8 Things College Kids Say They Couldn’t Live Without

College students heading off to school have to outfit an entire dorm room or apartment. These items will make the transition smoother.

Exhausted student fall asleep with a textbook on his faceDragon Images/ShutterstockAdhesive wall hangers

With the tight space, you’ll want to stay neat. But one of the most important parts of making your space your own means hanging pictures and posters. Brigit Nemitz, a junior at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN, recommends adhesive strips that easily detach (check out damage-free Command Strips) for hanging things. You can find types that will put a hook on the wall for towels, bags, bathrobes, and jackets. Don’t miss these genius hacks for organizing your dorm, either.

Get a mattress pad

Isabella Bennett, a sophomore at Juniata College, notes that the beds are “about as firm as a rock” and can get uncomfortable after even one night. Invest in a mattress pad like this one so that you can get the sleep you need to stay on the Dean’s List.

Pack some pain relievers

One of the things college students tend to neglect is their health. Some headaches and common ailments can be remedied with hydration, proper nutrition, and fewer cups of coffee or Red Bull; for other ailments, you’ll need a pain reliever—Bennett says it’s an essential cureall for her. Whether you have a fever or a headache, Aleve can do the trick.

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You’ll need headphones

If you’re used to having a quiet place to study or read, college can be tricky if you aren’t planning to be in the library 24/7. Between shared living space and common areas, it can be hard to find a quiet space of your own. “Whether you’re studying in a loud room, have an obnoxious roommate, or just want some quiet in the lounge, these are your best bet!” Bennett notes. You can go high-end like these Bose wireless headphones, or choose a good set at a great price like this SONY pair.

Be ready to print

Though some colleges offer free printing, Lindsey Higgins, a senior at Columbia College in Chicago recommends purchasing one to keep in your room. “This saved my roommates and myself on days when we had either forgotten to print something or were running late that morning to an A.M. class,” she says. Check out this very affordable wireless printer.

A step stool will come in handy

Zainab Mirza, a student at American University in Washington, DC notes the importance of bringing a step stool to college. You never know when you’ll need to store things in unique places and it’s “very useful for accessing high shelves or hanging things up.” Check out this functional and adorable set from Dorm Co.

Keep a fold-up chair at the ready

Numerous college students Reader’s Digest spoke with mentioned the need for extra seating. Consider having a bean bag chair or a folding chair (and use your step stool if necessary) for your friends and classmates that stop by. Here are some stylish options from PBteen.

Bring a small fan

They’re good for staying cool and for blocking out unwanted noise. Jessica Porter, a recent graduate from IUPUI in Indianapolis, notes that when she lived in a dorm at her previous university, the rooms were “small and cramped with only one window,” and the room could really heat up. You may not be able to control the heat in cooler months and you may find you need some air in February as well! Consider a tower fan like this one that won’t break the bank or take up a lot of space!

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Julia K. Porter
Dr. Julia Porter has worked in Higher Education since 2008, following a career as a High School teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a PhD in Global Leadership from Indiana Tech, an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and a BS in English Education from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). She lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and rambunctious Australian Shepherd.