When you start college — or return for another year — you will need to bring a lot of college school supplies with you. If you are staying at home to attend a local college or take online classes, you will still need several things to help make your school year a success. Suggestion: Don’t procrastinate getting the things you need!
Students often scramble to shop for college supplies last minute, and your selection might be limited. Additionally, you may forget important items if you wait until just before the school year begins.
Instead, you can put together your shopping list now and start looking for the items you need. What items should be on your packing list for college? In the spirit of preparedness, here’s a useful breakdown of college essentials.
A sturdy backpack
For the first day of college, you’ll need a backpack for carrying your books and supplies around campus — and it will certainly be one of your most-used (if not beloved) essentials. So, don’t skimp on quality! Try to spend time researching college backpacks that will fit your needs.
For example, look for one that is sturdy yet not too heavy, as you’ll probably already be carrying a lot of weight.
You can also choose one that is roomy enough to tote around everything you need — such as your laptop — and with the right number and size of compartments and pockets. But don’t overlook aesthetics. You will be carrying your backpack everywhere, so you want to pick one that you’ll feel good slinging over your shoulders.
College Essentials for Your Dorm (or Apartment)
Are you living on campus or in a nearby apartment? You’ll want to have a list of supplies for your college dorm or apartment. Here are some items to think about adding to your college dorm checklist:
Storage containers: Especially with how small most dorm rooms are, storage containers are often essential for keeping your things organized. Consider a plastic storage bin that can slide under your bed or a storage cart to keep your books, papers, or other supplies in one place.
Small appliances: These include a coffee maker, microwave, iron and tabletop ironing board (if you need to look your best), fan, and humidifier (if the room gets dry).
Laundry supplies: Most dorms offer a communal laundry room, so be sure to stock up on detergent, fabric softener, and laundry sheets so that you always have fresh clothes. You’ll also want to make sure you have a laundry bag since you’ll probably have to tote your laundry around. Most importantly, don’t forget some money to use the washer and dryer!
Desk lamp: Putting a lamp on your desk can make it easier for you to burn the midnight oil — if you need to — and get work done. If you need to pull an all-nighter while your roommate sleeps, a desk lamp can be especially helpful.
Bed sheets, pillows, and comforters: Getting a good night’s sleep is important for staying focused in class and doing well on your college exams. A nice pillow, comfy bedsheets, and a warm comforter are must-haves for your dorm room bed. Make sure you check the size of the bed in your dorm before buying!
Bath towels: Dorms don’t usually provide these, so be sure to bring your own. This is also an opportunity to personalize your bathroom with the patterns and colors of your choosing!
Comfortable desk chair: College is known for homework, a lot of homework. You’re going to be spending a lot of time studying at your desk, so it’s a great idea to invest in an ergonomic chair for your dorm. If you also like to spend free time hanging out and gaming in your dorm with friends, consider a cool gaming chair.
Before you buy dorm room supplies, you can check with your college or dorm management to find out what items will be available to you and what you’re allowed — or not allowed — to have. For example, some dorms may have communal microwaves and prohibit students from bringing their own.
Technology and Accessories
To maximize your study time, you’ll want to line up the right technology. A laptop will be key for taking notes in class, writing papers, or doing coursework. But here are other technologies to consider putting on your college supply list:
Computer mouse: A wireless mouse is a must even if you have a laptop with a built-in pad — speeding up your study and coursework time.
Flash drive: It’s very handy to be able to store and transport large files you need on a flash drive, to, say, print at the library.
External hard drive: This will give you extra storage. If you run out of room on your laptop, move files and photos to a hard drive.
Printer: Many courses now accept digital copies of papers. That said, certain professors may still ask for a hard copy, so a printer may come in handy. Remember to pack extra ink and paper for the printer.
Wireless router: If you are living in a dorm, fast wireless internet is probably provided. Otherwise, you may need to buy a wireless router and modem for your apartment or other living quarters.
Calculator: Depending on your coursework, you may need a scientific calculator. But even a basic calculator can come in handy for crunching numbers in a pinch.
Laptop cable lock: Especially in a dorm building, there are often many people around you. Use a laptop lock as a deterrent for would-be thieves.
Headphones: Tune out the distractions that come with dorm life with a new pair of headphones.
Bluetooth speaker: What’s college without rocking out and having fun with friends once in a while? A Bluetooth speaker brings your jams with you wherever you go.
Don’t forget about all the everyday school supplies that will make college life and studying simpler. Here’s a supply list for college:
Paper notebooks: To stay organized, you’ll probably want at least one notebook per course. Color-coding composition books can help you easily tell them apart.
Academic planner: Keeping track of when assignments are due or various academic and social events can be greatly aided by a planner. The best college planners are those designed specifically for college students.
Pens and highlighters: You’ll want an ample supply of writing utensils that make note-taking and coursework easier. Consider getting different color pens and highlighters.
Desktop organizer and pencil cup: Staying neat and organized is one of the first steps to college success. You can keep everything on your desk in place with a desktop organizer and pencil cup.
Folders and paper clips: You’ll want supplies to help you keep papers organized. A wide variety of paper clips and file folders are available in different styles and colors to fit your needs.
These items are just the basics. Everything you need will depend on your living situation, coursework, and how you spend your free time. For example, you might want to bring some entertainment items, such as a gaming console, for your dorm.
Once you start school, your life will get very busy quickly. Buy the things on your checklist for college now so that you can focus on your academic life once you’re there.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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