What Students Think They Won’t Need at College… But They Do

What Students Think They Won’t Need at College... But They Do-900

Trying to pack for college your first semester is always a bigger deal than it needs to be. It makes sense; you are moving out on your own for the first time. Of course, you don’t know what all you need to bring, and you only have a small dorm to fit all of your things in. Everyone you talk to will have different opinions about what all you need to bring to college.

Of course, the decorations, clothes, and décor are completely up to your personal opinion. There are so many different things that you need to take to college because you are living there for nine months. You want your transition to be easier when you first move in as well so you might get worried about forgetting things or not bringing the right things.

It is understandable to worry about, but you will come to realize that most things do not matter or affect you as much as you probably thought it would. Just in case you are still looking at last minute things to take to college, here is a list of things that most students assume they won’t need or use but end up buying during the school year. No matter how many times other people told me to bring these things to school, I didn’t, and I wish I would have just listened to save myself some unnecessary stress.

Cleaning Supplies

This is usually the number one thing that students do not want to take to school. Your mom and your grandma might buy you a bunch of cleaning supplies and you feel that you won’t need them. You have to realize that during your nine months at school, you are bound to have some messes in your room and on your clothes. Bringing disinfectant wipes, dish soap, hand towels, and stain remover is a must. You don’t want your favorite shirt to get ruined at college just because you came unprepared.

 You will also use disinfectant wipes way more than you would assume you would. Your room gets messy because that is the only place that you and your roommate have to live. You are also bound to spill some coffee or easy mac all over the floor at some point during your first year. Just come prepared so that little incidents like that don’t have to be a bigger deal.


Every student thinks that bringing a sweeper is pointless. Who actually thinks that they are going to take time out of there day at college to sweep your dorm room? Especially if you always had kind of a messy room at home, you might think you would never even use it. When you are living in such a small space, sometimes your cleaning habits may change. You can’t have an extremely messy room because it is the only place you have.

Keeping your room clean might be something that you actually do in college simply because it is like your entire house. Especially if you are a girl, the hair gets cluttered up in the room and in the rug or carpet because you aren’t brushing your hair or styling it anywhere else. Having your entire floor covered in hair can be really annoying, so make sure to listen to your mom and bring a small sweeper.

Sewing Kit

This is another typical thing that parents always tell their future college students to take to college. Many students don’t want to take it because they might not even know how to sew yet. What you need to think about is the fact that you are going to be here for nine months. You are bound to have some sort of incident for nine months. I did not bring a sewing kit to college and neither did any of my friends on my floor. My roommate, however, did bring one, and my entire friend group has had to borrow it for the whole year.

There were so many instances where buttons fell of or pants ripped that having a sewing kit on our floor actually was very helpful. Even though many of us didn’t know how to sew very well, we had friends who did. There is bound to be someone in your dorm or that your friends with that can sew and it’s just a good idea to deal with situations that might arise while you’re in your first year.

Robe/ Shower Shoes

If you are in a dorm where you are going to be using a community bathroom, there are multiple things that you need to bring. You might buy a shower caddy and be done with it, but there are other important things to bring when you have community showers. First off, bring a robe. Having a robe makes you feel so much more comfortable with the situation. Especially if you are on a co-ed floor, you won’t feel weird walking to and from the bathroom because you will be completely covered. It can also make you feel more comfortable being in the room with a new roommate before and after showering.

Community bathrooms actually aren’t as bad as you expect them to be, however, you are still sharing this space with a lot of people. This means that it can still be pretty dirty and have a lot of germs. Because of this, you really want to bring shower shoes. These can just be any cheap flip flops that you can wear every time you shower so that your feet aren’t touching the place that several other people have showered. Wearing them isn’t as bad as you think and get used to wearing them very quickly.

Ice Trays

If you have a mini-fridge with a freezer or just some sort of freezer in general, really think about bringing ice trays to college. It seems like such a minor thing but when most of the drinks that you are drinking come from your dorm, you might want to have some ice to go along with them. It isn’t the end of the world if you don’t have them, but it’s just something small that you wouldn’t normally think about bringing.


Some people bring too many pillows and others don’t bring enough. I think the main issues with pillows is that you underestimate how many actual sleeping pillows you want. Guys bring one pillow and that’s it and girls bring one sleeping pillow and 10 decorative pillows. Once you have been moved in for a few months, the decorations honestly don’t really matter. So, buy one or two decorative pillows and make sure that you have two or three sleeping pillows because you will want them, and you may need them when you have guests stay over in your dorm. This goes along with blankets as well. Make sure that you bring extra blankets in case you have to wash yours or you have friends stay the night.

Medicine/ First Aid Kit

Bring multiple different kinds of medicine throughout the year because it is so easy to get sick while living in the dorms because everyone is in such close proximity of each other. I have never been sick as many times in one year as I was during my first year of college. Medicine is also kind of expensive, so you don’t want to have to buy it while you are at school. Just bring an entire first aid kit and anything else that you would need if you got sick including cough drops and Kleenexes.

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Insurance Cards

If for some reason you have to go to the doctor or take an ambulance somewhere you are going to need your parents’ insurance cards. This is something that is so easy not to think about but could be so important. If you have to go to the hospital and you don’t have any insurance cards, that can be a big issue. Just make sure that you ask your parents and are prepared.


If you are going to school somewhere where it gets warm at some point, definitely think about bringing sunscreen and aloe. College involves a lot of walking around outside and it can be easy to get burned without even realizing that it’s happening. At least try and be prepared so that if you get burned or you want to sit outside, it isn’t a big deal.


Overall there are so many different things to think about bringing when you are going off. To college. Each person is going to bring their own personal assortment of things they need, and each person is going to need different things in general. Just remember to think through any situation that could arise and be prepared for it. The thing that I talked about above is just things that most college students feel that they needed. You don’t have to bring these things, they are just ideas.

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