List of College Supplies You May Not Think About Until You Need Them!

By: Shelby Nalley 

This is just a list of suggested items I discovered that helped make life easier. I collaborated with 3 college juniors who have also added some items. You don’t have to get everything at once, buy a few things at a time. Get some relatives to donate some items, too! I have added a couple of books. Remember those? You may be able to get everything from the Internet, but these books will be extremely helpful for writing. You will do constantly and especially during mid-term and at the end of each semester. Don’t kick this list, you WILL need these items. If anyone can think of anything else, please feel free to share.



– Backpack (books are too heavy to be trying to be cute!) Keep a small umbrella in there so your ‘do will stay fresh!)

– Laptop or small notebook

– 3-hole punch

– Small stapler and staples (to keep in your backpack to staple all those pesky paper you’re going to write)

– Printer/Paper-(so you won’t have to be in the library late at night)

– Post-its (small ones to write notes on)

– Paper clips (sm and lg)

– Pencils/pens (blue or black-college professors don’t do colors) Use color for your lecture notes if you want, but NEVER turn in work in colored pen to your instructor unless they tell you it’s ok…most won’t.

– Pencil Pouch (I know you’re going, “Really?” Yeah, really. You might think it’s nerdy, but if you keep it in your backpack, along with your little stapler set, you’ll always have a pen!

– Dictionary/antonyms/synonyms/thesaurus (so you don’t have to use up your data on your phone. Don’t get the little cheap ones; they won’t have all the words. This will also help when you write papers and so you won’t use the same words and sentence structures; they take off for that!)

– Little, Brown Handbook (has all the information you will need to write ant kind of paper, how to use punctuation, examples of research papers in MLA and APA-styled writing) Use Purdue Owl and Son of Citation for citing instructions as well.

– Planner-to keep up with assignments Really helpful to keep you organized)

– Index cards (to help organize the oral presentations you’ll have to give)

– Binders with pockets for each class to keep notes and handouts organized


Dorm Survival:

– A trunk with a padlock or key (to keep extra money or anything you don’t want your roommate or their friends to “borrow”)

– Shower caddy and shower shoes (so you won’t get athlete’s feet)

– House shoes and plenty of crew socks or footies

– Shower gel rather than soap/face towels/bath towels

– Extension cords/wall sockets with extra plugs/power strip (at Lowe’s or – – – Home Depot they have some with pictures of the items you’ll be using it for to make sure you get the correct voltage so you won’t blow a fuse)

– Small fridge/microwave (if you can have them)

– Aluminum foil/cases of water (save your money for as long as you can)

– Use paper plates/plastic ware/paper cups/bowls or you can get a couple of microwave dishes.

– Cereal and milk and soup for hard times (and not too many pkgs. of Ramen Noodles)

– Full-length mirror to attach behind a door

– Iron and a small, portable ironing board (or a mattress pad with no designs or they will also appear in your clothes)

– 4 Bed risers (Bed, Bath, and Beyond-to raise your bed for more storage space)

– Bottles of Clorox Clean-Up/rubber cleaning gloves (like Dexter’s mom)

– Bag of Rags for miscellaneous uses

– Lg. bottle hand sanitizer/can of deodorizer for bathroom use (be considerate) Lysol spray or something!

– Toilet paper/paper towels/Kleenex

– Cold/Allergy meds/immodium liquid (diarrhea and upset stomach after too much partying or bad food)

– Gas X (for gas so your roommate won’t kill you or you kill them!)

– Tylenol/Motrin/Aleve (for headaches or cramps)

– Cotton balls/Q-tips/Bottle of alcohol (white) for cuts and scrapes**NOT TO DRINK!!**

– First-Aid Kit (get extra band-aids)

– Laundry bags (or large garbage bags)

– Garbage bags/waste basket (medium-sized)

– Clothes hangers

– Bag of change for washer and dryer/washing detergent/dryer sheets/2 clothes hampers (dirty and clean clothes)

– Don’t bring clothes you have to wash by hand!

– 1 or 2 really dressy outfits for job interviews or serious occasions (you know you’ll have your party clothes! Not the same thing…You can’t swag going to an interview!)

– Resume and cover letter (on jump drive) Always format your cover letter and resume to the job you are applying for. Always. 

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