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50 Dorm Room Must Haves for College Students in 2021

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Bedroom with a wooden wall and white bedding and pink blanket

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When moving into a new dorm room, it is your opportunity to decorate it to fit your personal style! There are so many dorms must haves out there to choose from and it can look a bit daunting. But I put together a few items that I added to my dorm room, which I think you will like as well.

I love adding many fluffy pillows, fun decorations, and even useful organization tools to my spice up my dorm room and you will too!

So these are 50 dorm must-haves for students that you need to include in your room .

This list even includes some new pandemic-related dorm essentials that you may not have thought about.

Must Haves For Your Bed

1. All Seasons Comforter Set

Intelligent Design - Clara -All Seasons Comforter Set

There are a few things that stand out in a dorm room, one of which is your bed. Because your bed is a huge focal point in your dorm room, the way you style it controls the look of the entire room.

This semester, you have many styles to choose from in terms of the design and color of your comforter.

The current popular styles of comforters are minimalistic with a simple color scheme that matches the rest of the dorm room and an optional layer of a fun design or pattern.

Choosing the best-fitting colors and design will help your comforter pop out of the rest of its surroundings but also blend in well with the room’s color scheme. 

A comfy texture of your dorm comforter is a dorm must-have. Having a soft and cozy comforter will create a relaxing place for you to spend your free time on Netflix or Hulu.

There are hundreds of comforter designs available to you, so get out and choose the perfect one for your dorm room. 

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2. Comfy Sheets

Printed Coastal Microfiber Bed Sheets

The important part of making sure you are comfortable when trying to fall asleep is the type of sheets you have wrapped around you. Everyone has a different preference for what sort of fabric they prefer when it comes to their dorm room sheets.

The choices may seem endless with sateen, flannel, percale and so many more, but picking the right fabric could turn a pair of sheets into a dorm must-have.

There are also many patterns and color palettes you can choose from. Picking the right color palette to match the rest of your dorm room aesthetic can bring everything together, even if you don’t feel up to making your bed every day. 


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3. Faux Fur Throw Pillow Case

Ashler Pillow Case Cushion Cover

Pillows will make your dorm room feel like home whether you choose accent pillows, body pillows or floor pillows.

Your dorm room is where you hang out in your free time or when using Zoom during class. Pillows can spice up a dorm room’s aesthetic and tone down its atmosphere.

Your bed is the first place pillows are a must-have item. These pillows can be plushy, standard-sized pillows to get your best sleep on. 

Adding accent pillows to put on during the day will clean up your bed game and make your dorm room put together. Using mini accent pillows on a spare chair can also add an extra level of comfort to your dorm room.

Body pillows, backrest pillows and floor pillows make it easy to study wherever you are in your room without having to sit at your desk all the time.

I love to use these huge pillows to prop myself up against my dorm room wall and watch Netflix at night or read until I fall asleep. At least the pillows keep my head from nodding off! 

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4. Soft Blankets and Throws

Sleepwish Sherpa Fleece Fluffy Blanket Rainbow Butterfly

Dorms and residential halls can get cold with chilly temperatures creeping in from outside. Have a few extra blankets to wrap yourself in on a cold day.

In 2021, it is all about faux fur! Soft, textured blankets make you feel as though you are snuggling up with your pet that you had to leave at home. 

Calming, weighted blankets are also a comforting option. Their weight helps you relax and unwind after a long day of studying or online classes. These have become a popular must-have in college dorm rooms.

I really want one of these because I have heard it helps calm you when you get anxious about homework or friend drama. I tend to get caught up in a lot of that, so this would be very helpful for me. I’m sure it can calm you down as well!

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5. Upholstered Headboard

Modway Lily Upholstered Twin Headboard

Is your bed taken over by the lovely, puffy comforter and pillows? To balance all the comfy energy on your dorm room bed, a unique headboard could do the trick.

It can make you feel even more at home if you use a similar design to your headboard you had to leave behind.

Headboards can be of any style, texture, color and shape. It can also be designed to match the color scheme or mood of your room. As your Twin XL college dorm bed may seem unexciting, adding a headboard can make it look like the bed of your dreams. 

My headboard is wooden and matches the style I have picked for my storage units, desk, and chair in my dorm room. Having a headboard does a great job of tying everything together. 

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6. Waterproof Mattress Protector

Linenspa Premium Smooth Fabric Mattress Protector

Nothing could be worse than discovering bedbugs have taken over your mattress in your dorm room.

The risk of a bedbug takeover can be eliminated with a mattress protector. Make sure you buy the right size for your dorm bed!

I know this may not seem that important, but trust me, you will thank yourself when the end of the year rolls around and you can just take off your mattress protector and your mattress is just like new again!

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7. Quilted Fitted Mattress Pad

Utopia Bedding Quilted Fitted Mattress Pad (Twin)

Dorm rooms don’t usually come with as nice of a mattress as you may have at home. An uncomfortable mattress can be a hit or miss with all the time you want to spend in bed watching Netflix and getting good-quality sleep.

Therefore, a mattress pad for your dorm bed can make all the difference in your sleep schedule.

My mattress was uncomfortable before I got a mattress pad. Now I find I can sleep better and fall asleep more quickly than before! This item is definitely worth the price!

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Must Haves For Organization

8. Underbed Storage Bag

SONGMICS Underbed Storage Bag

Trying to fit a whole year’s worth of school supplies, clothing, and snacks into your dorm room can leave it looking like a tornado just blew through.

Though room organization is a huge struggle for many college students, storage units can solve this problem by decluttering a room.

Storage trunks can be used as both a storage spot and a display table. Storage bins are useful for optimizing minimal storage space under your dorm room bed and other hard-to-get-to places.

I use the space under my bed to keep my snacks and extra books from previous semesters.

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9. Multi-layer Hangers

Devesanter Multi-Layer Hanger

It is quite common for dorm rooms to have very limited closet space.

Plastic hangers found in any back-to-school section of the store are often bulky and take up way too much space in your dorm closet.

Multi-layer hangers save a lot of space in your dorm closet and help declutter the area, creating more room for other storage. 

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10. Velvet Hangers

Utopia Home Premium Non Slip Velvet Hangers

These allow you to fit more clothes in your dorm closet than thicker plastic hangers.

They also stop your shirts and sweaters from sliding off one side after the other, creating piles of clothing on the floor with just one accidental nudge.

This means no more clean clothing covered in dust!

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11. Organizers Hang on Doors

Gorilla Grip Premium Over The Door Shoe Organizer

Organization tools such as caddies or hooks can save space in your college dorm room when it may seem like you have none. These caddies can hold shoes in your closet or extra books that don’t fit on your desk. 

Caddies can also hang on Command hooks and therefore have more versatility than you may realize. Wall hooks can be stuck to any surface to add the ability to hang decorations on windows, organization caddies on doors or photos on walls. 

I love to hang up fun lights using Command hooks and my caddie saves me a lot of space and clutter!

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12. Adjustable Drawer Dividers

TENABORT Adjustable Drawer Dividers

When you need to find that favorite pen or pencil in your dorm room desk drawer, it can be challenging to sift through all the other items rolling around in your desk.

A drawer divider can keep each of those specific items organized and prevent them from rolling around each time you open and close the drawer. You will never have to waste time rummaging around in your desk again!

These drawer dividers have also saved me a lot of ot time during virtual classes. I don’t need to rummage around in my desk drawers to find things.

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13. Desk Organizer

SimpleHouseware Mesh Desk Organizer

This must-have can organize the top of your desk. Papers, sticky notes and other objects that you usually keep on your dorm room desk tend to make your room look a bit cluttered if they are not kept straight.

A desk organizer reserves space for each item to keep them in their own place and leaves space on your desk for your computer and anything else you are working on. 

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Must Have Toiletries

14. Personalized Embroidered Towels

Custom Monogrammed Personalized Embroidered Towels

Embroidered bath and hand towels are popular items this semester as students do what they can to keep track of their towels.

Having your name or monogram embroidered onto your towel set is a cheap way of preventing other students living in your dorm from confusing your generic towel with theirs.

This small way of personalizing your towels will save you from having to replace them after the awkward swap takes place in your dorm’s communal bathroom.

My towel set has lasted me a long time and has also definitely saved me from the confusion I may be confronted with, in the event that another student accidentally reached for mine instead of theirs.

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15. Portable Storage Organizer

Design Plastic Portable Storage Organizer Utility Caddy Tote

Dorm halls usually have shared bathrooms at the end of each hallway and therefore require you to carry all your belongings with you to and from the showers.

Shower caddies and tote bags are your answer when it comes to carrying all your essential toiletries to and from your dorm room.

Don’t forget those flip-flops as you walk down the halls because they can protect you from the dirt and grime collecting on the dorm floors.

I have so many different kinds of soap, shampoo, scrubs, lotions, and so much more, that I can’t possibly carry all those items to the bathroom in one go.

I highly recommend you invest in this waterproof shower caddie!

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16. A Warm Bathrobe

American Soft Linen Luxury Hotel & SPA Warm Soft Plush Fleece Robe

While walking to and from the bathroom down that long hallway in your dorm, it can be a nuisance to have to hold your towel around you with one hand and all your other belongings with the other.

A bathrobe can fix your lack of an extra arm by allowing you to free up your hand that you would usually use to hold up your towel. It also takes away the risk of losing your grip on your towel before you can get back to your dorm room!

I cannot say I have been one of those embraces students that have lost hold of their towel in the hallway, but I can say I have come dangerously close.

I appreciate the protection my robe provides from my soaking wet hair as well.

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Must Have Decorations

17. Easy Peel and Stick Wallpaper 

Decals for the Wall Easy Peel + Stick Wall Decal Dots

Though you may have all the decorations you think you could ever need to make your dorm room one of a kind, there is a huge canvas that still needs to be used to make your dorm room stand out.

A blank wall that may take up one-sixth of your room needs to be covered! Easy-to-apply wallpaper can make wall decorating a quick, easy, and mess-free process.

If you want an even softer look than the wallpaper options, you could look into hanging a tapestry or posters to bring your dorm room to life. 

I actually got tired of the weird zoom backgrounds and put up my own easy-peel wallpaper behind me so when I am in online class, I already have a background! I highly recommend you try this out! It is also easy to get off if you ever want a different background.

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18. LED Photo Clip String Lights

LECLSTAR LED Photo Clip String Lights

If you want to hang many pictures on the wall but don’t have enough frames for them, clipping your photos up could be another option.

This also avoids the risk of cheap tape falling off the wall. LED photo clip string lights make the display warm and inviting while they light up each of your photos!

I love these lights because they make my room look a lot more relaxed and also bring attention to the funny photos I hang on them!

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19. LED String Lights

ANJAYLIA LED String Lights

LED lights can add the finishing touch to any dorm room. They add soft lighting to set a relaxing mood and create a dainty aesthetic.

Though some colleges have restrictions on electric lights, they are usually more lenient with these smaller fairy string lights as they are seen to be less of a fire hazard. Check your college’s policies on dorm lighting just in case!

Many schools have policies against string lights, but if your school lets you hang them up in your room, I highly recommend you add them to your dorm room!

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20. Mini Plants 

Nubry Mini Fake Succulent Plants
$14.99

Your dorm room may have all the comfy blankets and pillows it needs to fit your style, but it is missing the beautiful feeling of life.

Mini plants can bring that feeling of life to your dorm room! They can be a great way to get you up in the morning because you have to water them (even though they are easy to maintain).

It can also be an entertaining conversation to have with your peers if you come up with fun names for the plants. 

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04/10/2021 01:30 pm GMT

Must Have Furniture

21. Bedside Shelf or Lap Desk

Amada Bedside Shelf for Bed with Cable Management & Cup Holder

When your bed is just too comfortable to get out of in the morning before class, why not have a way to do your classwork while in bed?

Having a bedside shelf to place items such as cups and mugs can allow you to stay in bed longer. And having a lap desk can make it easier for you to spend more time in bed while you keep yourself accountable by getting your classwork done.

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22. Mini Fridge 

BLACK+DECKER Mini Fridge with Freezer

It can get old when you have to walk all the way to the dorm kitchen to get your leftovers from the dorm’s communal fridge.

What if others have taken your food by accident? With a mini-fridge in your dorm room, you don’t need to worry about your food mysteriously going missing.

Save yourself from that annoying trip all the way to and from the kitchen just for that pint of ice cream.  

If you plan on spending a long period of time in your dorm room, having the access to food from your mini-fridge can be a life-saver!

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23. Full-length Mirror 

Letushy Wall Mirror Full Length and Door Mirror
$70.99

Though there are many classes exclusively offered online at college this year, there are still opportunities for students to go out and dress up.

There is no way to check out your outfit or loungewear without a full-length mirror in your dorm room.

It is also a great way to take selfies of any new outfit or comfy look. This also had been a fun activity for my roommate and me to take friend photos in the mirror!

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04/10/2021 12:32 pm GMT

24. Fuzzy Area Rugs

PAGISOFE Purple Area Rugs
$29.98

Dorm rooms often have either hardwood or cold tile floors. This can put a damper on your comfy dorm room style.

A way to add more comfort to your dorm is by laying down a cozy rug.

The color, design, and shape of your rug can match the color scheme of your room and bring the entire design together!

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04/10/2021 01:32 pm GMT

25. Window Shades 

Window Shades

The sun can be a pest in the morning when you are trying to sleep in until virtual class. None of us like being woken up early by the bright rays of the sun through our window.

Adding blackout window shades can increase your ability to sleep in and also bring your daytime movie game to the next level.

These window shades are easy to install and make all the difference when it comes to sleeping in.

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26. USB port, Touch Control Table Lamp

Yarra-decor Bedside Lamp with USB port

Your dorm room may not have overhead lighting or enough lighting for reading and writing.

A desk lamp is a stylish and efficient way to light up your desk without having to move around the furniture in your dorm room. 

My desk lamp makes it a lot easier to control the level of lighting in my room as well. If my roommate wants to sleep, I have the option to only have my desk lamp on.

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27. Modern Standing Lamp

Addlon Floor Lamp for Living Room with Lamp Shade and 9W LED Bulb

Often, the light already installed in dorm rooms is not in the most ideal location, and it can make it hard to create the best setup. This original light also rarely has the option to dim it or brighten it.

Getting a tall lamp and placing it in a good spot with your favorite type of light bulb can be the most ideal lighting option. 

I recommend this lamp because it is practical, but also has a nice lampshade that creates a subtle glow instead of harsh light like the ceiling light that comes with the room.

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28. Small Trash Can

simplehuman Gallon Round Bathroom Step Trash Can

Most dorm rooms come furnished with a desk, chair, bed, and dresser but no trash bin. Therefore, many students end up with no good place to store trash in their dorm rooms.

Picking up a small trash can may avoid the chances of your trash just sitting in an old plastic bag on the floor for days.

You also won’t have to awkwardly walk down the hall to the communal trash bin every time you need to discard something. 

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29. Foldable Chair

Zenithen Foldable Chair

Dorm rooms can feel cramped with all the extra decorations and other belongings. Therefore, anything that can be storable is a dorm room must-have.

A foldable chair can be used to accommodate a friend or family member while staying out of the way when not being used. 

When the weather is nice enough to go outside, a foldable chair can be handy to take outside on the grass to hang out with friends.

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30. Clip-on Light

Vekkia/LuminoLite Rechargeable Book Light

These lights can be very helpful when you are lying in bed and need to read a book for class but don’t want to turn on your bright lamp in order to see.

Instead, you can clip this little light onto the top of your book, and it will illuminate just the right amount of the page! 

This is a great alternative to having the bright light on in your room. Especially if your roommate wants to go to bed before you are done with your readings.

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31. Mini Fan

Holmes Mini High Velocity Personal Fan

Airflow is challenging when it is too cold to open the window to help circulate the air in your dorm room. A mini fan could do just the trick. 

You can adjust the tile of this fan and can also be a cool and refreshing option in the next few months when the weather warms up. 

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Items You Will Be Thankful For

32. Portable Steamer

Hilife Handheld Garment Steamer Clothing

For those who tend to forget to fold their clothing or store clothes in bins where they get wrinkled easily, a portable steamer is a must-have for you.

They are small enough to take up minimal storage space and can save you from having to throw another load of clean yet wrinkled laundry into the wash again.

They are also very simple to use and don’t need any special liquid or any other products. 

I love keeping my clothes in drawers and therefore, they end up wrinkled a lot. This portable steamer has been an amazing solution to all my wrinkled clothes and has helped keep my outfits looking fresh and professional.

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33. Portable Mini Hand Vacuum 

Dusbuster Handheld Vacuum

It can be easy to quickly sweep dust to the side when cleaning your dorm room. If this is the case, a mini portable hand vacuum can easily become a dorm room necessity.

It comes with a small charging cord and creates a pleasant and easy vacuuming experience.

It can also get into small crevices so that there are no more dust balls rolling around on your floor under your bed. 

My room is not cleaned by the cleaning crew in charge of the rest of my dorm, so having this vacuum cleaner to just use when I spill crumbs everywhere is a life-saver.

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34. Power Strip

Belkin 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector

With all the electronic items you need to keep plugged in at all times in the modern day, a power strip will save you from having to charge only a few electronics at once.

This dorm must-have makes it possible to charge all your electronic devices at the same time! This power strip has 12 outlets and is a life-saver!

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35. Extra-Long Phone Charging Cord

BSTOEM Long Charger Cable USB Charging Wire

Extra-long phone charging cords are becoming popular as students are spending so much time on their phones.

A long charger allows you to use your phone anywhere in your dorm room while it charges.

Some phone chargers don’t last very long because they get bent or fall apart, but this phone charger is well-made and lasts forever!

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36. Microwave-Safe Dinnerware Set

NARVE Microwave Safe Dinnerware Sets

Living in a dorm can make cooking a challenging feat, especially while social distancing.

When dinner is going to be an instant mac and cheese bowl or leftovers from the night before, it may be worthwhile to get a microwavable dinnerware set to heat up those leftovers.

It could even save you the trip to the communal dorm kitchen if you have a mini-fridge to store leftovers in your room. 

My college’s dining hall is only giving out plastic and paper materials and this microwave-safe dinnerware set has helped me store food in my room.

Having a mini-fridge to keep the food in has also really helped.

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37. Snacks in Bulk

NABISCO Variety Pack Snack Box

Snacks can seem like lifesavers if you need to get through a late night of studying or need a quick and easy pick-me-up.

Getting individual bags of chips from the vending machine can cost more than you think by the end of the semester.

But, if you buy your favorite snacks in bulk at the beginning of the semester, then you can end up saving a ton of cash in the long run! 

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38. Portable Car Electric Kettle

Fdit Portable Car Electric Kettle

Whether you prefer tea or coffee, both these drinks are dorm room must-haves when it comes to late-night studying sessions and early morning classes.

Keeping a water kettle in your room can open the door to a plethora of opportunities for study nights.

You can not only make a piping hot cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa, but you also have the option to make instant noodles or instant mac and cheese! 

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39. An Easy-To-Maneuver Laundry Basket or Hamper

Handy Laundry Mesh Popup Laundry Hamper

Dorm buildings usually require students to journey all the way to one laundry room in the basement of the building. Because it can be such a long journey to take your laundry, having an efficient way to carry it can be helpful.

A laundry basket or hamper can be the best way to make your laundry easy to maneuver to and from your dorm room.

I used to always have to take at least three trips to the laundry room and back to start the washing machine because I didn’t have a proper container such as this one to carry all my clothes in. Now I can do it all in one trip!

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40. A Water Filter

Brita Standard UltraMax Water Filter
$95.99 - $199.99

Dorm buildings have only a few water fountains, and they can be a pain to walk to when you could just get water from the faucet.

No matter where you fill up your water bottle, using a water filter can make a huge difference in taste.

Also, if the better taste of water increases your water intake and overall hydration, then getting a water filter can be beneficial for your health. 

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04/09/2021 02:28 pm GMT

41. Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth Speaker
$26.93

Music can change your mood and motivate you to get school work done.

A Bluetooth speaker is a great way to add some fun into your busy day of online classes.

Though you may not be able to have friends over to hang out, the speaker can make it seem like your friends are with you if you project their voices from your phone or computer. 

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04/10/2021 12:34 pm GMT

42. Leak Proof Lid Water Bottle and Mug

Water Bottle and Mug

Water bottles and mugs are a great way to not only keep your drinks warm or cold but also to help the environment!

You will also save money in the long run that would have been spent on plastic water bottles throughout the semester. 

This is a double-wall vacuum insulated Stainless steel portable mug that keeps your drink wherever temperature you wish. It really is everything you could ever wish for in a mug!

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School Material Must Haves

43. Cartoon Animal Sticky Notes

Sticky Notes

If you are a student who forgets to do tasks or enjoys extra levels of organization, sticky notes may be for you!

They can be used to organize your notes, label different objects, and create tabs in books so you don’t lose your place.

Sticky notes come in many different colors and cute designs that you can use to match the rest of your dorm room. 

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44. 20 Piece School Supplies

Trail Maker 20 Piece School Supplies
$9.99

Notebooks, binders, pens and so much more can be considered essential items when it comes to doing your best studying during this college semester. Therefore, getting the ideal school supplies can be considered a dorm must-have. 

This school supplies kit is the most basic, but effective kit I have found! It has all your essential items that you could need during school and can set you up for success right at the beginning of classes!

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04/10/2021 12:36 pm GMT

45. 2021 Large Desk or Wall Calendar 

2021 Desk/Wall Calendar

It is important to keep all your assignments organized and on track in order to get each done before the due date has passed.

For those students who forget about assignments easily, a desk or wall calendar can be a dorm room must-have. 

I am a visual learner and have found this desk calendar to be the perfect organizer for a busy student schedule!

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46. Comfortable Loungewear

Long Sleeve Tops and Pants Set Sweatsuits

Clothing can impact your level of comfort when sitting in virtual classes all day.

Keeping a set of comfortable loungewear to change into or wear all day can increase your level of comfort by a ton!

Just throw on a sweatshirt and comfy pants, and you can completely lift your overall mood! 

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47. Noise-canceling Headphones

Mpow Noise Cancelling Headphones

Dorm buildings can be great places to get to know other students at your school, but they can also make it very challenging to focus on your studies.

This is especially true when the students in the dorm room next door play music loudly or make distracting noises. The noise-canceling headphones can give you the chance to focus no matter what is going on around you. 

I tend to have a hard time concentrating when listening to catchy songs that I end up singing to instead of working on the assignment at hand.

I instead recommend listening to classical music when studying if you have a similar problem when studying.

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Health And Safety Must Haves

48. Air Freshener Spray

Febreze Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator Spray
$14.16

There is nothing worse than living with a smelly roommate or dealing with a bad scent lingering in your dorm room.

Air freshener spray can solve this issue without hurting your roommate’s feelings or creating a hassle for you to get the odor out of your dorm room. 

This spray can come in handy when you are planning on having a friend over for a movie night or Netflix and chill session and want your room to smell fresh and welcoming.

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04/10/2021 12:36 pm GMT

49. First-Aid Kit

Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit

A first-aid kit is something that you may need in scary situations. It could potentially be a lifesaver in some instances and is a good thing to have on hand.

Even if you don’t get injured very often, one of your friends could hold a record for getting hurt a lot or there could be a need for first aid that you can’t foresee.

I have found the most random times to use this kit, but it has always come in handy at some point during the semester. It comes with sanitation wipes and bandages of all shapes and sizes!

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50. Washable Reusable Masks

Xchime Cover Washable Reusable Masks

Life on campus looks a bit different in 2021 compared to past years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the importance of always having some sort of protective equipment on your person when out and about, these are must-haves in your dorm room as well. 

If you are concerned about the air quality in your dorm room because of the connecting air vents running through the building, consider picking up an air purifier and a CleanseBot to rid your dorm room of germs in the air and on surfaces.

Stock up on washable or disposable face masks and personal care products such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. 


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It is hard to choose specific items that you need in your dorm room. Since your dorm room is a place where you spend a lot of time when at college, this comprehensive list will give you an idea of what you need!

Including these dorm room must haves can increase your productivity, boost your mood and create a positive place for you to hang out this semester. Good luck with your dorm room decorating, and good luck with your virtual courses! 

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40 Wonderful 18th Birthday Ideas for the Most Special Day Ever

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An inflatable 18th birthday balloon.

This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure is long, but you can find it here.

Turning 18 is a major milestone in everyone’s life. Excitedly marked with the newfound ability to vote, get tattoos, buy lottery tickets and convince yourself that you’re finally a “real adult,” turning 18 is an immensely transitional time for many. Such a special day should be celebrated with only the most fun, interesting and exciting gifts and activities. Continue reading below for inspiration on the best 18th birthday ideas to get you started.

IN THIS POST

 

18th Birthday Gift Ideas

1. Instax Share SP-2 Portable Printer

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Mobile Printer (Gold)

Be sure to always have your photos ready with this printer that allows users to print Polaroid photos from a phone.

This product is perfect for creating photo walls and compiling memories, especially for recent high school graduates moving to college. 

I use my Instax printer regularly to print out photos of my friends and loved ones. I can hang them in my room, keep them in my wallet or use them to make gifts.

With no cord required, the printer connects to a phone through Bluetooth, allowing anyone to use it easily. 

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2. Bubble Cube Candles

Bubble Cube Candle

Keep up to date with the latest home decor trends, and get the newly independent 18-year-old a handmade, multicolor candle that will add personality and light to any room, both at home and at college. 

Not only are these candles affordable at around $6.99 each, but they are also personalizable. You can choose their color and scent, a feature unique to candles like this from small businesses.

This business sells a variety of decorative, handcrafted candles at affordable prices, all with great reviews. 

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3. Personalized Star Map

Personalized Star Constellation Map, Minimal Star Chart, Night Sky Poster

Perfect for any astrology buff in your life, this personalized star map is both perfect decor for a newly independent teen and also a heartfelt commemoration of someone’s birthday. This map highlights the date, time and location of someone’s birth. 

As someone who enjoys giving and receiving sappy gifts, I’m in love with this print and the customization options that are available.

The choices are excellent for anyone’s preferred aesthetic and design. This product works for all new 18-year-olds, whether it be your sister, friend, boyfriend, child or grandchild, and reminds them of how much they’re loved. 

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4. “The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion” by Elle Luna

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

With the arrival of the 18th birthday also comes many questions about the future. Will you go to college, and what will you study? Do you want a roommate or several roommates? How about work?

This book about mindfulness and self-help about making decisions and honoring your desires is a perfect gift for new 18-year-olds going out into the world.

Described as “an inspirational gift book for every recent graduate, every artist, every seeker and every career change,” this book is all about making decisions and moving forward when you come to a crossroad.

With raving reviews across platforms, this book is both inspiring and an easy read. It is ideal for an 18-year-old navigating graduation and transitioning into adulthood. 

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5. Scratch-Off Map

Scratch The World Travel Map – Scratch Off World Map Poster

Everyone gets excited about their new independence when they turn 18. To jumpstart the exploration they’ll be doing in the next few years, get them a scratch-off map so they can keep track of all the places they’ve visited. 

My sister and I both have scratch-off maps, and we love them. They remind us of our travels and the places we’ve visited as a family.

The top layer on this product also scratches away to reveal a beautiful watercolor design, which makes the places you’ve visited become their own little pieces of art.

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6. Charger Bracelet

Auzev Charging Bracelet

Never be caught without a charger again with this cool gift, perfect for a newly independent young adult who’s constantly on the go.

I try to make a habit of bringing a portable charger with me whenever I leave the house, but more often than not I forget to grab one.

When I’m running around all day going to classes, working or hanging out with friends, my battery charge plummets.

As someone who regularly wears bracelets, I would havetrouble forgetting a charger that also doubles as a piece of jewelry.

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7. Self-Care Spa Box

Bath and Body Gift Set, Cherry Blossom Spa Gift Box

College and applications are always stressful, but this gift provides a way to relax and unwind after writing numerous essays and cover letters. 

As a massive proponent of self-care, I think you can almost never go wrong with a spa box. Another product by a small business, this comes with a candle and body scrub and includes add-ons such as a succulent, face masks and natural fragrances. 

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8. Custom Movie and TV Poster

EzPosterPrints Custom Personalized Photo to Poster Printing

Do you have great taste in movies? Do you want everyone to know you have good taste? Another trendy home decor option, these custom minimalist movie and TV posters turn favorite characters into aesthetically pleasing art. 

The minimalist design of these prints makes them perfect for any room and personality. The bold text is complemented by the small color palettes, which are customized for a singular frame of the movie or show.

This gift is perfect for the movie buffs in your life. I’m even considering getting one for one of my best friends. 

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9. Custom Album Cover Wall Art

YAGELI Personalized Custom Spotify Acrylic Song Music Plaque

Wall art is always a good gift idea, and this album cover art is an especially trendy home decor option.

Customized album cover art lets you show off your music taste and personal style in a new apartment or dorm room. 

Made by a small business with incredible reviews, this product adds personality to any room.

A feature I really enjoy with this is how the artist allows you to submit any photo to act as the centerpiece of the art, and a song–whether it’s the song you and your friends scream-sing in the car or you and your partner’s song–complements the bottom of the piece.

This gift is super personal. I’m considering getting one for my younger sister. 

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10. Homesick State Candle

Homesick Scented Candle, Michigan (2020 Version)

Going off to college or just leaving home is exciting, but occasionally, the homesickness will catch up to you. This candle helps you keep part of home with you wherever you are. 

Despite going to college in my home state, I still manage to get homesick every once in a while. As an upstate New Yorker, the description of “a crisp fall afternoon in the Adirondacks.

Pumpkin patches lined with hay. Nutmeg and cinnamon complement freshly picked apples” for the New York candle immediately transports me back to my hometown.

This gift is perfect to remind recent graduates and graduating seniors of their roots. I can’t recommend it enough.

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11. Customized Film Keychain

Custom Camera Film Roll Keychain

A perfect personalized gift for your best friends, this keychain lets you keep photos of your loved ones with you at all times. This is a wonderful way to compile the fun photos you took at the 18th birthday party. 

As someone who is constantly struggling to decide what photos should be my phone wallpaper or kept in my phone case and wallet, this would be a helpful addition to my keyring; it lets me have multiple pictures of my friends and loved ones with me at all times.

This gift is also a good present for graduating seniors so they can always have their memories of home with them. 

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12. Wallet

FurArt Slim Minimalist Wallet

Not only will this help to keep all that birthday money in order, but it also provides a secure place for a student ID and business cards. I personally prefer a folding wallet, but I’ve found that mine is quite bulky and takes up a lot of space in my pockets and bags.

This is especially true when I’m on the go. A flat wallet like this one has ample room for credit cards, cash and identification while saving you space in pockets and bags. This wallet also comes in a variety of colors and textures and has great reviews in regards to snugness and security of cards.

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13. Reusable Tote Bags

Reusable-Grocery-Bags

Ideal for carrying textbooks around or for carrying groceries, every young adult needs a few tote bags. I absolutely swear by tote bags; I almost never leave the house without one.

They make accessing your things easy and, in my opinion, complement outfits better than a bulky backpack might. 

I use my tote bags to carry my computer and textbooks, but I also use them as shopping bags whenever I go grocery shopping or go to the store.

These bags are from a small business, and the shop owner includes a personalized note and free stickers with every purchase!

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14. Adult Coloring Books

Cat Butt Coloring Book: A Hilarious Fun Coloring Gift Book

A relaxing pick-me-up on especially difficult days, this cute and funny book provides a way to unwind from stress. Studies have shown that making art helps lower stress levels, so this gift is a perfect go-to.

Adult coloring books are a good way to add new art to any room without necessarily having to be “good” at art. You don’t even have to worry about coloring in the lines! A 2020 article by the Cleveland Clinic reported that adult coloring books are especially relaxing because they give you something else to focus on and are a low-stakes activity.

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15. Wireless Headphones

DuoTen Waterproof Wireless Earbuds

While on the pricier side, wireless headphones are an excellent gift that’s guaranteed to be used almost every single day. These are perfect for doing homework or working out without having to worry about wires. 

I use my headphones every day without fail. Whether I’m walking around campus or working on an assignment, my wireless headphones give me full range of mobility without the worry of a cord snagging on something.

Personally, I prefer wireless headphones that have an ear loop for added support and security, but it’s dependent on your preferences. 

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16. “Today I Affirm: A Journal That Nurtures Self Care” by Alexandra Elle 

Today I Affirm: A Journal that Nurtures Self-Care

A highly reviewed book focused on self-care and introspection, this gift is perfect to remind loved ones to slow down and take care of themselves.

For recent or upcoming graduates, this book can act as a way to decompress after a long day of work or classes. 

The benefits of meditation and personal introspection cannot be overstated. A 2014 report by Harvard Medical School found that meditation can reduce anxiety, pain and depression while helping you with “your creativity, your intuition [and] your connection with your inner self.”

As a massive proponent of positive self-talk and journaling, I highly recommend this book, especially to young adults. 

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17. Birthday money tissue box 

Students will always appreciate some funding on their 18th birthday. This cute and clever gift can be made by taping dollars together in a line and placing them in a tissue box with a single dollar poking out the top. It will be a cute way to give your friend an extra bit of cash and it is fun for them to open! 

This is an example of what you could do:

Cash in a tissue box

 

 

Best 18th Birthday Decorations

18. 18th Birthday Balloons

AULE Number Balloons for 18th Birthday

Come on, everyone has thought about wanting big birthday balloons at least once in their life. And for the big day, you might as well go all out to celebrate 18 years with these fun number balloons, which provide a perfect photo opportunity. 

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19. Personalized 18th Birthday Poster

18 Years Ago Birthday or Wedding Anniversary Poster

The 18th birthday is such a monumental day, so your birthday star deserves to be the center of it all. To pull out all the stops, check out this personalized poster that compiles memories from the year they were born. 

I got one of these for my mom’s birthday a few years back, and everyone at the party was obsessed with it.

People took time to discuss their memories of the events and products that shared my mom’s birth year.

This gift would be especially fun at an 18th birthday party to see what figures and events are still relevant almost two decades later.

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20. LED Hanging Curtain Lights

Twinkle Star LED Window Curtain String Light

These lights create a warm, cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for an 18th birthday party and for room decor when the party is over. 

I have had LED lights hanging in my room since I was around 15, and they’re still one of my favorite ways to add personality and light to a space.

If given the choice, I will always opt for LED lights over bright overhead lights, and many of my friends feel the same.

LED lights are also good to have around for parties and get-togethers down the line to create a fun, laid-back ambience. 

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21. Personalized Custom Banner

SUNBEAUTY Customizable Letters&Symbols Banner

Make sure the new 18-year-old is the center of attention with this personalized birthday banner, which acts as a perfect backdrop for tons of pictures with friends and family.

Again, your 18th birthday is a big deal, so it should be celebrated! And sometimes, that means getting to be the center of attention with your name on a big, shiny banner.

This product, which has overwhelmingly good reviews, comes in a variety of colors and textures, making it adjustable to any theme or preference. 

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22. 18th Birthday Cake Topper

Maicaiffe Black Glitter Happy 18th Birthday Cake Topper

You only turn 18 once, so you might as well go all out for it and have a fun cake topper. This cake topper is a good option for those who can’t spell out names and phrases with icing–which isn’t a bad thing! (I can’t spell with icing for the life of me, either.)

Not only does this product have good reviews, but its neutral design makes it a nice decorative touch that will fit with any cake design.

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Things To Do On Your 18th Birthday

23. Spend time with friends 

There are few ways better to celebrate a birthday than by spending time with the people you love. When the weather is nice, go for a picnic or make marshmallows over a fire. In the colder seasons, make dinner together and watch a favorite movie.

24. Finally do “adult things”

Now, this isn’t encouraging you to buy a pack of cigarettes and hit the clubs, but it’s still funny and exciting to buy your first lotto scratcher or get your first tattoo.

25. Have a costume party 

Who says that costumes have to be reserved for Halloween? Make sure your 18th birthday party is unforgettable by having guests dress up as their favorite characters or as a certain theme. 

26. We’re Not Really Strangers 

A perfect party game, We’re Not Really Strangers allows players to make new connections and strengthen the ones they already have. Warning: this game may cause players–especially those nearing graduation–to get immensely sappy. 

While I don’t own this game, several of my friends do; they say it’s an absolute hit, especially when getting to know people. I’m constantly being recommended We’re Not Really Strangers and am currently considering buying a pack myself to play with my roommates. 

27. Create a well wishes jar

Growing up isn’t always easy, and things can get overwhelming quickly. This gift lets the 18-year-old in your life hear how proud the people who love them are of them and gives the new adult the encouragement they need to keep moving forward.

28. Birthday Bingo 

Don’t be afraid of your guests getting bored at your party. A few close rounds of bingo are sure to bring out your friends’ competitive sides. Make the squares relate to the birthday star to make it even more fun. 

29. Jackbox Party Games

The Jackbox Party Pack 6

Games such as “Quiplash” are perfect for groups and always manage to get a crowd laughing. These games are also perfect in-person activities as well as virtual ones. 

I’ve played “Quiplash” during game night at my friends’ houses, and each time we play I end up tired from laughing so hard.

Jackbox games are also good because they have an audience option that allows for lots of people to play at one time. That way, more people can be included in the fun. 

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30. Make a s’mores bar

Set up the s’mores equipment so it’s all ready to go, using painted reused cans to hold sticks and candy. If you don’t have a fire, make a s’mores dish in the oven by layering graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. 

31. Disposable cameras

Encourage guests to get off their phones by having them take photos of the party with disposable cameras. Giving a disposable camera to the birthday person can help them remember this important birthday for years. Not only will you receive digital copies when the film is developed, but the printed photos can be used as decor afterwards. 

32. Party Jenga

Have guests and friends write challenges, dares and questions on Jenga pieces. When you play, each person must do whatever the block says before placing it back on the tower. 

33. Marimo Moss Ball Kit

An aquarium kit is a great gift for a newly independent young adult. This gift is perfect for anyone–even for those who tend to kill plants–looking to become more responsible. 

I’ve been considering getting marimo moss balls for a few months now; as with any plant–or pet?–I’ve done my research to see how much effort they require and how difficult it is to mess up taking care of them. And in truth, it’s actually really difficult to mess up taking care of them! They require minimal effort but still help you to be responsible and maintain a schedule. They also function as super cute room decor. 

34. Movie Marathon Night

An ideal party idea for homebodies, a movie marathon is a great way to spend time with friends while also staying low-key and affordable. Set up some ambient lighting and a pillow fort, and you’re 

35. Mocktail bar 

For some people, 18th birthdays aren’t as exciting as the big 2-1. Having mocktails helps make a party atmosphere fun and more adult while still being safe and legal. 

36. Dinner Party

For smaller get-togethers, pick a fun, new recipe to try out and center the party around making and eating dinner with your friends. Wait for food to cook by playing games and making memories. 

37. Paint and Sip Night

Another more laid-back option, this idea is perfect for those who want to celebrate without having a huge party. A paint and sip lets guests paint their own party gift while having fun drinks and snacks. This event leaves everyone with a souvenir to remind them of time spent with friends.

38. Time capsules

On your 18th birthday, make a gift for your future self to open. Let your future self know what you did, how you’re feeling, and what you’re looking forward to in the future!

 

Places To Go On Your 18th Birthday

39. Go on a trip 

Pick your closest friends and take a day trip somewhere, whether it be the next town over or the new coffee place you’ve been dying to try. Half the fun of going on a trip is the memories you make on the way there. 

40. Go camping

Getting away and spending time with yourself and your buddies is one of the best ways to celebrate being 18. Even if you have to set up a campsite in your yard or living room, spending the night in a tent and laughing with your friends is always fun. 

 

Turning 18 is a huge milestone and something that so many people look forward to. Stepping into adulthood for the first time is something that should be celebrated, and these gift and celebration ideas are sure to kick off your 18th year on a good note. 

That’s a wrap. This article was all about 18th birthday ideas. Was the article helpful? Let us know in the comments and share the love on social media

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40 Amazing 20th Birthday Ideas for the Most Special Day

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A yellow 20 balloon is floating

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Welcome to your 20s! This age is a perfect in-between age to get to know who you are and who you want to be, so why not celebrate with style? Yes, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, but who says you can’t treat yourself to a safe celebration? 

Here is a list of the best 20th birthday ideas to help you celebrate the beginning of your 20’s, no matter how strict your quarantine is.

*Birthday Suit*

1. Loungewear

BELAROI Womens Comfy T-Shirt Dress

The most important part of your birthday is definitely how you look. Loungewear is trendy at the moment, so try for something basic that also makes a statement. T-shirt dresses are really versatile and easy to pair with various accessories. 


They can also be worn year-round if you wear them with a cute pair of leggings or jeans in the winter. This is great for a quarantine birthday but also for a comfortable birthday suit to party in. I mostly love loungewear for all the versatile options!

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2. Headband or Crown

That is an important 20th birthday idea question and distinction. Depending on your celebration, a headband can give off a more relaxed vibe, and a crown can be a classic and fancy accessory. I suggest the crown for an elegant or formal party and the headband for any other situation. 

The headband is an example of the level of sparkle it will need to highlight your big day. Take it as inspiration as you search for the level of glimmer that works for you.

3. Birthday Sash

Gold Glitter Birthday Sash Birthday

Birthday sashes are a must when you are out in the town. They are a city party staple, and there are so many ways to personalize them!

I usually go for the ones without the birth year, but sashes are great to highlight milestone birthdays too. 

There are tons of places where it can be personalized or if you want to make your sash memorable, have your family and friends decorate it for you.

My family decorated mine a couple of birthdays ago and I later wore it when out with my friends. Remember, it is your day to be extra, so your sash must stand out!

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*Party Accessories*

4. Monochromatic Décor

Rose Gold Pink Birthday Party Decoration

If there is no overall theme for your 20th birthday celebration, try this monochromatic trend.

If you love millennial pink, then you would love this setup with a huge balloon garland. The rest of the setup is either gold or pink and ties the rest of the decorations together. 

The whole set should not be too expensive to put together with purchases from large party stores.

This is honestly the best with the little details as well, like matching presents. Try this with your favorite color!

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5. Balloons

Balloon Arch Garland Kit Rose Gold

Balloons are amazingly simple decoration pieces and can be the focus of your event.

Try a different kind of balloon from the norm, such as balloons filled with confetti, dipped in glitter, or adorned with LED lights inside them. You can also give balloons filled with money as a fun birthday gift. 

If you want to have some nostalgia from the first 20 years of your life at your birthday, tape pictures at the ends of balloon strings so that they can roam throughout the party.

You could even make it an activity. Balloons are so versatile, there’s no way to go wrong!

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6. Streamers

Rose Gold Hanging Swirl Decorations Plastic Streamers

Streamers are another classic decoration that is a must-have for any birthday celebration. You can’t go wrong when choosing a color matching your theme or décor. Buy many to create a backdrop or a few to wrap some furniture. 

If there is a lot left over, you can use these for other decorating or crafting projects in the future. This would be great to match with a monochromatic decor and they are really cheap to buy lots of.

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7. Fringe Curtains

Rose Gold Foil Fringe Curtains

Instead of streamers, maybe fringes are more your style. Matching this with the décor and theme of your birthday will tie everything together. Use this for your doorway, as a backdrop, or even for decorating furniture. 

I have seen various fringe curtains in my life, from tv show-related ones to beaded curtains. These are generally not expensive so check out some crystal curtains for a year-round fringe!

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8. Fairy Vines

Fake Vines for Room Decor

Or maybe fairy vines are what you are looking for. These lights have leaves to bring a feeling of nature into your party, but there are other styles without leaves that give a more simplistic look. 

These are great because they can be for a single event or a permanent decoration for your room. There are also some with flowers that are adorable in any room.

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9. Trendy Cake

Surprise Cake – Musical Popping Cake Stand

Tsunami cakes. Glaze cakes. Drip cakes. Hidden compartment cakes. There are so many cake trends to choose from that your perfect cake is just a bake away. 

They might be pricey, so research in your local area before settling on one. I had a cake covered in edible glitter and flowers.

It was so pretty, I didn’t want to eat it! If you have not tried any of the trendy ones, try one for your special day.

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10. Cake Topper

PALASASA Happy Birthday Cake Toppers Glod glitter letters

Personalization is key, so instead of getting a regular cake topper, get one just for yourself! The prices of these definitely vary on how personal it is, but there are many DIYs. You can add cute edible toppers or a picture of yourself. 

If you choose a generic one with your name, definitely take the opportunity to use it on anything that can hold the cake topper. No judgments here!

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11. Birthday Candle

Rotating Lotus Candle Birthday Cake Music Candle

Or skip the topper and get this lovely lotus candle. If you have not seen this already, you are in for a treat! When lit, the candle opens and reveals a flower with multiple lit candles around it. 

Some of these candles spin and others play music, but whichever you choose, it is guaranteed to make your 20th birthday cake more memorable. I got this for my young niece and she fell in love with it!

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12. Sparklers

12 Pcs Birthday Candles, Gold Cake Decorating Candles Used for Birthday Cake, Party, Wedding, Night Club

If you are looking to make the cake the centerpiece, definitely get some sparklers. This candle will make everyone excited about the cake if they weren’t already. 

These are great for any special occasion as well. I had these at my graduation party and they were great. T Have your camera ready for this one!

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13. Cake Pop Box

Golden State Fruit Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Maybe cake is not your thing, but cake pops can be. If you have been on social media at any point in the past few months, you may have seen these viral cake popsicles and chocolate strawberries. 

Treat yourself to these instead of a whole cake, and don’t forget to personalize them. The prices may vary, depending on if there is someone in your area who is already making them, but some are available by online order. 

Shop in your local area or look online for vendors who can sell and customize these cake pops for your birthday!

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14. Flowers

Benchmark Bouquets Flowering Fields

For my lovely Earth signs, you may appreciate more of the outside in your event if your gathering is not already in a park. Treat yourself with a bouquet of flowers in various designs and colors. 

As an Earth sign myself, for one birthday, I asked my family and friends to send me my favorite flowers instead of a gift. The flowers all lasted at least a whole week. Get artificial ones if you want them to last forever!

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15. Confetti

3000 Pieces Happy Birthday Confetti

You would think confetti is a simple item to have, but there are so many options to relate to your theme. There are confetti poppers, ones with “Happy Birthday” foils, others with glitter, specific ones that are best for falling slowly… there are just so many options, and you can’t go wrong with any of them! 

Even the ones that don’t match the décor will be fun for everyone, and an amazing addition to your birthday. And they are pretty inexpensive, so definitely get some!

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16. Birthday in a Bag

Unique party decoration, 1 9″, Multicolor

Now, maybe your birthday is just a personal celebration, something you like to do alone. In this case, Birthday in a Bag comes in handy. 

Whether for yourself or for someone else throwing a mini celebration, this bag includes a foil birthday banner, six balloons, a serpentine role, a small packet of confetti, and a foil balloon cutout. Bring this with you or mail it to the birthday babe!

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17. Flower Ice

Oameusa Dried Flowers

Purely for aesthetic reasons, edible flowers in ice will be a cute way to commemorate the evening. There are also plastic flowers or plastic ice cubes with flowers already in them. 

You can also make ice cubes with little fruit or some herbs. I have done this for summer barbeques but they are great for summer or spring events. Definitely do this if your birthday is a nature theme!

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18. Charcuterie

Smirly Cheese Board and Knife Set

Charcuterie boards seem to be a love it or hate it trend, but they are almost always a hit at birthday parties. It all depends on what you put on one, especially if you are not into deli meats and crackers. 

There are some that seem like a taco bar, others that have been more sweet-focused, with s’mores and chocolate-only spreads. I made various ones with fruits and everyone enjoyed it. Try one with your favorite snack foods!

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19. 20th Birthday Collage

Memory Board Photo Collage Kit

Collages are perfect 20th birthday ideas because they can be created in various ways. You can either buy one or create your own. You can cut out the numbers of your age on a poster board or cardboard and paste pictures there, or you can simply collage photos together. 

This is an opportunity to be creative and reflect on memories with loved ones. This can also be a family bonding activity if you haven’t seen them in a while.

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*Things To Do*

20. Paint & Sip

Paxcoo 60 Pieces Mini Canvas Painting Set

Because this is a 20th birthday ideas list, a paint and sip does not have to involve alcoholic beverages. Those with winter birthdays can do hot cocoa and paint cookies. This is also something that can be done over Zoom. 

My nieces and I were able to have a Paint & Snack party, where the focus was on our favorite snack foods and painting with watercolor. It was successful over video chat. Safely invite as many people as you wish!

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21. Board Game/Trivia Night

Clue Game

Board game and trivia nights are synonymous with family time, but it can also be an amazing birthday activity. 

Whether over Zoom or in person, there are so many games that can be played, and there are even games and websites that were designed to be played over Zoom. My family and I have made this a monthly event that we use to catch up.

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22. Backyard Movie

VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector

Having a movie night is a classic party gathering, only made better with a birthday celebration. With the many projector options, there are, it won’t be hard to gather many friends and watch various videos, movies, or clips together. 

Weather permitting, it will be one of your most memorable birthdays. Don’t forget to set up a food and snack table for enjoyable watching!

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23. Series Binging

If you can’t have an in-person movie night, take it virtually and binge-watch a short series or season of a series. If you don’t want to watch anything new, go through your favorite shows and only watch the best episodes. 

My siblings and I constantly watched shows together, but being separated made it difficult. For my brother’s birthday, we were able to watch his favorite movies and it was almost like nothing changed. Brainstorm some quick shows or movie trilogies and comment on them the entire time.

24. Zoom Party

Czech Games Codenames Multi, Standard

As mentioned before, Zoom can be used for various games and events. Opt for this if your friends have left the state or country, and try virtual group activities like charades. There are also some that have an online version, like Codenames. 

This has yet to fail for me and my friends, especially when we have a game ready to play. A zoom party is a time to get creative, so definitely ask for ideas and try them all!

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25. Photo Booth Props

Kissral Photo Booth Props

Photo booth props, such as exaggerated glasses or thought bubbles, are always a cute birthday idea. 

They have been used more in weddings lately, but there are so many to choose from now that you can personalize them for your birthday, or even create your own. These are not expensive to purchase, so there are many options. If you have a theme and can’t find any to buy, make it an activity!

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26. Scrapbooking

STMT DIY Journaling Set

Like the collage activity, scrapbooking can be a fun solo or group event. This could even be made early to gift to the birthday person. Polaroids and mini photo printers would come in handy, but research before, for they can get pricey (but the go on sale often!). 

This can be done in two ways: you can either create your own journal from scratch and decorate it, or you can plan an event to scrapbook. The latter would be a two-part birthday celebration and all the better!

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*Themes*

27. Gaming Tournament

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition THX 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

If you’re against making a personalized party, why not go for a specific theme? A gaming tournament will work in person or online and can be as official or laidback as you want it to be. 

I’m a horrible gamer, but my family still gets together to play the old-school games. If you are faced with bad gamers, invest in one that isn’t hard and can be fun for every age. Gather your gaming friends for a true test of their abilities!

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28. Zodiac/Astrology

SANBOLI Space Themed Party Tablecloth

If you are more spiritual, you would love this zodiac and astrology theme. I love a coordinated astrology theme! Highlight your sign or constellation with a theme focused on what makes you the person you are. 

If you have a guest list, definitely try to incorporate everyone’s sign in your decor or activity as well. My Cancers or Capricorns may even make individual cupcakes for everyone. How sweet!

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29. Ice Cream Party

Ice Cream Bar Decorations Kit Gold Glitter Banner

Flash back to your childhood parties with ice cream, cake and cookies.

Make this an overall theme with various ice cream decorations, or go scientific and make your own ice cream with crazy flavors.

Too much ice cream is never a bad thing and this theme is even better for summer birthdays!

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30. Breakfast Food

Machine for mini waffle maker

Have a breakfast food theme! We all know it is the most important meal of the day, so why not make it a 20th birthday event? This may be intriguing to the early birds or those who usually don’t have time for breakfast. 

Birthdays are a full-day event at my house, but taking the time to appreciate the morning is a great way to start the day. If this theme is too broad for you, you can take the day to highlight whichever food is your favorite.

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31. Backyard Brunch

COTIER Preprinted Mimosa Bar Supplies Decorations Kit

Or make it a brunch day in your backyard! This will leave the menu open for various food options, and the brunch atmosphere can help remind you of a weekend outing. 

Invite your close friends only and catch up on various life events. Brunch dates are my favorite part of the weekend, so celebrating them on my birthday is special.

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32. Dessert Party

33. Elegant Party

150 Elegant Gold Dinnerware Set with Plastic Cutlery

If you miss dressing over the top for no reason, take this birthday as an excuse to have an elegant party. Bring your best dress, nicest shoes and cutest bag.

Do your hair and makeup as though you’re getting ready for a runway show. Make it a photoshoot on the sunniest day, and save up glam shots for future posts. 

I usually save the elegance for the holidays, to show off of course, but it was fun to make it a birthday theme as well. Also inexpensive with cheap decorations, but remember, it’s all about confidence!

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34. Location

Picnic Basket Set

If you are more into photo opportunities, have a birthday outdoors. Forget all of the extra decorations, and grab a picnic blanket and some easy-to-eat foods. Get to the beach, a park or even the woods and spend the day surrounded by nature. 

All of the summer birthdays in my family are done outside and we try to go somewhere farther than the backyard. If you have been mostly isolated recently, you will feel liberated.

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35. DIY Party

Herbal Tea Indoor Garden Seed Starter Growing Kit

Since we’re in a time where a lot of products can be DIY-ed, why not make a party out of these projects?

Try making candles or self-care products. Gardening kits, bath bomb kits, embroidery kits or food-related kits can also be great DIY 20th party projects. 

My best friend and I have crafted some of the kid kits like the science experiments and bracelet making.

It’s definitely more fun when you can understand the entire process as an adult. Introduce yourself or your friends to an old or new hobby!

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36. Glow-In-The-Dark

WILLBOND 33 Pieces Neon Birthday Glow Party Supplies

Remember when glow-in-the-dark parties were cool? Let’s bring that back as the “adult” years start to kick in. Definitely look for all sorts of glowing products, even down to the glowing ice cubes and temporary tattoos. 

My niece loves this because of the glowing items that last more than a day. If you’re looking for nostalgia, this is a great option!

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37. Throwback

Birthday Galore 90’s JAM! Photo Booth Props Kit

Or if you feel that is too cheesy, have a general Throwback Thursday theme. This can mean either a party based on the early 2000s or, if you want to be more specific, pick a decade and invest in the period. 

We usually have this theme for the older people, so that they can dress up in a decade they did or didn’t participate in. Take it an extra step and research various popular foods of the time. Rock those platform shoes from the ’70s!

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38. The 1920s

Tinksky 20pcs 1920s Photo Booth Props Roaring 20’s Party Photo Props with Bamboo Sticks Creative Party Supplies,Perfect 1920s Themed Birthday Wedding Hollywood Party Decoration Accessories

But since we are in the 2020s now, a Roaring ’20s party sounds like a perfect way to kick-start the year, and is also in keeping with the 20th birthday theme! Like the elegant party, this is your moment to show off how fancy you can get. 

Make sure you take lots of pictures and edit them with a 1920s look. This is a common decade-based party theme so it should not be hard to get everything in order for it. You have plenty of years to have this theme!

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39. Self-Care Day

Spove Sandal Floral Pedicure Set

Maybe you’re a busy college student and just need some rest. Have your family or friends fix you a self-care day. Everyone needs at least one a week, but for your birthday, it should be extra special. Any requests should be completed on your day! 

This is also a great day to try out natural skin and hair care products with your loved ones to make a more interactive self-care day. We usually have this as a pre-Mother’s Day activity so that the next day we have a…

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40. Pampering Party

Milk Here For The Party Mini Makeup Beauty Set

We always try to make the day extra special, so we extend it into a two part appreciation day. For a birthday, you and your friends can create looks with makeup and hair and can also make time for some manicures and pedicures. 

Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon, there’s no disappointment in this theme. If this is your version of a self-care day, don’t forget to take many pictures of your multiple looks.

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This list has compiled ideas for a lot of different parts of a typical birthday celebration, and hopefully, you have found some inspiration from these ideas. It may only be one day, but you have that day once every year, so make the most of it! Enjoy your celebrations!

That’s a wrap. This post was all about 20th birthday ideas. Did you find the article helpful? Share the love on social media! 

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The 10 Absolute Best College Planners to Succeed in 2021-The Ultimate Guide

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Planners are essential for college success. Whether you are a more focused planner or just need something to remind you when your midterm is, a college planner will help ease the overwhelming feeling of having too much to do.

Before you buy one, take a minute to think about what you are looking for in a planner. Do you want a detailed path to achieve your goals, a better way to stay productive, or do you just need a calendar that is not on your phone? Below are several options that may resonate with you and put some perspective on your future endeavors.

In this post:

1.  Bloom Daily Planner

Best Layout 

Length: One Year

Date: January 2021 – December 2021

Size: 6” x 8”

Best Feature: Vision board

Extras: Magnetic bookmark, a sheet of stickers, monthly tabs and pockets, a Life Planner

Bloom produces daily planners of all varieties, suited to your specific liking and purpose. Some of their planners are more basic, such as the ones for simple trackers and other ones like this one that tracks so much more. There are whole sections devoted to goal setting, purposes and values.

There is a goal tracker and a habit tracker for those that need a little more guidance, and a money spending tracker as well.

And throughout the planner, there are goal reminders every few weeks so that you can stay on top of your personal promises (think of the New Year’s resolutions that you’ve already forgotten about!)

With the many varieties of planners available, there are other basic planners that are just for tracking dates, and even ones without dates.

They have academic calendars for the school year, which are great for teachers.

Personally, I love the inclusion of a vision board to help you really set your goal for the year and create an additional use for a planner.

Their goal tracker is great as well, as the reminders help you stay on track. Bloom has made this a planner you cannot go without! Buy it here.

2.  Blue Sky Planners

Simplest and Spacious

Length: One Year

Date: January 2021 – December 2021

Size: 5” x 8” or 8.5” x 11”

Best Feature: Space for notes

Extras: Can match style with other items like desk or wall calendar

Blue Sky Planners are great if you want a simple college planner with a lot of space. Even their smallest size is enough to list assignments and personal goals.

Simple monthly and weekly tracking is easy with this planner, and it has extra space for every week and a dedicated page for notes.

Their monthly calendar section is also spacious, which is sometimes hard to find in some planners. This planner is great if you just need reminders of college classes, or if you want to show your books off with a little personality, as they have a wide range of covers.

This is also a great planner for those that have their own stationery set. There are many pages to get creative in this one!

Blue Sky does have a more organized one with various habits and goal tracking as well, but this one is only six months.

If you have a short-term project that requires a lot of work to track, I definitely recommend it! Buy it here.

3.  Erin Condren Academic Planner

Most Popular Student Planner

Length: One year

Date: January 2021 – December 2021

Size: 7” x 9”

Best Feature: Many extras

Extras: Changeable covers, inspirational quotes, stickers, and a lot more. 

If you know anything about planners, you’ve probably already heard of the popular Erin Condren planner. This planner packs everything into one, without being overwhelming.

They also each have a specific purpose, like this academic planner that has a focus on college projects and exam dates, and pages to track their progress or to study.

This planner is designed for students, as it has a section for your class schedule, and includes extra notes pages after every month.

With various sticker sheets and inspirational quotes throughout, this academic planner will help you keep track of everything you need to succeed in school.

Erin Condren planners are very layered with many different styles and purposes. Their Life Planner may be better if you need one to focus more on goals than school.

I recommend getting that one if you are not too focused on tracking your academic work, but still need a college planner to track everything at once. Buy it here.

4.  Katie Daisy On-the-Go Planner

Most Compact and Best to Carry

Length: 17 months

Date: August 2021 – December 2022

Size: 5” x 7”

Best Feature: Size

Extras: Every page is decorated and still spacious

Katie Daisy’s planners are always beautifully laid out. This small planner is very simple and is eco-friendly. They are printed on recycled paper, and the business plants trees to offset their carbon footprint with each purchase.

It is no surprise that each page is decorated with wildflowers, butterflies, and other aspects of nature, as well as many inspirational quotes.

There is a pocket inside to store loose papers, and an elastic band outside to keep everything in place.

This planner is somewhat basic with its monthly and weekly spread, but it has to be since it is in a smaller size. Still, there is plenty of room to plan out personal or college events.

This planner is for the simple college student, who does not need rigorous planning and wants something to spark their creativity instead.

I have purchased this planner various times, especially for my busiest semesters, and it was great to carry around for reminders.

This planner unfortunately is not out until May, because the dates in the planner start in August, but check the Katie Daisy website for creative inspiration! You can also preorder it here.

5.  Clever Fox Planner

Best for Productivity

Length: One year

Date: Undated

Size: 5” x 8”

Best Feature: Vision board

Extras: Awareness and self-discovery questions, focus and mind map, 50+ dot grid pages

If you are more goal-oriented than reminder-focused, Clever Fox may be the planner for you. This undated planner is great for those with huge goals and an inability to start.

Whether there is a process to get started on your goal or you have no idea how to start, Clever Fox is determined to boost productivity and focus.

They promise this by including heavy tracking and accountability goals with many steps.

They include a questionnaire to get you to understand your goals and get realistic about achieving them.

There is also a focus and mind map page to narrow down your goals and estimate the effort and process in achieving them.

Clever Fox claims their planners are less for people that have many appointments and more for those that are more focused on achieving short and long-term goals.

It does still have monthly and weekly tracking as a regular planner, so there is overlap.

The focus with Clever Fox is to achieve goals, so if that resonates with you, this is your best option!

The vision board is my favorite part of this planner, because it channels the long-term idea of a board into something that can be achieved in a year. You can buy it here.

6.  Passion Planner

Most Challenging  

Length: One year

Date: August 2020 – July 2021 (more options on their website)

Size: 5” x 8” or 6” x 9”

Best Feature: So much tracking!

Extras: Check-ins, passion roadmap, goal tracking, weekly focus

If you liked the goal tracking with Clever Fox, you might enjoy the overworking Passion Planner. With this one, you can track everything right down to the hour.

There are various pages dedicated to passion planning through short- and long-term goals and breaking them down into steps, a yearly overview to list an important event for each month, a daily layout that tracks goals and personal events of the day, and monthly self-check-ins to update your progress.

Their passion roadmap is a great way to brainstorm your true goals, and their huge section of dotted grid pages can also be used for anything from doodles to more goals.

There is even a mood tracker and a “Not To Do” list, for those that have to be reminded to stop a bad habit.

This may seem overly complicated for a college planner, but it is ideal for people who need to be extra-organized, or who need detailed plans and goals to get motivated. You can buy it here.

7. Moleskine

For the Minimalist

Length: 12 months

Date: Jan – Dec 2021 (18 month available)

Size: 5” x 8”

Best Feature: Thick pages

Extras: Various tracking pages, pocket, variety with others

Or if that seems too overwhelming, Moleskine is a much better option. They are a popular planner and notebook choice for college students, for there is not too much to worry about.

They have a standard calendar layout, monthly to daily, and some extra pages that include daily diary, sketching pages, and project planning.

Their best feature is their paper thickness because many planners are sometimes too thin to really mark up.

The great thing about Moleskine is that they have layout variations. They have horizontal layouts that help you see your schedule in a better format and various sizes for your convenience.

This planner is best for tracking simple events and minimal life planning, but perfect for academic planning. Aesthetically speaking, it is the best overall. You can purchase it here.

8. Smart Planner Pro

Best Fresh Start Planning

Length: 12 months

Date: Undated, but includes calendar page for 2021-2023

Size: 8” x 5”

Best Feature: Grade Tracker

Extras: Daily gratitude, time blocking, weekly review

Ideal for the college student who fell behind and needs to start organizing. Smart Planner is pretty simple with loads of extras like mini note sections, monthly affirmations corner, and three bookmarks that sound excessive, but are pretty useful.

They have thick paper for heavy writing and planning, so bring out those gel pens!

This is mostly an academic planner and should be used as such. If you have extracurricular activities, this can definitely still be useful.

It’s undated, so it can be started at any point when some organization is mostly needed. You can purchase it here.

9. Rocketbook Panda Planner

For the Hybrid Organizer

Length: One year

Date: 2021

Size: 6 x 8”

Best Feature: Reusability

Extras: Cloud usage, multi organization pages, can be used for years

This Panda Planner collaboration with Rocketbook may be the best thing for those who depend on technology, but like the physical planner.

This planner lets you write on the pages like any planner, whether weekly or monthly, for a goal tracker or regular notes. And when you’re ready, just scan, upload, and erase and start new.

They include their own towel and pen to make sure that the content is eligible and can be properly wiped clean to start new.

This includes a year review page and three months to plan at one time, but it can technically be used for years.

I think this is a great choice for those who need to plan ahead, but don’t want to overwhelm themselves with having to keep up with a physical planner.

Their app is helpful and there are many ways to share your work to your preferred cloud service.

This is definitely for the simple planner, unless you want to plan out a short term goal, in which the original Panda Planner may be better. That one is an undated 90-day planner, so choose wisely! You can purchase it here.

10. (Bonus) GoodNotes Digital Planner App

For Those Who Love Modern Technology

Length: Any

Date: Any

Size: Depends on the device

Best Feature: Sync between devices and searching within notes

Extras: Presentation mode, multi-window use

If you are like me and like the new and modern way of things, this GoodNotes digital planner may be the one you purchase from this list. Besides its digital content, it is a planner that can continuously have pages and trackers added to it from various places.

There are many personalized pages you can buy on Etsy, for example, and the Passion Planner above has their own section for digital planner pages. Some examples of extra pages are calorie trackers, coloring pages, finance trackers, and even trackers in other languages.

The limiting factors are its compatibility with Apple devices only, and the need to constantly purchase some pages, though there are plenty of free ones. If that does not bother you, GoodNotes also lets you search your handwriting, annotate PDFs, and take your notes anywhere.

It also highlights its sharing capability, to show that it is not completely limited to its app. If you are less of a physical planner person, this is the best multi-productive alternative for you! You can purchase it here

A picture of notes taken on GoodNotes Digital Planner.

There are so many different variations of planners that it can be hard to choose the right one for your goals, whether these are to succeed in college or simply to fulfil your New Year’s resolutions. Hopefully, this list will help you decide which planner works best for you and your lifestyle. You will never feel unprepared with one of these planners in your life!

That’s a wrap! This post was all about best college planners. Do you have any other college planners you want us to include in the list? Let us know in the comments. Also, share the love on social media.

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