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60 College Must Haves – Everything a College Student Needs To Survive 2024

College is fun but it can also be overwhelming. Here are the college must haves that will make your life easier and smarter.

Eleanore Belanger



College students studying in a library with everything a college student needs to survive

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Are you getting ready for your freshman year of college? Maybe you’ve been in school for a few years already, but you’re about to start a new semester. Either way, college is an exciting time for most students.

But it can also be a stressful time for students. Maybe you’re looking for ways to bring your grades up after struggling in class last semester.

Whether you’re just beginning or you’re about to finish your degree, having the right supplies can have a big impact on your college success, which is why we have created a list of college must-haves.

Table of Contents:

 Finals in College: Items To Survive Finals

1.  Mechanical Pencils

Mechanical Pencils

Although so much schoolwork has become digital, you’re still going to have to take a lot of multiple-choice final exams on paper.

By the time you finish the exam, you’ll be second-guessing and erasing some of your answers, so don’t go in there with a pencil that has a nub of an eraser, or even worse, a pen. 

I use a simple pack of BIC pencils because the lead is vibrant on the page, but the rubber erasers leave my papers clean when I need to get rid of a mistake.

Plus, I can get a pack of 40 pencils for less than $10, so I don’t have to worry about losing them or lending them out to anyone who doesn’t have a pencil with them.


2. Index Cards

Index Cards

Index cards are must-haves for college students, especially when it’s time for finals.

You can use them to create flashcards, which are a great way to test yourself before taking those multiple-choice exams. 

There are a lot of flashcard apps available that serve the same purpose, but writing the material down and shuffling through the cards is a more effective learning technique for me.

I know I’m learning the information and not just memorizing the patterns an app is presenting over and over. Creating flashcards is key to my success during finals.


3.  Highlighters


Highlighters are essential for surviving finals.

Even if you didn’t use them throughout the rest of the semester, as final exams get closer, the chapters and notes start to pile up, making it harder and harder to remember all the necessary information. 

Highlighters make the important material stand out, which makes studying a lot easier.

This pack of highlighters is the best because it comes in multiple colors, so if you want, you can even color code your notes.


4. Notebook

Dotted Bullet Notebook with Pen Loop - Elegant Black Leather Notebook with Premium Thick Paper (A5) - Lemome Best Gift for You

Using a laptop or a tablet to take notes is really convenient, but some students learn more effectively by writing their notes down in a notebook.

But when finals hit, you need to make sure all of those notes are safe and sound.

With this Lemome notebook, you can write with almost any kind of ink and it won’t bleed through and ruin the notes on the next page.

The elastic band keeps the notebook closed when you aren’t using it, so you don’t have to worry about anything spilling on your notes. 

It even has a pen holder, so you’ll always have something on hand to take notes. If you’re going to survive finals with your handwritten notes, it’s important to use a high-quality notebook.


5. Gel Pens

Sharpie S-Gel, Gel Pens, Medium Point (0.7mm), Black Ink Gel Pen, 12 Count

If you take notes by hand, having a good pen is important, particularly when it’s time to start studying for finals.

Writing with a nice pen will lead to better notes, and writing better notes will lead to better final exam results!  

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a nice pen. You can get a multicolored pack of 12 Sharpie gel pens for a little over $10.

The color is vivid, the ink doesn’t smear, and if you’re writing in a Lemome notebook, the ink won’t bleed through the paper. 


6. Digital Recorder

EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder Voice Activated Recorder with Playback - Upgraded Small Tape Recorder for Lectures, Meetings, Interviews, Mini Audio Recorder USB Charge, MP3

Taking notes during class can be difficult. It’s hard to write as fast as the professor speaks, which is why I’ve found that recording classes to listen to later is always a good idea.

This is why you should buy a digital voice recorder for the college girl in your life. 

You might think that this is a pointless gift. She can just use her phone to record lectures on, right?

However, using a phone to record can be distracting, especially if she’s getting a lot of notifications while she’s trying to focus on the lecture. 

As a college student, the EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder will be one of the most useful gifts she’ll ever receive.

This voice recorder is small enough to easily fit in any book bag or purse, but the device has enough storage to record long classes, speeches, or lectures.

It also has a noise-canceling microphone, so when she transfers her class recordings to her computer, they’ll sound crystal clear!


7. Planner

Happy Planner 2023 Daily Planner and Calendar, 12-Month Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Planner, Jan. 2023–Dec. 2023, Vertical Layout, La Fleur Theme, Classic Size, 7 Inches by 9 1/4 Inches

The week of finals is harder than any other part of the semester. Deadlines are piling up, and many of them overlap. 

If you haven’t started living by a strict schedule at this point in the semester, it’s time to start. A planner is key to my success during finals week.

I use the Happy Planner so that I can plan ahead and figure out which projects I need to devote my time to. 

With the weekly and monthly spreads for daily planning, you’ll never miss an assignment.

Its removable pages allow for easy organization, and it comes with stickers that encourage productivity. You’ll be able to keep using this planner long after finals are over. 


8. Wristwatch

Mens Digital Sports Watch LED Screen Large Face Military Watches for Men Waterproof Casual Luminous Stopwatch Alarm Simple Army Watch

Time management is important when surviving those last few weeks of the semester. This is why a wristwatch is a college must-have. 

Sure, you can check the time and set alarms on your phone, but it’s easy to get distracted by everything else your phone has to offer. 

With this watch, it’s easy to read the time, and you can set alarms on it. A simple wristwatch like this will keep your studying on track and won’t let you get distracted. 


9. Noise-Canceling headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 40H Playtime, Hi-Res Audio, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, for Travel, Home Office

If your family is anything like mine, noise-canceling gear is handy.

Whether or not your home is rambunctious, these headphones come in handy in various settings.

From the workplace to a plane ride, these will allow him to zero in and focus on what’s important. 


10. Blue Light Blocking Glasses

AOMASTE Blue Light Blocking Glasses Retro Semi Rimless UV400 Clear Lens Computer Eyewear For Men Women

During finals week, college students spend a lot of time staring at computer screens, usually late at night, which can cause eye strain.

But these blue light glasses will help with some of the pain that comes from staring at a computer. They’re essential for when you’re preparing for those last exams and writing long final essays.  


11. Lip Balm

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Origin Moisturizing Lip Balm, Multipack, Original Beeswax, Strawberry, Coconut & Pear and Vanilla Bean with Beeswax & Fruit Extracts, 4 Tubes

When you’re studying late into the night, it’s not just your eyes that become strained. Your lips get chapped too.

With Burt’s Bees lip balm, you can keep your lips moisturized so they don’t distract you from your studies. Your lips will feel so good that you’ll want to keep using the lip balm long after finals are over.


12. Acetaminophen

Amazon Basic Care Extra Strength Pain Relief, Acetaminophen Caplets, 500 mg, 200 Count

During the last few weeks of the semester, a lot of students have to deal with headaches and other aches and pains from lack of sleep and stress. 

It isn’t a bad idea to have a painkiller like an acetaminophen or aspirin on hand. You don’t want to take the most important exams of the semester with a raging headache.


13. Chewing Gum

ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Wintergreen Sugar Free Chewing Gum, Made with Xylitol, 3.24 oz Bottles (6 Count)

Some studies have found that chewing gum helps with focus, and staying focused is vital to surviving finals.

Grab your favorite flavor and start chewing so you can ace your exams.


14. Chocolate


I’ve read that chocolate is good for brain function.

Of course, those studies were probably talking about dark chocolate, but when you’re studying for exams, a little chocolate, whether it’s milk, dark, or even hot chocolate, will definitely help you survive finals week. 


15. Water Bottle

KEEPTO 32 oz Water Bottle with Strap - BPA Free Motivational Water Jugs with Time Marker,Drinking Bottles for Kids School,Turquoise/Sky Blue/Palegreen Ombre

Staying hydrated is vital to surviving your finals. Staying hydrated helps your brain function and your energy remain high.

But remembering to drink as much water as you’re supposed to when you have so many other things on your mind can be hard, which is why this water bottle is perfect for finals week, and any other week. 

It has reminders on the bottle that will encourage you to “Have some more” and to “Keep it up” and to refill when you’re done so you can stay alert and focused.

It’s a must-have for every college student.


16. Sports Drinks

BODYARMOR Sports Drink Sports Beverage, Strawberry Banana, Natural Flavors With Vitamins, Potassium-Packed Electrolytes, No Preservatives, Perfect For Athletes, 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 12)

When studying for finals, hydration is key, which is why I love Bodyarmor sports drinks. They’re the perfect alternative to sugary energy drinks.

Those might help you stay awake for a short time, but you’ll come crashing down soon after, which isn’t helpful when you need to study for exams. 

Bodyarmor drinks are full of electrolytes, antioxidants, and vitamins, so they’ll boost your energy, but they won’t make you crash soon after.

And since they’re flavored with natural sweeteners and coconut water, they taste good too. 

My favorite ones are the fruit punch and strawberry-banana flavors, but there are a variety of Bodyarmor drinks to choose from.


17. Snack Packs

OREO Mini Cookies, CHIPS AHOY! Mini Cookies, SOUR PATCH KIDS Candy & Nutter Butter Bites Cookies & Candy Variety Pack, 32 Snack Packs

Delicious snacks belong on every college must-haves list.

When you’re writing your final essays and studying for your last exams, it’s easy to get stuck at the desk for hours at a time.

But your brain can’t function if you’re not fueling your body. Taking five minutes to grab a snack can be vital to final exam success.


18. Healthy Snacks

Kibo Chickpea Chips - Gluten Free and Plant-Based, Non-GMO, Kosher + Vegan. 3 Flavor Variety Pack, 1 oz. 12 pack.

Taking a five-minute break with a bag of cookies or chips might be exactly what you needed to keep yourself going between your next meal and your long study sessions, but it’s important to also have some healthier snacks on your list of college must-haves. 

Roasted chickpeas are my favorite study snack. They’re much better for the brain and the body than a bag of chips, and they taste good too.


19. Starbucks Gift Card

Starbucks Gift Card

Coffee is essential for late night study sessions. Those last few weeks of the semester are the busiest and the most stressful.

By that point, most students are running on fumes and need all the caffeine they can get. 

If you know a student who is trying to survive a week of finals, a Starbucks gift card would make a great gift. It would really brighten up their day and help them make it through those final exams.


20. Ice Cream Gift Card

Cold Stone Creamery Gift Card $25

Finals are one of the most stressful times of every college semester, which is why it’s important to reward yourself and relax so you can survive the week without becoming too overwhelmed. 

Taking an ice cream break is a great way to relax. If you know a college student who’s studying for finals, this gift card would make a great gift.

It’s a card that they can only spend on ice cream, so when you give it to them, you can encourage them to take a break, relax for a little while, and treat themselves.


Related: The 10 Absolute Best College Planners To Succeed – The Ultimate Guide

College Freshman/ New Semester Must-Have Items

1. Backpack

solo New York - Urban Convertible Laptop Briefcase Backpack for 15.6" Laptop - Gray

Every college freshman needs a bag to carry their books, laptop, and other essential college items.

Some students like to use a backpack, and others like to use a messenger bag. If you’re like me, it changes from day to day.

Sometimes the shoulder strap is too heavy on one shoulder, so a backpack is better; sometimes, the messenger bag is easier to grab and go — which is why this bag is the perfect bag for any college freshman. 

You don’t have to choose between a backpack and a book bag.

This one doubles as both. With all of its extra pockets, including a padded laptop pocket, you’ll never need another bag.


2. Laptop

HP Chromebook 14 Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, 14” HD Micro-Edge Display, Chrome OS, Thin & Portable, 4K Graphics, Snow White Keyboard (14a-na0023nr, 2021, Ceramic White)

A laptop is a must-have for every college student. You’ll need it for more than just taking notes.

Most students will be required to complete assignments and turn them in on a computer, so if you don’t have one, it could be an issue if you’re on a tight assignment deadline. 

Depending on your major, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for the latest technology.

If you’re not in a computer or graphics related field, you can buy a simple laptop like this HP Chromebook.


3.  Tablet

2020 Apple iPad (10.2-inch, Wi-Fi, 32GB) - Space Gray (8th Generation)

Of course, laptops belong on every college must-haves list, and many freshmen like to be prepared with notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, highlighters, and other office supplies.

However, taking notes by hand isn’t for everyone, and carrying a laptop to every class isn’t always necessary.

This is why a tablet is an essential item for many college students. 

My iPad doesn’t do everything my laptop does, but it’s more lightweight, so I can take it everywhere with me, which means I can study when I’m on the go. 

Instead of scrolling through social media when I’m waiting in a long line at the grocery store or in the waiting room at the vet’s office, I can pull my tablet out and read my e-textbooks or study the professor’s lecture notes.


4. Graphing Calculator

Texas Instruments TI 84 Plus Graphing Calculator - Office Depot

Don’t attend your first freshman math class without a graphing calculator.

You might think you don’t have to spend the money on an expensive calculator when you already have a calculator on your phone, but you’ll quickly realize your phone app isn’t going to cut it. 

Once you receive your first assignment, you’ll be relieved you spent the money and came prepared for those math equations.


5. Sticky Notes

Post-it Super Sticky Notes, Assorted Sizes, 13 Pads, 2x the Sticking Power, Rio de Janeiro Collection, Bright Colors (Orange, Pink, Blue, Green), Recyclable (4623-13SSAU)

Sticky notes belong on every college essentials list.

Taking notes is key to college success, but if you’re renting your textbooks, you can’t leave highlighter marks all over them, which is where sticky notes come in. 

Instead of ruining your rented textbook with a highlighter, you can write on the sticky notes and leave them in your book where your notes and highlighter marks would have gone.


6. Giant Wall Calendar

2021-2022 Calendar - 2021-2022 Wall Calendar Start in July 2021, Jul. 2021 to Dec. 2022, 18 Months Calendar with Julian Date, Thick Paper for Organizing & Planning, 14.75 x 11.5 Inches

A giant wall calendar is a freshman must-have.

Even if you write your class schedule down in a planner, or use a calendar app to keep track of assignments, it can still be easy to miss important deadlines when they’re out of sight. 

When you have giant reminders on your wall, it’s impossible to forget about your upcoming quizzes, papers, and other assignments.


7. Desk Organizer

EasyPAG Mesh Desk Organizer Office Supplies Caddy 6 Compartments with Drawer, Black

A desk organizer is a great way to stay organized and maximize every inch of space you have, which is essential when you’re living in a dorm room. 

This one is my favorite because it holds essential study items, like sticky notes, pens, pencils, and highlighters.

And it can be pushed against the wall, leaving space for your computer or anything else you need to put on your desk.


8. Shower Caddy

Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy Basket for College Dorm Room Essentials, Hanging Portable Tote Bag Toiletry for Bathroom Accessories

As a college freshman living in dorm, you’re not going to have much personal space.

This includes bathroom space; you won’t be able to leave your shampoo, brush, or other toiletries in the bathroom without losing them.

This is why a shower caddy is a very useful college dorm essential. 

This basket will hold everything from shampoo to conditioner to a brush to a towel, and the handle makes it easy to carry, even when it’s filled with a lot of items.

And it’s mesh, so it won’t get soggy.


9. Swiss Army Tool

Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife (Red)

A pocket knife may not seem like an important tool to some, but unfortunately you don’t know that until you need one.

They’re a great dorm gift because they are small enough to bring anywhere and have everything you might need in an emergency situation.

I would suggest this gift because it is practical and comes in handy more than you might think.


10. Mini Fridge

Frigidaire Retro Mini Portable Compact Personal Fridge, 9 Liter Capacity Chills 12 Cans, 100% Freon-Free & Eco Friendly, Includes Plugs for Home Outlet & 12V Car Charger - Blue

This little mini fridge is a useful college dorm essential. It’s small, so it won’t take up too much space in your small room, but it’s the perfect size to hold a few cans, bottles, and snacks.

With this mini fridge, you’ll always have your favorite drinks on hand when you’re up late studying.


11. Portable Phone Charger

Anker Portable Charger, PowerCore Slim 10000 Power Bank, 10000mAh Battery Pack, High-Speed PowerIQ Charging Technology for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and More

As a freshman, you can spend hours in the library or coffee shop while studying or writing an essay.

During that time, you’re listening to music, googling for help on tough assignments, and messaging friends; your phone battery isn’t going to last very long. 

You want to be sure your phone stays charged while you’re out, but carrying a bulky cord around all day is inconvenient, and finding an outlet isn’t always possible.

If you keep a portable phone charger with you, you won’t have to worry about your phone dying when you need it most.


12. Earbuds

Skullcandy Ink'd Plus In-Ear Earbud - Black

Listening to music is a great way to stay focused, but carrying around a big pair of noise-canceling headphones isn’t always possible.

It’s good to have a set of earbuds that you can bring anywhere. 

I love my Skullcandy earbuds because they’re cheap, comfortable, create a clear sound, and they’re easy to carry around.

If I need to focus, I can just pop these in, turn my music on, and block everything else out.


13. Duffle Bag

Nike Brasilia Training Medium Duffle Bag, Durable Nike Duffle Bag for Women & Men with Adjustable Strap, University Red/Black/White

If you’re living away from home for the first time, you’ll probably be taking a few weekend trips to visit family and friends.

The bag you use for class probably won’t hold everything you want to pack for a trip home, which is why you’ll need a duffle bag. 

This travel bag from Nike is a good choice.

It’s just the right size for all the clothes and toiletries you’ll need for a weekend trip, and it has enough extra pockets for any electronics and books you’ll also be packing.


14. Hoodie

Gender-Neutral Pullover Hoodie for Adults | Old Navy

Regardless of the time of year, classrooms and dorm rooms can get pretty chilly.

It’s important to have a sweater on hand that will keep you warm when you’re trying to focus. 

This Old Navy sweater is my favorite. It’s soft and warm, and it has a hood, which is great if I want to cover my face and take a nap.

And it comes in black, which goes with everything.


15. Journal

Journal/Ruled Notebook - Ruled Journal with Premium Thick Paper, 6.4" x 8.5", Hardcover with Back Pocket + Banded - Flower

Freshman year is a transitional time when many students are becoming independent for the first time.

With so many new responsibilities, it can be stressful for some people, which is why a journal is a must-have for many students. 

Writing everything down can be a great way to let go of stress.

Plus, if you write everything down, from happy experiences to frustrations, it can be a great memento of your first year of college.


16. Photo Printer

Lifeprint 2x3 Portable Photo and Video Printer for iPhone and Android. Make Your Photos Come to Life w/Augmented Reality - Purple

As a freshman, you’re creating many new experiences and making a lot of memories.

You’ll want to look back on those memories in the future, which is why this camera printer is a must-have for every college freshman. 

Instead of letting those memories just sit in your phone or get lost on your social media timeline, you can hang them on your wall or frame them.

Or if you buy the sticker printer paper, you can paste the pictures in your journal, so you’ll also have picture memories to go with the memories you write about.


17. Slippers

isotoner Women's Satin Ballerina Slipper, Suede Sole, Evening Sand Soft tie Bow, 6.5-7. 5

You don’t want to walk around the dorm halls barefoot, but it gets annoying having to lace your shoes up every time you leave your room.

Slippers are easy to slip on, and they’ll keep your feet warm, which is why they’re essential for every college packing list. 

These are my favorite. They’re soft, cozy, and easy to wash, and the suede sole offers the perfect protection for walking around indoors.


18. Backrest Pillow

Arlee Home Fashions® Suede Oversized Backrest Pillow

If you’re living in a dorm, you probably don’t have much personal space. You have to maximize every inch you have, both for studying and relaxing.

With a backrest pillow, you can use your bed as a comfortable study location. 

This pillow is my favorite; it’s tall, so it supports my head when I’m studying from bed, and it’s soft, so it’s comfy when I’m just relaxing.


19. Lap Desk

AirSpace Adjustable Laptop Desk in Black

For the ultimate study setup from bed, you’ll need a lap desk to go with your backrest pillow.

This adjustable lap desk will hold a textbook, a computer, or a tablet, which means you can use it while you’re reclining in bed and studying for school or streaming your favorite shows.


20. Super Soft Throw Blanket

FortuneHouse8 Flannel Fleece Blanket Christmas Red Ladybug Super Soft Warm Cozy Bed Couch or Car Throw Blanket for Children Adult Travel All Reason 40x50inch

Blankets and pillows are what make a dorm room comfortable, so your lap desk and backrest pillow setup won’t be complete without a plush lap blanket. 

You’ll need something that’s comfortable in the air-conditioned warmer months, but cozy enough during the colder seasons. 

My boyfriend got this blanket for me in the ladybug pattern, and I use it every day. It’s perfect for every season, and any of the fun designs will make your room feel like home.


Related: 40 Dorm Hacks That Every College Student Must Know

College Apartment Essential Items

1. White Noise Machine

Yogasleep Dohm Classic (Black) The Original White Noise Machine | Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan | Noise Cancelling | Sleep Therapy, Office Privacy, Travel | For Adults, Baby | 101 Night Trial

When you’re in college, sleep is essential, but it’s sometimes hard to come by, especially when you’re living in an apartment setting.

Maybe you have noisy roommates, or maybe the neighbor upstairs is walking around at all hours of the night.

Whatever the case may be, blocking out the noise and getting the rest you need isn’t always easy. 

Turning on music might block the noise out, but that just makes it even harder to sleep, and your other neighbors won’t appreciate that when they’re trying to sleep too.  

A white noise machine is exactly what you need. The little machine sounds like a fan, so it’ll block out your noisy neighbors, but the white noise won’t keep you up.

With a noise machine, you’ll get all the sleep you need so you’ll be well-rested for classes the next morning.


2. Sheets

Nestwell™ Pima Cotton Sateen 500-Thread-Count Sheet Set

When you’re living in a dorm room, you don’t want to spend much money on your bedding.

Since most dorm beds aren’t the same size as regular twin beds, you won’t be able to use your sheets once you move out. 

But if you’re buying bedding for a college apartment, you’ll want to invest in high-quality sheets. 

These sheets are almost too nice to use, but I’ve had them for years, and after using them and throwing them in the wash countless times, they’re still soft and comfortable to sleep on.

And they’re perfect for year-round use. They’re cool and breathable during hot summers and warm and cozy during cold winters.


3. Comforter

Nestwell™ Washed Linen Cotton Comforter Set

You’ll also want to invest in a durable but comfortable comforter for your college apartment. If you want to match it to your new bedding, then this is a perfect choice.

It will look great with the new sheets you just bought, but most importantly, it’s warm, cozy, and will last for years to come.


4. Satin Pillowcases

Bedsure Satin Pillowcase for Hair and Skin Queen - Silver Grey Silk Pillowcase 2 Pack 20x30 inches - Satin Pillow Cases Set of 2 with Envelope Closure

Pillowcases harbor bacteria, and leaving them on your pillow for too long can be damaging to your skin and hair.

It’s important to have a few pillowcases, so you can wash and change them frequently. 

This pack of two satin pillowcases will make your skin extra happy.

The smooth and silky material will reduce the friction of normal pillowcases and protect your skin while you sleep.

Plus, you can choose from multiple colors and match them to your new sheets and comforter.


5. Pillow

Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-Cloud® Cool Standard Bed Pillow

Don’t underestimate the power that a pillow has when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. I’ve been through so many pillows trying to get a good night’s sleep.

Some of them hurt my neck and give me headaches, and some of them make me too hot and keep me up all night. 

I finally found a pillow that helps me sleep. It isn’t too hard, too soft, or too hot. It’s the perfect pillow for your college apartment.


6. Bedside Caddy

Bedside Caddy, Large Size 15.7''x9.8'' inch for Bed Storage Organizer, Bed Hanging Caddy with 8 Pockets for Laptop, Magazine, Remote Holder, using in dorm, Bed, Kids Storage Organi...

If you’re in a small college apartment, then skip the bedside table and get a bedside caddy instead. This one is perfect.

It’s connected to a piece of fabric that you can tuck under your mattress, so the caddy hangs right up against your bed. 

It’ll hold your water bottle, your books and electronics, and any other small items you like to keep close by during the night.

It functions just like a nightstand, but it doesn’t take up nearly as much space.


7. Space-Saving Hangers

Meetu Space Saving Hangers Magic Cloth Hanger Metal Closet Organizer for Closet Wardrobe Closet Organization Closet System (Pack of 12)

You probably don’t have that much living space in your apartment, which is why it’s important to maximize every little corner, and space-saving hangers are one of the best ways to do that. 

These metal space-saving hangers can hold multiple items of clothing at once, unlike their plastic counterparts that bend under the pressure of too much weight. 

Plus, they’re around $16 for a pack of 12, so if you buy multiple packs, you can fill your closet with your whole wardrobe, leaving you the space to store other important things where a dresser would have gone.


8. Printer

HP LaserJet Pro M29w Wireless All-in-One Laser Printer, Works with Alexa (Y5S53A)

Even though many classes have gone the digital route, printed assignments are still a common requirement, which is why a printer is a college apartment must-have. 

When you have your own printer, you won’t have to worry about finding one at the last minute, and this little laser printer is the perfect choice for your college apartment. 

You’ll be able to quickly print your assignments from your phone, and since it’s a laser printer, you won’t have to worry about running out of ink when you’re on a tight assignment deadline.


9. Vertical Bookshelf

Southern Enterprises Spine Tower Shelf in Valiant Poppy, Red (AMZ2949ZH)

As a college student, you’ve probably built up quite a library of textbooks, binders, and folders. With an apartment, you can finally organize and display your library.

And even if you don’t have much space, there are still a lot of shelves that will make organization easy and aesthetically pleasing. 

This floating bookshelf is perfect for small college apartments. Unlike bookcases that display books horizontally, this bookshelf will stack your books vertically. 

And it has more than just a functional purpose; the stacked design will make your books look like they’re floating up the wall, adding an interesting touch to any room you display them in.


10. Bathroom Shelf

Tangkula Bathroom Floor Cabinet with Drawer, 2 Open Shelves and Door Cupboard, Multipurpose Free Standing Storage Cabinet for Bathroom Kitchen Living Room, 24 x 13 x 48 inch (White)

Even though you’re living in an apartment instead of a small dorm room, you might not have that much storage space.

My bathroom is tiny, so I have to store things carefully, which is why I love this shelf.

It has multiple shelves on the top, a drawer, and a cabinet at the bottom, so it provides more places for me to store towels, hair supplies, skincare products, cleaning supplies, and everything else that I keep in the bathroom.

But even with all of that storage space, it doesn’t take up all the room in the bathroom; it leaves more than walking space. 

It’s an essential piece of furniture for any college student who’s trying to save space in their new college apartment.


11. Witch Hazel

Thayers Witch Hazel Blemish Clearing Toner | Ulta Beauty

Witch hazel is a must-have in every college apartment, especially the Thaye’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel.

With its aloe vera formula, it’ll soothe those stress breakouts that many college students still have to deal with, and it can help with itchy bug bites.


12. Bandages

Band-Aid Brand Flexible Fabric Adhesive Bandages for Wound Care & First Aid, Assorted Sizes, 100 ct, Beige

Essential items aren’t always things that you use all the time. Bandages aren’t an everyday item, but everyone gets paper cuts and has other minor injuries. 

You’ll regret it if you don’t have something to patch yourself up with the next time you accidentally cut yourself while chopping veggies, which is why bandages are a must-have item for every college apartment.


13. Neosporin

Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Ointment, 1-Ounce (300810730877)

Just like bandages, you don’t think about antibacterial ointment until you need it, but keeping those minor cuts, burns, and scrapes clean is important, otherwise they could turn into a major issue. 

This is why Neosporin is a college apartment must-have item.

You’ll be glad to have that tube of antibacterial ointment in your bathroom cabinet along with your package of bandages when you’re tending to a minor burn or scrape.


14. Shower Curtain With Pockets

Maytex Quick Dry Mesh Pockets Waterproof PEVA Shower Curtain or Liner, Bath / Shower Organizer, Clear, 70 inches x 72 inches

A shower caddy is essential when you’re living the overcrowded dorm life, but now that you’re in an apartment, you have more options.

You have all the space you need to stash your shampoo, conditioner, and other shower supplies. 

Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon are stocked with shelves that you can stick or hang in your shower, but I’m not a fan of those.

It’s easy for mold to sneak up in their crevices. I prefer this shower curtain. 

It has enough pockets to hold every bottle in your shower, and the pockets are mesh, so they won’t fill up with water. 

If the curtain does become moldy, you can just throw it in the washer with some bleach and it’s good as new!


15. Drain Protector

OXO Good Grips Silicone Drain Protector for Pop-Up & Regular Drains, Grey, One Size

When you’re a college student, setting up your new apartment can be stressful, and it gets even more challenging when things start to malfunction.

You want to avoid that call to the plumber, or even worse, the landlord, at all costs. 

This drain protector is a must-have for college students living in an apartment. It will keep your pipes from getting clogged with things like hair.

A simple purchase like this could prevent major problems from occurring in the future.


16. Water Filter

Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher, White, Large 10 Cup, 1 Count

Balancing schoolwork and a social life is usually a student’s top priority. Water quality is probably the last thing on your mind. But clean water is important. 

If you’re drinking contaminated water, it could have a wide range of negative effects on your body, which is why you need a water filter to clean out any pollution. 

Because of its convenient size, a water pitcher is a college apartment must-have. There’s no complicated set up, and it will easily fit it in your fridge.

Plus, if you buy a nice water pitcher like this Brita filter, you’ll have it for years, even after you’ve moved on from your college apartment.


17. Toaster Oven

Toshiba AC25CEW-SS Digital Toaster Oven with Convection Cooking and 9 Functions, 6-Slice Bread/12-Inch Pizza, Stainless Steel

Air fryers are all the rage right now. Everyone is raving about their ability to make quick snacks and healthy meals in them.

Such a versatile and easy cooking tool seems like it would be a must-have item for a college student who’s always on the go. 

But air fryers are just small convection ovens. What you need for your college apartment is a toaster oven with a convection function.

For the same amount of counter space, you’ll have an air fryer, but with even more cooking features.


18. Pots and Pans

Amazon Basics Non-Stick Cookware Set, Pots and Pans - 8-Piece Set

Many college students rely on takeout and cheap microwave meals. But nutrition is important, which is why kitchen supplies are a college apartment essential.

Once you invest in a good set of pots and pans, it’ll be easier to create inexpensive and healthy meals from home. 

Amazon Basics offers a reasonably priced cooking set. It has eight different pots and pans, which will open the door to a variety of cooking options, from fried meals to casseroles dishes.


19. Coffee Maker

Ninja Specialty with 50 Oz Glass Carafe, Fold-Away Frother, and Scoop, Black/Stainless Steel Finish

If you’re always running late to class because you have to stop for coffee first, then a coffee maker is an essential item for your college apartment. And this Ninja coffee maker is the perfect choice. 

It’s an all-in-one machine that can make anything from a latte to a macchiato to a cappuccino, so you can brew your favorite caffeinated beverage and finish it off with a barista-grade milk froth, all from your own counter!

Never again will you have to choose between being late for class and getting your morning coffee. 


20. Coffee

New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler Medium Roast Ground Coffee 11 oz. Bag

Coffee is the most important beverage of the day, especially for students, so it’s important to stock your shelves with your favorite coffee flavor.

And if you bought the Ninja coffee maker, you have unlimited options and don’t have to use the coffee pods that many coffee makers require. 

This means that if you want to, you can stock your shelves with the best blueberry-flavored coffee that ever existed!


Related: 50 Best College Bags For Girls – The Ultimate 2024 Guide

College is an exciting but challenging time, and it takes a lot of hard work to be successful.

At times, it might seem like the stress overshadows the excitement, but with the help of this college must-haves list, surviving the semesters will be a lot easier.

That’s a wrap. This article was all about college essentials.




Two college students with college must haves in a library

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