college essentials

Happy Sunday, friends, and thank you for clicking on this blog post. I’ve been in college for a whole semester now, so I’m basically an expert (that was a joke)! I live in an 11’x14′ room that’s smaller than some closets, I share 8 showers with 50 other girls, and I make easy mac for like 10 meals a week. Here are things that have saved my life in college, so these should go to the top of your packing list if you’re heading off to college soon.

  1. Extension cords, power strips, surge protectors, & a 10 foot long phone charger – You will have to plug in so many things in your dorm room including a refrigerator, a Keurig, a printer, a lamp, your laptop, your phone, etc. It will make dorm living so much more convenient if you can plug these in all at once (and not cause a power surge). Also, get the longest phone charger you can find so that it can reach into any corner of your shoebox-sized space.
  2. A stick-on phone wallet – Everyone has one of these as they make it so much easier to carry around your student ID, driver’s license, credit card, or anything that fits in a 3″x2″ rectangle. Clubs will give them out for free at involvement fairs, & every sorority girl will have one with her letters on it. You’ll never use a real wallet again.
  3. A solid pair of tennis shoes – Your campus probably has a bus system, but you’ll likely be walking EVERYWHERE. I think I’ve used 5 different pairs of tennis shoes this past semester because they just get really worn out when you walk to class, the dining halls, and everywhere in between. Invest in a good pair of tennis shoes and your feet will thank you & love you forever.
  4. A good pair of earbuds/headphones – These are so necessary for walking to class, going to the gym, and when your roommate probably doesn’t want to listen to all 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy while she’s trying to sleep. Grab some earbuds and put on a podcast or your favorite Spotify playlist to spice up your walk to class because walking in silence is sad. Happy listening!
  5. A mattress pad – A dorm bed is a twin-sized mattress that’s only slightly more comfortable than a brick being held up by 4 wooden sticks. However, my dorm bed is more comfortable than my bed at home due to my heavenly 4-inch mattress pad. I highly recommend getting one of these so that sleeping 2 feet away from the ceiling is much more comfortable.
  6. A planner – Most college schedules will divide class times into Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes & Tuesday/Thursday classes, so it’s not like high school where you start at 8, go to 7 classes, and leave at 3 every day. A planner is essential to keeping you organized with classes, club meetings, tests, group projects, etc. I love my Day Designer because it gives me an entire page to plan for each day & I like having physical paper to write on (I got it for, like, $25 on Amazon), but I also use Google Calendar to have everything saved electronically in case I lose my paper planner or spill coffee on it.
  7. As much storage as you can possibly find!!!!! – Again, most dorm rooms are the size of a shoebox, so maximize your space! I literally drew out my dorm room on paper and found the best way to move all the furniture we were given to fit the most stuff (that’s the Interior Design major in me). If you can, lofting your beds is crucial because we were able put a futon under one bed &  an 8-cube storage cubby from Target under the other. I also put baskets on top of my wardrobe, a storage ottoman in the middle of the carpet, and plastic storage bins under my desk. The Container Store can be your best friend.
  8. A mini-fridge, freezer, & microwave – My dorm came with this included, so we didn’t have to buy it, but it’s really convenient to keep a brita, healthy snacks, and easy mac in my dorm when I just don’t feel like going down to the dining hall. If you’re a coffee lover like me, invest in a Keurig so you can have your “liquid energy” ready to go for those early classes.

Okay, so shower essentials get their own category because community bathrooms are not glamorous unless you love mold and other people’s hair on the walls.

  1. Shower caddy –  It’s way easier to put all of your shower & bathroom supplies in one compact caddy rather than try to put shampoo, conditioner, and face wash in your left hand and a towel, soap, and a loofah in the other. My advice would be to get one made of mesh or a plastic one with holes in the bottom or else it will trap water and get moldy, and that is really gross.
  2. Shower shoes – Old Navy sells like $3 flip flops that are perfect and come in every color you can imagine, so you can even color coordinate your shower shoes to your towels!! Exciting!! But seriously, I’d rather bathe in, like, mud than touch the shower floor.
  3. Toothbrush head cover – These are perfect for making sure that your toothbrush is also not exposed to bathroom germs, AND you can color coordinate with your shower shoes and towels! I got some from Target called Steripod that clip on and it actually cleans your toothbrush, too.


Don’t get me wrong, college & dorm living are not the worst ever, but these things are must-haves to making it much more enjoyable! Add them to your college shopping list right now because it’s never too early to start preparing – I definitely started my dorm Pinterest board freshman year of high school. Happy shopping!

Love, ~E

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