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Top 10 Must-Bring Items for College

Student Life

November 14, 2022

Going to college can be challenging, especially when you're out of state. Packing for your time away from home is equally daunting, since many students need help knowing where to start and what to bring. Luckily, you don't need to stress out too much because this article will help you figure out the top 10 essentials you need to get for college!

Laundry Basket

Students usually forget to bring laundry supplies because laundry is one of the least exciting activities in college. However, carrying items like a laundry basket is vital, since you constantly travel from your dorm to the laundry room to wash your clothes.

Luckily, there are many laundry baskets you can buy that will suit your needs. From collapsible baskets to rolling baskets, the varieties are endless! You can find baskets as cheap as $5, to options as expensive as $40. Just make sure not to leave your clothes in the washer or dryer for too long!

Desk Lamp

Bringing desk supplies can be one of the most essential necessities for college. From balancing long lectures to completing hours of homework, you'll need desk supplies to help assist you in your quest of navigating your tedious work routine.

Keeping a desk lamp beside you is a convenient way to avoid interacting with the harsh dorm lights. You also won't always have to head to the library for any late-night study sessions. Desk lamps come in many shapes and designs, but there are functional options that won't break the bank: for example, this nice lamp is only $8 and includes a USB port to charge your devices.

Mini Fridge

Being a college student is stressful, and many unexpected situations can cause you to face random food cravings. Sometimes, going to the dining hall is not always feasible when you're on a tight schedule and just want to grab something quick. A mini fridge can help store all your favorite snacks, drinks, and easy meals without leaving the comfort of your dorm or traveling to get something to eat.

Mini fridges can be as cheap or expensive as you want, depending on the quality you’re looking for. It’s possible to find a decent mini fridge for as low as $40, or buy a highly rated mini fridge for $130. Both will keep your perishables safe from spoiling.

Shower Shoes

One of the most essential items to bring to college is shower shoes. Getting used to not having a bathroom to yourself can be a shock, especially when you're used to only sharing with a limited number of people. Bringing shower shoes is a must since most dorms use communal bathrooms, meaning you'll share a space with multiple people.

Shower shoes can also help protect your feet from any potential bacteria build-up on the shower floors, and prevent foot infections. Nobody wants to spend their first week of college going to the podiatrist because they got a fungal infection! You can find an array of shower shoes in whatever design or color you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for simple shower shoes that won’t cost an arm and leg, there are options available for $9. If you’re looking for better quality shoes, there are also slightly more expensive options for $23.

Noise-Canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are one of the most underrated items you can bring to college. There will be many scenarios where they are necessary, especially when navigating a large social setting. Whether you're in your dorm room or the library, this useful piece of tech can help block out any extra noise when you're trying to sleep, study, or get some peace of mind.

You can buy noise-canceling headphones from many different brands, such as Bose or Beats. Depending on which brand you decide to get them from, they can be as cheap as $29, or as expensive as $398.

Extra Bed Sheets

Carrying extra bed sheets can be crucial, since you'll be spending considerable time on campus and in your dorm. Even though there will be laundry rooms on campus or around the area, it's easier to avoid the trip when you're already swamped and just have some sheets on hand in case you ever need them.

As the weather becomes colder (and the dorms start to feel like Jack Frost entered the building), having some comfortable bed sheets is essential to making your dorm feel like home. There are decently priced bed sheets for $40 that not only come in different patterns to spruce up your room, but also have comfortable padding for those long nights when you want to get some rest.

Mattress Topper

Usually, the mattresses in college dorms are too firm for anyone's liking and are very uncomfortable. Being a college student can involve long nights and early mornings, making it difficult to create a decent sleep schedule. This means you have to take advantage of all the time given to you to get a good night's rest.

Investing in a proper mattress topper can help give you better support, and allow you to get a decent night's sleep without neck or back pain. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for your budget, because there are highly rated mattress toppers that are only $40! Whether your dorm shopping budget is $200 or $1000, you can still get an amazing night's sleep without spending hundreds of dollars on a mattress topper.

First Aid Kit

You never know when you or your friends might get hurt, so having a first aid kit readily accessible can help you avoid an unnecessary trip to the pharmacy. It's also beneficial to carry certain items in your first aid kit; Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, or cold medicine are some common examples. These can alleviate symptoms of "Frat Flu," or any other close contact sicknesses you might catch on campus.

It’s important to carry multiple items in your first aid kit so you’re prepared for any scenario that might occur. Amazon has a 298 piece first aid kit for $20 that can be used for treating scrapes or patching up paper cuts.

Water Bottle

Whether you're on the go or in your dorm, making sure you stay hydrated is extremely important. Carrying a water bottle can make grabbing a sip of water easily accessible. Depending on the size you want, you can easily get a 32 oz bottle for $45 if you want your beverage to last a full day, or you can get a 18 oz bottle for $27 if you want something that can fit into smaller bags.


Using tupperware can be highly convenient for college students trying to maximize their meal plans or store food without messing up their backpacks. Tupperware helps keep food sealed, and makes it easy to travel anywhere on campus if you can't afford to stop by the dining hall or a cafe. Rubbermaid manufactures BPA-Free, leak-proof, plastic containers for $50 that you can use to bring your food on the go without worrying about spills.

College is an unforgettable experience, and starting off on the right foot by having your things organized can go a long way. Knowing what to pack beforehand can make the transition much more manageable, whether you live in a dorm or an apartment. Hopefully, this checklist has helped ease your concerns about determining what to bring when packing. Good luck to any students out there!

Williana Serve
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Williana is currently a freshman in college. She likes to learn new things especially involving Law & Advocacy. When she’s not doing schoolwork, she can be found watching TikTok, YouTube, or reading.