18 Things I Regret Buying for College


Going away to college is stressful for anyone and I’m sure I am not the only one who over-shopped. (Of course our moms had a lot to do with that too). But there are some things that students regret buying for college…

1. A curtain for the closet.

If your closet is one of those closets that don’t have a door, you think you want to add cuteness to the room so you want a cute purple curtain. Yeah, no. Don’t do it. It will always fall and you will always have to pick it up.

Courtesy of Pinterest

What to buy instead:

A hanging closet organizer is the perfect addition to that tiny dorm closet you’re stuck with. It easily attaches to the rod in your closet and you instantly have more shleves and organization!

2. A rug

If you have the little sticky things on the bottom of the rug to keep it from sliding around, cool. If not, get rid of it. Rugs get in the way and you have to keep them clean, and if you’re not careful, you’ll accidentally step on it and slide across the floor like a break dancer.

3. Textbooks

Of course you have to buy textbooks. But not from the bookstore. Winthrop price matches, meaning if you find the same book on Amazon, print out the page with the price on it, and bring it in, they will give you the book for the price. Also, there’s always Chegg.

4. Backpacks

Honestly, I’m not sure about anyone else but I have a bag problem. I don’t carry purses but I love backpacks. Fashionable backpacks, school backpacks with cartoon characters on them etc. But there’s a limit, I came into college with three backpacks. Don’t be like me kids. It’s fine to have two (maybe) one for Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and one for Tuesday and Thursday classes. Or just use one like “regular” people.

What to buy:

If you’re looking for one dependable, but still modern and stylish, backback – go for a Herschel. They come in so many cute colors and styles, have comfy straps and padding to make sure your laptop is always safe!

5. All of Winthrop’s merch

On move in day of freshman year, I got the sweatpants,  the hoodie, the lanyard, etc. This is equivalent to wearing your ID around your neck, freshman. It puts a sign on your back that screams, I’M A FRESHMAN AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING. Even if it IS true, no one should truly know that. Make them wonder or not even care.

6. Insane amounts of snacks including Ramen

Yeah Ramen is cool right now as well as those pop tarts and fiber bars you have in your snack drawer. But around November, you will have forgotten about them and they are the brink of expiration. My advice is to not buy in bulk, because even though the cafeteria sucks, you won’t want those fiber bars every day either.

7. Trashcans

If you aren’t living in a suite style dorm, you may not need to provide your own trashcan. Most dorm rooms provide at least one trash can. If you bring your own, you’d need to dump it into the bigger one then dump that one. It’s just a lot. Just use the big one.

8. Fancy clothes

Newsflash: no one cares what you look like in college. You can literally wear pajamas and no would bat an eye. Some people wear slippers too. If you do bring fancy clothes, just don’t go overboard. Trust me, you won’t want to wear them every day.

What to buy instead:

Try checking out the online selection at Boohoo and Forever21. They have amazing steals and finds, with everything from casual clothes to comfy athleisure pieces!

9. Tons of cleaning supplies

My mom is sort of a neat freak, so when I went away to college, she made sure I had EVERY. CLEANING. SUPPLY. EVER. MADE. The Lysol, the Clorox wipes, the sprays, etc. It’s cool to an extent. The only time you need these, if you aren’t living in a suite style dorm, is when you’re (maybe) mopping the floor or wiping off often touched door handles. At the end of the year, you will have packs that you have never even opened. Save it for next semester, and DON’T buy anymore you’ll forget you had them.

10.  Multiple wash cloths and towels

It’s good you’re thinking ahead and thinking of “what-if”. However, I’m here to assure you that you don’t need anymore than like four towels. You can use one for about 2-3 days then switch it up, by the time you’re done with the second one, it’ll be laundry day.

11. Wall decor

It’s cute at first, but once the command strips start giving out and you have to keep picking things up off the floor, you’ll be fine sleeping in a room that looks like a prison. My favorite part is being waken up at 3am because something fell to the floor in a loud, thunderous, annoying crash. Just my advice.

12. Paper

Unless you’re OK with carrying around binders then don’t waste your time or money buying paper. Just use composition books. They are smaller and more convenient to carry instead of a bulky binder. (Of course, by any means, use a binder if it’s required on the syllabus)

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13. Parking pass

Yes, this is required for anyone on campus. That doesn’t mean I don’t regret buying it. It’s $75 I will never get back. Some colleges even charge $200+ for parking passes. Buy it though, unless you would rather spend much more in towing costs and parking tickets.

14. Expensive laptops

There are computer labs all over Winthrop’s campus. Also, if you do enough research, the cheaper laptops do just as well and are just as sturdy as the expensive ones. Save your money. Just make sure your laptop has the programs you need for classes.

What to buy instead:

Try A Lenovo laptop. On average they are cheaper than your usual Apple laptop and have all the same capabilities. And if you shop here, you will get a 25% discount!

15. A Keurig

This one is a little interchangeable. I love my Keurig but in the end it just ended up taking up space. Unless you are an avid coffee and hot chocolate drinker, you won’t use it other than during the winter months. I understand that sometimes we have “late-nighters” but how often do you really need it? Just think about it before purchasing.

What to buy instead:

This single cup coffee maker is the perfect size for your small dorm room and will never make more than you will actually drink! And the best part – it’s under $20. That will you wont even feel that bad if barely ever get around to using it. I guess it’s just nice to know it’s there when you need it.

16. A DVD player

Honestly, we all have Netflix, Hulu, and/or a Firestick. This is another object that takes up space for no reason. Leave it at home.

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17. Desk calendars

Nowadays, most of us have phones that allow us to type in our schedules with due dates and deadlines. We can also set it up to remind us ahead of time. Space saver.

18. TV

TVs aren’t really a necessity. If we have laptops for downtime, Netflix is always on fleek. 9 times out of 10, you won’t have time to watch TV anyway.

What are some things you regret buying for college? Comment below to help other students avoid making the same mistake!
Featured image source: pinterest.com


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Jaraya Johnson

Mass Communications major with a dream to follow.

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