School is in session: 10 must-have back-to-college items

Have fun debating popular subjects with a card game that’s ideal for those with strong, albeit friendly, opinions.
(Courtesy of Brass Monkey)

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Have fun debating popular subjects with a card game that’s ideal for those with strong, albeit friendly, opinions. (Courtesy of Brass Monkey)

Your kids are going off to college but in addition to sound advice, how can you best prepare them for this big new adventure? Enter this checklist, chock full of things to help them get a good night’s rest, keep their dorm room clean, must-have supplies and equipment to keep them on track plus a fun-filled game for friends (or foes) with spirited opinions. To refute the stigma of college students being notoriously broke, we’ve added items that are practical as well as a good gag gift that also doubles as a place to stash petty cash. Below, we have selected almost a dozen brands with curated products to help parents and college-bound students get just what they need before classes start.

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Clean linens are a must-have for college-bound students. (Courtesy of Delilah Home)

Credit: Handout

Clean linens are a must-have for college-bound students.
(Courtesy of Delilah Home)

Credit: Handout

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Clean linens are a must-have for college-bound students. (Courtesy of Delilah Home)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Sleep well. College students can always use a good night’s sleep and with a clean, organic cotton bedsheet set from Delilah Home, rest will feel good. The set, which includes one fitted and one flat sheet plus two pillow cases, is available in extra-large twin specifically for dorm room beds. It’s certified Global Organic Textile and free of commonly used allergenic, carcinogenic and toxic chemicals. It’s machine washable making each set easy to maintain too $39.99. filtersfast.com.

Keep it clean. Head to Target for cleaning essentials such as disinfecting wipes to clean the dorm room and high-touch surfaces plus personal-size products like hand wipes and sanitizers. Those with sensitive skin will appreciate a grapefruit grove hand sanitizer spray from The Honest Company since it’s made without parabens and synthetic fragrances. Prices vary. target.com.

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A malachite printed backpack from local retailer Kimberly McDonald will brighten up days on campus. (Courtesy of Kimberly McDonald)

Credit: Handout

A malachite printed backpack from local retailer Kimberly McDonald will brighten up days on campus.
(Courtesy of Kimberly McDonald)

Credit: Handout

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A malachite printed backpack from local retailer Kimberly McDonald will brighten up days on campus. (Courtesy of Kimberly McDonald)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

In the bag. Carry a laptop, textbooks, notebooks, snacks and more with spacious backpacks. For those that like a classic backpack, visit Amazon for a fuss-free Jansport built for every day adventures and equipped with a bevy of pockets, a padded laptop sleeve and stylish color block bottom with coordinating front straps. Go green with a sustainable water-resistant and washable paper backpack from Out of the Woods which features wide, natural cotton straps for comfortable carrying plus a large front pocket and inner laptop pouch to keep essentials secure. For a smaller but brightly colored bag, choose a signature malachite printed backpack in green or pink from Kimberly McDonald enhanced by stylish brass-tone hardware. Jansport, $45.96-$55. www.amazon.com; washable backpack, $32. outofthewoods.com; malachite printed, $450. 3060 Bolling Way NE, Atlanta. 404-549-7095, kimberlymcdonald.com.

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Listen to lectures, music and more up to 12 hours with a pair or retro-inspired earbuds. (Courtesy of Skullcandy)

Credit: Handout

Listen to lectures, music and more up to 12 hours with a pair or retro-inspired earbuds.
(Courtesy of Skullcandy)

Credit: Handout

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Listen to lectures, music and more up to 12 hours with a pair or retro-inspired earbuds. (Courtesy of Skullcandy)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Listen up: When listening to a lecture or working out, opt for a colorful, retro-inspired pair of Take A Hike Dime 2 earbuds from Skullcandy. The limited-edition ear pods feature a whopping 12-hour battery life; microphone, call and track volume button; and noise cancellation for an immersive sound which is ideal for studying. One thing to note: there’s no need to worry about perspiring when working out or running to class since the pods are sweat- and water-resistant. $39.99. skullcandy.com.

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College students can have cash on hand with a chic wristlet. (Courtesy of Dooney & Bourke)

Credit: Handout

College students can have cash on hand with a chic wristlet. 
(Courtesy of Dooney & Bourke)

Credit: Handout

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College students can have cash on hand with a chic wristlet. (Courtesy of Dooney & Bourke)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Stash cash. Need to stash a little extra cash in advance of your college kid calling for funds? Gift her with a Dooney & Bourke wristlet which doubles as a fashionable accessory to store cards, keys and cash. It’s small enough to fit in a larger bag but large enough to fit the aforementioned essentials. Before she leaves for college, add a few dollars in the wristlet to create a personal petty cash fund. If he’s a practical jokester, he will appreciate a BigMouth Inc. kitschy fanny bank that toots when filled with loot. Available at Amazon. Wristlet, $128. dooney.com; fanny bank, $19.99. amazon.com

Game night. Those with strong opinions will welcome a game created for debating. Aptly called Debatable, the social game features 200 things to discuss or share opposing views like “Are hot dogs sandwiches?”, “Brownie edge pieces are garbage” and “Paying all of your bills with autopay versus making sure they don’t steal your money.” Topics like politics and religion are off-limits to keep things friendly-ish. Available at Brass Monkey Goods. $20. brassmonkeygoods.com.

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Decorate a dorm room with limited-edition graphic prints, including :Good Trouble" by Adela Pon. (Courtesy of The Print Shop)

Credit: Handout

Decorate a dorm room with limited-edition graphic prints, including :Good Trouble" by Adela Pon. (Courtesy of The Print Shop)

Credit: Handout

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Decorate a dorm room with limited-edition graphic prints, including :Good Trouble" by Adela Pon. (Courtesy of The Print Shop)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Decorate your space. Represent the ATL with a variety of limited release, hand-signed archival prints. Available at The Print Shop, each print is a work of art. Opt for a colorful graphic called “Atlanta – Always Coming Through” by George F. Baker III or a vivid image of U.S. Rep. and civil rights activist, the late and great John Lewis appropriately called “Good Trouble” by Adela Pons. Prices vary. Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-254-5099, theprintshopatl.com.

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Keep track of water intake with a bottle designed with time markers throughout the day. (Courtesy of Inside Then Out)

Credit: Rebecca Goddard

Keep track of water intake with a bottle designed with time markers throughout the day.
(Courtesy of Inside Then Out)

Credit: Rebecca Goddard

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Keep track of water intake with a bottle designed with time markers throughout the day. (Courtesy of Inside Then Out)

Credit: Rebecca Goddard

Credit: Rebecca Goddard

Stay hydrated. Keep track of water intake with a cool bottle that tracks daily consumption. Available at Inside Then Out, the lightweight BPA-free bottle features two columns with target time markers for a.m. and p.m. $24.95. insidethenout.com.

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Jot down reminders and tasks on a motivational checklist notepad. (Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.)

Credit: Handout

Jot down reminders and tasks on a motivational checklist notepad.
(Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.)

Credit: Handout

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Jot down reminders and tasks on a motivational checklist notepad. (Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Things to-do. Encourage yourself or someone else with a floral-themed checklist notepad with a confidence-boosting reminder: You Got This. Available at Rifle Paper Co., the notepad features more than a dozen lines to jot down important tasks and includes a box to check off completed ones, keeping your day, week or month on-track and helping you feel accomplished. $12. riflepaperco.com.