9 Insanely Useful Things College Students Need for Everyday Survival

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Things Under $25 Every College Student Needs

college student looking pensive with laptop and backpack for school

Have you ever wondered, what do college students buy the most?

Well, all students like low priced items. They also like anything that improves the college experience. Combine those two categories and you have your answer.

Makes sense, right?

In this post you’ll find inexpensive things college students need, but don’t always have. They’ll help you simply life, sleep better, and reduce stress.


9 Cheap Things That College Students Need

college student girl looking back with a black backpack

1. Hamper You Can Carry

iwill CREATE PRO Laundry Tote Backpack, Heavy Duty Laundry Storage Bag for Laundromat, College Dorm Room, Black View on Amazon

Chances are that you’ll need to do some walking to get to the laundry facilities. Carrying mounds of laundry is a pain in the ass without a portable hamper.

So when you do your dorm shopping:

Pick a laundry hamper that has a carrying strap or wheels.


2. A Few Cleaning Essentials

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes, Lemongrass Citrus Scent, 35 Wipes View on Amazon

You’ll need some basic cleaning supplies to keep your room from becoming a complete disaster zone. Disinfecting wipes and a dustbuster are uber convenient to have at college.

Plus when there’s a spill, they always come in clutch.


3. Stapler

Swingline Stapler, Desktop Stapler, Compact Size, 25 Sheet Capacity, Optima 25 Reduced Effort, Orange/Gray (66412) View on Amazon

Most college professors won’t accept multiple page assignments that aren’t kept together somehow. And on campus, there are surprisingly few (working) staplers.

You know how everyone likes the guy who offers them a stick of gum? The same is true for the guy who shares his stapler.

Get yourself your very own stapler (or a box of paperclips) to keep your backpack. When you turn in your homework at the-last minute you’ll have one less thing to panic about.


4. Rice Cooker

Aroma Housewares Aroma 6-cup (cooked) 1.5 Qt. One Touch Rice Cooker, White (ARC-363NG), 6 cup cooked/ 3 cup uncook/ 1.5 Qt. View on Amazon

A rice cooker is something every college student needs.


For one – a big bag of rice can go along way. It’s one of the cheapest foods you can live off of in college.

Two – a rice cooker can do a lot more than just cook rice. With a little creativity and some recipes from Pinterest, you can make all sorts of dishes.

But if you’re living in campus housing, be sure to check the policies. There are often restrictions on the appliances that are allowed.


5. Ear Plugs & An Eye Mask

Fitglam Natural Silk Sleep Mask / Eye Mask with Eyelashes Patterns & Free Ear Plugs, Black With White Eyelashes View on Amazon

Dorm room floors, apartment neighbors, and roommates aren’t always as quiet as you’d like them to be. A sleeping mask and a set of ear plugs are inexpensive solution.

They can do wonders for improving your sleep quality. Especially if you’re a light sleeper.

You may not need them every night. But when you do, you’ll be glad they’re within arm’s reach.

As an added bonus:

You can use the ear plugs during exams to minimize distractions.


6. Electric Kettle/Hot Pot

Elite Gourmet EKT1001B Electric BPA-Free Glass Kettle, Cordless 360° Base, Stylish Blue LED Interior, Handy Auto Shut-Off Function – Quickly Boil Water for Tea & More, 1L, Graphite Black View on Amazon

There are a lot of uses for boiling water and a hot pot will give you easy access to it.

Use it to make coffee, tea, oatmeal, ramen, easy mac, and even boiled eggs.

Video: How to Boil Eggs in an Electric Kettle

It’s great for heating liquids like soup, too.


7. Fan

BESKAR USB Small Desk Fan, Portable Fans with 3 Speeds Strong Airflow, Quiet Operation and 360°Rotate, Personal Table Fan for Home,Office, Bedroom- 3.9 ft Cord/Blue View on Amazon

Another cheap thing college students need is a fan.

There are three main reasons why:

  1. Air circulation makes a big difference in the way your room smells.
  2. A small fan can help keep you cool once the summer months hit.
  3. The white noise can drown out loud neighbors so you can catch some shut eye.


8. Plunger

PWWDADA Supply Guru Heavy Duty Force Cup Rubber Toilet Plunger with a Long Wooden Handle to Fix Clogged Toilets and Drains (18", 1) (Original Version) View on Amazon

Unless you have a community style bathroom, a plunger is something you should get. And long before you ever need it.

Because do you really want to be in a situation where you have to ask to borrow a plunger?


9. Mattress Topper

ZINUS 1.5 Inch Swirl Gel Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Cooling Airflow Design, CertiPUR-US Certified, Twin View on Amazon

A mattress topper will turn a shitty dorm room bed into something you can actually sleep on.

Being able to get a good night’s rest on the regular makes surviving college so much easier. Invest in what you sleep on if nothing else!


smiling female student with water bottle

Conclusions on What a College Student Needs

So those are the 9 things all college students need. What inexpensive items would you recommend bringing to college?


Related college essentials posts:


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9 Cheap Things College Students Need

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