College Life - Items You Need in Order to Get You Through College

By Jamie Hill - 6 March 2020

College & Higher Education

Getting ready for college life and moving away from home can be an exciting and challenging chapter in your life. It’s your first shot at independence and being a responsible adult. However, since you’ll be far away from the comfort of your home, you’ll have to learn to live on your own: manage your own finances, make the most of your own resources and make it through your college studies. Most importantly, you should know what essential items to bring when you start your life as a college student.

An Extra Set of Sheets

Going to college can be full of what-ifs. Instead of leaving things to chance, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. You can never know when someone is going to show up and want to stay the night. An extra set of sheets can save your favorite sheet and not compromise your good night’s sleep. It’s not only unexpected guests that you need to prepare for. You also need to prepare for situations that need immediate sheet replacement, such as spillages, stains or bedbug infestation. It’s not always easy to do your laundry immediately, so you need replacements until you can get your sheet and blanket cleaned and dried.

An Extra Set of Pillows and Blankets

Being prepared is the focal point of your dorm life. During times when unexpected guests arrive, when a friend crashes at your place or when you and your classmate pull an all-nighter to finish a project, an extra pile of pillows and blankets can make them feel welcomed and comfortable. Also, you don’t have to give up your favorite weighted blanket and compromise your own good night’s sleep if you have a spare blanket to share with your guest. If you prefer to study on the floor and sleep afterward without having to get up and transfer to your bed, this extra bedroom stuff can really come in handy.

An Electric Fan

You’ll be very lucky to find a dorm with a temperature control system. Most of the time, you’ll have to make do with whatever is available in your room – and most likely there isn’t any. If there are any AC or heater units in the dorm, you don’t have the authority to turn them on or off as you please. Thus a fan can be a useful temperature control gadget and also improves the ventilation of your room. If you’re sharing the room with another student, it is recommended that you bring an extra portable fan – one you can clip to your desk or bed.

Noise-canceling Headphones

You deserve some time for peace and quiet, especially after a long and tiring day at school. This nifty little gadget can help block out the unnecessary noises in and around your room while you relax and take a good rest. More importantly, noise-canceling headphones can help you concentrate on studying by canceling out auditory distractions in any place you want to study – the library, your dorm room, a coffee shop or even inside a bus. Invest in a high-quality pair of noise-canceling headphones and take good care of the gadget. Aside from studying, it can also be used for other helpful activities such as meditating, de-stressing, getting hyped up for exercise or gym class or listening to soothing music to unwind or fall asleep.

Microwaveable Bowls

Yup, microwaveable bowls will come in handy once you stay in a dorm. Your hectic schedule will most of the time not allow you to cook your own food or your dorm room simply doesn’t have much kitchenware except a microwave oven. You’ll need to have a bowl where you can instantly and microwaveable food items like ramen, instant noodles, and soup. You can also get creative and make your college dorm version of macaroni and cheese.

Coffee Maker

You will be really needing this gadget to get you going for class. You’ll need a cup of joe for your morning classes and late-night study sessions. Instead of finding the nearest vending machine or coffee shop, you can bring this baby with you and you’ll thank yourself in the future for bringing this wonderful device with you.

Desk Lamp

Most of the time you will not be fortunate enough to find a dorm room with decent lighting. Take care of your eyesight because you’ll be needing it for your studies. Thus, invest in a high-quality electric lamp that you place on your desk to give your eyes sufficient illumination and avoid eye strain. It is recommended that you choose one with a rechargeable function as a backup power source in the event of power failure or interruption.

Cleaning Wipes

Cleanliness has a significant effect on our mood and health. Cleaning wipes are handy and nun-bulky cleaning items that you can immediately use for quick cleaning. Choose one that has antibacterial or disinfectant properties as you’ll be needing the wipes for cleaning items with frequent hand contact, like your PC keyboard, desk, smartphone, and doorknob. A cleaning wipe can be your immediate remedy for food or drink stains and spills. They come in durable and space-saving containers so you can bring at least one cleaning wipe tub.

Mini Trash Can

It pays to come prepared with your own waste disposal container to bring into your dorm room. While most dorms have trash bins for every room or at the hallways, it is still good to bring your own handy bin for immediate waste disposal. You can place it at the side of your bed or desk, where it is easily accessible for throwing trash without the need for walking around to dispose of unwanted stuff. Having a trash receptacle can help keep your dorm room hygienic and pest-free.

Trash Bags

It’s not enough to have your garbage bin lying around full of garbage. You’ll still need to properly dispose of it outside the dorm building and into the dumpster. It is inconvenient and unsanitary to bring your trash can down the hallway and throw your garbage into the dumpster. You’ll need plenty of trash liners or trash bags to haul your and dispose of your trash more conveniently.  

Bed Riser

You’ll be needing these devices if you are staying in a dorm room or an apartment with a small space. Even if your dorm is furnished with a closet, there could be times that you’ll be bringing more stuff than your closet can handle. Thus, make use of every space you have in your room as an alternate storage spot. Your bed has an ample dimension for keeping things underneath it. All you need to do is clear up some vertical space for you to store more stuff and to install this next must-bring item.

Underbed Storage

It’s not enough to have space underneath your bed. If you can’t place your stuff in an organized way under your bed you are just adding to the clutter in your room. Having accessible pull-out chests under your bed can help you store your off-season clothing, extra blankets, sheets, pillows, school supplies and shoes efficiently and you also save space in your dorm room.


These coins can still come in handy even with many schools transitioning to the debit/credit system for laundry. There are still some schools that are using quarters. Not only that, most vending machines in your dorm still use quarters. Thus having available spare change can help you get food and drinks during times you need them most.

Extra School and Office Supplies

You’re going to be staying in your dorm for the most part of the year, and with many activities in school, your resources can dwindle down easily. Thus, it’s always wise to bring a surplus of school and office supplies so you don’t have to call your parents to bring your school supplies in the middle of the semester or take a chunk out of your allowance to buy a new set of school supplies. As early as months before your college school year starts, prepare more than enough supplies of pens, pencils, paper, highlighters, notebooks, binders, staplers and other supplies you will need for the entire school year.

A Mini Toolkit

Having a good set of tools can be useful for the quick repairs you’ll be needing in your dorm. You may need a screwdriver to tighten loose screws in your furniture, appliances or gadgets. Your toolkit can also help you make friends quickly by lending some tools or helping them fix some of their dorm room items.

Storage Ottoman

Bringing a multipurpose mini-furniture into your dorm room can be a lifesaver, especially if it has limited space. A storage ottoman is one of those space-saving items that you need to have. You can use it as a chair, a footstool, a makeshift table and best of all, a storage compartment where you can store many items inside. Bringing one or two of them can also make your dorm room a great hang and can allow you to accommodate visitors and guests.             

An Area Rug

It’s not just for making your dorm look fancier, a cozy, colorful area rug also has many purposes. It redefines the aesthetics of your room and it is also a good sanitary approach. Your dorm may have a nice concrete or tiled floor or may have a years-old carpet tainted with permanent stains. If you have a roommate, let your roommate know of this small makeover and choose a rug that suits you and your roommate’s style. Also, you get better thermal insulation inside the room and you can walk barefoot or even sit directly on the floor without worrying about the biting cold floor surface.

An Umbrella

Yes, rains are part of your school’s weather system. An umbrella can be your handy companion during sudden downpours while you are on your way to school or going back to your dorm. Choose a portable umbrella that you can carry around in your bag to keep you and your school items from being drenched. An umbrella can also make good sun protection especially if you’re having a long walk outside at noontime. Be cool and prepared by bringing an umbrella with you everywhere.

Command™ Hanging Strips

You’re going to be needing these strips more than you think. Most dorms will not allow you to pound nails into their walls and you don’t want to end up getting on your roommate and dorm mate’s nerves because your pounding not only disturbed them, they left an ugly hole or crack in the adjacent wall. Use these heavy-duty and easy to install strips if you want to attach posters, decorations, frames or other items you want to hang on the wall.

A Planner and a Large Calendar

I recommend that these two come in tandem to more effectively remind you of the events, activities papers and projects that are due at any given time. Having a large calendar where you can scribble important reminders and updates is a good reinforcement for your memory in reminding you that something important is coming up. It can also remind you to update the entries of your planner if there have been recent changes in the activity dates.

A Reliable Backpack

By reliable, we mean durable and efficient. Your backpack is doing to be your study companion for several years, so choose one that can keep up with your busy school life, can carry several textbooks and one that can take more than its fair share of hits, bumps, scrapes and drags. Also, choose one that has multiple compartments both inside and outside the bag. Specially designed compartments like for your laptop, cellphone, electronic gadgets, pencils, and food not only keep your things well-organized, they also help protect them from being damaged.  

Flip flops for the Shower

This is an indispensable item to bring, of course. For hygienic and safety purposes always bring a pair these when you live in your dorm.

A Water Filter

It’s not just about being picky, but also for your health and safety as well. Moving to a different city or a nearby town can mean that the water supply and treatment in the area can be different from the water supply from your place. The taste of the water will most likely be different than what you’re used to. Although most cities have efficient water treatment facilities, it pays to take the extra precaution of filtering out your potable water.

Laundry Hamper

Keeping your dorm room mess and clutter-free can be achieved by keeping your dirty laundry in a single receptacle. You also won’t have to worry about finding a missing piece of the sock, handkerchief or even your underwear.

College life can really get you on your toes, but you can easily adjust to it if you have the right items with you in your dorm room. There are still many other items not mentioned here and we intentionally left it not so comprehensive so that you can also decide for yourself what other essential items you need to bring. After all, we have different needs and living preferences. So bring the things that can make your dorm stay comfortable, meaningful and your college studies manageable.


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