31 Items to Buy When Preparing for Your 1st College Semester

Published - 16 March 2022, Wednesday
  • College Graduate

You have been accepted to college and are getting ready for your first semester. It is an exciting time of new beginnings, but it can also be daunting. There are many things to do and buy before you start school. Here are a few essential items you will need. Picture from Unsplash​​​​​​​

A Sturdy Backpack

You will be carrying around many textbooks and materials, so make sure you have a comfortable backpack that can hold everything.

A Laptop or Tablet

They are essential for taking notes in class and doing research. Get one that is lightweight and has good battery life. Also, look into leather MacBook cases to cover your tablet to prevent damage and dirt.

A Desk and Chair For Studying

You will need a place to study and do homework. A desk and chair are the perfect solutions. They are affordable and can be found at most department stores.

Textbooks and School Supplies

You will need to buy your textbooks and other supplies for classes like:

  • Notebooks, pens, and pencils
     Having these items will make your notes easier in class.
  • Printer
     A printer will come in handy for printing out assignments and handouts. Choose one that is compact and easy to use.
  • A Planner
     You will need to keep track of your assignments, deadlines, and exams. Get a planner that you can carry around with you to stay organised.
  • School Uniforms or Clothes
     If your school requires uniforms, be sure to get them before school starts. If not, then make sure to pack comfortable clothes mixed and matched.
  • Shoes
     You will be walking a lot, make sure you have comfortable and stylish shoes. You don't want to be in pain from wearing uncomfortable shoes every day. Have a list of what you need and shop around for the best prices.

Dorm Room Essentials

You will need to buy some basics for your dorm room like a trash can, wastebasket, and hangers. You will also need:

  • A Good Mattress and Bedding Set
     Nighttime is resting time; you need a nice bed and mattress to sleep on. Also, you will spend most of your time in your dorm room studying, so make sure you have a comfortable mattress, bedding set, and pillows. A good bed can make a difference in getting a good night's sleep.
  • Storage Containers
     You will need some way to store all of your school supplies and clothes. Get storage containers that are stackable and can be easily transported.
  • First Aid Kit
     It is always better to be safe. Get a small first aid kit to keep in your room in case of accidents or illnesses.
  • A Fan
     Dorm rooms can get stuffy, so a fan will come in handy to keep the air circulating.
  • Comfortable Clothes You need comfortable nightdresses at night, so make sure you have comfortable clothes that you can relax in and sleep in.
  • A Desk Lamp It will come in handy for late-night studying and doing homework.
  • Snacks
     You will get hungry between meals, so it is always good to have snacks on hand. Pack healthy.
  • A Microwave
     If you don't want to go out to eat every night, a microwave will come in handy for heating food.
  • A fridge
     A fridge is essential for storing food and drinks. Find a small one that will fit in your dorm room.
  • A warm carpet
     Dorm floors can be cold, so a warm carpet or rug will make your room more comfortable.


Have everything you need, such as:

  • Shampoo, soap, Toothbrush, Toilet paper
     Hygiene comes first. Make sure you have enough of these items for your hygiene while spending your 1st semester.
  • Bath Towels
     Get a perfect cotton towel for drying off after showers.
  • Shower Caddy And Rug
     You will need to take a shower every day, so make sure you get a caddy to store your toiletries and a rug to keep your feet from getting wet.
  • Shower Shoes
     Shower shoes are a must-have for keeping your feet clean and safe from germs in the communal showers.

Laundry Detergents

Once in a while, you will do your laundry, so make sure you have everything you need. Get laundry detergent, fabric softener, and stain remover. These items will make doing your laundry easier.

Although this list is extensive, it is by no means exhaustive. You will undoubtedly think of other essentials to bring with you to college. But if you make sure that you have these seven items covered, you will be well on your way to a successful first semester. Good luck and happy packing.

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