The Freshman Fifteen (Essentials)
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Student Life

The Freshman Fifteen (Essentials)

Is college shopping giving you a headache? Here are real suggestions from actual college students of what you need to buy now!

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The Freshman Fifteen (Essentials)
Megan Davis

Eighteen year-olds across the nation are clipping coupons and cleaning out their closets. That's right - it's college season again! So whether you are a freshman or a student's parent, every major shopping store is currently trying to sell you their version of the college essentials.

As you glance through hundreds of tapestries and fuzzy chairs, you might be wondering what is actually worth the ticket price? Well, have no fear! Listed below are fifteen items recommended by actual college students who found these essential to their university life.

1. A Good Planner

A planner is going to keep all of your homework, appointments, and student events organized in one place. It's very easy to get unorganized and overwhelmed your first semester, so a planner will be your best pal!

"Planners are my FAVORITE - one of the first things I buy for school. I actually [already] filled mine out with dates for breaks...I use mine for everything!" Anonymous college student

2. Slippers

So maybe you'll rock awesome puppy slippers or trade them in for some more laid back moccasins, but keeping your feet comfy should be priority.

"[Slippers are] a talking piece and...work for long study nights in the lounge. It's important to always think comfort instead of style. In college no one cares what you are wearing." Morgan S (Sacramento State)


3. An Eye Mask

Channel your inner Holly Golightly during your afternoon naps! An eye mask is the perfect avenue to learning how to compromise your sleeping and study schedules with your roommates'. Don't let anything interfere with your valuable shut eye!


4. Reusable Water Bottle

College is the perfect time to develop healthy habits! So stay hydrated throughout your tough classes and save the planet at the same time. You'll also save money from not having to buy water bottles and right now every dollar counts.

"Dude. Maybe this is obvi? But make sure you have a reusable water bottle." Karly K (Westmont College)

5. Colored Pens

Just because high school is over doesn't mean your days of handwriting notes are! Studies show that handwriting your notes helps you remember information more than typing - it's even more so if they are in color. Many college students have gotten into this habit of creatively transferring their notes after class. So pick up some pens and learn a new way to ace every exam.

6. A Book Light

Chances are at some point you will be the victim of sweet procrastination. So don't be that roommate that keeps everyone up because you need the lights on to finish reading. Trust me, your roommates will thank you.

7. Backpack Hand Sanitizer

College is like kindergarten in two ways - you take a lot of naps and you share everything. However, you don't have to share your classmate's germs here. Do yourself a favor and always have some backup in your backpack.

"[Get] hand sanitizer for your back pack for sure because you're basically surrounded by new germs constantly!" Reilly B (Northern Arizona University)

8. A Bath Robe

Every embarrassing moment you can easily avoid you'll thank yourself for later. Now is not the time in your life to rely on tiny towels that might drop as your waiting in line at the dorm showers.

9. Room Air Freshener or Scent Diffuser

Scents can transport you to magical destinations or your worst nightmares. I'd suggest you pick somewhere tropical over a men's locker room...

"Even if you stay super clean...rooms tend to get a little smelly (like if one of your roommates has Mexican food in the fridge...or if someone hasn't done their laundry). It's nice to have a room that smells nice!" Olivia S (Westmont College)

10. Liquid Detergent Pods

Mom isn't doing your laundry anymore! However, thanks to advancements in the laundry industry (yes that's a thing), you can now easily toss a pre-measured pod into your load of whites. Just double check for red socks first!

11. An Audible Membership

Undoubtedly college requires reading a lot of books, but straining your eyes for every single page may not be worthwhile. Now you can listen to someone dynamically read almost any book. Audible can be used to help reinforce what you are reading, catch up when you are behind, or still enjoy free time books that you don't have time to read.

12. A Netflix Membership

This suggestion is based on connecting with your peers - not promoting late night binge watching. Having a Netflix account means you will be the fun room on your floor! Here's a way to take it to the next level...

"My roommate brought a projector and we hung up a sheet up on one wall that we could roll up and down. It was the BEST for lazy weekends, and helped us get to know people right away (we hosted Bachelor Nights and movie nights in our room)." Cecilia B (Westmont College)

13. Warmer Lights

You want your dorm room to be comfortable, cozy, and your home away from home. So add some lighting variety! It's a cheap decor option that comes with several practical benefits.

"I opted to get a normal lamp...instead of a bending desk lamp. The warmer the light, variety of fun fixtures, and sense of hominess can make a real difference in the vibe of a room when all you have is fluorescent." Katherine K (Westmont College)

14. Lysol Wipes

Behold the holy grail of college essentials! It triples as a disinfectant, paper towel, and dust grabber. Plus you can't have dogs in a dorm room, so if Lysol can't clean it, nothing will.

"...sanitizing wipes. I used those for everything because believe it or not there's not always a ton of time to do a deep clean of your room and you can use them on pretty much everything - even your laptop!" Madison P (Grand Canyon University)

15. Pictures From Home

When you go to bed every night, make sure you have some visual reminder of your supportive family and friends from home. There is no trendy wall quote sign that is ever going to be more inspirational to you when you are feeling homesick.

"[Bring] something that reminds you of home...As fun and exciting the first year is you're going to miss home, even if you say you're not. That reminds you of what you're working hard for." Charity L (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)


So get out the shopping list, and tell mom you are headed to Target, because you are about to grab your Freshman Fifteen...essentials that is!

Any essentials that didn't make my list? Comment below with your ideas and share this with your friends to build an even better list for dorm shopping.

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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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