These college essentials are must haves for your new life away from home! This list covers everything from backpacks, to electronics to cleaning supplies!
1. First things first, go treat yourself to a brand-new, durable backpack.
Now is the time to invest in a quality backpack that will actually last all four years! Between carrying all your heavy textbooks, laptop, and other essentials, your backpack will definitely take a beating during this time. Make sure to find one with a laptop compartment, a water bottle holder, and plenty of compartments for your pens, chargers, and whatever else you need!
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2. A reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout the next few years.
Unfortunately, there are not as many water fountains on campus as there should be. Even if you can find one, often the water is warm or the fountain is broken. Having your own water bottle gives you the freedom to choose when you want to go in search of another fountain! This container will become your best friend over the next few years, so choose one wisely!
There are so many colors to choose from!
3. You might be an adult now, but you still need to go back-to-school shopping.
Not every professor will let you use laptops or tablets during class and yes, you will be required to pull out notebook paper for quizzes. Go ahead and buy some cute and quality products like pens, pencils, notebook paper, binders, sticky notes/tabs, and other essentials! Buy these at home or while you have time on your hands so you do not have to rush to the bookstore to buy their overpriced supplies!
These pens are perfect for taking notes!
4. You might hate calendars, but you will need one!
Trust me on this one. Your syllabi will change multiple times throughout the semester and it is so much easier to keep track of all your due dates and tests if you have it all written down! Write down all those upcoming dates during your first week of class to start the semester off on the right foot!
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5. Something to hold your student ID.
Your student ID is literally your key to your campus! You will need to take it everywhere and it needs to be in a place that is easy to access. Using a lanyard or a phone wallet for your phone or key chain is a simple way to keep your ID close by and ready to use!
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6. Invest in some comfortable shoes.
Whether Chacos are your jam or you want a new pair of running shoes, buy them before you get to campus! Your feet will thank you later after walking three miles back and forth from your dorm to your classes.
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7. If you can afford it, a new laptop.
Even a gently used one will do! Having the ability to work on assignments everywhere you choose is freedom you certainly need. The library is not open 24/7 and sometimes people like to socialize more than study so it becomes more of a place to socialize than for serious study.
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8. New earbuds or headphones.
Bonus points if you can find some that are Bluetooth and noise-canceling! Not only will you be able to block out others while trying to get in the zone but you will also be able people approaching you to buy things as you trek across campus.
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9. Mini fridge for all your drinks, snack, and leftovers.
While not everyone can splurge on a refrigerator, if you can, it is certainly worth your money! It can be a real time-saver if you want to keep food inside to avoid going to the cafeteria or other campus restaurants for food every morning for breakfast! You may have leftovers from dinner the night before and this is the perfect place to store them until you can eat those delicious pizza slices again!
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10. If you love coffee or tea, invest in a coffee maker.
Make sure it is a small one so it will not take up all of your flat spaces! While there are probably multiple on-campus coffee options available, you will save so much money in the long run by using your own coffee maker!
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11. If your space does not already come with one, buy a microwave!
Unfortunately, even with the best meal plans, you will often find yourself out of meal swipes. Having a microwave in your room allows you to cook meals, snacks, and fun desserts!
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12. Buying your own cleaning supplies is certainly a must!
There is a high chance your dorm room (or other living space) will not be completely clean upon arrival. Even if it is clean, you will probably want to wipe it down yourself and keep your space clean during the next few months! Stock up before you move in so you can avoid a trip to the store for a few weeks!
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13. Those XL twins are not as comfy as they look. Buy a foam mattress topper for sweet dreams!
After having countless people before you sleeping on them, the mattresses found in college housing are often worn out and simply uncomfortable. Make sure to pick up a foam mattress topper so you can get some quality rest!
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14. The lighting in your room will not be enough for you to study by! Go ahead and treat yourself to a nice desk lamp!
Your roommate will not want the overhead light on all the time, and other times you will need a little extra light. Go ahead and buy a lamp (bonus points if it is easily moveable)! It will make your life so much easier.
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15. Go ahead and add a trash can to your cart!
Whether you choose to go big or small, the choice is entirely up to you, but this is something you need to have in your space! Trashcans are not readily available so having one in your room is a necessity!
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16. Do not forget your laundry basket and storage containers!
Most college housing options do not provide ample storage space! Bringing your own containers will keep your belongings organized, and off the floor!
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17. Your shower necessities like towels, wash clothes, shower shoes, and more!
While these sound like obvious purchases, they can easily slip your mind when purchasing items for your dorm! Make sure to get at least three towels, washcloths to ensure you will have plenty of time to wash them before you hop in the shower again.
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18. A cute ball cap for lazy hair days!
If you do not already own a solid colored cap or one with your favorite teams’ logo on it, now is the time to buy it! You will never have to worry about having a bad hair day again.
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19. You definitely need an oversized blanket for Netflix binges!
An oversized blanket is a keyword here! You will need a blanket big enough to cover your bed for extra warmth or to ensure your toes will not become cold! Go ahead and buy one to match your dorm decor that is extra soft!
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20. And finally, do not forget to bring some real clothes.
You will need these for job interviews, networking events, and more! If you already own some, bring them from home. Otherwise, buy minimal pieces so you have them for future use!
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Is there anything missing from our list? Comment your essentials below!
Hi! My name is Hannah Warren and I just graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. in English. During my time at Mercer, I studied both Creative Writing and Media Studies so I have dabbled in multiple writing genres including fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and more! Playwrighting and nonfiction are my favorite genres because more people relate to and understand the work when it is raw, genuine, and mentions different problems that most people are familiar with or have experienced first-hand. I have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them, but I am proud to say I am drafting a romance novel that I hope to have published one day! Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and I hope you will continue to read more of my little articles in the future!