10 College Necessities to Get for Freshman Year That You’ll Regret to Forget

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10 College Necessities to Get for Freshman Year That You'll Regret to Forget

Many of you will be heading to college for the first time soon, and that can be…

…well, a bit intimidating!

The worry of making sure you have ALL of your college necessities can be a constant nagging thought in the back of your mind. Showing up unprepared in front of your new peers has to be the last thing you want to do on move in day.


You might be so busy thinking about your class schedule, what your roommate will be like and what to wear on your first day, that you end up forgetting some things! I understand how hard it can be to remember it all, when there is just SO much going on.

That’s why I put together this list of college necessities, to take some of the stress out the going to college process.

Whether you’re guilty of over packing or under packing, there are still a few commonly over looked items students can forget.

Start your semester off right by making sure you have everything you need! Here are 10 important, must-have college necessities.

The nice thing is:

You can score any of these items for around 20 bucks or less.

Related: What to Bring to College: Everything You Really Need

10 College Necessities You Don’t Want to Forgetcollege necessities

1.) Water Bottle or Tumbler

It’s important to stay hydrated!

Especially, if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking around campus. This is something that will get everyday use and can last for years.


It’s CHEAPER than buying bottled water. And sometimes you just don’t have time to stop by the cafeteria to buy a drink.

As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why making a one-time purchase on a reusable water bottle is a smart move.

?? See the BEST water bottle options right now on Amazon (Under $20)
My fav are the Nalegene water bottles!

And if you’re going to opt for a tumbler instead of a water bottle:

The Ozark Trail Vacuum-Sealed Tumblers are just as good as the Yeti brand tumblers, but at a third of the price! Don’t believe me? Check out this comparison review.

Save yourself some bucks where you can, ’cause you’re gonna need all the extra money you can get once college starts.

College Necessities2.) Dry Shampoo

Between classes, social outings, homework and studying – yeah, you’re going to be a liiiiittle busy.

That means that showering often enough to have clean, manageable hair is gonna go by the wayside. Sorry – it’s just the truth!

But don’t worry:

I have something for you to add to your packing list that was a hair life saver for me in college: dry shampoo.

It soaks up the extra oil/grease that accumulates at your roots and leaves you with fresher looking hair. And voilà!

You’re ready to go at a 2 minutes notice. I’m a fan of the stuff and how it’s enabled me to go more than a day without a wash, without looking like hot garbage.

That makes it HIGH on my list of college necessities.

College Necessities

3.) Bathrobe

A bathrobe made it onto my college necessities list because sometimes you just don’t want to get dressed. Enough said.

A bathrobe also is nice to have when you have communal showers for your dorm, located down the hall. It allows you the freedom to choose to get dressed back in the comfort your dorm room, instead of in the muggy shower room.


It turns out that robes can be expensive.

So I went ahead and found some robe options that stay under a $20 budget for you. They are inexpensive yet, they are still cozy and everything you’d want in a good robe.

?? I’ve got two nice and cheap robe choices ready for you:
One for the girls and one for the guys.

college necessities

4.) Surge Protector

I know I mention this one a lot, but it’s cruicial!

Ever been in the middle of typing a long essay and had a power surge fry your computer?? It’s the WORST!

That’s why one of my TOP college necessities is a surge protector. It’s a wise investment, because power outages can strike at any time – storm or no storm.

There’s been sooo many times in my home town where someone has crashed their car into a telephone pole and knocked out the power for part of the city.

The good things is:

Surge protectors are cheap – and much cheaper than replacing a computer.

?? Do your future self a favor and get a surge protector like this one BEFORE you need it.
And if you’re looking for something a little fancier:
This charging station is surge protected + it has extra outlets, USB outlets and a shelf to hold your phone. It’s pretty useful!

College Necessities

5.) First Aid/Medicine Items

Next up on my list of college necessities is a first aid kit, or at least medicine and first aid items.

This would include:

  • Bandaids
  • Cough drops
  • Tissues
  • Teas
  • Lip blam
  • Excedrin, Tums, Rolaids, etc
  • Anything else you may need when you feel sick

Get this:

No one likes to go to the store when they are sick! And especially if you don’t have a lot of money.

The first time you get sick at college may very well be in the middle of the night…

…that’s why I suggest being prepared ahead of time.

Having these things on hand will help you out BIG time, even if it’s something minor like a headache.

?? This is a great first aid kit! I like that it has 100 first aid items, but is still compact.
Make sure to keep one in your car, too! You never know when you may need it.

If you prefer to DIY it:

You can find everything you need to make your own first aid kit at a dollar store!

College Necessities

6.) Laundry Basket

In college, the laundry facilities are typically a ways away from your dorm room. If your college doesn’t have washer and dryers, then you’ll be venturing off campus to take care of your laundry.

For that reason:

You’ll want to have a travel ready laundry basket. ‘Cause you’ll be hauling that thing places.

And it’ll probably be pretty HEAVY. Busyness, procrastination and good ol’ laziness are a mix that keeps college students scrambling to keep up with laundry.

One day you’ll realize you’re down to your last outfit and everything needs to be washed. That laundry basket will be FULL.

Which is why…

…handles are a must for this college necessity.

?? THIS laundry basket will get. the. job. done.
It has handles and it’s STURDY. None of that weak, mesh crap that will rip on you while you’re going down a flight of stairs.

College Necessities

7.) Shower Shoes

Remember how I mentioned communal showers?

If that’s going to be YOUR living situation, you’re GONNA want a pair of shower shoes. I mean, unless you’re trying to get a foot fungus. ?

Toe nail fungus, ringworm and athletes foot are just a few of the fungi that thrive in warm, moist environments – like communal showers. Yuck!

Because toes are often warm and damp due to being confined in shoes, fungus grows well there. And once you get it, you can have it for years – no thanks!

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to prevent:

Pick up a cheap pair of flip-flops at Walmart for less than a buck (or that infamous Dollar Store we talked about) to save yourself from problems down the line.

College Necessities

8.) Shower Caddy

Since we are on the topic of communal showers…

…If you’re using shared showers. you’ll also have to deal with hauling all your shower supplies to and from your dorm room.

Make it easy on yourself by investing in an inexpensive shower caddy.

As a bonus:

It will keep your stuff organized and away from prying hands (sorry, some people steal). It will even hold your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and anything else you want to use in the bathroom.

?? This shower caddy is perfect and it’s under budget.
Win – win!

College Necessities

9.) Fan

When you live in a dorm, don’t assume that it will have air conditioning. It’s a bummer, but it’s true!

Not all rooms are equipped with the latest in cooling technology.

Because of that:

A fan can be SO needed on hot, stuffy days or even if you get hot easily when sleeping. Out of all the college necessities, this one is the most likely to be forgotten.


Before you get one, check in with your school to see if there is air conditioning or not in your living situation.

If you don’t need it, it’s just one less thing to bring.

?? If you are one of those unlucky students who will be living with out A/C, I recommend this fan.
It’s small, but powerful!

college necessities

10.) A Planner

Finally the last thing you don’t want to forget to bring with you is a planner.

You may have not needed one in high school, but trust me here. It’s going to make staying on top of your class schedule, assignment due dates and social outings A LOT simpler.

I always like to simply my life in any way possible and a planner helps me achieve just that.

?? Check out my TOP picks for CHEAP school planners right here.
There’s something for everyone, from ultimate planners to minimal ones.

So, that covers it! My list of 10 college necessities that every student needs ends here.

When you’re ready to start packing for college, head here to grab my printable college packing checklist.

Seasoned college students – what are some essentials items you could have used?

I’d love to know what little things you were glad you brought with you in freshman year!


Related posts:

College Necessities to Get For Girls & For Guys | List of College School Dorm Room Essentials for Freshman Year | #college #student #collegelife #backtoschool #collegetips #collegesmarts #dorm #dormroom

I'm Jen, one of the co-founders of College Life Made Easy: a lifestyle blog that focuses on helping students navigate college life on topics of finance, organization, dorm living and more.

  1. Love this entire list! I recommend a fan even if your dorm has A/C. My dorm was old, so we didn’t have any control over when the air conditioning was turned on, or the heat was turned on. Having a fan helped circulate the air during those months that the heat was on, but it wasn’t really cold.

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