How To Make A College Survival Kit

How To Make A College Survival Kit // eyeliner wings & pretty things

I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinOverWinter #CollectiveBias)

College can be a scary place and you’ll often find yourself getting paper cuts on your fifteen-page essay, getting headaches from too many hours spent in the library or burning yourself on a curling iron you forgot to unplug. Basically, a college survival kit is crucial.

While everyone’s college survival kit may vary, here are some ideas and suggestions for creating your own!


For this you’ll need a cute container to keep everything. I found this miniature suitcase/lunchbox and it’s the perfect size! You can also have a little DIY fun with this by cutting out the little “+” first aid symbol in pretty patterned scrapbook paper and attaching it to the front.

A nicely packaged little college survival kit is also a great gift to give someone who’s going away to college!

1. Bandages

I’m a huge proponent of fun, patterned bandages. If you’re going to cover up a cut, you might as well do it in style. It’s also important to have different sizes of bandages like larger ones or small, round ones to be ready for anything. As an ~adult~ I always have fruit patterned, Scrabble patterned and cupcake shaped bandages on hand.

2. Aloe Vera

Major key if you find yourself getting sunburnt. This is also great for soothing almost anything, so be sure to have some on hand even if you don’t often get sunburn.

3. Motrin

This is my go-to in college. It does so many things like reduces fever; relieves minor aches and pains due to: the common cold, flu, headache, sore throat, & toothache. So basically it’s one of the most important items in this college survival kit.

4. Nail file

These should also be kept in your purse because having a broken nail or a hangnail and being unable to take action is SO aggravating.

5. Cold compress/ice pack

How cute is this one covered in princess ducks? I promise I’m not ten years old, I just appreciate the simple things in life and one of those is cold compresses covered in royal duckies.

If you don’t have one of these, always keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. ALSO, make sure the bag doesn’t rip open because my housemate’s notorious for leaving frozen peas all over. That’s how we know she’s been injured.

6. Tweezers

Perfect for splinters. Splinters are the WORST. Fun tip: if you put baking soda on a particularly stubborn splinter it’ll help it come to the surface. This life hack has saved my life.
How To Make A College Survival Kit // eyeliner wings & pretty things

7. Antiseptic spray/ointment

This is important if you want to prevent any cuts for getting infected. You can also use hydrogen peroxide but the smell of that is pretty strong (and gross). I’m not a medical expert, so follow your heart on this one just choose something that disinfects.

8. Tissues

I love these miniature tissue packs from Target. I keep one in my jacket and purse at all times, especially in the winter.

9. Sunscreen

Being sun safe is crucial! Especially if you, like me, have incredibly fair skin that almost appears to be of ghost origins.

10. Antacids

These are especially important when you consider all of the greasy, heartburn inducing foods consumed in college.

11. Antibacterial wipes

These are just good to have for almost anything.

12. Gauze/scissors

This is a little extra and, hopefully, you won’t need this, but it’s handy to have. It might also be handy to learn how to use gauze, just in case you actually need to use it in an emergency situation. CPR is also good to know but that has nothing to do with this, just a thought.

13. Cough drops

While I personally hold a vendetta against cough drops after I choked on one circa 2012, they are a nice addition to your college survival kit. They just definitely won’t be in mine.

14. Eye drops

If you often find yourself getting dry eyes, these are incredibly handy. It’s also important to have contact cleaning solution if you wear contact lenses.

15. Heating pad

Make sure these are allowed in the dorms! If not, try heating patches/wraps that help with pain or aches.
How To Make A College Survival Kit // eyeliner wings & pretty things

16. Cotton swabs/cotton balls

These always come in handy and can be bought in travel sizes.

17. Floss

You’ll thank me when you get something stuck in your teeth that you literally can’t get out and you don’t have floss because you lie to your dentist but then remember your college survival kit.

18. Stain remover pen

The number of times I’ve listed this as a college essential is out of this world. College = many, many stains with most of them being mysterious. If you wear a lot of white or if you’re a rebellious daredevil and have chosen a white comforter/sheets then investing in a bleach pen as well is a smart move. Use it carefully and wisely!

19. Thermometer

This is extra, of course, but if you whip this out when one of your roomies are sick you’ll be the ultimate mom friend hero. If you do have a fever, be sure to take some Motrin (as afore mentioned).

20. Safety pins

You’d be surprised how many times these actually get used. You’ll also be glad to have these when you (or your housemate) need to make a toga.

Optional: tea bags

A wonderful way to remedy a sore throat (sort of) is a hot cup of tea. I always keep emergency tea bags on hand and a can of soup.

Optional: face mask

Face masks aren’t really necessary to survive, but it’s a wonderful way to thrive. Use this face mask after you finish tending to a wound or taking an exam (same thing) as a fun pick me up and treat.

P.S. You can find Motrin in your local Target!

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What’s in your college survival kit?

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  • This is such a fun idea! I’ve never made a college survival kit (because I’m a commuter who still lives at home with her parents), but as I’ll be moving to my first apartment this winter, I’m sure this is going to be helpful! By the way, this box looks really cute!

    • It’s definitely perfect for an apartment…you’ll probably include even more things! Thank you, the box was only $5! It makes me so happy–it’ll definitely brighten the mood when I’m dealing with a paper cut or headache down the line haha.
      Best of luck moving in! 🙂

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