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11 Things You Need for College

by Nathan Zachary
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Attending college is exciting, but if you’re studying far away from home, you shouldn’t leave anything behind. If you can’t drive to pick up something you forgot, you’ll need to shop for it. Of course, everyone is different, and some people may need more or less stuff than others to get comfortable in their dorms or college apartments. Still, a few essentials can make college life more enjoyable. Here’s our list of things you need for college. 

  1. Backpack

This one is obvious, and you probably have a backpack somewhere around your home from high school. However, getting a new backpack for college is always best to help you start fresh. Additionally, depending on your classes, you may need multiple heavy books, so your old high school backpack may not be strong enough to do everything you need without causing back pain. In college, there are no lockers. Therefore, if you have three classes back to back, you’ll need to take all your supplies with you because you might not have time between classes to make it back to the dorm. Your backpack should be able to hold at least two textbooks and your laptop for notes. 

  1. Calculator

For the first few years of college, you’ll be taking your core classes, which likely include some math. Unfortunately, you can’t use your smartphone calculator for college algebra or geometry because they’re not permitted during testing. They’re simply not good enough to help you perform all the calculations you’ll need to finish your homework. Luckily, the type of calculator you need won’t be a guessing game. Your syllabus will tell you exactly what you need to buy, so you have the right calculator for your classes. 

  1. Planner

You can use your smartphone for this, but because professors won’t want you on your phone during class, it’s always best to have a planner in your backpack to help you plan your college life. Between personal activities, school, homework, and group projects, you’ll have a lot going on, and you should plan for deadlines to ensure you can get everything done. 

  1. Comfortable Shoes

Every college campus requires at least some walking. While you can take the bus in some cities, walking is cheaper, and it means you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery your university has to offer. Some students walk a few miles to class and back home every day, but how much you walk may depend on the size of your campus and the student parking situation. Comfortable shoes can prevent pain from walking to class every day during the warmer months. However, you should also have comfortable boots to help you get through snow and ice during the winter. 

  1. Soft Sheets

You won’t be allowed to bring your own mattress in college dorms unless you have a medical exception. Most college dorm mattresses are twin or twin XL size, and they’re not always the most comfortable. However, you can make sleeping easier by investing in soft sheets and a comfortable duvet or bringing a weighted blanket or mattress topper to make your dorm mattress that much more comfortable. 

  1. Lockbox

Dorms are typically safe, but you may not know your roommates, and they may have friends over from time to time. Therefore, it’s always best to have somewhere to put your valuables to prevent theft. In addition, most college students leave their doors unlocked during the day when they’re home, and if you have to make a quick trip to the bathroom, anyone can walk in and steal from you. Therefore, it’s always best to keep cash, cards, and important documents away from anyone who might be tempted to take them. 

  1. Water Bottle

We’ve already discussed how much walking you’ll be doing, and while there will be cafeterias, vending machines, and stores between you and your classes, you should always carry a water bottle. Even if buildings have water fountains, taking a water bottle with you will prevent dehydration during the hot late-summer walks to and from class. 

  1. Hangers

College dorm rooms aren’t known for how much space they offer; they’re known for the exact opposite. However, many have cubbies or closets where you can hang your clothes if they don’t fit in drawers. Hangers can ensure your favorite shirts and tops, pants, and shoes all have a place in your dorm without being thrown onto the floor. In addition, they’ll come in handy if you have heavy jackets and coats you need for the colder months. 

  1. A Fan

Not all college campuses have air conditioning, and if they do, not all dorms will. Therefore, it’s always best to have a fan. Additionally, even if your dorm has air conditioning, your roommate might prefer it warmer than you do. You can avoid a disagreement with your roomie by having a fan you can clip onto your bed frame or near an open window to create a breeze.

  1. Headphones or Earbuds

Walking to class or sitting on the bus can be boring, so you should always have a pair of headphones or earbuds with you to make getting to class more fun. Noise-canceling headphones can also come in handy if your neighbor is having a party while you’re trying to sleep or study or when you want to watch Netflix on your phone without bothering your roommate. 

  1. Mini Fridge

If you want to store your own food and eat in the comfort of your dorm, you should have a mini fridge. At the very least, your fridge will allow you to keep cold beverages you buy from a vending machine or store. In addition, they’re good for storing some food, especially if your fridge has a freezer compartment and your dorm has a microwave. Of course, what you’re allowed to bring into the dorm varies by campus, but you should receive a list of items that are allowed once you get more information about your dorm. 

Final Thoughts

College is an exciting time, and it’s often one of the most talked about times in many people’s lives. But, unfortunately, it can also be scary and stressful. Hopefully, with some of these items, you can reduce your stress levels and make time to enjoy college while still studying to earn your degree.

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