The top eight necessities for your fall quarter
New students have moved in, class is back in session and it’s time for another year to get underway here at UC Davis. Though we may have our backpacks and books, there are still a few things that students can’t live without, in addition to our precious bikes. These eight fall quarter necessities are all parts of the basic back-to-school survival kit for college students.
- Reusable water bottle
Save your money and the earth! Freshmen may get their own free stainless-steel canteen at special events, but you can find your favorite brand of water-trekking receptacles practically anywhere in Davis. Forget buying water bottles every day (Aggie Reuse will thank you) and invest in a CamelBak, Thermos or Brita bottle to save money in the long run. With filtered water stations all over campus and your stylish new reusable water bottle, you’ll never have to deal with a parched throat again.
With a new quarter, you’ll need to organize your fall-related responsibilities. Everyone needs to take a moment to plan their work schedule, classes and social excursions, whether that be in a day planner or color-coded on their Google calendar. When is that midterm again? Just check your handy-dandy planner! Buy a day book from your favorite big-box office supplier, or get an Aggie planner filled with due dates, events and stickers made especially for you. Worst case scenario: you’ll be too organized and start to micromanage your naps.
- Bike fender
When the rainy season hits Davis, the most pressing danger is the freshman stripe. Not only does the stripe label you as a naive first year student, but the splash of water and mud up your back will surely ruin your day. That’s where fenders come in handy, since they’re built to cover your back tire and interrupt the flow of puddles up and around you. You can purchase one or make your own out of half of an old milk jug (students on a budget tend to be pretty resourceful). This necessity is nicely paired with a must-needed U-lock — you’ll pay the price for not investing in one when you find yourself without a front wheel after Thanksgiving break!
It can get pretty windy during this time of year. On a bright November morning, the howling Davis winds can threaten to knock you off your bike. Biking across campus in the wind is trouble enough, so you won’t want to catch a back-to-school cold on top of that. A nice windbreaker will combat the brisk chill of the frigid Davis fall weather. Make sure to bring your windbreaker, and your perseverance, when biking through hordes of wind-blown students in a bike circle.
- Paper and pen
You’re going to have to write things down sometimes, even if laptops seem like the only way to go in lecture. Sure, using a notebook (made from actual paper that was once a real-life tree) is not as environmentally friendly as the latest tablet, but a simple combination of a pen and paper works in the academic department pretty well. Not to mention how easy it is to get distracted during lecture when Facebook is only one click of a button away. However, one of the biggest problems with using computers in class is how easy it is to forget to pack your laptop charger. So if you aren’t one to buy a ten pack of single-subject, clearance-isle notebooks at Target, this fall quarter necessity can probably be replaced with a reminder to put your laptop charger in your backpack before setting off in the morning.
Just because the autumn equinox has passed doesn’t mean the sun won’t threaten to burn your retinas to a crisp. We are in California, and in this drought, the real summer won’t really end until mid-January. To prepare for the worst, always have shades on hand for biking and driving—for the sake of your vision and your cool-factor. Pick your favorite pair—Ray-Ban, prescription, the sporty ones that match your bike helmet—and stash them somewhere safe and accessible. Pop those suckers on when you’re out the door, safe from the sun.
Headphones are an absolute must for walking across campus, studying and attempting to skirt past solicitors at the Memorial Union. They’re an escape from the reality of being back at school, and an entrance into a world where books and music come to life within your ears. At the very least, earbuds can simply let the world know that you’re not interested in what it has to say—as a polite yet firm way to get out of anything and everything people may want of you. For these reasons, if your phone didn’t come with them already, get yourself a pair of headphones. WARNING: Do not wear headphones when bicycling.
- Feigned sense of self-confidence
For eating lunch by yourself, answering a question in class and talking to that cutie you met on syllabus day, you’ll need to fake it ‘til you make it. A false sense of self-confidence will help force your way toward success. Whether you’re a freshman or a fifth-year, feigning confidence can turn into real confidence that will shine from within like a bike light with new batteries. So don’t hesitate to speak up, even if you don’t truly believe in yourself―you soon will!
Get these essential items for your first quarter of the 2015-2016 school year from your favorite store, your parents’ house or your roommate’s closet! Have a successful and safe quarter, and remember to make time for some fall fun in your planner.