7 College Essentials For Students Who Are Going To School Far Away From Home

College is an exciting life step, because it's the first time that many young people will live on their own. This experience is magnified doubly for students who choose to go to college away from their hometowns or out of state, but there are a few college essentials to bring with you if you're going to school far away that will help make the transition a little easier. You're going to be glad that you came prepared — traveling for college means no quick trips home for laundry day, no home-cooked meals on Sunday afternoons, and definitely no trips to the grocery store with Mom and Dad. Here are important items to have for anyone who's traveling far away for college.

Image: Urban Outfitters

An Easily Identifiable Laundry Bag

Let’s face it, as an intrepid traveler who will spend months at a time across the country away from your parents’ home, you’re going to spend a lot more time in the campus laundry dungeons and coin-operated laundromats than your local classmates. Invest in a laundry bag that you can spot from half a mile away so that nobody gets confused about whose clothes are getting clean.

Laundry Bag: TJ Maxx

A Tool Set, Because You Can't Fly Home For A Hammer

Hardware is near the top of the list of things that I used to borrow from my parents, and when I moved away, I had to invest in my own set of basic fix-it tools. It makes hanging art and shelves so much simpler when I don’t have to call anyone to supplement my home improvement needs.

Tool Set: Home Depot

Craft Gear If You're A Creative Type

At some point during college, you’re going to have to make a poster or some sort of visual aid. Maybe the poster is for your booth at a student activity fair, or for a pancake breakfast fundraiser, but either way, you’re not going to be able to hit up your mom to ask to borrow her fabric scissors or hot glue gun. Be prepared.

Craft Set: TJ Maxx

A Stash Of Towels For Every Occasion

When you’re packing for college, you might overlook the fact that you need bath towels, a towel small enough to rock on top of your wet hair, at least one beach towel, and a towel for tanning on the quad. Don’t get caught soggy.

Towels: Marshalls

A Cookbook From Your Home State

You can go ahead and bank on the fact that you’re not going to be able to get soul food at UCLA, and you can’t get authentic California fried fish tacos at NYU. Pack a cookbook packed with your favorite local chow so that you can whip something up for yourself when you get homesick.

Cookbook: Foster’s Market

A Mini Refrigerator For Your Roommate's Home Leftovers

Take advantage of your local hallmates’ home-cooked leftovers with this mini fridge perfectly sized for a doggy bag from someone else’s mom.

Mini Fridge: Urban Outfitters

A Small Carry-On Suitcase For Shorter Trips Home

Not every trip to and from your home state will require a gigantic bag to check on the airplane. Simplify your travels with a smaller bag that fits nicely in an overhead carry-on bin.

Suitcase: Target