Happy Friday eve, friends; I hope you all are having a wonderful day! With summer vacations coming to a close I recognize that many of you are getting ready to head back to school ( sorry to those of you who already had to go back 🙁 ). I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of my back to school essentials with you all! I graduated years ago but if I’m being honest, I miss it…sometimes! I loved college; my roommates were amazing and back to school shopping was just the best! With that being said, I’m going to share everything from notebooks to mini fridges so let’s jump right in! NOTE: while this list is geared more towards college students, many of the items listed below would work for High School students as well!
**NOTE: Not all colleges and universities have the same rules in regards to housing! If you are living on campus please be sure and check with your RA or read your student handbook to ensure that you aren’t bringing any prohibited items! on to campus**
* 1. Five Star 3-Subject Notebook (college-ruled) – $4.29: Unless you take notes on your tablet or laptop (which I will highlight later) you will definitely need a notebook! I am someone who HAS to write things down in order to retain information; so while I used my laptop in class, this was my primary way of taking down information! There are a variety of colors and come in 1, 2, 3 & 5 subject varieties!
* 2. Texas Instruments TI-84 – $89.99: I don’t know about you guys but I SUCK at math. I got better as I made my way through college but I would have never survived without one of these bad boys. If math isn’t your strong suit…or even if it is, do yourself a favor pick up one of these, you won’t regret it.
* 3. Purell Hand Sanitizer (pack of 6) – $13.16: This may seem like a silly one but in my experience classrooms are gross and so are many of the students that frequent them. I always try and keep this on hand as you never know when you might need it! I would also recommend keeping cough drops, Kleenex, ibuprofen, and Emergen-C on hand as well!
* 4. Textbooks: As many of you know, textbooks are INSANELY expensive. Sure the university bookstore comes with a level of convenience by not having to wait for your books but they are often incredibly overpriced. There are options for renting textbooks through most university bookstores, but you can also buy and rent through Amazon as well. They have a wide variety of new, used and rentable textbooks through their marketplace and I know many people who have had success using them! If the Amazon selection doesn’t strike your fancy you can always check out Chegg as well! College is expensive enough, don’t let needing textbooks hinder your experience!
* 5. iPad Mini 2/Tablet – $269.99: I know there are a variety of tablets on the market and by no means am I saying that you HAVE to have an iPad, that’s just what I have so I thought I would link it for you guys! Some people don’t like carrying a laptop to class because they are too bulky but also don’t like taking traditional notes….enter said tablet! If you are someone who hates writing things down and would rather type something up, this could be a good option for you! If iPads aren’t your thing, here are some other highly rated tablet options: Samsung Galaxy Tablet ($159.99), Amazon Fire HD ($79.99), ASUS Zen Pad Tablet ($159).
* 6. BIC Mechanical Pencil Xtra Precision – $5.99: Math + pens = DISASTER. I typically take notes (for certain classes) in pencil and these are my favorite! Durable & colorful…you can’t lose!
* 7. Sharpie Pocket Highlighters: Chisel Tip – Assorted Colors/12 Pack – $4.97: Highlighters are definitely a must-have…at least for me. I was that person that color coded all of my notes (I know, I did too much) so I had a variety of highlighters on hand at all times.
* 8. Post-It Pop-Up Notes: Assorted Colors/5 Pack – $3.97: Along with highlighters, I always carried a plethora of post-it notes. I often used them as bookmarks and included little notes on the end so I could access specific sections of the book with ease!
* 9. Erin Condren Metallic Sparkler Life Planner – $60: I know $60 dollars is A LOT to spend on a planner but, these are so worth it (IMO)! They are durable, colorful and have plenty of motivational quotes scattered throughout to keep you on track during the semester. If you are looking for a more budget friendly option, the Happy Planner ($22.72-29.99) is a GREAT one!
* 10. Sharpie Pens: Assorted Colors/12 Count – $9:58: These are the only pens that I use. They are perfect; they have a fine tip, they never smear and they don’t bleed through paper…I mean come on, does it get any better than that?!
* 11. Acer Aspire 15.6 Inch Full Notebook – $349: I know not everyone is a traditional note taker and I know that tablets aren’t everyone’s cup of tea; so If you’re more of a laptop in class kind of person, this is for you! I got an Acer this past year for Christmas and I love it! I personally brought both a laptop and traditional notebooks to class. I followed the power points on my computer while taking notes by hand and found that combo to work really well for me!
**NOTE: Remember that if you buy your books from the bookstore (new or used and in great condition) there is a good chance that the university will buy them back at the end of the semester! A little cash in your pocket is never a bad thing, #amirite!**
* 1. Room Essentials Fast Dry Bath Towels – $4.99: These quick dry towels help cut down on those pesky damp, musty odors. Bonus: They are affordable and come in a variety of colors and sizes!
* 2. Showaflops Women’s Antimicrobial Shower & Water Sandals – $32.89: Ok, I know $30+ dollars for shower shoes is ridiculous but I just love this pattern! If you are living in a traditional dorm where you will be sharing a shower area then I would HIGHLY recommend some sort of shower or water shoe. I have linked a couple more affordable options below: Vertico Slide-On Women’s Shower Shoes ($11.99), Showaflops Women’s Shower & Water Flip Flops ($17.99).
* 3. White & Blush Printed Diamond Triangle Comforter Set – $26.99: I feel like cute bedding is an absolute must and this comforter set from Target doesn’t disappoint! This only includes the comforter and shams so you will need to purchase your sheets separately! They have a variety of styles to suit any personality and for the price I don’t think you can go wrong! If you prefer an all-in-one bedding set you might like these options: Cole 6-Piece Twin/XL Bedding Set ($44.99), Ashley Reversible 6-PC Bedding Ensemle ($50.99).
* 4. Room Essentials Torchiere Floor Lamp with Task Light – $11.39: You would think that dorm rooms would be well lit, after all, they do expect us to study in there…however that was not my experience. I had a really nice apartment style “dorm” where everyone had separate bedrooms, but let me tell you, the lighting in there was AWFUL. This floor lamp was quite possibly the best thing I brought with me; for just under $12 dollars I think it’s a MUST-HAVE item!
* 5. Haundry Mesh 8-Pocket Shower Caddy – $8.99: Communal showers call for a durable shower caddy. This mesh 8-pocket caddy has plenty of room to store everything from shampoo to razors to hair oils. It offers a rubbery mesh fabric that is quick drying and helps keep your small space more organized!
* 6. Jockey Women’s Robe – $44: Not everyone is comfortable wearing a towel from the showers to their room, that’s where this Jockey robe comes in! Its soft cotton material makes it a great alternative to a traditional towel but works equally well for lounging around your room! I live in my robe so I can’t imagine not having one!
* 7. Sunbeam 1.7 Cubic Ft. Mini Fridge – $64.99: If your university allows a fridge I would highly suggest getting one! Cold sodas, waters, & snacks are great to have on hand when you’re burning that midnight oil!
* 8. Room Essentials Easy Care Sheet Set – $17.09: I included these to go along with the comforter set listed above! Even if you choose to go with one of the other bedding options such as bed in a bag, at $17 dollars I don’t think you can pass these up! After all, it’s always nice to have extras so you don’t constantly have to wash the same set over and over!
* 9. Home It 30 Pack Lightweight, Non-Slip Hangers – $15.99: This was something I definitely overlooked when moving into my dorm. If it wasn’t for my mama buying these and bringing them to me I wouldn’t have been able to hang ANYTHING up. I tend to prefer thinner hangers with rubber on the shoulder area to ensure that nothing falls off! Of course there are a plethora of hanger types: metal, wood, velvet, etc. so pick what you like and make sure to bring a few with you, you’ll thank me later!
* 10. Sterilite Deep Clip Box Storage Bins (Pack of 4) – $17.50: As far as dorm room necessities go, storage bins might take the cake. I like these because they can fit a variety of items (clothes, shoes, accessories, snacks, etc.,) and be stored under the bed for maximum organization. With such little space, you can never have too many storage solutions!
* 11. Command Large Utility Hooks (Set of 3) – $6.07: These are great for hanging pictures, keys, towels, dry erase boards and room décor. They are sturdy and don’t damage the wall! If you think you might need them, pick them up, you won’t be sorry!
* 12. Bissell Featherweight Vacuum – $27.99: Unfortunately I can no longer find the vacuum I have pictured above but the one I linked is just as good. If you’re in a traditional dorm setting you won’t need anything too heavy duty so something like this should do just fine!
* 13. NKTM Collapsible Laundry Basket – $12.99: You gotta have a laundry basket! I feel like this is something that a lot of people overlook, but boy does it come in handy! It makes your trip to the Laundromat much easier and also helps keep things neat & tidy!
* 14. Zober Over The Door, Breathable Shoe Organizer – $10.95: We women (and men) tend to have more shoes than we need/know what to do with and when living in such small spaces this can really become a problem! I get it, you need a little bit of everything, after all you never know where the night will take you. If you are a shoe lover and can’t decide what to take and what to leave behind, this might be a great option for you!
* 15. LUCID Jersey Mattress Protector – $21.99: Do yourself a favor and get a mattress cover! Those XL Twin beds are not the most comfortable on their own; plus these are waterproof and help with dust mites!
* 16. HP Desljet 2130 Compact Printer – $44.99: I know not everyone thinks having a printer is a necessity, however I do. The convenience it offers is totally worth the $45 dollars (IMO). It was nice to not have to rely on anyone else (the library computers included) to print my papers for me.
* 17. Samsung 720p Smart LED TV: 23.6 Inches- $157.99: Talk to your roommate before checking this one off the list, but if he/she isn’t planning on bringing a TV and you think you’ll want something more than your laptop to watch TV/Netflix on, this Samsung might be a nice option for you! It’s a mere 23.6 inches making it perfect for even the smallest of dorm rooms!
* 18. Keurig K55 Coffee Maker – $71.99: College and coffee go hand in hand. I was more of a red bull/energy drink kind of girl but most of my friends chose the coffee route! Of course there are plenty of places on and around campus to buy a cup of Joe, but after a while, those cups add up! Save some money in the long run by picking up a Keurig or even a standard coffee maker!
* 1. CamelBak Eddy .75 L Water Bottle – $14.95: I never left my room without a water bottle! The CamelBak Eddy is great a option and fits perfectly in the water bottle holder on the sides of my book bag (I’ll mention below)! They come in a variety of colors and sizes and are a must-have for those long days on campus!
* 2. Tartan & Twine Coral Palm Pencil Case – $9: I always like to carry a small makeup bag in my purse or book bag regardless of where I’m going or what I’m doing. It’s perfect for storing everything from lip balm to feminine products. At $9 dollars, this cute palm pencil case is the perfect addition to your everyday essentials!
* 3. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm – $7.50: Lip balm…it’s a necessity. This is one of my favorites but just pick something you like and always keep it with you!
* 4. Georgia State Panthers Primary Logo Pullover Hoodie – $44.99: I wore hoodies more than ANYTHING else when I was in college (note: I still do). I’m a big fan of showing team spirit, probably because I love sports so much; but either way, get a couple of comfy hoodies and keep them on hand! When you’re feeling homesick or having a bad day, I promise they will help!
* 5. Charles River Women’s Front Pocket Classic Pullover – $36.99: I was never much of a rain jacket kind of girl but after being in school for 2-3 weeks, I quickly changed my tune! I went to school in the middle of downtown Atlanta and there wasn’t an umbrella around that could survive those wind tunnels during a storm. So I bit the bullet and bought a rain jacket and boy am I glad that I did! Sometimes I had a 10-15 minute walk ahead of me and without it I would have looked like a drowned rat. If you’re not an umbrella girl, pick one of these up, you’ll thank me later!
* 6. “Hello Gorgeous” Clay Art Stackable Mug 15oz – $5.99: A cute coffee mug makes everything better and this one from target checks all the boxes! They have an abundance of options that are sure to satisfy any personality and are dishwasher & microwave safe! Yippie! Get ready to curl up with a nice cup of coffee on Saturday morning before hitting those books!
* 7. The North Face Women’s Borealis Backpack – $89: Ok before you start shouting at me through the screen, I know this is pricey for a book bag, but honestly, this is one of my favorite things from my college years. It has a fleece lined area for your laptop and a separate fleece lined section for your tablet. There is plenty of space for textbooks and notebooks and has a water bottle holder on each side. They are comfortable, have reflective piping and offer a lifetime guarantee. I know they are expensive but they are TOTALLY worth it!
* 8. Nike Women’s Tanjun Causal Sneaker – $64.99: I 150% recommend getting a good pair of walking shoes if you are going to be spending a lot of time running around on campus. There’s nothing worse then being on your feet all day in the wrong shoes. These basic Nike sneakers are perfect. They are simple, durable & comfortable!
* 9. JBL Wireless In-Ear Headphones – $34.55: Headphones are a must. They are perfect for listening to music or podcasts on the way to class. NOTE: Please be mindful of your surroundings and try and refrain from using headphones at night while walking on campus. Just trying to keep you guys safe! 🙂 <3
* 10. Contigo Autoseal Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug: 16oz – $13.84: For all of my coffee, tea & hot chocolate drinkers that have early classes, this is for you! Cute mugs are great when you’re having coffee on Saturday morning from the comfort of your own bedroom, however their greatness tends to diminish as soon as you step foot outside of your house! We’ve all been there; running late, try and grab your coffee, try and lock the door and BOOM…you dropped your fresh cup of joe all over your clothes and the floor. An insulated travel mug eliminates all of those issues! They are pretty inexpensive and will surely come in handy!
**NOTE: As you can see, I use Amazon for just about everything! It’s super convenient and they have everything that I could possibly need (plus more). One of the benefits of being a student is the discounted Amazon Prime membership rate! Sign up with your school email and take advantage of Amazon Prime for only $49 dollars a year! Unlimited goodies with free 2-day shipping will pay for itself in NO TIME! Just think about how much easier your Christmas shopping will be!**
So that wraps up this Back to School Essentials post! I hope you enjoyed it and if you are heading back to school, I hope this post helps you find some inspiration! For those of you who have already gone back, good luck this year! As important as all of the items listed above may be, don’t forget to bring loads of pictures and trinkets that remind you of home; just like that cozy sweatshirt, they will help you get through any rough patches you may encounter! What are some of your back to school must-haves? Let me know down below!