10 Things You Need to Bring to College

And 10 You Don’t

Things You Need

Mini Fridge

I loved having a mini fridge in my dorm room. Even though I was on a meal plan it was great to be able to keep a few snacks in there like hummus, cheese, a brita filter (if you want), and yogurt. I ate breakfast before class in my dorm room a lot and the fridge was great for breakfast foods. My bed in my form was able to be raised so that my fridge fit underneath it. Meal plans are great but they can be limited so having some of your favorite foods on hand is really nice.

Coffee Maker/Keurig

I could not have lived without my Keurig in my first year. Even if you don’t drink coffee, it’s great for making tea, hot chocolate, or brewing hot water for instant noodles. You know how much students eat noodles (spoiler alert, it’s way too much). A regular drip coffee maker would be fine too but the versatility of a Keurig is really nice.


It was so nice to have a printer in my dorm and not have to go and put money on a print card and run to the library whenever I needed to print an essay. Unless you get some kind of print credit at your school I would highly recommend investing in a printer of your own. I still have mine and it has served me very well over the years. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to bring on but a friend of our family at the time gave it to me because her son was finished university and didn’t need it anymore. I also love to print out my syllabi at the start of the year so I wanted access to a printer at all times. I didn’t want to have to waste time figuring out how to put money on a print card. Another issue with using campus printing is that at my university, the printers are regularly broken/not working. This could be really problematic if you are finishing an essay late at night or early in the morning before it is due and you need to print ASAP. Moral of the story is, get your own printer and if you are a procrastinator, make sure you always have an extra ink cartridge on hand.


I have a pair of moccasins. I talked about them in the post I did about the things that I have at my apartment that I can’t live without. These were perfect for walking back and forth to the lounge or sometimes even to the cafeteria if I was feeling really lazy. It can also get really cold in the dorms in the winter so these are perfect for people who always have cold feet like me. I was pretty lucky because my dorm had heating and cooling that I could control in my room (some of the buildings didn’t even have AC)

Desk Lamp

Late night study sessions are unavoidable when you get to university. The lighting in dorm rooms is also not great. I would turn my lamp on and read textbooks until I fell asleep at my desk, wake up, and read some more. This would also be good if you had roommates because you can’t just go turning the lights on in the middle of the night if they are trying to sleep. I got a lamp that clamps on to my desk which was great because it didn’t take up any valuable real estate on top of my desk. Now, though, there are fancier lamps that have USB ports for your phone charger and containers attached that store you pens so that might also be a good option for you.

Coffee Mugs

This kind of goes without saying that I owned coffee mugs but make sure you get large, good quality ones that can go in the microwave. There are a bunch of microwavable meals you can make in mugs from eggs to oatmeal and having cups that are suited for that is great because they take up a lot less space than bowls do.

Power Strip

Power strips are another must because a lot of dorm buildings are old and don’t have outlets in convenient places. I had a power bar that I plugged in and stuck to the side of my desk with command strips so that it was like having 4 power outlets right beside me. I could plug my phone and my laptop in along with my printer and anything else I needed at my desk.

Noise Cancelling Headphones/ Ear Plugs

I had a pair of beats earbuds and they were the most amazing headphones I’ve ever used. Were is the key word here. They lasted me all through university but when I moved out, my roommates cat got a hold of them and well… that was the end of that. They are perfect for people who need quiet for studying. Dorm rooms can be loud especially if you have a neighbor who is fond of.. Extracurriculars if you catch my drift. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, ear plugs would do just as well. Or, if you’re me, you could stay at the library until it closes and by that point you’re so tired you just fall into bed and fall asleep.

Small Laptop

I cannot stress the small enough. When I went shopping for a laptop I was set on getting a 17 inch because that was what I was used to and everything else seemed way too small. I ended up getting an 11.5 and it was perfect. Some days it was honestly a struggle to carry that around in my backpack because it was so heavy paired with all of my books. Basically what I’m saying is, get the smallest laptop you possible can because your back will thank you after you’re done your degree.

Laundry Bags

A lot of people say that you should have a hamper but I disagree with that. I had laundry bags and they were great because our laundry was in the basement and bags were much easier to carry downstairs that a hamper was. Hampers also take up space that you don’t have. I just kept the bags at the end of my bed and they didn’t take up much space, especially when they were empty.


In my second semester of university I mysteriously started getting headaches every day. I would wake up with a headache and not really be able to shake it, sometimes for days. I don’t know what caused it but they did go away after a while. Advil really save me at that point because I couldn’t really function with such a bad headache. Advil is also my go to when I have a cold accompanied by a sore throat.

Things You Don’t Need

Bed Risers

I ended up not needing bed risers because the bed in my dorm was adjustable all on it’s own. So either check this before hand or don’t buy your bed risers until after you move in. They are just a space waster if you end up not using them and have to throw them in a closet for 3 years. They could be a good idea for other kinds of beds though so don’t discount them entirely.

Alarm Clock

You will definitely not need an alarm clock. I don’t think I’ve used an alarm clock since high school because nowadays everyone uses their cell phone. I saw this in a few lists of recommended things to bring and I thought it was really strange.


As much as this pains me to say, you don’t need to bring books with you to university. I was an avid reader all of my childhood and I definitely brought some books with me to university. Trust me, you are going to be far too preoccupied with reading textbooks to read regular books. I hardly picked up a single book for 4 years of university. I just recently got back into reading.

Lap Desk

I saw this on a lot of lists online. I do not think you need it. You shouldn’t be studying in your bed because it trains your brain to think that it’s a place for work instead of sleeping and it will affect your ability to sleep at night, which is the last thing you want. Lap desks are also very expensive so if you aren’t going to use it, it’s a really big waste of money. My advice is to just study at your desk. I usually just used my laptop in bed for watching Netflix and it was fine to just sit on the bed.

All of Your Clothes

Do not bring all of your clothes that you had in high school. Really think about what you wear and what you don’t and don’t assume that your style is going to change when you start university. It’s not. You’re style is going to be the same as always. Only bring clothes that you really love and you know you’re going to wear. Another tip is to not buy a bunch of clothes before you go to uni. Wait until you get there and have been at school for a few months before deciding what kinds of clothes you want to buy. I bought some stuff that I thought I would wear because I wanted to be a bit fancier but it ended up sitting in my closet for 4 years.

Throw Pillows

I brought a few throw pillows when I moved in and they were more of a hassle than anything. I was dumb and thought I needed them because that’s what all of the college youtubers told me. I They just ended up getting in the way when I was trying to sleep. One or two full sized pillows will do just fine.

Any Kind of Extra Furniture

Dorm rooms are tiny. It won’t fit. Trust me. 

A Full Set of Dishes

Again, there is no room for this. Bring one of each thing and leave the rest at home. Remember, you’re going to have to wash it all by hand.

Knicknacks/ Clutter Items

It’s fine to bring a few things that remind you of home but don’t bring everything that you had in your childhood bedroom. The surface area in a dorm room is very small and needs to be saved for essentials like a coffee maker.


I’ve seen this on a few lists and this blows my mind. I don’t know who has brought curtains to university but my thoughts on that are… don’t do it. Waste of money and a waste of time trying to put those up. It would be so hard to get the right size and most dorms don’t even have curtain rods, it’s pull down blinds. Not to mention that the windows are weird sizes and even if they do have curtain rods they’re often not removable to prevent people from stealing them. Why you would steal a curtain rod is beyond me.

When you’re packing to move into a new place remember, everything you bring, you’re going to have to move out. Packing minimalistically can help reduce moving stress.

These are just a few of the things that I feel I benefited (or didn’t benefit from) when I was living at University. If you have anything you would like to add to the list feel free to comment below! If you liked this post please follow my blog for more like this!

Published by Brooklyn

Just a recent university graduate sharing her love of reading! In my free time you'll either find me reading or working on my novel!

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