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9 Back To School Items That Will Basically Last You A Lifetime

You aren't just buying these supplies for your dorm room -- you're buying them for your crib at the old folks' home.

Your parents are sending you off to college with brand-new everything: Clothes, bedding, name it. Sooner or later, you'll outgrow those clothes (specifically, after a couple weeks on the pizza diet), you'll ditch those twin mattress sheets when you move in with a boyfriend/girlfriend, and your $2,000 laptop will become an archaic hunk of junk compared to the latest models with fingerprint sensors and lifelike sex holes, or whatever the future brings.

Other back-to-school products, however, you're gonna keep for a long, long time -- years, even decades after they're embarrassing for a grown adult to own. You might as well request in your will to be buried with these items, 'cause you're not getting rid of them anytime soon.

1. Dorm room trashcan

You defiled it with used condoms, vomit and other bodily fluids as an undergrad -- but hey, all the trashcan needs is a thorough washing/bleaching, right? Keep it by your home office desk for shredded documents, or in your guestroom so visiting friends and family will have a convenient place to deposit their prophylactics and puke.

2. Whiteboard

Flickr: Christina Welsh

In college, you used it as a warning sign to sexile your roommate nightly. After college, you'll use it as a reminder to take your cholesterol medication daily.

3. Bathroom kit

Every hungover morning you carried the toiletry bag back and forth to the showers down the hall. It's covered with more bacteria than anything in the biology lab (or, likely, at the CDC), the zipper is crusted with toothpaste, and somehow your sheared stubble has melded with the bottom. You consider tossing the damn thing after graduation -- or, better yet, burning it -- but don't worry, you'll be packing it for business trips well into your executive years.

4. Trusty backpack


You hauled textbooks to class with it for years. Now it sits at the bottom of your coat closet, unloved and forgotten. But like Woody in "Toy Story," your backpack knows you'll want to hang out with it again someday. How about a camping trip, buddy? Or just a hike for old times' sake? I can hold your water bottle real good. Oh god, I'm so alone.

5. Notebooks

Flickr: Bill Bradford

A forest had to die because your parents insisted that you couldn't rely on Evernote for jotting down professors' lectures. At least you can use them for taking notes in jury duty someday?

6. A 12-pack box of Sharpies

Yeah, they dry a rate of one per half-decade. Unfortunately your coworkers -- unlike your frat brothers -- won't appreciate genitalia drawn on their foreheads at the Christmas party. (Or your helpful explanation that they "should crash in a bed next time. That's the safe zone. Rules are rules, bro.")

7. Magnetic words on your mini fridge

Flickr: picpaul2011

You won't keep your tiny dorm refrigerator forever -- a full-sized one holds all the beer you need -- but Magnetic Poetry is just as useful for romantically impressing your spouse as it is for obscenely impressing your fr...actually, nobody was ever impressed by these.

8. Futon

When you move off-campus junior year, you'll need a place to sit and watch TV and hook up with people who don't mind hooking up on a futon. Even as the rest of your home furnishings become more sophisticated over the years, you'll stubbornly hold on to this decrepit piece of furniture because it isn't completely broken yet. On a 100% unrelated note, why do fewer and fewer booty calls from your graduating class want to come over to your place?

9. A humongous stack of CD-Rs

Flickr: Randen Pederson

Sure, blank CDs are super expensive -- a couple bucks each -- but you'll need to back up your files offline because Hotmail only gives you 2MB of storage. Also, if Napster is down, you can burn your roommate's collection. Plus, CD-Rs stay good forever, so you'll use them sooner or la...wait, they're a couple cents now? MacBooks don't even have CD drives anymore?! WTF am I supposed to do with all these discs? Is ultimate Frisbee on the quad still a thing?