Don't expect mini fridges or shower caddies on this list you basic b*tches. Wait, don't get your expectations too high though...
Can openerFile:Kitchen-Modern-Can-Opener.jpg - Wikimedia Commons File:Kitchen-Modern-Can-Opener.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
When I realized I bought veggie cans without the pop tab, I had to go around asking everyone on my floor if they had one so I could eat some carrots. While it may be a good ice breaker for meeting people on your floor, save yourself the trouble and buy yourself one.
Pot holderPot Holder | noricum | Flickr Pot Holder | noricum | Flickr
Being on a meal plan (despite a crappy one), I wasn't making my own food very often. However, I remember putting something in the oven and realizing a few minutes before it was done that I did not have a pot holder and neither did the kitchen. Almost burning yourself by using a bunch of wadded up paper towels is not ideal.
Real silverwareFile:Jean Nouvel silverware.JPG - Wikimedia Commons File:Jean Nouvel silverware.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
Getting a to-go box from the dining hall is very common and so is forgetting to grab plastic utensils. Be more environmentally conscious anyways and buy real reusable silverware.
Rice cookerFile:Anshin Rice Cooker with Smart Switch.jpg - Wikimedia Commons File:Anshin Rice Cooker with Smart Switch.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Having a crappy meal plan meant that I was eating maybe one meal a day during most of the week. Buying myself a cheap, but sturdy rice cooker helped solve that. Rice is very cheap and lasts a long while and you can add vegetables and whatever sauce you'd like to it. Essential.
Lap deskA lap desk.
Honestly, my favorite thing on this list. I've used it constantly since I started college. It helps keep your laptop from overheating while you're using it on your bed, but I also used it to eat cereal. An outstanding product.
Mattress topperA mattress topper is the key to getting a good nights sleep in college. https://www.amazon.com/HOFISH-Inches-Infused-Mattress-Topper-Twin/dp/B072C4S2NH
The mattresses are most likely going to be rough. You're already going to be pulling all nighters for classes, don't go through more because of your shitty mattress.
Surge protectorFile:Belkin-Surge-Protector.jpg - Wikimedia Commons File:Belkin-Surge-Protector.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Especially if you live in a dorm that isn't air conditioned, you're going to be plugging in more things than you realize. Give yourself more outlets.
Water boilerFile:Water boiler.jpg - Wikimedia Commons File:Water boiler.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Perfect to cozy up in your dorm and make tea and coffee. Or if you hate coffee like me...hot chocolate. Also saw someone make ramen in their water boiler once. Strange, but it worked.
Reading pillowBP Shaggy Faux Fur Lounge Pillow
Our freshman dorm buildings early on in the year switched out the comfy rocker (though outdated) chairs in our dorms for folding chairs. Folding chairs. Never sat at my desk to do homework that year. Besides, I stayed up late watching Netflix almost every night, so the pillow was wondrous for my back.
Door stopperFile:Rubber door stop in action.jpg - Wikimedia Commons File:Rubber door stop in action.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Honestly, this one is probably not great right now during COVID-19, but everyone on my floor during freshman year would prop open their doors and everyone got to know everyone super well because of it. We didn't have a door stopper and used my shower show to keep it open.