazon. It has all of the necessities you’ll need, and even a list with instructions for the medications and advice. It’s actually specifically made for college students, so you know it’s a good investment of your money.
College is a big investment of money and it’s tempting to try to take the cheap route when possible. However, these are the 5 items you don’t want to pinch your pennies with. Believe me, they are well worth the investment.