I have officially been in college for a month now and, before I went off to college, spent months obsessively looking at college packing lists on Pinterest and watching girls pack for college on YouTube. I realized that everyone was packing A LOT of stuff, but it looked like they were missing a lot of the actual necessities. After this past month, I have found 10 practical things you need to bring with you to college and why.

1. Bring quick change clothes to the shower.

If you have communal showers, the last thing you're going to want to do is try to and completely dry yourself off in a 3x3 room, and nothing is worse than putting on pants with dry legs. Try and bring something that is quick and easy to change into like a big t-shirt. It's also nice for the inevitable fire drill that happens while you're in the shower.

2. Keep pants next to your bed.

If you sleep without pants, keep pants next to your bed, again, for the inevitable fire drill that will happen while you are sleeping.

3. Put a Command hook on your door.

Rylee Nelson

Most schools have doors that auto-lock, and will charge you if you get locked out. So, to try and limit the amount of times you shamefully walk to the front desk to be let back into your room, buy a little Command hook and put it on the inside of the door at eye-level. This will ensure that you have to look at your keys before you leave, and will make sure that you remember to grab it before you leave.


Remember how I said that fire drill happen when you're in the shower and when you're sleeping? They happen ALL THE TIME. Pay a pair of slides, or slip on shoes, and keep them by your bed. Not only are they good for fire drills, but are also great for running down the hall to the bathroom, going to the dining hall real quick, or just any other time you need to put shoes on but don't want to tie them.

5. Bring a small laundry basket.

It may be tempting to buy the biggest laundry basket you can find to avoid having to do laundry every week, but please don't. Get a small enough laundry basket where you will have to do laundry every week. This will ensure that you never get down to your last pair of underwear, and will keep your room from smelling like dirty clothes.

6. Get a phone pocket.

You will end up having to use your ID to get in and out of most buildings and nothing is more annoying than having to dig around in your backpack to find your wallet. Since college kids (and pretty much everyone else on the planet) are attached to their phones, buying a cheap phone pocket (or getting them from one of the hundreds of school events you go to) is a pretty good idea. Your phone is usually easily accessible and it cuts down on the number of things you have to carry around every day.

7. A reusable water bottle. 

You can't walk more than 5 feet on a college campus without seeing someone with a reusable water bottle. Join the fun! Reusable water bottles are generally cheap (between $10-20) and will save you a ton of money and time since you don't have to go to the store every week and buy a case of water. Plus, you can fill it up with drinks from the caf!

8. A lamp.

Dorm lighting is usually pretty bad, and there are totally going to be times when you have to do homework or get ready and your roommate is trying to sleep. A small, cheap lamp will save you from having to do homework in laptop lighting.

9. Snacks, all the snacks.

Okay, so maybe not ALL the snacks, but some snacks. A lot of schools tend to offer meal plans that are sufficient enough to get you through the semester, or so you think. There are going to be days when the last thing you want to do is walk across campus to get a single slice of pizza. Having quick snacks like Poptarts and chips will save you when it comes to studying and the dreaded 8 a.m.s when you don't have the time to go get a bowl of cereal.

10. An extra pair of sheets and towels.

Yes, you do have to change your sheets in college. However, you will probably end up realizing that at 1 in the morning when you can feel the chip crumbs rubbing up on your legs. Having an extra set of sheets will save you from having to do laundry right then and there or having to sleep on a naked dorm bed. Having an extra towel is nice for sort of the same reasons.

There is no way that you can be 100% prepared for college. There are going to things that slip your mind or that you don't realize you are going to need until you need them. Don't freak out and just try to be as prepared as you can.