Don't Forget These College Essentials
Student Life

College Seemed Like A Great Idea...Until I Started Packing

I had no idea how much stuff I had until I had to leave some at home while packing for college.


As summer begins slowing down and we begin to realize that August is soon approaching, packing for college is going to become the TOP priority. The most challenging part of packing for college is trying to cram all of your stuff into a couple of suitcases to last you until your first break when you can come home and get whatever you left at home.

After spending hours searching through numerous college packing websites, I have created the most comprehensive list of things to bring to college in the fall. You can never pack too much stuff, but you'll be in trouble if you forget an essential.


Your dorm room is the place you are going to live in for the next few months. College dorms set you up with a bed, closet, and desk. Other than that, your aesthetic is up to you.

  1. Twin XL comforter
  2. Sheet set x2
  3. Mattress pad
  4. Pillows x2
  5. Blanket
  6. Room chair
  7. Rug
  8. Alarm clock
  9. Wall clock
  10. Wall mirror (full body)
  11. Hangers
  12. Command hooks


  1. Towels (shower/hand/washcloth) x2
  2. Bathrobe
  3. Shower caddy
  4. Rubber shower flip flops


Its easy to forget how many small things you actually use until you need to look for a specific medication. Stock up on small quantities of the pharmaceuticals you use less frequently to ensure you're prepared to take care of yourself when you get hit with a bad cold or food poisoning and can't go to a doctor.


  1. Advil/Tylenol
  2. Antacid
  3. Alleve
  4. Benadryl
  5. Vitamins
  6. Neosporin
  7. Cough drops
  8. Allergy medicine
  9. Antiseptic wipes
  10. Cortisone cream
  11. Vaseline
  12. Cold and flu medicine
  13. Decongestant
  14. Eye drops

Everything else:

While buying a list of specific medications is useful, DO NOT forget about everything else in your bathroom that you use. When you spend too much time in the sun during the early fall months and get a sunburn, you're going to be thankful you had the aloe vera you packed.

  1. Tampons/pads
  2. Hand sanitizer
  3. Contact lenses solution
  4. Extra contacts/case
  5. Glasses/Glasses cleaner
  6. Mouthwash
  7. Toothpaste
  8. Shampoo & conditioner
  9. Shower soap
  10. Liquid soap
  11. Hair straightener
  12. Hairspray
  13. Blow-dryer
  14. Heat protectant
  15. Floss
  16. Tweezers
  17. Nail clippers
  18. Nail file
  19. Razor
  20. Q-tips
  21. Aloe lotion
  22. Bandages
  23. Blister bandages
  24. First aid kit
  25. Hot and cold packs
  26. Humidifier
  27. Insect repellent
  28. Rubbing alcohol
  29. Thermometer/Thermometer covers


Even if you don't have a kitchen, these kitchen-like items can make your college life so much easier.

  1. Water heater/tea bags
  2. Mini trashcan
  3. Mini fridge
  4. Microwave
  5. Tupperware
  6. Can opener
  7. Water filter/pitcher


Normally, your parents stock up on many of these by hiding them under the kitchen sink. It can be easy to think you don't need them, but when you spill something on your white shirt or the carpet floor, these "extras" are going to come in handy.

  1. Paper towels
  2. Trash bags
  3. Ziplock bags
  4. Dish soap
  5. Clorox wipes
  6. Tissues
  7. Bleach
  8. Stain remover
  9. Can of quarters (washing machine)
  10. Mini vacuum cleaner
  11. Laundry basket/drying rack/detergent/softener
  12. Lint brush
  13. Air freshener
  14. Flashlight
  15. Iron/Ironing Board
  16. Umbrella
  17. Yoga Mat
  18. Fan


Technology! A complex, yet taken for granted idea that we all depend on for our daily lives.

  1. Laptop
  2. External hard drive
  3. Flash drives
  4. Keyboard
  5. Wireless mouse
  6. Lap desk/stand
  7. Laptop Case
  8. Camera
  9. SD card for camera
  10. Portable phone charger
  11. Ethernet cable
  12. HDMI cable
  13. Extension cords
  14. Adapters (HDMI, ethernet, etc)
  15. Noise cancelling headphones
  16. Speakers
  17. Printer
  18. Printer ink
  19. Cord organizer
  20. Printer paper
  21. Router
  22. Surge protectors
  23. TV
  24. TV stand
  25. Batteries

Desk/School Supplies

I would recommend buying a little of everything while the back-to-school sales are going on, instead of scrambling to find something at your college Barns & Noble for twice as much as you'd normally pay.

  1. Backpack
  2. Binder clips/Paperclips
  3. Binders
  4. Business cards
  5. Calculator
  6. Calendar
  7. Clicker (if you need one for class)
  8. Desk chair
  9. Desk lamp
  10. Desk organizer
  11. Envelopes/Stamps
  12. Cards/notes to send home
  13. File folder for important documents
  14. Desk storage box
  15. Folders
  16. Glue
  17. Notebook paper
  18. Notebooks
  19. Index cards
  20. Sticky notes
  21. Journal
  22. Laptop fan/stand
  23. Pencil case
  24. Pencil sharpener
  25. Pencils/Erasers
  26. Pens/colored pens
  27. Permanent marker
  28. Highlighters
  29. Whiteout
  30. Planner
  31. Rubber bands
  32. Ruler
  33. Scissors
  34. Stapler/Staples/Staple remover
  35. Tape
  36. Textbooks
  37. Three-hole punch
  38. Dry erase board/markers
  39. Bulletin board/pushpins
  40. Dictionary/thesaurus


While you may not need everything on this list in a physical form, at least have an easy way you can access it if need be.

  1. Bank documents
  2. Credit card/Debit card
  3. Driver's license
  4. Copy of birth certificate
  5. Copy of Social Security card
  6. Passport
  7. Student ID
  8. Emergency contact list
  9. Financial aid documents
  10. Health/dental insurance cards
  11. Lock Box

It's extremely important to note that different colleges (and sometimes even different dorms at the same college) have specific rules on what you can and cannot have in your room — especially when it comes to kitchen supplies and extra furniture — so definitely make sure to check your school's website before your RA confiscates that cute toaster you brought during your first week of college.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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