This list will not steer you wrong. But if you can only get one thing — I suggest my all-time favorite gift: the One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book.
Shopping for college can be challenging. Do you need that shower caddy? What about the TV? After three years of college I’ve realized how many things I was 100% sure I would absolutely use every single day – but in reality those items found their way to the dumpster or the back of my closet.
From my four years of experience (I graduated last year), this is what college students use on a weekly – or daily – basis. If you’re looking to give a gift that will be appreciated and well-worth your money, this list has all you need.
Besides the laptop and mini-fridge, everything below ranges from $3.55 to $99.99.
Make your college dorm room feel more like home with the things from this dorm room must-have list! You’ve only got so much room in that little space, so use it wisely.
1. Memory foam mattress topper. Believe me, this is a must-have and if you’re going to splurge on anything – pick this! Those beds might as well be a piece of cardboard and you will forever love the day you spent $50 on a bunch of fluff. (Updated to add: I’ve now graduated from college and use this in my apartment. I promise, you won’t regret this purchase.)
2. Tool kit. You will be everyone’s favorite on the hall – and you’ll be amazed how many times you’ll actually need this. Guys might prefer this one.
3. Shower caddy and bath wrap towel. If you’re going to be using a community bathroom, both of these are must-haves.
4. Tupperware and chip clips.
5. One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book. There is also a Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal, which is more like a time capsule book. If there’s one small item I wish I had been given, this would hands down be it. I purchased it for myself after college began and I absolutely love it. Start it at the beginning of the year and you’ll have a short sentence from each day to remember for years.
6. Sound machine. It drowns out all the noise that comes with living in a dorm.
7. An extra set of earbuds. Keep one set in your backpack and one in your dorm room.
8. Bed risers. They provide tons of extra space and these are my favorite. Outlets are a rare commodity, and often are too hard to get to behind beds and desks. These particular bed risers have built in outlets.
9. USB flash drive.
10. Command strips. These are game-changers. Avoid all the fines that come with peeling paint off dorm room walls by using these hooks. You might want to buy an extra set to hang your keys by the door.
11. Large duffel bag. Next to a mattress pad, this is the best college dorm purchase I’ve made. I use it for overnight trips, weekend trips, and even week-long breaks.
12. Something to read other than homework. Suggestions: Love Does, Let’s All Be Brave, The Best Yes, and Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between.
13. Camelbak water bottle and/or travel mug. Somehow I waited three years to invest in these. Big mistake. I promise you’ll use both of them for years.
14. White christmas lights. Dorm room lighting is sub-par at best. Although guys would rather just have a lamp, white christmas lights add a cozy touch while providing additional much-needed lighting.
16. A portable GPS.
17. Brita slim water filter pitcher or tap filter.
18. Chair cushion. Simple? Yes. But you’re going to want it.
19. Mini refrigerator. You might as well go ahead and invest in one now.
20. Hammock. Almost everyone I know at school owns an Eagles Nest Outfitter DoubleNest hammock(an eno). If it’s sunny outside, you’ll find hundreds of students studying or hanging out in their enos.
21. A planner. I would be lost without mine. Invest in a good one with lots of pockets and/or tabs!
22. A sleeping bag.
23. Waterproof outdoor blanket. You’ll be surprised how many times you use this.
24. Laptop. You absolutely can. not. rely on the computers in the library. It sounds nice in theory, but you need to be able to work any time, not only during library hours.
25. Giftcards. I would suggest Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera, Walmart, Target, gas stations and local restaurants.
You can’t go wrong with any of these gifts! If this list was helpful to you, or to save for future reference, feel free to pin the following image:
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