Top 15 Things You Need For College

It’s time to pack those bags—you’re on your way to college! 

As you get ready, you’re looking to have the time of your life. Finally able to move away from home and get out from under your parents’ watchful eyes, you now have the freedom to do what you want. 

At least it can feel that way. 

What most university students quickly learn, however, is that they’re faced with decision-making responsibilities that they’re not quite prepared for. 

Related post: Challenges Faced By Fresh High School Graduates

And this starts when packing your suitcase. 

Did you know that if you just pack the essentials—clothes, your Xbox, and a few other important items—you could find yourself up the creek when you move into your new dorm room? 

Don’t be that guy (or gal). 

Instead, make sure that you’re prepared upon arrival by taking the time to pack everything you’ll need. This means packing the things you don’t even know you need yet. 

Trust us: this type of preparation skill is something that you’re going to need as you move ahead in life. 

But without the right experience, it can be difficult knowing what, exactly, to bring. 

That’s where we come in. 

We’ve put together a list of the top fifteen unexpected things that you should bring to college.

Keep these in mind as you pack your luggage so that you can make as smooth a transition into university as possible. 

Here’s the deal: you don’t want to be the only guy left behind. When you arrive at university with far fewer things than your roommates or dormmates, you’re going to look unprepared. 

And believe us: you’ll start feeling it too. 

Instead, get off on the right foot by investing in the following fifteen items. 

See also: College 101: How To Be The Perfect Roommate

Power Strip 

What many students find hard to accept is that their rooms have limited electrical outlet options. 

Buy a power strip here on Amazon.

This means that you may not be able to charge your phone while lying in bed, for instance. 

Or that you’ll have to fight with your roommate over who gets what outlet. 

Most dorm rooms are oppressively small, and you’re going to have to get used to living intimately close with someone else. 

Yes, guys, this means living with other guys. 

With that in mind, it just won’t do to start off arguing about who gets to plug up what—and where. 

You can cut these problems before they even start by investing in a power strip. By bringing these to your dorm the first day, you can cut down on potential conflicts. 

Even better, you’ll look prepared and in control—positioning you as an authority figure.

This is especially true if your roommate didn’t think to bring one. 

Shower Shoes

Chances are, you don’t use shower shoes at your home. 

But if you fail to bring them to your dorm, you’re in for a world of disgusting surprises. 

Athlete’s foot? Check. 

Standing in a grimy shower full of your dormmates’ hair, fluids, and who knows what else? Check. 

It’s not hard to see why shower shoes are a good investment. You can buy some here.

Protect your feet from the unknown by wearing them each and every time you shower. 

The unfortunate reality is that you may find showers contain bacteria that are best kept off your feet. 

And because you’ll be sharing your shower with plenty of other guys on a daily basis, you’ll need to make sure that you’re taking the proper precautions. 

Foot fungi and infections simply aren’t worth it. 

Trust us: everyone else is going to be wearing proper shower shoes—and you’re going to look terribly out of place if you don’t. 

Not only that, you’ll definitely feel much cleaner by not having your feet on dirty public shower floors. 

Shower Caddy 

Additionally, you’re going to need something to help you transport your toiletries to the shower.

From your rags to your towel, change of clothes, soap, and shampoo, you’re going to have to provide everything you need. 

Fortunately, while you’re able to shower in privacy, you’re still going to have to bring your own toiletries. This is actually a good thing, as you don’t have to share with anyone else. 

What this also means, however, is that you’re going to have to have a place to put your stuff. 

And you’re definitely not going to want to set it down anywhere in the shower. 

Instead, invest in a shower caddy that will allow you to carry your necessities back and forth.

You’ll also be able to keep everything organized as you shower, making this sometimes-awkward experience that much easier. 

Extra Blankets

Sometimes the things you should take aren’t those that you need. Bringing extra blankets, for instance, is always a good idea. 

You never know when you’ll get a sudden chill, or when the temperature of your dorm will start to drop. 

You might also decide that you need a blanket to lay on the floor with or use as some other kind of mat. 

See also: Guide on How to Prepare for a College Interview

The moral of the story here is that you’re going to want to be prepared. It’s better to have an extra blanket and not use it than to have to sit and shiver in the cold.

And when you’re so far away from home, it’s important that you allow yourself to be as comfortable as you can possibly be. 

Though it may sound dramatic, one long, cold night can do more to damage your morale than you’d think. 

For this reason, extra blankets are an important unexpected item to bring to your dorm. 

Trust us: you’ll thank yourself later. 

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Here is one of the top-rated headphones on Amazon!

If you’ve grown up with siblings, you know just how loud other people can be. 

What you might not realize, however, is that your roommates may be just as loud. 

And they likely won’t care what you think. Whether you realize it or not, your options are limited in this situation. 

You’ll have to be careful not to establish any animosity between you and your roommate, but you’ll also need to have an effective way to end the situation. 

And it’s not like you can just threaten them like you would your sibling. 

That would only make matters worse. 

Instead, invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. 

While they may be expensive, they’re definitely worth the peace of mind you’ll get by being able to block out your obnoxious roommates. 

Great for those nights when you need to study or for when you just need to be silent, these headphones are a must for anyone who values their privacy. 

Extra Phone Battery 

When you’re in university, chances are that you’re not spending most of your time in your dorm. 

Instead, you may find that you’re out and about across campus for extended periods of time. 

This is especially true if you’re part of any clubs or organizations or if your classes are spaced out throughout the day. 

For this reason, you need to make sure that you keep enough charge on your phone. Because charging outlets won’t always be available, consider investing in an extra phone battery. 

For those with phones with unchangeable batteries, portable chargers make a great substitute. 

These will allow you to stay connected on the go no matter how often you use your phone. 


When you get to university, there’s one thing that you’re going to become an expert at:

Finding free food. 

From samples across campus to free pizza at club events, several opportunities for free food exist. 

And when this occurs, it’s always good to have something to carry food in. 

We know—it sounds cheesy. Who would want to carry Tupperware with them all day? 

To that, we say that we see your point. Maybe it’s not the best or the most ethical of practices to hide copious amounts of free food in secret Tupperware containers. 

Even so, consider using them for other purposes. 

Carry leftovers on campus, for instance, for quick and easy lunches, or have them with you in case you have to stay out for a late supper. 

By doing so, you can stick to a strict budget—important if you’re looking to make ends meet. 

You can find some great options here on Amazon.


You may find that there are some people who tell you not to bring a TV to your dorm. 

Related post: Whatever You Do: Do Not Bring These To College

Don’t listen to them. 

If you have a TV to spare, it can be a great way to add spice to your dorm room. If you don’t find a nice cheap one here on Amazon.

All you need to do is make sure that your dormmate isn’t bringing one already. 

In fact, you may wish to reach out ahead of time to make sure that you and your roommate are on the same page. 

And whether you realize it or not, you’re going to want a TV. 

From playing your video games to watching national championships and Super Bowls, many activities are going to require the use of a TV. 

And finding them in dining halls and other public locations may not be that easy. 

Another unintended consequence is that having a TV can help you bond with your dormmates.

By having a TV, you can invite them over to do a variety of different actions that can help grow the bond between you. 

Formal Clothes

Though it’s all-too-easy to associate college with laid back attire and parties, there are other times where more formal wear will be appropriate. 

From dances to frat gatherings to official university events, there are going to be times when you’re going to need formal attire. 

Don’t be left scrambling to buy a suit that’s not in your budget. 

Keep this in mind: a man should have at least one good fitting suit in his closet at all times. 

And for ladies, make sure that you’ve got at least some of your Sunday best with you. 

By doing so, you can help navigate into the professional world by presenting the right image no matter where you are. 


Picture this: 

You’ve got to get ten minutes across campus, and you’ve missed your bus. 

You can’t afford to be late to class, so you’re going to have to rush. You scramble out of your current classroom and out of the building only to find that it’s raining heavily outside. 

And you don’t have an umbrella. 

Rookie mistake. 

Now you’re going to be left sloshing through the rain as you attempt to arrive dripping wet to your next class. 

That’s never fun. 

Make sure to invest in an umbrella and keep it with you at all times. 

Mattress Cover

Here’s the deal about university mattresses: 

They’re effective, but not ideal. 

They’re not going to break your back, but they’re not winning any awards for comfort, either. 

Consider investing in a mattress cover or topper that will add extra cushion and support. 

Trust us: getting a good night’s sleep is important. You don’t want to sacrifice them because of a lumpy mattress. 

A Combination Lock

Got any private information you don’t want to fall into the hands of your dormmates? 

Make sure to keep it in a secure container with a combination lock

By doing so, you can help protect your privacy and make sure that your stuff is important when you leave the room. 

Extra Towels

As a university student, it can be to overlook common-sense information. 

You’re out having a good time—partying, studying, and generally making the most of your new life. 

Your biggest minor annoyance is that you have to do laundry way too often because you didn’t invest in more than two towels. 

Prevent that by bringing at least a week’s worth with you when you move in. 

Air Freshener 

One of the downsides to being at university is that you never know the personal hygiene habits of others. 

It may just be the case that your roommate has terrible BO. 

Be sure to bring some air freshener just in case so that you can be at ease in your own dorm. 


Finally, many don’t realize that they’re going to be required to make long treks from one class to another. In the fall semester, this typically means doing so in blazing conditions. 

Keep your skin protected by investing in sunblock before starting school. 

Related post: Tips on How to Win College Scholarships

So if you made it all the way down here, you are one of the lucky ones. So here is a quick video on things you should have in your backpack.

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