The transition from college to high school can be super intimidating. There are so many unknown variables when it comes to preparing for your first semester of college. Fitting your entire life into one tiny room is no easy feat, and if you're anything like us you probably have major packing anxiety.
Lucky for you, we lived our freshman year mistakes so that you don't have to. From the fun things like cute stationery to the boring things like charger cables and stain remover, we've made a list of things you're actually going to need in order to survive your first year of college.
In a tiny dorm room, any amount of storage space that you can carve out for yourself is a godsend. These bed risers (which come with built-in plugs!) are perfect for creating space for under the bed storage. The extra inches will give you enough space to store your warmer clothes until winter rolls around. Elevating your bed will also make your room a little more put together. Two birds, one stone!
There's nothing worse than the helpless feeling of watching your phone battery sink lower and lower with no solution. Banish that sinking feeling of helplessness with this cute portable charger. You'll be the envy of all your friends when your phone miraculously lasts through a full day of classes and you'll never have to fight for an outlet in the library again! The only downside? You have to remember to charge your charger.
Listen, if you don't already have a ten-foot charging cable, you have no idea what you're missing. Let us invite you into a life of pure luxury wherein you never have to navigate a complicated tangle of charging cords while in bed. With a ten foot chord, you'll be able to lounge in any position imaginable without ripping your charger out of the wall. In older dorm rooms where plugs are in odd places, this becomes imperative.
Between 8 AM classes and 2 AM nights at the library, caffiene is a college essential. Save money (and the earth) by carrying a reusable coffee mug. Your drink will stay warm even after the cold walk through campus and you'll look super cute with a statement mug in your hands. Just remember to consume caffiene in moderation and always prioritize a decent sleep schedule in order to make sure that you're taking care of your body. Sometimes all-nighters are unavoidable, but keeping them to a minimum will help keep you from becoming a zombie.
Balance out the alcohol and caffiene you're consuming by hydrating! This water bottle nails all the basics — reasonably priced, insulated, and comes in a ton of different colors and gradients. In class or at the gym, your trusted water bottle is going to become your best friend. Like with a travel coffee mug, it will save you from dropping unnecessary money on plastic water bottles, which are terrible for the enviroment.
Fairy lights are an easy way to make your boring dorm room instantly look cuter. With a million different styles and sizes to chose from, there's something for everyone's tastes. In addition to being a fashion statement, they're also a major boost to the ambience of your room. Adding additional light sources, especially in the dark winter months, is a way to make your enviroment brighter and more pleasant. Turn off your overhead lights with those glaring fluorescents and you have perfect party lighting.
Trick your skin into thinking that you're taking care of it with these Mario Badescu facial mists. From over air-conditioned buildings to over-heated buildings, keep your skin in tip top shape by spritzing it with the best facial mists on the market. These mists are also multi-use, use them to wet your beauty blender or set your makeup before you go out. If all else fails, you can use a spritz every half an hour to keep yourself awake while you cram for that chemistry midterm.
Keep your desk chair from becoming The Clothes Chair by buying a cute laundry bag that you'll actually like using. For dorm living, only one thing is absolutely essential in your dirty laundry receptical — it must have straps. We're serious. Don't buy a a laundry bag without straps or you'll seriously regret it when it comes time to schlep your dirty clothes to the laundry room on another floor.
Get ahead of clutter by starting your year off with perfectly organized drawers. Okay, maybe not perfect drawers, but ones that have a bin that holds all of your socks. These draw dividers from Ikea are available on Amazon and they're seriously cheap. Having a specialized place for everything is an easy way to stay organized, even when the mid-semester rush hits and everything gets out on control.
Dorms are basically incubators for germs. Close quarters, shared bathrooms, and exposure for new people all create a perfect storm for diseases — which is why most freshman end up sick within their first few weeks of college. Do your best to avoid missing class and making the schlep to the student health center with these cute and effective hand santizers. The adorable packaging will entice you to use it and the powerful formula will keep the germs away!
The always-on-the-go pace of college makes it vital to keep all of your essentials in one place. A wallet/phone case hybrid is an easy way to keep all the things you need — ID, debit card, and phone, in your back pocket. Gone are the days of needing to carry a crossbody bag in order to go out. Just pick, stick, and enjoy that sweet, sweet hands-free freedom.
We're not going to say that cute stationery is an acceptable substitute for academic motivation, but we do think that you'll be a little more excited to do the reading if you're highlighting with a set of super trendy Zebra Mild Liners. They'll make your notes as cool and pastel-toned as you are and you'll be looking for excuses to use them!
Actually keeping track of your assignments is the only way to stay on top of your workload. Your planner doesn't need to be fancy or decorative, but it does need to be functional. Don't buy a planner for an idealized version of you (hello, our thousand attempts at bullet journaling), buy one that works for how you actually tend to plan ahead. After you've bought a planner that fits your style, the next plan is to actually use it. That's the hard part, but we believe in you.
Dorm beds are notoriously uncomfortable. Before you get caught up in choosing the comforters and pillows that go on top of your bed, don't forget to think about what's going under the covers. A foam mattress topper is the easiest way to make sure that you have the comfiest bed on your entire hall without breaking the bank. You'll never want to get out of bed for those early classes, but you'll be especially grateful when you crawl into bed after a long night.
Avoid two semesters worth of tepid tap water by buying yourself a set of small silicone ice cube trays. They come in all the cute shapes that you could want, and the small size means that they're perfect for slotting into your dorm room mini fridge. You'll bask in the luxury of your iced drinks and we guarantee that your room will become the ideal spot for pregames and group hangs. The luxury will exist year round, but it will pay extra dividends in those first few weeks when it's still hot AF outside.
Even if you weren't in the Girl Scouts, you can still learn from their evergreen motto: be prepared. In this case, preparation means not just coming to college with an HDMI cable to connect your computer to the TV, but also bringing an adapter so that Macs can also connect. Nothing ruins an impromtu Netflix and chill session or a The Bachelor viewing party like no one being able to connnect their computer to the common room TV. There are just some things that you don't want to crowd around a laptop screen for.
In college, your laptop becomes your most prized possession. Not only is it probably the most expensive thing that you own, but it's also the way you take notes, access lecture slides, download class readings, type papers, and watch Netflix. All of these things are equally important. Protect your lifeline by putting a case on it! It's an easy thing that you can do to prevent yourself from having a breakdown in the middle of finals when you accidentally sweep your laptop off your desk.
Once you've adequately protected your laptop with a case, personalize it with a selection of laptop stickers from Redbubble or Etsy. They're an easy way to show your personality and interests even while you're busy taking notes in class. Showcase your love of iced coffee, true crime podcasts, and weird Vines with the nearly endless supply of stickers from the internet. Don't stop at your laptop! Stick them on your water bottle for a dose of personalized hydration between classes.
Rifle Paper Co.
Keep those syllabi locked down with cute folders from Rifle Paper Co. By designating a specific place for all of your papers and assignments for each class you'll never lose anything essential. With these cute floral folders, you'll make desperately pulling out the syllabus to double check that that assignment is due next week look effortless, even if you actually feel panicked. Sometimes the apperance of being organized is just as good as actually being organized.
Make time for yourself by indulging in some more frivalous aspects of self-care. Keeping a stash of face masks on hand means that you'll be able to make any Netflix binge session into a mini-spa day. It's an instant pick-me-up that can turn a sour day around or help salvage your hangover ravaged skin. There's a face mask for every mood. Just grab a bottle of wine, some cookie dough, and your brand new friends and you have an instant girls' night in. We suggest a Mama Mia! marathon.