College Essentials!

Now that I'm almost done with my freshman year of college, I thought I'd do a post on things that I found was useful to have around. This is a list of my personal essentials, and in no way do you have to have it all, but I think it would be very helpful! I will also include the list I made when I was packing stuff to move into the dorms, so you can refer to it.

External battery: When you're out and about, sometimes your phone starts to run low on battery and there aren't any electrical outlets available. It's so useful to have an external battery. It's portable and you can keep it in your bag.

Tablet with keyboard case: This is something I actually don't own, but I wish I did. I am probably going to buy an iPad soon. When I first started college, I thought it was so cool how we were allowed to bring our laptops to lectures. Then I realized how heavy and what a hassle it was to tote around from class to class. I saw people using their tablets with keyboards as a mini laptop and I thought that was so smart! It's much more portable and convenient. Also, tablets have much powerful technology nowadays. With the right apps, you can seriously turn it into a little laptop. Tablets are nice for taking notes during lecture, and also for watching a little Netflix in your downtime. ;)

Headphones: When you're living with a roommate, sometimes you have to compromise. You may be catching up on your favorite shows while they are trying to study. So it's always useful to have a pair of headphones to use when others need some quiet time. I got a pair of Beats for my birthday and I absolutely love them! They're also good for blocking outside noise.

Dorm room: 
Command hooks: You have no idea how useful they are. Dorm rooms are pretty small and there isn't a lot of space for storage, so utilize any and all wall space you have. I have hooks to hang up handbags, jackets, etc. I also put a few hooks on the side of my desk/shelf to hold keys and my wristlets. The great thing about command hooks is that they come off without leaving sticky residue or damaging walls. That's pretty important because you can get fined for any damages.

Train case: If you have a lot of makeup, it's ideal to have something to store and organize it all. You can find very cute train cases at Target. 

Power strip: VERY IMPORTANT! Dorm rooms don't have a lot of electrical outlets so this is pretty essential, especially since we have so many electronics nowadays.

Time management skills: It seems like it's all fun and games when you're living in the dorms. Be sure to set aside time for studying and homework! It's so easy to procrastinate when you don't have parents nagging you or teachers telling you what to do. Heck, you don't even have to show up to class if you don't want to. Don't create a bad habit of skipping class. Trust me, it's hard to stop once you start. You want to create a good balance between work and play. I think I managed my time very well first quarter–I had tons of fun and still ended up with a 4.0! First quarter is usually the easiest because the classes are not too difficult. Don't mess it up right from the beginning. It will seriously hurt your GPA. If it's too low, you can get on academic probation or even kicked out! It's just not worth it, especially for the price we pay for college, so remember to be a good student. My motto is: party hard, study harder! 

An open mind: College is full of diverse people and ideas. Be sure to be respectful to people's cultures and don't judge others. Also, college is definitely not as cliquey as high school. You will have many social circles and popularity is a pretty trivial thing. If you keep an open mind, you will have many wonderful experiences in college and make lots of friends! 

Budgeting skills: If you live in the dorms, you WILL spend a ton of money. I guarantee you will get sick of dining hall food at some point and will keep wanting to eat out at restaurants. Or you will go on late night boba runs with your friends. (I do that almost every day, omg -_-) So it's extremely important to learn how to budget your money! You should always keep receipts and track all your purchases. I suggest getting an app or a notebook dedicated to financial planning.

General list of things to bring to your dorm:
  • Shower caddy 
  • Shower shoes (Don't walk barefoot in those communal showers, uck!!) 
  • Toiletries (Shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, face wash) 
  • Towels 
  • Bathrobe 
  • Skin care (Makeup remover, lotion, face masks) 
  • Hair styling tools + products (Hair dryer, straightening iron, curling wand, hairspray, dry shampoo etc.) 
  • Bed linens (Mattress pad, sheets, comforter, pillow cases, etc. Bring comfy blankets and pillows!!) 
  • Desk lamp 
  • Mini-fridge + microwave (If not provided, but luckily my dorm room did!) 
  • Lots of snacks!! 
  • Dishes, bowls, cups, eating utensils 
  • Water bottle 
  • Brita filter 
  • Command hooks 
  • Clothes + shoes 
  • Hangers 
  • Closet/drawer organizers 
  • Makeup 
  • Hairbrush/comb 
  • Hair ties, headbands, bobby pins 
  • Feminine hygiene products 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • School supplies (3-hole puncher, ruler, scissors, tape, stapler, USB drive, calculator, etc.) 
  • Cup for holding pens, pencils, and stuff (You can use mason jars!) 
  • Printer, ink, paper 
  • Room decor (Posters, photographs, Christmas lights, etc. Check out my post on dorm room decoration ideas!) 
  • Sentimental stuff (Stuffed animals, photographs, etc.) 
  • Laundry basket (And detergent, fabric softener, etc.) 
  • Vitamins, medications 
  • Glasses, retainers (If you have that stuff) 
  • Trash bin 
  • Tissues, paper towels 
  • Backpack 
  • Electronics and their chargers 
  • Batteries 
  • Duct tape (You never know when something is gonna break and you need a quick fix!) 
  • Video games (For study breaks :D) 
  • Air freshener 
  • ID holder/wallet 
  • Cleaning supplies (Check to see if your dorm keeps vacuums. If not, you can get a small handheld vacuum. Have disinfectant wipes and the very least.) 

Hope this helped any incoming freshmen!! ^__^


  1. Wahhhh that's a whole list!
    Haha love that you put duct tape in
    there ;P Xx

  2. Very good list! I definitely need to get a train case so I stop having to dig through or dump out stuff from my makeup bag to get what I need. I'm currently a junior, and as an engineering major, time management is so precious. I would also add to the "Yourself" list
    1) SLEEP. Which is easy to have enough of freshman year because classes are easy and as long as you don't procrastinate too hard and don't party every night, you can feel pretty well rested in the morning. But as college drags on, it gets to the point where you must choose between more study or more sleep (even a few hours). Sleep really affects so much, including your memory.
    2) Take care of your body and health. Don't binge eat or forget to eat, make healthy choices, go exercise regularly, love yourself.
    3) Drink coffee/tea for caffeine if it's going to help you not fall asleep in class. There's nothing worse than dozing off and missing half of the lecture that can appear on assignments or the next exam, even if you can get lecture notes from a friend.
    4) Keep all school stuff organized so that you don't waste time trying to find all your old notes, tests, and random important papers when it's time to study for finals!

    sorry for the very long comment :( just want to help you and others out, now that I'm old(er). Obvious stuff, but once classes get harder with more difficult exams and assignments, it's easy to forget or harder to maintain. I wish you the best!

  3. Thanks for the tips! I really appreciate it!

  4. No problem! Hope they helped :)

  5. Thank you for your insight! I definitely agree with you on the sleep thing! I get so much sleep. It's ridiculous. The only time I got about 4 hours of sleep a night was when I was pledging for a fraternity because it was so hard for me to balance pledging responsibilities, social life, and school work!

    And another thing, it is so important to take care of yourself. It's hard sometimes because you're too busy having fun. I'll admit I've gotten sick a few times this year because I was not staying hydrated and stuff.

  6. Hehe yep! It's quite a comprehensive list. Hope it helps incoming freshmen. I think I pretty much covered everything! (I'm forgetful sometimes so making lists help) :P

    And duct tape works wonders!! Haha


Back to Top