There are so many guides out there with lists on things you MUST buy, especially when it comes to college shopping, however I’ve found that so many of them include items that aren’t really necessities or that seemed like necessities but were never utilized during my freshman year. This being the case, I’ve decided to compile a list of things that I used often during my first year of college. Enjoy, and share your essentials in the comment box below!
- Binder Clips
While these may not seem like essentials, I cannot tell you how many times I used binder clips my freshman year. They’re perfect for holding things together when you don’t have a stapler or have a stack of papers too large to staple (this will happen to you, surprisingly).
- A Storage Bin
This will help you in one of two ways: (1) You’ll be more organized or, if you’re like me, (2) This will help you appear organized because it gives you a place to shove things right before you have guests over.
- An Extra Charger
You’ll lend your charger out and, sometimes, you won’t get it back. This is so helpful to keep around to either lend people (get a crappy extra charger so if you don’t get it back you won’t be super upset) or to charge your phone on the off chance that you don’t get the charger you lent out back.
- A Portable Charger
This is different than an extra charger because this will give your phone battery on the go. A portable charger is perfect for music festivals, day parties, tailgates, or weekend trips.
- A Weekender Bag
This is so helpful in case you need to transport things for an actual trip or just to a friend’s room. Weekender bags tend to come in handy, even if you aren’t going on lots of weekend trips.
- A Folder
Keep a folder in your backpack and your life will be easier, trust me. No more throwing papers into the depths of your backpack where they’ll inevitably get crumpled beyond repair or lost. This comes in handy when you need to review sheets for a midterm or keep assignments.
- A good pair of socks
Whether these are fluffy socks you can throw on at the end of a long day or sports socks you can wear to your classes, having a good pair of socks is just the best. Happy feet make for a happy day.
- A Microfiber Hair Wrap
This reduces frizz in your hair while being so easy to throw on and more lightweight than a full sized bath towel.
- An Amazon Prime Subscription
While not under $15 at it’s normal price (it’s $49 for a year of Amazon Student, although I think this is certainly still worth it), you can get a 6-month free trial of Amazon Prime as a student. Plus, if you sign up using THIS LINK, you’ll get $5 credit toward your Amazon account (disclaimer: I also get $5 Amazon credit if you use this link)!
- A Planner/Calendar
Whether you use the free calendar software on your phone or computer or you buy a planner, having some system that helps you keep track of dates and such is invaluable in college. I use MyHomework, an app that helps you keep track of homework due dates and testing schedules, and I love it. It’s free in the Apple app store.
- A Reusable Water Bottle
I’m convinced people drink more water once they get a water bottle they really like, because they keep it with them constantly and this urges them to drink water whenever they see it. Plus, by using a reusable water bottle, you’re helping the planet by reducing waste.
It comes in handy to have nice stationary when you’re writing thank you notes, letters to friends and family, or the like. Plus, it looks super ~adult~ to use matching stationary and envelopes. Bonus points for customized stationary!
- Makeup Wipes
These saved my life in college. For all the nights that I was too lazy to go down the hall to the bathroom and wash my face, I can thank my makeup wipes for taking my makeup off and helping me sleep with a somewhat clean face.
- An alarm clock
This is helpful if you’re a deep sleeper. Sometimes, the alarm on your phone just doesn’t pull through – it turns off when you autoupdate your phone, you disconnect your charger in your sleep and your phone dies before wakeup time, etc. This is why having a backup alarm is helpful and an essential.
- A portable/mini stapler
I saved the best for last. This saved me so many times – a professor would remind us as we were turning in our papers that points would be deducted for unstapled papers, and I would be able to whip out my mini stapler and staple my papers on the walk to turn my paper in. This also helps you make friends who are in the same unstapled-paper situation as you!