If you’re about to head off to a college dorm in a few weeks (or a few days), you’re probably feeling pretty prepared. You’ve got your shower caddy, you ditched the printer and other unnecessary items, and even took our advice about getting a plant for your dorm room. You picked out your twin extra long bedding, bought enough hangers to fill five closets, and you’re already hype about buying books for that history course you’re actually looking forward to. It seems like you’re set, right? Eh, almost. Nearly. But there are a few things you’re forgetting about, like some small items that are easy to blow off but that will actually save your life in college.
There are some things–whether it’s dorm necessities or even phone apps–that you don’t really realize you need until you’re actually living that college life. By that point, you have the options of begging your parents for money and then figuring out a way to get to the store, using your own money, or forgetting about it and attempting to make due. Avoid that! Check out these 19 little things that will save your life in college, whether you’re chillin’ in your dorm room, cramming at the library, or taking notes in class. Then buy them with the time you have left – trust me.
1. Portable Phone Charger
A portable phone charger is an absolute life changer, especially in college when your schedule is all over the place. Maybe you didn’t bring your regular charger with you to class, maybe you’re out with some friends at a party and can’t afford to let your phone die before calling an Uber. Maybe you forgot to charge your phone the night before and need to access some important notes on the fly. Having a portable charger in your purse so you can use it whenever, wherever, makes your life a lot more stress free, trust.
It’s so easy to feel tempted to order a pizza or a ton of sushi when you’re feeling peckish, but that adds up so quickly, and if you’re eating a lot of unhealthy foods, you might feel a little crappy afterward. Tame your hunger without spending a lot of money or feeling sluggish with some healthy snacks like trail mix. I know, sometimes you just want a bag of chips (WELCOME TO MY LIFE), but trail mix provides energy boosting protein, vitamin rich dried fruits, and even some sweet bits here and there for a treat.
3. Super Glue
I know, this isn’t at the top of your must have list, but it’ll absolutely come in handy a lot more often than you think. Your favorite earrings that ended up getting broken in your purse? Fixed. Your favorite sunglasses? Sorted.
4. Bed Risers
If you’re not in a bunk bed, bed risers are a must. Why? I mean, not only is it nice to be a little higher off the ground, it can also provide you some much needed under the bed storage. It’s time to free up that closet space, girl.
5. The Clue App
Clue, a period tracker, makes my life so much easier, and it will be especially handy if you’re living in a college dorm. Why? Well, bodies are weird, and sometimes your cycle can sync up with the cycles of those around you. So, if you were regular for ages and suddenly your period comes out of nowhere, it’s time to track your new schedule all over again.
6. ID Holder
Whether you get an ID holder that doubles as a phone case like the one above, or an other type of easy access card holder, you’re going to get a lot of use out of it. You don’t want to have to dig through your purse for your student ID; you’ll want to get to it as easily as possible. Same goes for your metro card if you’re going to college in a city with public transit, or your laundry card, or that Starbucks card for those caffeine induced all nighters, etc.
7. Flip Flops
These are a MUST if you’re going to live in a dorm with communal bathrooms, but they’re also useful for walking around your dorm, roaming to the common room, rushing over to the front doors to pick up your food delivery, etc.
8. Hand Sanitizer
College is a germ factory, especially in the dorms (people still don’t wash their hands, eugh). Have some hand sanitizer handy as well as some anti-bacterial wipes for your dorm room. You’ll love having them around when your roommate comes down with a cold.
9. Powerful Headphones
Speaking of roommates, they can be really loud. Hell, dorm life in general can feel like a zoo. So for those days when your roomie has bae over and they’re going at it, or those nights when your neighbor can’t stop blasting Desiigner, you’ll want some powerful headphones to block out the noise. Those dinky little ear buds just won’t do, boo.
10. Detergent Pods
I wish I was on this pods tip when I was in college, because I can’t even begin to go into detail about how often I got messy detergent all over the place. Just chuck a pod in to the washing machine, throw your clothes in, turn it on, and you’re solid. No more lugging around a massive tub of liquid detergent or that powder crap.
11. Something To Clean Your Room With
Yes, there is a maintenance team that will clean up the common areas of your dorm, like the hallways and communal bathrooms. Otherwise? Your room is all you, and if your floor is filthy, you’re the one who has to clean it up. Dealing with linoleum floors? Get something super easy to use like a Swifter. Carpet? A handheld vacuum cleaner is a game changer.
Starting college? Get ready to owe friends a lot of money here and there for drinks, food, concert tickets, etc. Venmo makes it so easy to pay friends back (or let your pals know that they owe you money).
13. A Solid Water Bottle
A good water bottle that you’ll actually want to use will save you so much money. Like, nobody has time to head over to the water fountain all the time, and plastic bottles of water add up super quickly. A reusable water bottle avoids all of that. <em>Plus</em>, you’ll be more hydrated.
I’ll always prefer taking notes by hand to typing them on a computer or a phone. But let’s be real, you’re going to have a ton of projects in which links and digital images are paramount. Evernote lets you embrace the best of both worlds. You can jot all sorts of notes digitally (and have them sync up on your computer and phone), but you can also take photos of your handwritten notes and upload them to Evernote, too, so you’ll always have access to them.
Leggings make life better, period. They can help you throw together cute outfits even when you’re exhausted, and they’re essential for days when you’re lounging around the dorm. Buy ’em in bulk, especially if your favorite store is having a sale.
16. Mini Umbrella
Yeah, there are some killer umbrellas on the larger side, but you should really have a mini umbrella that will easily fit in your backpack, tote bag, or purse. When you find out that its pouring after class, you’ll be glad you have one on hand.
Citations are so exhausting, and they don’t get any easier in college. They just become more taxing and more intensive. Make life easy with a solid citation app that makes the process easy, like Refme. This app has so many amazing features and will save you a hell of a lot of time. You can use it for free, but a paid version of $32 a year will give you more features. Frankly, if you’re in college, it’s worth it to bite the bullet and buy the app, because you’re going to use it all the time.
18. First Aid Necessities
You can’t just jack your roommate’s pain killer all the time. Have your own, girl! And make sure you have your own bandaids, too. You never know what’ll happen.
19. Self Control
Do you get distracted super easily? If you have a Mac, you need to download self control. You can determine which sites and programs it’ll block, and even if you restart your computer, they still won’t work. This app saved my butt whenever I had an essay to write, and it’ll save your butt, too.
What else can’t you live without? Tell us in the comments!