{shortcode-36867cab3325ead0a03f9ef28f18f93098852aa4}You’ve completed your COVID-19 training, compiled a list of courses to take this semester (kind of?), and hauled out your suitcase from the back of your closet. Aside from the usual things to bring, however, the current season demands a few precautionary items. Here are five extra commodities to bring with your favorite pair of jeans that you’ve worn since the tenth grade! Don’t bring any “I Took CS-50” shirts. Please, the world begs you.

Masks, Masks, Masks

Face coverings are not just highly recommended, but required by a state order. Even though they may feel like a hassle, you can be creative with this powerful infective-agent-abolishing accessory. Going to miss your sunny West Coast home? Go for a cute floral pattern. Dream of being a cast member of Grey’s Anatomy? Buy the traditional surgical face masks. Want to match your indie rock outfit? Get an Arctic Monkeys face mask. While we’re talking about accessorizing, throw some disposable gloves into your carry-on as well. Bonus points if you’re extra enough to have them match your mask.

Disinfectants

Each person on campus, from first-year students to custodians to teaching teams, is equally responsible for keeping physical spaces sanitary and safe. Whether you prefer to clean away the pesky germs with wet wipes or spritz your heart out with a spray bottle, your peers (not to mention the rest of the country) would be very appreciative of you maintaining a hygienic campus. There’s nothing like destroying microscopic particles that once had the ability to make someone sick.

Extra Large Water Bottle

Being properly hydrated during a typical semester was challenging enough, but now, who knows how many public water fountains will be available? Always have a sufficient amount of fluids nearby with a very large water bottle. Chances are, you’ll be in your room watching Netflix more than you should be, so you might as well save a trip to the dining hall. Perfect skin, here we come!

Pictures of Family and Friends

Being away from home during a pandemic can be rough. Depending on your class time and your family’s work schedule, it may be tricky to find a good time to have a phone call. To remind yourself of the people who are rooting for you from back home, print out photos and pin them up in your dorm room. Go wild with it! Put up mini polaroids, fancy frames, and cute fairy lights! (There can NEVER be enough fairy lights.) Feel free to include pictures of pets or idols.

Picnic Blanket

If you ever need a change of pace and get some fresh air, a picnic blanket can come in handy before the temperature starts to drop in Cambridge. Do your readings by the Charles River, stargaze on the Quad lawn, or eat a meal in front of one of the graduate schools. Don’t forget to also pack some hand sanitizer to use before you begin eating. Plus, you can snap a great Instagram photo.

Packing for college is always an exciting time and this year is more unique than ever. Throw in these items to make sure your stay is extra safe and comfortable!