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11 Life-Changing Nonfiction Books For College Students To Read Before Graduation

While some professors assign books you may not love, you can get lost in these life-changing books you must read before you graduate.

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A man reading a life-changing book in a library.
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To be a college student means to be ready for higher education. Higher learning requirements, such as greater reading and writing skills, await you. How can we improve them? Here’s a tip for you today— read nonfiction books for college students.

I know romance novels or science fiction are more fascinating, but nonfiction books can help you, a college student, effectively get background information.

The understanding and acquisition of new knowledge depend on existing knowledge, which is background knowledge.

The stronger the background knowledge, the more they can understand the new content by analogy.  And reading nonfiction books is one of the effective ways for college students to accumulate background knowledge.

The following nonfiction books for college students are life-changing because each shows real-life humanistic experiences and takes you into a deep self-reflection that would lead to a change of your perspective about life dilemmas and afflictions.

1. Option B – Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy 

by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Malala Yousafzai said about Option B, “none of us can escape sadness, loss, or life’s disappointments, so the best option is to find out Option B.”  The book is full of painful experiences, hurting emotions, but at the same time, it’s full of hope and optimism.

Sandberg and Grant write the touching stories of several people whose lives have changed unexpectedly by tragedy. This life-changing book attempts to answer the question: how do we move forward after the unimaginable happens?

How do we cope with loss? And ultimately, how do we build resilience?

The book teaches us that the seeds of resilience are planted in the “ways we process negative events.” If we know how to process traumatic events, we build resilience.

The authors of this book have the answer to cope with loss by the three P’s of recovery. Personalization is the belief that the unfortunate events that happen to us are our fault.

Pervasiveness is the belief that these events will affect our entire lives and in all areas of our lives. Lastly, permanence is the belief that the sadness and desperation of this event will last forever.

If we become incredulous about the three P’s, we build resilience.

This book doesn’t only help you understand its characters and build sympathy towards them, but it aims to help you understand the hardships of life and how to cope with them. 

Maybe this nonfiction book can give you the strength to cheer up when you are always facing all kinds of difficulties as a college freshman. BUY IT HERE

Related: 10 Fun Ideas for Dating in College

2. Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

More than a history book, this book is a story. The story of our species. Using a chronological structure, Harari narrates the story of human existence that began about 300,000 years ago, when the homo sapiens began conquering the world.

This book explains how everything, from language to science, began. It gives you a new uncanny perspective about our species and how we became who we are now. The narrative answers the question: why and how did humans conquer the world?

It explains the cognitive, agriculture, and scientific revolutions and how these have changed the course of history.

Also, Harari gives you a sense of how much humanity has improved, from child mortality rates decreasing, to managing agriculture so our mass population can be fed.

It also explains the beginning of the use of currency and the transition of our needs becoming more and more materialistic.

As a result, we keep striving for better things. At the end of the book, Harari speaks about a feasible future in which our bodies will change grammatically through science and the use of anti-aging remedies with the purpose to increase our lifespan.

A Brief History of Man is a study of the history of the world, encompassing physics, anthropology, ecology and psychology. Therefore, this nonfiction book can greatly enrich the knowledge of college students. BUY IT HERE

3. When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

This book is simply impossible to forget and a real tear-jerker. Paul Kalanithi spent his entire life dedicated to his education, earning two bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees in Literature and Philosophy, and graduated from Yale University as a physician.

It was when he was doing his post-graduate fellowship in Neuroscience that he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Kalanithi narrates about his life as a student, a husband, a doctor, and eventually, as a patient.

There is a notable transition between his interest in medicine to his interest in humanism. After reading about his experiences in this nonfiction book, might you think that your own struggles in college were not that hard.

Through its pages, we can see that Kalanithi still lives to influence others with his life-changing story about fragile and impetuous mortality.

“Most lives are lived with passivity toward death – it’s something that happens to you and those around you.” Even though Kalanithi’s life was being truncated by illness, he makes the ultimate decision to have a child with his wife. He wishes for longevity. He says in the book, “Words have longevity I do not.”

While reading this book, you can vividly see that while he is dying, he becomes wiser. But, the most important lesson from this book is that, even if it’s true that we will all succumb to death, the meaning in our lives never dies.

BUY IT HERE

4. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

by Barack Obama

Besides addressing issues of race, this story is about finding one’s identity, accepting oneself, but most of all finding one’s destiny. Obama shows his struggle with biracial identity, but his decision to discover his father’s past leads him to find his true identity and destiny.

Obama narrates that, despite barely seeing his father, his curiosity to find more about Kenya and his father was his ultimate decision in changing the course of his life.

After traveling to Kenya and meeting his father’s family was when Obama found himself and decided to move on with his own life.

Since this nonfiction book is a story about his younger years in college, he doesn’t address his political inclinations but conveys the importance of community work and unity, which is significant for college students as well.

The book takes you on an unmissable journey through his beginnings in Hawaii and Indonesia, to Chicago, New York, and Kenya with the only motivation to find one’s identity and life purpose. BUY IT HERE

Related: 35 Genius 21st Birthday Ideas That Will Make Your Day Unforgettable

5. Educated 

by Tara Westover 

While other students at Brigham Young University stepped into their new life as college students, for Tara Westover, it was her first time in a classroom setting. The nonfiction book tells the story of Tara Westover‘s journey to find her life’s purpose through education.

She was 17 years old, had studied on her own for the ACT, and passed. During her college classes, she realized she didn’t know what the Holocaust was or who Martin Luther King was.

Ridiculed by her classmates, she struggled with having a social life. Coming from a Mormon family living in Idaho, she was only allowed to read the book of Mormon and the Bible.

She didn’t have a birth certificate, and she has never been to a doctor’s office for check-ups.

Her father suffered from extreme paranoia about the government and the education system. Also, he didn’t want his children to be “brainwashed” by the education system.

Her father refused to go to a hospital or hospitalize his children even though they were badly injured. She realized her only way to escape her bipolar father and physically abusive brother was through education.

This life-changing book is a lesson of survival, the power of transformation, and the determination to shape your fate. Westover is not just another young woman leaving home to go to college; she escaped home to seek unknown knowledge and her greatest talent was her desire to learn.  BUY IT HERE

6.Becoming

by Michelle Obama

When it comes to life, Michelle Obama once said, “Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.” 

Perhaps this quote explains in some way how she is becoming Michelle Obama.  

In the life-changing book, Obama offers a candid and sobering look back at her own life– born in a working-class family  of Chicago, she went to attend an Ivy League university where the percent of the colored population was only eight. Finally, she graduated with a promising job.

Later, as First Lady, she became a great helper of her husband and successfully balanced her family and career, becoming one of the most respected women in the world of our time. After reading the book, you will be impressed by Obama’s love of learning, unyielding personality and strong sense of purpose. 

Michelle Obama’s life can be described as a life of becoming a better version of herself. Young college students, especially girls, may learn wisdom and persistence in life from this nonfiction book.

 BUY IT HERE

Related: 30 Fun Hobbies For Women In Their 20s

7. Amusing Ourselves to Death

by Neil Postman

In the era of entertainment, you must be surrounded by Douyin, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. And going to college means you have more freedom to use these apps.

I understand that you enjoy these apps. But what does entertainment itself mean? Then you must read this non-fiction book —- Amusing Ourselves to Death.

With this book, you will learn that the new media prefer completely different content from traditional media. It seems that the new media tends to end up dominating the mainstream culture.

People prefer short content, or more simply, short videos. Under such circumstances, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for deeper thinking. And recognizing it is important for you college students.

This nonfiction book makes a less obvious point — people today seem to know everything, but without the ability to think deeply, people may know nothing. If you want to really gain knowledge, you’d better stay deep in a field.

BUY IT HERE

8.The Drowned and the Saved

by Primo Levi 

This book is the final work of Primo Levi, Italy’s most intellectual and talented writer. The author looks back graciously, without elaborating on specific experiences or making repeated accusations.

He merely analyzes human nature in a restrained manner, with a subtle pride in being an “intellectual.”

Levi took his life to bear witness to the atrocities of the Nazis, and his succinct work is a wonderful celebration of life, proving that the human spirit cannot be overcome.

The World War may have been over for many years, but its spiritual impact may still be there. After reading this book, perhaps you will understand why you ought to be against the war.

This nonfiction book may be cruel for some college students, but it’s certainly worth reading. So that you can understand what war really means.

BUY IT HERE

9. The Order of Time

by Carlo Rovelli

There is a lot of speculation about the time. What does “the passage of time” mean? Do we exist within time, or does time exist within us? With his poetic words, Carlo Rovell allows people to join him in contemplating this age-old puzzle — the nature of time. 

People subconsciously think that time is uniform throughout the universe, that it flows steadily from the past to the future, and that it can be measured by clocks and watches. But Rovelli shows that people’s perception of the passage of time depends on their perspective.

Because this book is so full of scientific information and so beautifully written, you often lose track of time as you read it!

One thing that needs to mention is that the book is not limited to a scientific perspective, but has a deeply humanistic feel.

It is a great scientific nonfiction book for those college students who are beginning to wonder about the universe, that is, the origin of time and space.

BUY IT HERE

10. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

by Ben Horowitz

While most entrepreneurship books talk about doing the right thing and not screwing things up, Ben Horowitz also tells you what to do when things are already screwed up.

Ben Horowitz is a Silicon Valley investor, known as one of the “50 best angel investors in Silicon Valley,” who invested in Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, and Skype in their early years.

This is a sincere book, and almost all of the advice in it comes from the author’s lessons in failure. When reading those failures, you will realize that starting a business is really a tough thing to do.

So if you already know something about entrepreneurship and want some useful advice, this book couldn’t be a better fit.

This is a great nonfiction book for students who want to start their own business after college. In good times and bad times, you can find advice that’s right for you.

BUY IT HERE

11. The Vital Question

by Nick Lane

Do you think the earth is amazing? The earth is the only planet in the whole universe where life exists. Or to put it this way, the birth of life itself is magical. But how did life evolve from a simple bacterium to something as complex as a human?

If you’re wondering, read this book: The Vital Question.

This is an ambitious yet insightful work of popular science. Most endearingly, Lane’s book presents a complete picture of the specific paths of a biologist’s thinking, research, and experimentation, which is extremely rare.

Because of the complex picture that it presents, the book requires at least a high school student’s knowledge of physics, chemistry, and biology.

This is a great nonfiction book. Although there is a lot of jargon, there are also many poetic descriptions that will certainly attract college students. The whole book can greatly satisfy the curiosity of teenagers and let them feel the magic of this world.

BUY IT HERE

Final Thoughts on Nonfiction Books For College Students

In general, nonfiction books can not only help college students improve their reading and writing skills, but also help new employees improve their work skills.

You should know that most work reports are logical, complex, and require strong information processing skills to understand.

Starting reading nonfiction in college can help you develop your analytical skills at an early age.

Perhaps, after reading one of our recommended life-changing nonfiction books for college students, you’ll realize the power of such books: The truth itself is powerful.

 

Other College Posts You May Like

 

College Life

The First Apartment Checklist – The Ultimate Moving Guide

Are you moving into a new apartment? Check out this ultimate moving guide with a first apartment checklist.

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a college couple moving into an apartmnet and laying on the floor with boxes all around them

For many of us, finding our first apartment can be exciting and a bit nerve-wracking.

Usually, when finding our first apartment, we are either reaching adulthood, moving out for our studies, recent college graduates, or have just gained financial stability.

When relocating, there are many things to consider; these include many small essentials that we probably paid no mind to before moving out.

Small necessities such as toilet paper and kitchen essentials can add up to be costly. Having a plan before moving will help you stay on budget and avoid the headache of deciding what you need to purchase for your apartment.

Through my personal experiences and consulting with friends, I have gathered a ‘First Apartment Checklist’ that will get you moving in no time.

Keep in mind: if you are planning to buy any essentials online, you should take a look at this cashback app to get a percentage back on your orders. This is an excellent idea for big purchases! You will save a lot of money.

I would say that, to start, our first and foremost important category is bedroom essentials.

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Bedroom Essentials

Get a Bed!

There are many different types of beds. Before buying, make sure to consider the size of your room. Measure your room and keep in mind the other spaces needed for your other bedroom essentials.

I have created a list of beds that would be a wise choice for your apartment. All of them are affordable options.

Types of Beds:

Platform

ZINUS Shalini Upholstered Platform Bed Frame / Mattress Foundation / Wood Slat Support / No Box Spring Needed / Easy Assembly, Dark Grey, Queen

I absolutely admire the appearance of this platform bed. It makes your room look sophisticated. Very chic!

The headboard, with its sophisticated stitching and button tufting, rises more than 2 feet over the top of the bed frame to create a focal point in your bedroom, even with a very thick mattress.

If you are looking for a modern-style bedroom, platform beds are the best choice. You can comfortably enjoy your movie night without needing an extra pillow to lean against!

Another great feature about this bed is that it is easy to assemble, and you can tuck away smaller items and most storage bins underneath the bed.

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Storage Beds

Bedbathandbeyond

Are you in need of many storage containers? I recommend storage beds if you are the type of person with many things lying around, or if you’re living with your partner – do they need storage space?

Personally, I have a hard time staying organized, which is why I have this type of bed. It allows your bedroom to look neat along with providing plenty of storage room for your essentials.

The best part is that you won’t need to buy as many storage bins as you would’ve had you gone with a regular bed. Saving money and space - what’s not to love?

BUY IN BED BATH AND BEYOND

Adjustable Bed

LUCID L150 Bed Base – Upholstered Frame – Head and Foot Incline – Wireless Remote Control, Queen, Charcoal Adjustable

This type of bed usually enables you to increase or decrease the angle of the upper and lower part of the bed. It’s a good choice for when you want to read a book, watch TV, etc.

An adjustable bed has countless benefits, such as improved blood circulation, lessened back pain, and reduced acid reflux. It is best to take care of yourself before facing complications!

Also, who doesn’t like to adjust their bed perfectly how they like it?

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Futon Bed

DHP Lodge Convertible Futon Couch Bed with Microfiber Upholstery and Wood Legs, Charcoal

I remember the first time I saw one of these at a friend’s apartment – I never knew it was a bed! Futon beds are foldable beds that resemble a couch, which makes it no surprise that you can easily use them both ways.

This type of bed is great for college students moving out of their parent’s house for the first time. Why? The bed is affordable and doesn’t require much space, making it a good option when moving into a small apartment.

Not to mention, you are saving time and money not having to purchase both a bed and couch. In addition, this bed would be great for your guests looking to stay overnight.

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Standard Bed Sizes: 

Twin

A twin bed is the smallest size bed in the market. It’s typically made for one person.

Dimension (38” X 75”)

Twin XL

The Twin XL is slightly bigger than the original twin size bed. If you are tall, the extra space makes it a better option than a standard twin bed.

Dimension (39” X 80”)

Full (May fit two people)

Dimension (54” X 75”)

Full XL

Dimension (54” X 80”)

Queen

Dimension (60” x 80”)

King

Dimension (76” x 80”)

Check out more types of beds!

Related: 60 Best Dorm Room Ideas for Girls – The Ultimate Guide

Get a Mattress!

Finding a good mattress is just as important as buying a bed. Make sure to try it out before buying! Purchasing a mattress without trying puts you at risk of harming your back and other body parts.

Memory Foam Mattress

Bedbathandbeyond

As its name implies, the memory foam mattress has a layer of memory foam along with springs or other support foam.

The memory foam mattress is my favorite. I love the feeling of my body sinking into it. The mattress is soft yet firm, which supports your body while having all the benefits of a soft bed you can fall into.

What makes this mattress very cool is that It sinks when you lie into it, but bounces back when you get up; however, over time, the bed will slowly “memorize” your sleeping position and shape.

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Benefits:

      • Retains body heat (Excellent for keeping warm in the winter!)
      • Helps lower pressure points
      • Supports back and neck
      • Hypoallergenic
      • Modern style

Gel-Foam Mattress

Bedbathandbeyond

Memory foam and gel foam mattresses are alike, but have a heat difference.

Benefits:

  • Allows the body to stay cool (Recommended if you get hot quickly)
  • Helps decrease back pain
  • Supports back and neck
  • Remembers and contours to your sleep form (With a partner, you wouldn’t feel their consistent movements!)
  • Immune to dust mites
BUY IN BED BATH AND BEYOND

Innerspring Mattress

Full Mattress, Molblly 12 inch Individually Wrapped Coils Innerspring Mattress, Pocket Spring Hybrid Mattresses Full Size

This type of mattress is the standard, making it affordable. However, there is a wide range in cost, depending on the materials used and the manufacturer.

The mattress consists of springs that support the bed, along with metal wires.

It was the first kind of modern mattress released in the market, taking over traditional wool, hay, straws, etc.

Benefits:

  • Metal wires generate a lifting effect
  • Low-cost (Recommended for students looking to save money)
  • Firm & sturdy
  • Durable (Very long-lasting!)
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Latex Mattress

Sunrising Bedding 10" Natural Latex Full Mattress, Individually Encased Pocket Coil, Firm, Supportive, Naturally Cooling, Organic Mattress, 120-Night Free Trial, 20-Year Warranty

Latex mattresses are made with simple latex materials or with other elements of natural wool and cotton.

It doesn’t let your body sink in as memory foam does, which gives you it added benefit of letting your body stay cool, as it is open to more air.

Most latex mattresses are known to be antibacterial and low maintenance. If you like a firm yet bouncy bed, I highly recommend latex.

Benefits:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Firm
  • Long-lasting
  • Bouncy
  • Easy to clean
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Hybrid Mattress

Olee Sleep 13 inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress (Full)

As its name implies, hybrid mattresses combine the various types of mattresses into one. The hybrid mattress consists of innerspring, memory foam, gel, and latex.

You are getting the best of all mattresses in one; the foam helps lower pressure points while the construction of innerspring coils brings durability. Keep in mind, it’s generally more costly than memory foam, although it may last longer.

Benefits:

  • Lower pressure points
  • Firm and sturdy
  • Eco- friendly
  • Even weight distribution
  • Easy to clean (It comes with removable covers)
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To save room, you may want to invest in a Portable Closet

More Bedroom Essentials!

  • Sheets
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Bed Stand/Frame
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Desk
  • Mirror
  • Curtains (don’t forget your windows!)
  • TV Stand
  • Trash Bin
  • Nightstand

I recommend a nightstand for resting your phone and charger on. In addition, you should consider a lamp for your nightstand!

  • TV

Common sizes: (in inches)

32, 40, 42, 46-49, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, and 80.

Check out the difference in sizes!

Kitchen Essentials

How much cooking are you planning on doing? Factor that in as you look at this list. Here are the basic necessities for the kitchen.

Get a Few Pans!

My friends and I usually use non-stick pans; it helps save time with cleaning, because foods don’t annoyingly stick to the pan. However, stainless steel pans are recommended if you are cooking with high heat, although they may more cleaning.

Generally, non-stick pans are coated with Teflon, giving them their non-stick quality. This type of coating cannot be used with high heat as it can release harmful chemicals.

Furthermore, if you find yourself using butter in many of your meals as opposed to cooking oil, a nonstick pan would be suitable for you due to its requirement of low-to-medium heat.

However, I recommend buying both stainless steel and non-stick pans for your apartment, because both types of pans have their unique usages.

Nonstick Pans:

Amazon Basics 3-Piece Non-Stick Frying Pan Set - 8 Inch, 10 Inch, and 12 Inch, Black

Remember, you don’t need to use a lot of cooking oil (use with low-to-medium heat)

Great Uses:

  • Frying and scrambling eggs
  • Making pancakes & waffles
  • Frying bacon
  • Creamy, cheesy recipes (Doesn’t stick to the pan)

Don’t Use:

  • Acidic recipes (such as tomatoes) (Using nonstick pans would ruin coating)
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Stainless Steel Pans:

Misen Stainless Steel Frying Pan Set - 5 Ply Steel Skillet - Professional Grade Pans for Cooking - 8, 10, and 12 Inch

Use a generous amount of coating

Great uses:

  • Deep frying
  • Searing and charring meats
  • Acidic recipes
  • Preparing soups and sauces
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Get Some Pots!

Can’t Forget Kitchen Knives!

Chef’s Knife 

Utility Knife

HENCKELS Forged Premio Utility Knife, 6 inch, Black/Stainless Steel

Chef’s knives and utility knives are both multipurpose. However, a chef’s knife has a larger blade, making it a better choice for bigger ingredients. The utility knife is wider in width and shorter in length, serving a purpose for smaller ingredients.

Uses:

  • Multifunctional
  • Ideal for small ingredients
  • Suitable for mincing and creating small precise cuts
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Santoku knife

Santoku Knife - imarku 7 inch Kitchen Knife Ultra Sharp Asian Knife Japanese Chef Knife - German HC Stainless Steel 7Cr17Mov - Ergonomic Pakkawood Handle, Best Choice for Home Kitchen, Brown

I love the santoku knife due to its light weight. In addition, the tip of the blade isn’t sharp, making it a safe choice for beginners in the kitchen.

Many people confuse a Santoku knife with a chef’s knife, as they look quite similar. However, it is important to note that the Santoku knife has a thinner blade.

Uses

  • Dicing
  • Mincing
  • Cutting fruits and veggies
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Bread Knife

8-Inch Bread Knife, Serrated Bread Knife, Bread Cutter & Bread Slicers For Homemade Bread, Cake and Bagels, Ultra-Sharp German Stainless Steel-ABS Handle

As its name implies, this knife is suitable for all types of bread. Nevertheless, you may also use it for countless other foods.

Uses:

  • Loaves of bread
  • Bagels
  • Bars of chocolate
  • Biscuits
  • Cake
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Check out more types of knives.

      • Knife Sharpener
      • Kitchen Scissors
      • Cutting Board
      • Oven Mitts/Potholders
      • Bowls
      • Forks, Spoons, Butterknives
      • Whisk
      • Can Opener
      • Colander
      • Measuring Cups (liquid & dry)

Related: 50 Dorm Room Must-Haves for College Students

Dry Ingredients

Liquids

Pick Up a Few Measuring Spoons!

      • Spatula
      • Tongs
      • Mixing Spoons
      • Soup Ladle
      • Kitchen Tables & Chairs
      • Microwave

Check Out These Living Room Essentials!

This is the most exciting category in the ‘First Apartment Checklist’- well, in my opinion. But don’t you agree?

A Comfortable Couch

      • Throw Pillows
      • Blankets
      • TV
      • TV Stand

      • Rug
      • TV Speakers
      • Trash Can
      • Shoe Rack
      • Coffee Table
      • Small Side Table (so you’ll stop losing the remote control!)

Lights

Related: 70 Best Dorm Gifts For College Students – The Complete Guide

Bathroom Essentials

      • Toothbrush Holder

      • Air Freshener

      • Washrag

      • Bathroom Mirror

      • Bathroom Mat

      • Bathtub Mat

      • Toilet Plunger

      • Shower Curtains

      • Curtains Hook

      • Toiletries

        • Toothbrush & Toothpaste

        • Floss

        • Mouthwash

        • Body Soap

        • Hand Soap

        • Shampoo & Conditioner

        • Razors & Shaving Cream

Remember Those Cleaning Essentials!

Cleaning products in a bin

Source

Bathroom Cleaning Products

      • Vacuum

      • Tech Vacuum

      • Dish Soap

      • Laundry Detergent & Fabric Softener

      • Broom & Dustpan

      • Cleaning Gloves

      • Cleaning Rag

      • Bleach or Baking Soda

Related: 30 Best Dorm Room Ideas You Will Absolutely Need in College

Technology Essentials

      • Smart Thermostat

I recommend a smart thermostat for your apartment. Why? Because you can adjust the temperature of your apartment to your preference using a smart thermostat. The thermostat will turn on and off at certain times, making it convenient and cost-effective!

      • Coffee Maker

      • Air Purifier

      • Smoke Detector

      • Touchless Trash Bins

      • Charging Lamps

      • Amazon Echo

I highly recommend that you purchase Amazon Echo for your first apartment if you haven’t already! It is an intelligent speaker that listens to your commands and answers your questions.

The speaker would help assist you with specific tasks without you having to move an inch. This is extremely useful for just about anyone, especially if you are busy running errands all day.

General Uses

      • Answers phone calls
      • Turns your lights on and off with voice commands
      • Controls the thermostat
      • Searches for things on the internet with voice commands

Check out the Amazon Echo and its capabilities.

Check out other smart Amazon devices!

There you have it! These are the top essentials you should include on your ‘First Apartment Checklist.’

Having a checklist keeps you organized and helps reduce the stress of shopping, which will allow you to enjoy your first apartment. Need any ideas for decorating your apartment?

Check out the 50 best college apartment decor ideas!

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College Life

The Best Self-Care Essentials Every College Guy Needs -The Ultimate Guide

Looking for products to enhance your self-care routine? We got you. Here is the best list of self-care essentials for your grooming and hygiene routine.

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self-care routine for men

Disclaimer: This post is a paid collaboration with MANSCAPED. All our opinions are our own.

Is the time of the year again! School season is in full swing and students are getting ready to start school. After one year in quarantine, students are slowly adjusting to a new normal.

Let’s face it. The most dreadful part of returning to school for any student is figuring out what to pack. College packing is never fun.

The biggest challenge students face this year is to figure out how to thrive in school while staying safe amid the pandemic. That is why hygiene is more important than ever. 

When it comes to hygiene essentials, there are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming to find the right products for your personal care.

This is why we have compiled the best list of self-care products that will enhance your grooming and hygiene routine.

Self Care for Men

The Lawn Mower

Lawn Mower

There is nothing more important to the self-care routine of a college man than a trimmer. This 4th generation trimmer features a cutting-edge ceramic blade to reduce grooming accidents thanks to their Advanced SkinSafe Technology.  

The trimmer includes four adjustable guard sizes that can deliver a more customizable trimming experience. Plus, it is waterproof so you will be able to shave in the shower as much as you’d like. 

The Weed Whacker 

weed-whacker

Looking for a compact trimmer that can get rid of those annoying ear and nose hairs? This is the right product for you. Have you ever pulled your nose hair out with some tweezers? It hurts more than you can imagine. 

The weed whacker has Proprietary SkinSafe technology that helps reduce nicks, snags, and tugs. Plus, the Intelligently contoured design enhances the trimming experience so it is easy and quick to use.

The best part of this trimmer is it has a waterproof design which makes for easy operation and cleaning. 

Refined Cologne 

cologne

 

Looking for a light fragrance to use daily? Look no further. This cologne has a clean and fresh scent designed for the refined gentleman. It is perfect for the busy college man who wants a pleasing light masculine fragrance.

You’ll be smelling like a million bucks with this fragrance. 

The best thing about this cologne is that it is Cruelty-Free, Dye Free, Paraben Free, and Vegan so you can comfortably use it without having to worry about any allergic reaction or health hazard.

Shears 2.0

The Shears 2.0

Tired of misplacing your clippers and tweezers when you actually need them? You are going to love this compact luxury 4-piece nail kit featuring stainless steel tools.

The kit includes a slant-tipped tweezer, a rounded point scissor, fingernail clippers, and a medium grit nail file that is perfect for a quick manicure. 

You will never be afraid to show your nails again when using this amazing nail kit. The coolest part of this kid has to be the premium PU leather case. It is so fancy that it looks like a fashionable wallet.

You will never feel embarrassed to take your nail kit with you anywhere you go.

We save the best for the last! 

The Performance Package 4.0

performance-Package-4.0

Looking for a complete grooming kit that will take your self-care routine to the next level?  We got you covered. This luxury grooming kit featuring the new lawn mower and the weed whacker trimmer is pure gold.

It will make you excited to shower and groom!

The kit also includes an anti-chafing ball deodorant which provides freshness below-the-waist;  a ball spray toner featuring a soothing aloe and witch hazel extracts for protection among the highly sensitive areas of your body; and disposable shaving mats so you never have to worry about making a mess while grooming. 

Want more? with your purchase of the performance package, you will get a free pair of manscaped boxers which are super comfortable to wear.

You will also receive a free compact fashionable travel bag perfect to carry your products comfortably while you are on the go. This package is a must-have.  Every college guy needs it in his life.  

Final Thoughts

That’s a wrap. I hope this guide on self-care for men is helpful.

Your hygiene in college is very important so make sure that you get high-quality products that will enhance your personal care routine.

If you liked ANY of the products recommended above, you can purchase them here.

PS: You will receive a 20% off + free shipping using our unique link so take advantage of it. ENJOY!

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College Life

50 Best Overall Backpacks for College Men-The Complete Guide

Are you trying to choose a new backpack for this year in college? We’ve got you covered! Check out these best overall backpacks for college guys.

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college guy wearing a backpack with other college students in the background

As someone who is about to graduate, I can still remember standing in the backpack aisles in stores trying to find the right fit. It’s so hard because you want to find the perfect backpack that will hopefully get you through all four years (or more) but still fits your style. 

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my boyfriend, it’s that he’s pickier about his backpack than I am… which is very surprising. 

I know it’s hard to find the backpack that is going to fit all aspects of your college life, so that is why I’ve put together this list to help you narrow down what you want. 

I promise that no matter which backpack you choose that it’ll help carry what you need wherever you need to go. 

So without any further delay, here is our complete guide on backpacks for college men. 

In This post:

Best Overall College Backpacks for Men

1. High Sierra Loop

BUDGET-FRIENDLY
High Sierra Loop-Backpack, School, Travel, or Work Bookbag with tablet-sleeve, Woolly Weave/Mercury/Crimson, One Size

What I love about this backpack is it is super affordable.

It runs for around $30 and comes in a variety of colors depending on your own personal style. 

It has a lot of different compartments and pockets, so it makes a great backpack for those students on the go.

My personal favorite feature is a dedicated sleeve for a laptop or tablet - those get me every time! 

BUY IN AMAZON

2. The North Face Jester Backpack 

MOST STYLISH
Amazon.com: The North Face Jester, Arrowwood Yellow/TNF Black, OS: Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

Everyone’s definition of stylish is different, but if there is one kind of backpack I have seen on campus, it’s this one. 

It has a super sleek design and is offered in different colors, which is definitely a bonus! Not only is it stylish, it’s also reasonably spacious for a nice and sleek looking backpack! 

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3. Speedo Large Teamster Backpack 

MOST SPACIOUS
Speedo Large Teamster Backpack 35-Liter, Blue 2.0, One Size

Now, this is the ultimate backpack for people with a busy schedule and a lot to carry.

I carried around 7 books my freshmen year because I had no breaks and English courses back to back. 

This Speedo backpack comes in a bunch of different colors, but most of all it is perfect for carrying around everything you may need. 

While it’s mostly made for swimmers to cater to their lifestyle, I think that this one truly works for every student.

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Affordable Backpacks for College Men

4. JanSport City View Backpack 

Bedbathandbeyond

Honestly, JanSport backpacks are like the holy grail of backpacks for students. I’ve carried a JanSport for years, so I can vouch that they are durable.

The City View backpack is great because not only is it affordable, it’s also made from recycled materials! 

What’s better than padded shoulder straps, a laptop sleeve AND an environmentally conscious design? For a great price? Can’t beat it.

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5. JanSport Big Student Backpack 

JanSport Big Student Backpack - School, Travel, or Work Bookbag with 15-Inch Laptop Compartment

This is actually the backpack that I’ve been carrying since my freshman year, and I’m graduating in December! It has a fully padded back panel which is great for busy students who have to carry their backpacks from one building to another. 

My favorite thing about this backpack is the little front utility pocket it has. It’s the best for carrying things that you need to grab in a jif, like keys or a wallet. Definitely recommend this backpack! 

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6. HEAD Double-Compartment Gym Backpack 

HEAD Waterproof Double Compartment Gym and Laptop Backpack for Men - Travel Backpack with Water Bottle Pockets

One of my favorite things about backpacks is not only when they’re super affordable, but also when they have awesome features that make the person carrying the backpack more comfortable. 

Obviously, a spacious backpack is great… but, this one has shoulder straps with padded air mesh which helps keep away the sweat and make carrying a backpack a little less annoying. 

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7. Nike Elemental 

Nike Elemental Kids' Backpack. Nike.com

For a Nike backpack, this one is super affordable and has tons of space. Two bigger compartments, two smaller pockets, two small zipper pockets, and side pockets! 

My favorite feature from this backpack, though, is that it’s super easy to spot clean if it gets dirty. I guarantee that there will come a day when you need to get something off your backpack, and I bet that having this backpack will make that a little easier. 

BUY IN NIKE

8. Adidas National Backpack Originals 

Amazon.com: adidas Originals National Backpack, Black - Superstar 50, OSFA : Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

One of my very favorite things that a backpack can have is a laptop sleeve, and this one has just that! This backpack has a super simple and sleek design but also space for a laptop and tablet! 

The National Backpack Originals also has a padded bottom to help make sure that if the bottom of your backpack gets wet, your stuff is far less likely to have water damage! 

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9. Adidas Trefoil Backpack Originals 

adidas Originals Trefoil 2.0 Backpack, Black, One Size

Another option that I absolutely recommend from Adidas because it’s also made from recycled materials. 

A downside to this one is that it comes in limited colors, so if you aren’t a fan of the ones, they offer then you might want to look at another one. 

But a big plus that I find with this one is that not only does it have a laptop sleeve, but it also has a pocket just for earbuds.

If you’re like me and tend to just throw your earbuds anywhere, having an earbud pocket would definitely come in handy to make sure that you aren’t always digging through your bag. 

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10. Adidas Essentials Backpack

adidas Essentials 2 Backpack, Black/White, One Size

The essentials backpack comes in a different variety of colors which I think is awesome for expressing your own style. 

It’s super easy to spot clean because of the material, and even though it’s on the more affordable side, it is decently sized to be able to fit whatever you need.

My favorite features? Double pockets for water bottles and a little ring on the front to fit keys!

BUY IN AMAZON

Related: 50 Best College Bags for Girls – The Ultimate Guide

11. Puma Buzz Backpack 

PUMA Buzz Backpack Zip Fastening Travel Casual

This Puma backpack is a great one for its price because it’s all about comfort it includes padded straps and a padded back to prevent back pain. 

A fun bonus to this one is it has two slip-in pockets on the inside of the backpack instead of the outside! Great for keeping little things you need to carry organized.

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12. Puma Generator 2.0 Backpack 

PUMA Mens Generator 2.0 Backpack - Grey

While this backpack has similar features to the Buzz backpack, what I think stands out for this one is the design. 

It looks more sophisticated and just a bit “cooler” than some of the other backpacks that lean on the affordable side. You’ll still get great comfort, space, and price, but it also might just look better carrying around!

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13. Puma Phase Backpack 

PUMA Phase Backpack -Black -DS

Another awesome and affordable backpack option from Puma that has similar features but comes in more colors. 

What’s great from reading the reviews is that even though the prices are more affordable, the backpacks are still able to last. 

The only downside to this one is that because of the material, it might be slightly more difficult to spot clean if it gets a bit dirty. 

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14. Under Armour Gametime Backpack 

Under Armour Adult Gametime Backpack , Pitch Gray Medium Heather (012)/Leather Brown , One Size Fits All

Now this one has to be my favorite in this category because it’s all the things you want in a great backpack for a great price. 

Just to list some of my favorite features: laptop sleeve, highly water-resistant, a nice buckle on the front pocket that makes the backpack a bit more fashionable, and 2 side water bottle pockets. Does it get better than that?

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15. Under Armour Team Hustle 5.0 Backpack 

Under Armour Adult Hustle 5.0 Backpack

This backpack stood out to me because it has a very different design than a lot of the other ones on this list. It’s more of an oval shape rather than just the standard backpack, which I think gives this one a leg up. 

It comes in different color combinations, so you have some variety to choose from! A great feature on this one is water-repellent front pockets to keep valuable stuff from getting ruined! 

But my favorite feature? It has an abrasion-resistant bottom to keep it from ripping or breaking.

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16. Vans Construct Skool Backpack 

Construct Skool Backpack | Shop Mens Backpacks At Vans

Vans backpacks were always what I thought of as being the cool kid backpack. The designs are super cool for a good price and good quality. 

This one was a personal favorite because of its laptop sleeve (duh), tablet pocket, and organizer for pens and such. 

Also fun fact, this one has an odor control treatment that helps keep you from smelling bad – especially if you’re super active.

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17. Vans Old Skool Drop V Backpack 

Old Skool Drop V Backpack | Shop Backpacks At Vans

Another great option from Vans. It has a lot of similar qualities, minus the odor treatment and tablet pocket. 

I would definitely say this backpack is meant for someone with a less heavy schedule.

It’s a bit smaller than some of the others in the affordable section, but still, a great option if you just need to carry your laptop and a notebook or two

BUY IN VANS

18. Nike Stash Backpack 

Nike Stash Backpack. Nike.com

Super affordable from a good name brand like Nike. This one is also a bit on the smaller side, so I would make sure you don’t carry an arm and a leg in this one. 

The two mesh side pockets on this one are my favorite!

BUY IN NIKE

Related: The Best 20 Laptops for College Students – The Ultimate Guide 

Stylish Backpacks for College Men

19. Samsonite Modern Utility Double Shot Laptop Backpack 

Samsonite Modern Utility Double Shot Laptop Backpack, Charcoal Heather, One Size

Now this one is like the ultimate backpack that also doesn’t look too shabby! 

Let me just rattle off everything I love about this one, other than how it looks: tons of storage, laptop pocket, tablet pocket, the bottom is water-resistant, it has trolley handles that you can use if that’s your vibe, a front zipper pocket that’s perfect for keys or smaller things, and it’s easy to spot clean. 

When I said ultimate backpack, I meant it…

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20. Samsonite Mobile Solution Backpack 

Samsonite Modern Utility Convertaible Wheeled Backpack, Charcoal Heather, One Size

This backpack is super stylish and decently priced! It has an option for a luggage handle so it could be used as a roller if you needed it for trips. 

It’s easy to clean, has a laptop and tablet pocket, and has a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty if something goes wrong!

BUY IN AMAZON

21. Kenneth Cole Reaction R-Tech Laptop with USB Charging 

Kenneth Cole Reaction ProTec Business Backpack 17" Laptop Computer Bookbag Bag for School, College, Travel, Work, Black, TSA Checkpoint-Friendly

I love this backpack because its design is stylish but also super functional. It’s original because it can fit a laptop with up to a 17”, which is a lot bigger than most others.

A super original feature is a pass-through USB cord that can let you charge anything you may need. Great features for a great look!

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22. Fjallraven Kanken No. 2 Backpack 

Fjallraven, Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday

The Fjallraven is a really super backpack brand. They’re easy to get off of Amazon which makes shipping really easy.

 These backpacks are both functional but even more than that they are a super original design. They come in a variety of colors, so the only problem you’ll have is deciding which one you like! 

These also have good storage, but you may not be able to carry a bunch of textbooks, notebooks, and a laptop - so maybe not the best for people with a super busy schedule and a lot to carry. 

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23. Nike Hayward 2.0 

Nike Hayward 2.0 Backpack, Nike Backpack for Women and Men with Polyester Shell & Adjustable Straps, Black/Black/White

Nike has a ton of stylish backpacks, but I loved this one because it isn’t tacky or too big. It’s super spacious and even has an adjustable bungee cord in the front for carrying shoes or extra clothes just in case!

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24. Nike Sportswear RPM

Nike Sportswear Rpm Backpack Ba6391-222

The Nike Sportswear RPM is the perfect stylish backpack for students on the go - especially athletes.

It has a lot of different compartments to make sure that you can not only carry school supplies, but also clothes you might need to change into, snacks, or really anything you think you might need to go from one place to another! 

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25. Adidas Prime Backpack 

adidas Prime Backpack

I’m a huge fan of Adidas, especially their backpacks. I think the Prime backpack is stylish because it’s simple.

Not an overly complicated design and has simple color options. 

And guess what’s back… recycled materials! Easy to spot clean, and a lifetime warranty… need I say more?

BUY IN AMAZON

26. Adidas 3-Stripes Backpack 2.0 Originals

adidas Originals National 3-Stripes 2.0 Backpack, Adi Camo White/Black, One Size

A super classic design with durable materials. 

Honestly, this one has a lot of the same features as the one above, minus being easy to spot clean and an added earbud pocket. 

Adidas backpacks are all pretty stylish, so it really just comes down to personal taste!

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27. Puma City Backpack

PUMA City Backpack | PUMA US

The Puma City backpack is probably one of my favorites on this entire list. Its look is super interesting as it’s more rectangular than a regular backpack. 

A downside to this one is that it only comes in one color, which stinks if you don’t like the color but like the style. 

Favorite feature: a zip pocket that is vertical along the front! I’m considering buying this one for myself.

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28. Under Armour Loudon Ripstop Backpack

Under Armour Adult Loudon Ripstop Backpack , Black (001)/Black , One Size Fits All

This backpack from Under Armour has a subtle but stylish pattern that isn’t overwhelming but will make your backpack stand out. In my opinion, it’s also very professional looking! 

Favorite features: water-resistant, lightweight fabric, and a large front sprocket for valuables!

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29. Vans Puffed Up Backpack 

Puffed Up Backpack | Shop Womens Backpacks At Vans

The Vans Puffed Up backpack has similar features as the previous Vans backpacks… laptop sleeve, padded shoulder straps and a pocket designed to organize pens and cords. 

What puts this one in the stylish category, though, is that the fabric is puffed, which makes this backpack super original. 

The only downside is that it only comes in the color pomegranate, which is really just a deeper reddish/purple.

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30. L.L. Bean Comfort Carry Portable Locker Backpack 

Nordstrom

Similar to the Samsonite Modern Utility Double Shot Laptop Backpack, this is another ultimate backpack. 

This L.L. Bean backpack is huge – perfect for carrying basically your entire life. 

The bonus, though, is that it’s super stylish! It comes in 3 different colors, so some variety, and it’s professional looking without looking old.

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31. Rains Rucksack Large

RAINS Waterproof Rolltop Rucksack | Blue

This is the backpack that I imagine all the cool guys in Europe use - so if that is the aesthetic you’re going for, this is for you! 

The design is made up of a front flap with a buckle, it’s rectangular, and has two side cargo pockets with buckles as well. 

It’s waterproof, which is a big plus and will make you look like the cool guy on campus with the nice, smart, and professional backpack.

BUY IN AMAZON

Related: 60 Amazing Graduation Party Ideas for Guys – The Complete Guide

Customizable Backpacks for College Men

32. Custom Photo Backpack 

Custom Photo Bag Personalized Picture Backpack Teens Girls Boys Customized School Bag 16.5 Inch Large Capacity Shoulders Book Bag Text Fashion Nursing Bags Baby Casual Travel Bag for Men Women YHA

For this custom backpack, you can upload your own text, photo, or logo in order to make your backpack really your own.

Some super cool features, other than being custom, are that it has a laptop sleeve, an office organizer, and is pretty decently sized.

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 33. EAQ Custom Laptop Backpack

Custom Laptop Backpack With Your Photo Name Text, Personalized Photo Customized Multifunction Travel Backpack with USB Charging Headphone Port

Check out this customized multifunction travel backpack with a USB charging headphone port! 

Like the previous custom backpack, you’re able to upload your own images or text. 

Bonus features: water-resistant, luggage strap, a separate laptop compartment, and a USB or headset port design that helps you charge your device whenever you need to on the go. 

BUY IN AMAZON
 

34. AGOWOO Custom Backpack for Men Women Personalized Back Pack 

Custom Backpack for Men Women Personalized Back Pack for Teen (Black)

This backpack differs from the others because you can only add text, which is super helpful if you know you want your backpack to say your name or something specific, but you don’t want to worry about if there is a picture. 

It doesn’t have a laptop sleeve, but it is slightly water-resistant and has adjustable padded straps with a sponge on the inside to help with a comfortable carry.

BUY IN AMAZON

35. Timbuk2 Custom Division Laptop Backpack 

Group 2

Timbuk2 backpacks are super great quality!

This backpack has rear access to a laptop, so that it doesn’t get jumbled with everything else you’re carrying, and an internal organizer for pens or miscellaneous things you need to carry! 

What is great about this backpack is that it also can be customized to fit your style. 

However, I don’t mean customized like names and pictures. You’re able to pick what color combinations you want to make sure that you’re carrying something that fits your personal style!

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36. Zazzle Custom Backpacks 

Custom Backpack Backpacks | Zazzle

Now, Zazzle doesn’t necessarily have just one kind of backpack you can design. This website needed to go in this category because you can basically customize your backpack from start to finish. 

They have different styles, colors, words, pictures… really whatever you want to make your backpack all your own! 

BUY IN ZAZZLE

37. Vans Customs 

Vans® Custom Shoes | Design Your Own Shoes

Like Zazzle, Vans has its own design space to make your backpack fit you. 

They have four different styles of backpacks to choose from, and from there you can design it based on certain patterns they offer or even upload your own picture. 

These backpacks are super great quality and the Vans design portal is super easy to navigate – they make the backpack creating process super fun! 

BUY IN VANS

Related: 60 Amazing Halloween Costumes for College Guys – The Complete Guide

Minimalistic Backpacks for College Men

38. The JanSport Cool Student Backpack 

Bedbathandbeyond

And we’re back to another JanSport backpack! I actually had this exact same backpack for all my years of high school, so I can vouch that it’s great quality. 

It’s super simple in its design while still being completely functional and sophisticated. 

It doesn’t have a laptop sleeve, but I think I can look past that for this one because I know from experience that simple really is the best in this case. 

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39. JanSport Recycled Superbreak Backpack 

JanSport Recycled SuperBreak Backpack - Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Bookbags, New Olive

This JanSport backpack not only has a sleek and simple design, but it’s also made from recycled materials! It doesn’t get any better than that if you ask me. 

Again, it doesn’t have a laptop sleeve, but I think I can forgive that since it’s so environmentally friendly.

BUY IN AMAZON

40. Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack 

Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack, Black/Tan, Classic 22L

I absolutely love this Herschel backpack because sometimes I think the more pockets and zippers that a backpack has, the more crowded it looks. 

This backpack has a single zipper in the front as its only real “design feature” which I think leaves it looking super clean and professional. 

Bonus features: laptop sleeve, key clip, and waterproof zipper detail. 

BUY IN AMAZON

41. Wexley Stem Daypack 

Wexley Stem Daypack - Coated Nylon | Huckberry

I love this backpack from Wexley because it reminds me of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell in the best way! 

It’s really just the oval shape of the backpack, but I think that the simple design makes the shape really stand out when you’re wearing it. 

I have a friend who has this backpack, and he raves about it – it’s super spacious and comfortable. His favorite thing? “It looks good with everything!”

BUY IN HUCKBERRY

42. Lululemon Now and Always 

Lululemon Now and Always Backpack

Lululemon’s Everyday backpack comes in four different color patterns, all of which are super clean. 

It is made with water-repellent fabric, has a padded pocket that fits up to a 16” laptop, an exterior pocket, and interior pockets to keep things from flying around! 

I love this option because, in my opinion, this is probably one of the most versatile minimalist backpacks - you could take it on a trip, school, work, or the gym and it would fit every occasion.

BUY IN AMAZON

43. Solo Austin Hybrid Tote/Backpack 

Austin Hybrid Tote Backpack - Solo New York

This Solo Tote/Backpack is such a nice twist on just a regular ole backpack. The style is simple yet sophisticated. 

It’s super stylish without being flashy or too big to carry around. 

It doesn’t fit as much as a regular backpack does, so this is definitely more of an option for someone with a lighter load!

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44. Wenger Foix 16”

Wenger Foix 16'' Laptop Backpack with Tablet Pocket - Olive Green

I love this backpack because usually when people say, “minimalist backpack,” one would automatically think of a black backpack because of how sleek it is. 

This Wenger backpack comes in a really nice olive color that I think captures the same sophistication and sleekness while also being a different color!

BUY IN AMAZON

45. Under Armour Loudon Backpack 

Under Armour Adult Loudon Backpack

The Loudon backpack does an excellent job of combining simplicity and design - providing customers with patterned options for backpacks that aren’t too much. 

This one comes in 4 different colors and has a lot of the same great features that Under Armour offers - water-repellent fabric, laptop sleeve, and comfortable straps!

BUY IN AMAZON

46. Calvin Klein Micro Pebble Logo Tag Campus Backpack 

Micro Pebble Logo Tag Campus Backpack | Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein really knew what they were doing with this one… it’s like the ultimate stylish backpack for guys. 

This backpack comes in black and has one main compartment, a front zipper, is fully lined and is faux leather. 

It isn’t the biggest backpack, so this probably isn’t the best choice if you have a lot to carry, but you’ll definitely look cool!

BUY IN CALVIN KLIEN

47. Vans Disorder Plus Backpack 

Disorder Plus Backpack | Shop At Vans

If you can’t tell by now, Vans has some pretty great quality backpacks. 

But I do think that some of their backpacks are pretty flashy. This Disorder Plus option is great because it has a laptop compartment, an internal organizer, a lined media pocket and mesh water bottle pockets. 

More than all that, though, its super clean design will make it so you don’t walk around feeling like you have a flashy backpack you’re carrying all day.

BUY IN VANS

48. Vans Long Haul Backpack 

Long Haul Backpack | Shop Womens Backpacks At Vans

Don’t like the last Vans minimalist men’s backpack option? Here’s another! 

The Vans Long Haul is great because Vans changed up their design without overdoing it. 

This backpack has the typical backpack shape, but with two small zipper pockets on the very front that will make your backpack easy to find if you lose track of it.

A creative and original design with all the great features Vans offers for its backpacks? Can’t beat it!

BUY IN VANS

49. Vans Transplant Backpack 

Transplant Backpack | Shop Mens Backpacks At Vans

Okay, okay, okay! I know - you’re probably tired of Vans backpacks… but they’re great! I can’t help it. 

This Transplant backpack has a slightly more oval shape than a normal backpack, but like the Long Haul, it has a zipper pocket in the front that makes this style more original. 

It comes in the color indigo, which I think is a great solid color to carry around.

A super fun feature: a removable cross-body bag! Which I think is super cool and very in right now.

BUY IN VANS

50. Cole Haan ZERØGRAND Slim Convertible Backpack 

Men's ZERØGRAND Slim Convertible Backpack in Black | Cole Haan

And here we have it, my very last recommendation for college men’s backpacks. 

This one comes in a cool camo pattern which I think perfectly manages the super simplistic style.

The material is water-resistant, and the reviews are phenomenal. The only downside (in my opinion) is that there isn’t a laptop sleeve…. But I think I can let it slide for a 4.65/5-star review.

BUY IN COLE HAAN

Related: 30 Most Useful Dorm Room Ideas for Guys-The Complete Guide

Bonus – Most Important Backpack Features 

None of these backpacks the one? That’s totally fine – I understand! 

When you’re going into a store to shop, though, here are a few of the features that I like to pay the most attention to making sure I have.

As someone who has had the same backpack for many years, these are the features that are going to help you get a backpack that will last for college and beyond. 

  1. The most important feature on my list: a laptop sleeve! I love a laptop sleeve because I don’t have to worry about making sure I have a separate laptop case, and you always know that your laptop will be kept safe from everything else. 
  2. Padded bottom. This helps with making sure that if something spills or you accidentally leave your backpack in a puddle that everything stays dry inside. 
  3. Easy spot cleanable fabric. I promise you will get something on your backpack at some point. If it isn’t easy to spot clean, you’ll just be stuck with a stain.
  4. Pocket organizer. This isn’t something I have but I wish I did. Pockets specifically made for pens, and such would be so convenient. 
  5. Mesh water bottle pockets. These are so much easier to fit a variety of different water bottle sizes in! 
  6. Key clip. I also don’t have a key clip and I so wish I did so that I wasn’t constantly digging through my bag trying to find my keys when I needed them. 
  7. Mesh pocket on the front. If you’re an athlete or an avid gym-goer, I would say that a mesh pocket where you can put shoes, or a change of clothes is a super helpful feature to have. 

Final Thoughts on Backpacks for College Men

While these are just the things on my list, I would recommend making your own list of features that are important to you before shopping. 

A backpack should be made to fit your lifestyle, not you trying to fit your life into a backpack – don’t forget that and just buy whatever backpack is in front of you that won’t even fit all your books. 

Stay calm, look at the product details, and I promise you’ll be the guy with the coolest backpack at school. 

Happy shopping! 

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