Like a parolee’s first visit to Old Country Buffet following a stint in the big house, college freshmen are known to binge on fries, pizza and dessert, washing it down with a keg or two of beer.

Within a few weeks, they are inevitably popping buttons and shopping for new jeans.

But we like to think of PR students as a more refined bunch.  Instead of succumbing to peer pressure by turning themselves into human garbage disposals, here’s our list of Freshman 15 necessities for those majoring in public relations.

1.     Most Recent Edition of the AP Stylebook


Your high school teachers were right when they said professors will be harder on your writing in college. Learn the verbiage before you get kicked to the curbiage

2.     (Free) Subscription to 

application is just one of the many websites out there with internship postings. Apply early to a minimum of 1,000 positions and you’ll be sure to get one.

3.     Keurig


Don’t waste your time and limited funds going to Starbucks when you have the luxury of making yourself a nice cup of Joe from your own dorm room. Don’t hide in your room forever though—socializing is important in PR.

4.     Thesaurus


So you can keep saying the same thing—only differently.

5.     Amazon Student


Get your rolling papers—and highlighters—delivered with no shipping charges. Your student email and ID card will give you discounts outside the Amazon world as well; keep them handy and use them until you’re old and gray—no one will ask questions.

6.   Flash Drive and External Hard Drive


Back that s*** up.

7.     Large wall calendar

wall calendar

Most likely nothing will get done unless your deadlines stare you in the face in the room where you sleep. Just be sure to buy a calendar and don’t write on your dorm room wall or you won’t get your security deposit back.

8.     Whiteboard


A large wall calendar may remind you of your longer term goals or assignments, but the whiteboard is the true devil here. Write your daily or weekly tasks before heading out to a party so you can feel guilty about everything you have to do for a whole five seconds before deciding to handle it tomorrow.

9.     Personal blog


Face it: You’re going to be writing for a living someday. Having a blog is a way to start building your portfolio. Relish in your sarcasm now before press releases become your primary voice.

10.     Update your social media profiles


Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, even Pinterest. Make them professional, but make them YOU.


11.     AP Mobile News App


This FREE news app sends you a notification every five seconds for things you didn’t know would be considered news. What better way to practice newsjacking?




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13.     Tablet or Netbook


Note-taking is crucial in college, and the best notes get the best grades. Say goodbye to writing utensils that the Neanderthals used, such as 0.7mm lead pencils, and move onto tools with keyboards. Your notes, and hands, will thank you.

14.     Cloud Storage Accounts


There is a lot of free space out there if you know where to look. Microsoft OneDrive gives you 15GB just for signing up.

15.     Professional Clothes

FaceBook CEO Mark Zuckerberg At Innovation Conference

That moment when your professor tells you he knows a guy who knows a guy who is coming to class tomorrow and can get you a internship and you only have five t-shirts with your college’s mascot in your dorm closet. Bring professional clothes, people! Although, interpretation of ‘professional’ can vary—e.g. Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie or the snarky T-shirts favored by left-leaning NGOs.