Random But Necessary Things I Wish I'd Brought To College

10 Totally Random But Totally Necessary Things I Wish I'd Brought To College

Happy shopping!


With summer being right around the corner, that means it's time to start to think about what you need to buy for the upcoming school year! Thus, I've asked around and come up with a list of things that you might not realize you could really benefit from having in your dorm room.

As a college student in the second semester of my sophomore year, I've found myself still buying things that I realized I needed for both class and the dorms. Some of these items are a bit facepalm worthy, but nonetheless, I'm sure other people may not think to bring them to school either.

Rain boots that double as snow boots

This is only a true necessity if you go to a college where it snows a lot, but still something I will forever cherish. Whether it's sprinkling rain or snowing bucket-loads, my "duck boots" keep my feet dry and warm — a much better alternative than soaking my converse like I did my entire first semester at school.

Bubble umbrella

These are especially handy in windier places. Bubble umbrellas do not break or turn inside out! They're sturdy and have great coverage.

A real winter jacket

You might be thinking, "How could someone not have a winter jacket in New England?" Well… I didn't buy mine until this year and trust me, it makes a world of a difference. 10/10 would recommend.

Brita filter

Not only is this so important for helping our environment, but it also saves your money and arm muscles. You no longer have to keep dropping a couple of dollars each week just to have to carry a heavy 24-pack up to your dorm, before filling your trash with plastic.

Reusable water bottle

This goes hand in hand with a Brita filter. By having a reusable water bottle you reduce so much waste and expenses!

A printer with toner

Do you realize just how fast regular printers use up their ink? Stop wasting $20 every month on a new cartridge! Instead, buy a printer with toner and replace that baby for $20 once a school year.

Dish sponges

As stupid as this sounds, throughout the entirety of my freshman year, I washed all of my dishes with dish soap and paper towels. Again, save yourself the waste and get a sponge or two; it makes the cleaning so much easier.

Toilet scrubber

If you don't have your own bathroom, you obviously can ignore this item. However, if you are the one doing the bathroom cleaning, this little gadget truly comes in handy.

Portable fan

Even if your room has air conditioning, a portable fan can still be used to help the air flow. You don't realize just how early they shut off the AC until you suddenly find yourself stuck in a muggy room in the middle of October.

Staple remover

Yes, bringing a stapler to college is super important, but a staple remover is just as equally important. Without one, it's like having a pencil with no erasers.

Whether or not you think you'll use these items on this list, I hope it at least sparked some other ideas for what you might need to buy for next semester.

Happy shopping!

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12 Dorm Room 'Essentials' That Are Actually A Waste Of Money

If three years of college has taught me anything, it's that I wasted a lot of money and space on things for my dorm room that I never used.


Now approaching my senior year of college, there are so many things that I have experienced in my three years away that I either look back at and smile just at the thought of or immediately regret. With a younger sister going into her freshman year of college, I hope to teach her as much of those lessons I learned in advance so she doesn't make the same mistakes as me. One of the most important things I learned after moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments for three years is what should and shouldn't come with you to school. Because, let's be real, as much as we want to pack away our entire lives and fit them in our minuscule dorm room, not everything is necessary.

However, knowledge is power, and I don't want to just save my sister from making those mistakes. That's why I'm here to share the 12 things that aren't necessary for you to bring to school:

1. A Keurig/coffee maker

While living in an apartment and having all the space in a kitchen for a coffee maker and the time to make my own hot drinks, having a Keurig was a godsend. But I'm going to be completely honest, as someone who wanted a Keurig so badly before freshman year...I rarely used it when I lived in the dorms. Between having meal points to buy my own coffee and just never having the time or energy to make it in the morning and then clean the dishes afterward, it just wasn't worth the waste of money and space.

2. A giant television

You may see pictures of dorm rooms and see students with giant televisions along their window or squished onto their desks. But unless you're living in a larger apartment, having a huge flat screen TV has no purpose for a small dorm room. There are TV's usually all over campus, especially in the common rooms that are free for you to use. If you really do feel like you need a TV in your dorm, a smaller one will suffice, because anything larger is going to take up some much-needed room.

3. Any type of hot plate/mini grill, etc.

Besides the fact that these are banned in most dormitories anyways, it's not smart to sneak one of these into your rooms. I can't tell you how many people I know that have accidentally started a fire in the dorm room from using a toaster they snuck in or a special "grilled cheese grill." The dining halls will have everything you could possibly want and need, and most dorm rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave to supplement anything further.

4. Candles

I'll admit, I am guilty of using these my sophomore year of college. Do I regret the millions of times I freaked out because I almost lit my dorm room on fire? Absolutely.

It's not worth it. Your RA will probably catch you, it's not worth the risk of accidentally setting your shoebox-sized dorm on fire, and the smoke detectors in those rooms are so sensitive that you're bound to set them off.

5. A printer

Unless you're living off campus in an apartment, there really is no reason to have a printer in your dorm room. There are tons of printers throughout the different buildings of every university, and most allot a certain amount of sheets for you to do your printing. Printers are big and clunky, hard to store, and the ink is very expensive. Don't consider buying one unless you plan on moving off campus.

6. An iron and ironing board

Take it from someone who absolutely hates wearing wrinkly clothes, the whole iron and ironing board duo was not a smart move my freshman year. It took up way too much room and when I did actually want to iron, it was so annoying to find a spot to do it in my small room.

If you're really obsessive about having non-wrinkled clothes like I am, you can invest in a mini steamer, which is super cheap, stored extremely easily because they're so small, and work just as well as an iron. I ended up swapping out for one of these my sophomore year and loving it so much more.

7. Bean bag chairs/Folding chairs

Any extra seating for a dorm room is honestly unnecessary besides the standard desk chairs that come with the dorm. The floor space is so limited that taking it up with any other large items is going to make it extremely difficult to navigate around your room. Also, when your friends come to hang out, they usually will end up just sitting on your bed or your desk chair anyways.

8. A body pillow

I don't really know what the use of these things are. I had one freshman year, and it laid against my bed the entire year and I never used it. I just found laying on it extremely awkward and uncomfortable and it was just so big that it took up too much room on my already tiny Twin XL bed.

9. A laundry hamper

A stand-up laundry hamper is just going to take up way too much space that you don't have. Instead, invest in some nicely made laundry bags that you can put your dirty laundry in and just easily carry over to the laundry room. A lot of stores even make special bags that differentiate between lights, darks, and delicates so the sorting is already done for you before you do your laundry.

10. A vacuum

While the idea of having a vacuum is nice, and I myself have had one all three years, it just took up way too much room in my dorm and I later found out you could just rent one from the commons whenever you wanted to clean your floor. Most universities do have cleaning supplies for rent, such as brooms, swifters, vacuums, etc., so there's no need trying to fit all of those in your closet.

11. A million throw pillows

While they'll make your bed look cute, making your bed every single morning and remembering where to put the millions of decorative pillows can become very annoying, not to mention finding a place to put them whenever you turn down your bed.

12. Picture frames

While having tons of pictures in your dorm room is nice, and I say the more the merrier, bringing physical picture frames is just a waste because there's not much shelf or desk place to place them. Instead, find a cute wall decoration that holds photos or clips to hang them from your wall. It'll save a ton of space and also cover up those bare, ugly dorm room walls.

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