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10 Things Every College Student Should Have Before Heading off to School

Asian Female college student writing on box while packing
Written by CB Community

Getting back to school is a time met with equal parts of excitement and dread. This whirlwind of emotions comes with a hefty list of to-do’s and to-buys in preparation for the upcoming collegiate academic year. Whether you’re a freshman or a junior, there are a number of must-have items that should be on your list before heading to your local superstore. Keeping comfort, productivity, and convenience in mind, we’ve compiled a smart list of 10 things every college student should have before hitting the books and settling into their dorm room!

10. A fuel-efficient car

College is all about newfound independence and being able to assert yourself in the real-world. Living away from home has its many perks, but if the car you’re used to driving has to stay behind, it may be time to invest in a used car. Affording a car in college can be difficult, but it’s not at all impossible. Search your local car classifieds like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to find the best deals on cars. Whether you’re looking for a used VW for sale or a used Toyota, you’d be surprised how much you’ll be able to find for under $4,000!

9. A debit card

A debit card can be a lifesaver for college students. That small plastic card is directly linked to your bank account and gives you 24 hour access to your available funds whenever you need it. Unlike a credit card, a debit card doesn’t rack up any debts—it simply allows you to spend what you already have. It could also incentivize putting money into savings!

8. A lightweight laptop

There’s only so much you can stuff into a backpack when headed to class. Even if your schedule offers plenty of downtime between classes, you won’t want to make the trip to your dorm and back to pick up and drop off a heavy computer. Suit yourself up for success with a sleek, lightweight laptop that makes transportation easier than ever. Your back will thank you, and your A-grade digital notes from class will better prepare you for midterms!

7. A wireless printer

There’s nothing worse than the anxiety linked to rushing a print job just before class. That 15-page essay deserves better after all of those long hours you spent on it. Instead of running around campus to find a printer that isn’t jammed or a printer without a long line of impatient students, take the stress out of the equation and fashion your dorm room with a smart wireless printer. You’ll save on precious time and get flawless, timely prints every time.

6. A wall calendar

female college student hanging wall calendar

Making a successful transition from high school to college is no small feat. Back then, teachers and parents constantly told you what to do and reminded you of important dates and deadlines. In college, that support system disappears and it becomes your responsibility to remember your responsibilities. A wall calendar is the perfect visual daily reminder where you can pencil in big research paper deadlines and appointment dates.

5. A spacious backpack

Between the textbooks, notebooks and folders stuffing your backpack, you still need space for your laptop, headphones, and e-reader. A spacious backpack with a few convenient pockets could be the game-changing accessory that makes you commute to class a little less painful and a bit more practical.

4. A laundry bag

Laundry piles up fast, and without mom or dad to scold you for letting the pile flood your room, having a big laundry bag or basket will keep your roommates from holding their nose as they pass your bunk. Add a little spice by getting a customized monogrammed laundry bag so you can stow your dirty garments and lug your laundry in style.

3. A water filter

If you’re at all picky about the taste of your water, investing in a water filter could be the answer to your selective tongue. When you’re moving across town, the state, the country, or the sea to go to college, it is highly likely that the water will taste a bit different from what you’re used to.

2. An HDMI cord

group of college students watching movie in the dark

If your dorm space is equipped with a TV, but that TV only gets limited channels, you’ll quickly find yourself wishing you could watch Netflix or HBO on that TV instead of the local news channel. An HDMI cord allows you to project your computer screen onto your TV screen. This makes roommate movie nights a breeze, and you’ll quickly become everyone’s go-to man or woman for the TV hook up!

1. Noise cancelling headphones

Sometimes you just need to tune the world out in order to get a good study session in. A high-quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones could be the one-stop-shop fix to your radio-silence needs. Get into your zone without the bustle of the students around you distracting you from your productivity roll.

Make this academic year a big one. Set yourself up for success with these 10 college must-haves!

For more great tips on college life, make sure you read the other blogs at College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.