16 College Essentials I Wish I’d Packed Sooner

16 College Essentials I Wish I'd Packed Sooner - Things I forgot to pack for college - college packing list

I began college as the queen of packing things I don’t need and I’m ending it as the queen of packing a LOT of crap, but a lot of it’s fairly important crap. I’ve certainly gotten better at narrowing down what’s essential and what isn’t.

I’ve also had a lot of  “I wish I’d thought of that sooner!” moments, especially when it comes to college essentials. Whether I see my friends using something I’d never thought to use in college or I have a divine revelation while browsing Pinterest, I’ve certainly discovered new college essentials along the way.

There are so many things that I wish I’d bought sooner for college, and as I near the end of college I’ve started to reflect on it. After four years, it’s fairly clear to me how many things I really didn’t need to pack for college and how many things I’m very glad I did. Here are some of those things. Hopefully you’ll get these essentials sooner than I did!

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links! I may receive some compensation for your clicks. That being said, the linked products are all products I recommend.

1. HDMI cable

My HDMI cable has come in handy so many times, whether I’m trying to watch something on TV or we’re planning a movie night. Keep in mind that some computers (mostly Apple ones) might require a sepcial adaptor also.

2. White Noise Machine 

My noise machine actually inspired this post because the other day I was just thinking how much of a life-changing purchase this had been. I only just bought one this year and I regret it deeply. Having a noise machine earlier definitely would’ve helped me sleep better and, in exchange, be a lot more pleasant.

My favorite is the one from Dohm, I know it’s a bit pricey, but I promise it WORKS!

3. Paper Plates

This might be a fairly common sense thing, but I never thought to get them until Junior year. These are perfect for when you don’t feel like washing dishes.

4. A Desk Lamp with an Outlet

A desk lamp with an outlet has been a great upgrade from my previous lamp that was just a lamp. I like leaving my phone charger plugged in so I can easily charge my phone while keeping it within my reach.

I like this one because it has an outlet and extra storage, just like my lamp.

5. A Rubberband Ball

I have deeply underestimated the amount of times I use rubberbands in my life. I use them for keeping papers together and closing bags of snacks fairly often. Rubberband balls are very easy to keep in your desk to use and they’re also kind of fun to play with.

6. Micellar Water

I always thought this was just water but I love using this to take off my eye makeup or to just freshen my face. It doesn’t leave any residue behind like makeup remover wipes sometimes do and it’s fairly quick and easy to use. It’s perfect for really late nights when you’re just too done to do your entire skincare routine.

7. Portable Water Bottle

This would’ve been good to have from the start, but I only thought to buy this halfway through freshman year.

8. False Lashes

These are by no means an essential, but damn, they’ve really come in handy. I love popping these on for fancy events or parties (or even blog photoshoots) because of how much extra pizzazz they add to any look. They’re also reusable, which means they’re a pretty solid investment.

9. A Cozy Throw Blanket

You can wear it as a cape, cuddle with it, bring it to movie night…the possibilities are endless. You probably won’t want to drag your entire bed comforter with you when it’s cold, so a smaller throw blanket is key.

I love this one because it has pom poms! So cute.

10. Light Box and/or Memo Board

16 College Essentials I Wish I'd Packed Sooner - Things I forgot to pack for college - college packing listI recently purchased a light box in my Walmart Haul and it’s such easy decor. At our Halloween party, my sign was a big hit for photos and for simply establishing the aesthetic. It’s incredibly versatile and it also makes for some cute room decor.
16 College Essentials I Wish I'd Packed Sooner - Things I forgot to pack for college - college packing list
I also just bought a memo board (above) and I’m living for the aesthetic. I got this one from Michael’s, but there are plenty online.

11. Medical Tape

This sounds ridiculously random but if you’re fairly prone to paper cuts and wearing shoes that cut up your feet, this is so helpful. When I use bandages they often fall off, so using medical tape to keep them in place is typically very helpful. I bought this for an actual medical purpose and now I use it almost every time I get a papercut on a hard-to-bandage part of my hand or a cut on my foot. I’m not a doctor so I can’t prove that this helps, but my bandages don’t fall off as much as they used to…win!

12. A Bubble Umbrella

My mom got this for me on a whim, but it’s such a gamechanger if you attend a college where it often rains. Bubble umbrellas feel a lot sturdier than regular umbrellas and they provide better coverage. I also happen to find them very aesthetically pleasing.

13. A Doorstop

I had one of these early on, but I chose one that looked cute and it ended up not actually being great at holding my door open. Invest in a solid doorstop that can hold your door open, it doesn’t need to be expensive but if it’s too pretty, it probably won’t hold up for four years.

15. A Speaker

Even though I still don’t own one (mostly because my best friend does), having a quality speaker has really come in handy for impromptu dance parties and even actual parties.

16. A Quality Winter Coat

As weird as it sounds, I never really felt the need for a strong, super warm winter coat until college, even though I’ve lived on the east coast for my entire life. Once I got to college and realized I’d be walking to class in below zero weather sometimes, I bought a winter jacket that was actually super warm, not just a fashion statement.

{Alongside this are my College Wardrobe Essentials }

What are some of your college essentials?

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  • No joke, micellar water hass been a life-changer in my makeup and skincare routine! Sometimes when I’m too lazy to do my whole night time routine, I just use micellar water and eye makeup remover and call it a night.

    • Same here! It’s perfect for when I’m feeling extra lazy but really don’t want to fall asleep with my makeup on, haha

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