Five Things Every College Student Should Keep in Their Car

Jan 27, 2014
  |  by Jennifer Cook

Life is full of twists and turns and the busy life of a student adds even more unexpected elements. You never know what’s just around the corner but there are ways to be prepared for nearly anything that can come your way. If you keep just a few simple things in your car, you’ll save yourself stress, headaches, and possibly even a little embarrassment.

Snacks and Water

When juggling multiple classes and trying to balance additional responsibilities, such as a job or a family, it’s easy to run out the door without eating a full meal. Food helps to keep your mind and body strong and ready to learn, so it’s vital to have something on-hand for those extra busy days. It is also a smart idea to carry a bottle of water. Going without food or water can make people feel light-headed or sick, which could easily affect one’s performance. Try to have snacks that are healthy and nutritious. According to Lifehacker, nuts and seeds contain vitamin E, which will help keep your mind sharp. Dark chocolate is great (when consumed in moderation), which is wonderful news for chocolate lovers because it is a natural source of caffeine and can help boost energy.

USB Drive and a Phone Charger

Late night papers, last minute studying, and group projects are almost always done on a computer.  It could be devastating and detrimental to your grade if all of that hard work is lost.   Laptops allow for everything you have saved to be taken anywhere you go, which is convenient, but not always reliable. It is a good idea to back things up on a USB and have a spare copy in the event that the unthinkable happens. Group projects are another scenario in which a USB drive is helpful. It will provide you with a place to save a copy of the project to assure it is in safe hands, and if the person designated to turn it in forgets to do so, you will have a copy available. If you have a USB drive at all times, documents and assignments can be easily saved when working in a library or on another public computer. The uses and scenarios in which you may need a USB are seemingly endless.  Don’t forget to have a backup phone charger nearby as well.  No one wants to feel disconnected because they have a dead battery!

First Aid Kit

From a paper cut to an embarrassing fall, it’s important to be prepared for any type of small injury. A first aid kit is something that every student should keep in their car. At the minimum, have Band-Aids and antibacterial ointment available. For those of you who do a great deal of walking, are prone to stress headaches, or are just particularly clumsy, try keeping an ace bandage, cold pack, and pain reliever in the kit as well.  Being prepared could really make a difference in how the day unfolds.

Pens and a Notebook

Never be unprepared for class again simply by keeping an extra notebook and pen handy.  No one wants to make a bad impression on the professor by not being able to take notes.  If you have pens and paper in your car, you will always be ready.

Change of Clothes and a Blanket

Having a change of clothes in your car is smart for students and non-students alike. It is common to spill morning coffee or for lunch to go awry, both resulting in embarrassingly large stains. It’s best to be prepared for such things. The weather could take an unexpected turn and you find yourself without a jacket on a cool day.  The temperature in the classroom might be set to frigid and you’re forced to shiver through the entire lecture.  Having that extra sweater on hand could make all the difference and help you save face in the event that you have a spill or get caught in the rain.

It is also a smart idea to keep a blanket tucked away in the trunk in the event the car heater fails or if the car breaks down.  It may take several hours for a tow truck or other help to arrive and staying warm during a harsh winter is not a trivial matter.

It is impossible to anticipate every scenario in which you may find yourself unprepared.  However, by thinking and planning ahead, one can equip themselves for many of life’s little unexpected surprises.

Author bio: Jennifer Cook writes about online education, learning trends and student life for She loves it when teachers connect with students online, and she’s scrubbed her social profiles clean, just in case Big Brother is watching.



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