If you asked me what my favorite part of attending a higher education institution like the University of Maryland is, I would list plenty of things: Access to knowledge on many subjects I am passionate about. Living in a huge community with groups and activities that cater to my every interest. But without a doubt, the highlight of college is the mandatory consumerism that comes with leaving home and needing to Purchase All of The Items. 

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that buying Things (a lot of them, at that) didn’t enhance my academic experience. Be it walking around campus, managing my schedule or keeping my mold cube (more on that later) decorated with the hottest Target Express throw pillows of the season. Since I’m an upperclassman now and somehow still allowed to give “advice” to you lovely readers, here are the Three Things to buy to help make your semester excellent. 

  1. Industrial Dehumidifier 

Sure, you could buy a standard-sized dehumidifier to quietly lull in the corner of your freshman dorm room, but who are you trying to kid? After The Great Mold Crisis of 2018 that displaced many students and sickened several housekeepers, are you really going to sit around and rely on the good intentions of the same administration behind that crisis? Your academic performance relies on your well-being, and respiratory infections, coughs and general illness will put a damper on your study skills. This industrial strength dehumidifier will guarantee (maybe) that you can sleep soundly at night knowing someone (you!) at this university has your best interests in mind. Yes, the price point is steep, but you can print out The Diamondback’s coverage chronicling the insanity of the mold crisis and tape the articles to your floormates’ doors. Once they realize who they’re relying on to take care of them, you’ll have plenty of friends to split costs with!

  1. Slow Cooker

A slow cooker may not be on the list of approved appliances for dorm rooms and suites (it most definitely is not) but if you’re looking for healthy and affordable options on campus, you’re shit out of luck! Thanks to the highly-protested eviction of the Maryland Food Co-op in the university-owned Stamp Student Union, your options to eat lunch around campus include McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A and Subway. Cooking yourself a hearty five-bean chili that may get you kicked out of Denton is the price we must pay for administrative greed.

  1. A bulletproof vest

In an unfortunate turn of events, the university is located within the perimeter of the United States of America, a country afflicted with a terrible gun violence epidemic and white nationalist-fueled domestic terrorism. Being a college student and a human who chooses to exist in public spaces means the looming threat of another attack is present in every large lecture hall.

Well. Have a good semester, I guess.