Wait. Hold the phone. Is it August already? Like, seriously? I have no clue what happened to summer, but all I know is that we’re already knee deep into Back to School mode.
Up here in New York, my kids still have all month to enjoy no more teachers, no more books. But I know down south and in other areas of the country, you guys are probably just about ready to send your kids off to their next education level. And then there are the college bound.
It seems like only yesterday, I was meeting my college roommate for the first time. (Shoutout to Keith, the nicest guy on the planet!) Times sure have changed since I went though. And while there are loads of necessities you need to make your kids have packed (clothes, sheets, deodorant), there are a ton of super helpful items you’ve probably never even thought about packing. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
You do want your kid’s college career to get every advantage it can have, right? So without further ado, here’s the one list you need to print out and slap on your refrigerator:
10 Back to School Items You’ve Probably Never Thought of Packing
- Flash Drives – Yes, I’m from a time where we actually used these things called floppy discs. I know, I know. Nowadays, most computers don’t even include CD/DVD drives; it’s all downloadable content. So moving files from my device to another can be a bit of a pain unless you have a flash drive. Of course, this is college, so the cooler/geekier it is, the better your social status! They make flash drives in just about every size and shape from superheroes to sports teams, so choose wisely.
- Portable Battery Back-Up – Whether it’s an iPad or the latest Samsung Galaxy, your college kid is going to be taking a zilion selfies across campus and run out of precious battery power when he or she needs it most. That’s where a portable battery back-up can be a life saver. These things are pretty darn cheap and roughly the size of a cell phone.
- Good Pair of Headphones – Every day I commute to work on a long (and noisy) train to Manhattan and I routinely keep reminding myself that I need a really good pair of headphones. Whether you’re watching a course-related video (hah! Yeah, right) or just trying to listen to music to drown out the noise of your roommates puking in the bathroom after a night of partying, a good pair of headphones will help you go to your happy place with ease.
- Power Strips – This holds for anywhere, not just college. As we get more and more reliant on electronic devices, we need more and more outlets. Don’t be stuck fighting with your roommate over the one available outlet in your room.
- Deck of Cards – No, not for poker, but for other dorm-bonding games like Hearts or Spades. I won plenty of “sodas” back in my day by winning some Nil bids in Spades.
- Tape Measure – You will never be more interested in sizing than you are in college. Y’know that old-but-still-usable couch sitting on the curb of Main and Elm Street? Yeah, it’d be great in your dorm, but will it fit in your truck or more importantly, in the room? Don’t trust your eye to measure; it’s got a 99% inaccuracy rating.
- Fuzzy Slippers – Dorms are pretty dirty and no one wants to walk around in their bare feet. Personally, I hate wearing shoes, though and love walking around in just socks or nothing. So a good compromise is getting yourself a fun and comfy pair of slippers. Y’know the kind, the big goofy character ones like big bear feet or Homer Simpson heads. Practical and a great ice breaker!
- The Princess Bride DVD – If you’ve seen the movie, you love this cult classic. If you haven’t, you will. And while the title may make you think it’s a 100% chick flick, it’s anything but. So this DVD is spot on for guys and gals alike.
- Quarters – These suckers are crazy valuable and not just because they’re actually money. When it comes to laundry time (and that’s not code for “heading home for the weekend”), most dorm machines take quarters and without ’em, you’re gonna be scrambling to find some. By the time you do, chances are, you’ll have lost your machine to someone else.
- Anti-Virus Software – Nobody likes getting a virus on their computer. I know I’ve lost days trying to save my personal one dozens of times in the past. I can’t even fathom what I’d be doing if my laptop got taken over by a malicious virus the night before a major paper was due! Be sure that computer’s safe and sound with solid protection like Webroot’s SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus.
Okay, it might not seem like the most fun item to pack for college, but you want your kid to be safe and secure, right? So why wouldn’t you want your kid’s computer to be safe and secure as well?
What’s neat about SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus is that it doesn’t just work for PCs and Macs, but it can also protect your smartphones and tablets. That’s where it’s really important (and most likely useful) for college kids.
I’ve personally used Webroot myself on a number of computers, including my kids computers. I love how easy it is to set up and especially how it can protect multiple devices, not just multiple computers. I remember years ago having to buy separate programs for my computer and Allie’s and trying to remember to keep up with them and pay for an upgrade every time, etc. With Webroot, since you get multiple accounts for one membership, it’s easy to keep up to date with everything.
I’m also a fan of any company that’s active on social media these days. The Webroot Twitter team is great, not just offering the latest news and tips about online threats, but they interact with their followers too. So definitely follow them and give them a shout-out if you’re on Twitter!
If you’re ready to start your back to school shopping (or, if you thought you were finished until you read this post…), you’re in luck. You can save $30 on Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus from now through September 16!
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The Webtastic folks over at Webroot want to help a few of you out too. Five of you, to be exact! They’re offering up a free copy of Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus as a prize to 5 of my readers!
Win Webroot’s Internet Security Plus (5 winners!)
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Giveaway ends on August 25,2014 at 11:59 p.m. The 5 winners will be chosen at random and announced on this site. Giveaway is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including District of Columbia) and Canada, who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. 5 Winners will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
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