Useful College Tips

Graduates walking towards future

Now that the end of the year is in sight, many students, especially seniors, have college at the forefront of their minds. While college is meant to be an exciting, fun, and impactful experience, it is important to be well-prepared with all that you may need on campus or for studying. Below is a list and compilation of links to access on what you may need for packing, useful tips on studying and food, and a some other ideas on how to stay healthy.


Keep in mind that more or less items may be needed depending on your preference or what you need. Make sure you verify what your school allows before purchasing some items.


What to pack (IKEA is a great place to purchase many of these items)


  • Duvet
  • Pillowcases
  • Pillows
  • Foam topper
  • Mattress pad
  • Throw blankets/throw pillows


  • Additional seating
  • Rug
  • Mini-fridge
  • Adhesive hooks and strips
  • Calendar
  • Lamp
  • Mirror
  • Closet organizer
  • Hangers
  • Storage boxes (can be stored under the bed)
  • Photo clips and/or picture frames
  • Trash can
  • Mini vacuum
  • Fan


  • Hamper
  • Fabric softener
  • Clothes bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • Quarters


  • Snacks (granola bars, fruits, etc.)
  • Instant foods (instant oatmeal, instant hot chocolate, easy mac, ramen, etc.)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Hot drink (tea, coffee, etc.)


  • Blender
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Bottle opener
  • Plastic snack bags
  • Bag clips
  • Portable/electric kettle
  • Hand and dish towel
  • Bowls, plates, cups, and mugs
  • Cutlery
  • Dish soap
  • Microwave (if one is not provided)
  • Oven mitt
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Tinfoil
  • Ceran wrap
  • Toaster
  • Trash bags
  • Tupperware
  • Sealed mugs


  • Chargers (phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
  • Phone
  • Portable phone charger
  • Laptop
  • Camera
  • SD card
  • Batteries
  • Extension cords
  • Hard drive
  • Flash drive
  • Laptop case
  • Headphones
  • Small portable speakers
  • Printer
  • Printer ink

School supplies

  • Backpack or tote bag
  • Binders
  • Calculator
  • Erasers
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pens
  • White-out
  • Stapler
  • Staple remover
  • Paper filer
  • Planner
  • Folders
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hole punch
  • Notebooks
  • Index cards
  • Lined paper
  • Grid paper
  • Paper clips
  • Pencil case


  • Bathroom rug
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Flip-flops
  • Shower curtain
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Air freshener
  • Hand towels
  • Washcloths

Toiletries & Supplies

  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover
  • Face wash
  • Face creams/medications
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Hair gel
  • Blowdryer
  • Bobby pins/hair clips
  • Hair ties
  • Curling iron
  • Hair straightener
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail filer
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Hair removal cream
  • Ear swabs
  • Tissues
  • Tampons & pads
  • Brush/comb
  • Glasses/contacts
  • Glasses clase


  • First aid kit
  • Bandages
  • Eyedrops
  • Advil/headache reliever
  • Allergy medication
  • Bug spray
  • Condoms
  • Cough drops
  • Vitamins


  • Bank & credit/debit card information
  • Credit/debit card
  • Form of ID
  • Drivers license
  • Checks
  • Student ID
  • School enrollment documents
  • Financial aid documents
  • Health/dental insurance cards
  • Birth certificate copy
  • Social Security card copy
  • Emergency documents


For the full list, visit:


Useful college ideas


  • Take notes using colored pens
  • Purchase a recorder or use your phone to record lectures (with permission from your professor) if they speak fast or you think you might miss something to listen to later
  • Use sticky notes and highlighters to emphasize important information in textbooks or notes
  • Keep the syllabus and/or class calendar in an easily accessible spot to make sure you are prepared for each deadline
  • Create a google spreadsheet of each of your professors and their available office hours so you always know when a good time to visit them is





Even though there may be a cafeteria full of sweets nearby, it’s very important to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated. It’s also important to stay physically active by playing sports, taking cardio classes, or visiting your school’s gym. There are often several opportunities to remain active on campus, and many students form exercise groups to work out together if one does not wish to exercise alone or simply doesn’t know where to begin.

Just as important as nutrition and staying active is sleep. Although that may not seem as important or you may feel used to staying up late, try to get in at least 8 hours of sleep each night if possible. The most optimal times for this are usually between 10pm and 6am, or even 11pm to 7am. Sleep is crucial and truly beneficial to not only your energy, but your focus and even motivation to participate.
Got any other useful college ideas or tips? Comment below!

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