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21 Must-Have Things Every College Student Needs

This post has 21 things that every College Student Needs. From laptops to the best storage solutions for your small space. This list has a lot of things you may not have thought of!

Must-Have Things Every College Student Needs

Must-Have Things Every College Student Needs

Packing your bags and prepping for the big move to college? Before you toss everything you own into a cardboard box, let’s talk essentials.

College is a whirlwind of new experiences, jam-packed schedules, and late-night study sessions. To navigate this exciting adventure smoothly, you’ll need more than just textbooks and ramen noodles (although those have their place too!). This post dives into the must-have items, from practical gear to cleaning supplies (yes, your mom isn’t there to vacuum your room anymore), that will transform you from a wide-eyed freshman to a seasoned college pro. So, grab your notebooks (or open a new doc!), because we’re about to unpack the ultimate college survival kit! Here are the essentials for college:


This one is a no-brainer. Every college student needs a laptop. You will be on it a lot throughout college. Getting one that will last you the entire 4 years is ideal. So buy something quality to avoid headaches later down the road.

College Laptoop
buy it here


You will have a ton of books to haul around in college. Grabbing a backpack that is well-made and sturdy is the best bet for your college years.

buy it here

Desk Lamp

Late-night studying is going to be the norm. Grabbing a lamp that can keep your desk illuminated is a great idea. This is one of those purchases that doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money.

desk lamp
buy it here

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Eye strain is no joke. Our eyes are not meant to look at a screen all day. But in today’s world, it’s kind of hard to avoid. Blue light-blocking glasses are very useful for helping your eyes not get too strained and helping you avoid headaches and not feeling well. Excessive blue light is also linked to insomnia and even vision loss (in rare cases)!

blue light glasses
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Bed Desk

An organized desk is a much better choice when it comes to being productive, your bed can look pretty irresistible at times. Having a bed desk can be super handy when you want to be productive and also comfortable.

bed desk
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Comfortable Bedding

I’m telling you. Sleep is so important, especially when you are studying all day. Having some comfortable sheets and a fluffy comforter to snuggle your way into dreamland is absolutely necessary during college.

bed in a bag
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Mattress Topper

Dorm room beds are not high quality. If you want a good night’s sleep, getting a mattress topper is essential. They aren’t super expensive and getting good sleep during college is priceless.

mattress topper
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Reusable Water Bottle

Please stop using single-use plastic bottles! They are horrible for the environment and your health. A reusable water bottle will last a long time and there are so many to choose from.

owala water bottle
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Comfortable Shoes/Boots

You will walk at college. A lot. So having comfortable shoes isn’t negotiable. And during the winter months, get some quality boots if you will be somewhere that has a lot of rain or snow.

white sneakers
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Space-Saving Hangers

Chances are your closet isn’t going to be very big. These space-saving hangers are such a game changer with how much you’ll be able to hang up in that tiny little closet.

space saving hangers
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Mesh Shower Caddy

A mesh shower caddy is way better than a plastic one. They drain easily and keep your product drier in between uses.

mesh shower caddy
buy it here

Towel Wrap/Robe

Unless you live in your own apartment, you will probably be sharing a bathroom. It’s really nice to have something to wrap up in to go from your bathroom to your bedroom that isn’t just a towel.

towel wrap
buy it here

Shower Shoes

You don’t even want to think about what has been on those communal dorm shower floors. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on them, but shower shoes are a must for preventing any unwanted infections.

shower shoes
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Towel Set

This is pretty much a given, but every College Student needs a good set of towels! It’s nice to have a set of 8 so you can wash them in between uses.

towel set
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Storage Ottoman

A storage ottoman is one of the best college essentials because it serves so many purposes. It can be extra seating for when people visit, a footrest for your futon, a step stool to get into your tall bed, and an extra storage spot. So handy!

storage ottoman
buy it here


If you live in a dorm, don’t assume that it will have air conditioning. In fact, chances are it won’t. Having a fan can really help on those hot days. Plus it creates white noise that can help you fall asleep in those noisy dorm rooms.

desk fan
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Noise Canceling Headphones

College Apartments and Dorms are busy at all times of the day and night. If you need some quiet while you are trying to study or sleep, investing in some good noise-canceling headphones is a great idea to get some peace and quiet.

noise canceling headphones
buy it here


Caffeine is going to be your best friend with late nights and early mornings. Keeping a small coffee maker in your dormor apartment is perfect to keep you caffeinated without taking up much space.

buy it here

Metal Utility Cart

These things are space-saving dreams come true. They can hold your coffee maker, pantry items, school supplies, and much more at such an affordable price. Every College Student Needs one!

metal storage cart
buy it here

Compact Vacuum

Your dorm building may have a vacuum that you can rent out but usually, it’s a million years old and a giant pain to haul it up to your room. Plus, It’s nice to have your own for when you move into an apartment.

mini vacuum
buy it here

Cleaning Wipes

Dorms can get nasty fast. If I had to pick just one cleaning product that is a dorm room essential, I would pick disinfectant wipes. Cleaning wipes are a quick, effortless way to keep your dorm room clean.

Cleaning wipes
buy it here

For a complete list, and a free printable of everything you need when you move into your college dorm, click the image below:

College Dorm Room Checklist: Everything You Need

I hope you found this list of what every College Student Needs helpful! I have lots more college content, so be sure to check out these other posts as well, for decorating ideas and more!

Functional and Cute College Apartment Living Room Ideas

Useful Dorm Room Gadgets That Will Make College Life Easier

Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

25 Dorm Room Essentials For Girls



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