Must-Have Dorm Items for Freshmen

Help prepare your darling freshman for the next big step in their lives with these helpful gifts.

1. Shower tote

A shower tote is probably the #1 must-have for every college student. Most dorms have communal bathrooms, and unless you’re one of the lucky ones who scores a private bathroom, you’re going to want a shower caddy  to carry all of your toiletries to and from the bathroom. You may be able to leave your shower supplies in the bathroom, but better safe than sorry - more often than not, other students will use your products without your permission if they’re left unattended.

There are lots of options for shower totes, but your best bet is probably one that’s a sturdy plastic. That way, heavier bottles don’t fall out and spill all over the place. Just make sure there are lots of drainage holes for water to drip out of, otherwise you’ll end up with a waterlogged and leaking carrier!

Bed Bath & Beyond is known as the one-stop shop for incoming college freshmen and have a variety of shower totes to choose from.

2. Earbuds

You may have headphones that you really love, which is great. However, you’re definitely going to want a pair of backup headphones to stash in your backpack. When you have to do some schoolwork in noisy conditions, you’ll be disappointed when you realize you forgot your headphones in your dorm room (but you’ll be grateful when you open a long-forgotten pocket to find your backup earbuds stored there).

A basic pair of earbuds (with decent noise isolation) are crucial to have on hand. Check out Best Buy for a wide selection of earbuds that fit every type of budget and style.

3. A Mastercard® Gift Card

To pay for food, cell phone bills, books, and more! Between packing up, unloading the car, and saying goodbye, you’re bound to miss an item or two. Luckily, If there’s anything you missed on your big college shopping trip, or run out of some of your essentials, your freshman can use a custom Mastercard gift card to stock back up. Having one of these tucked away is a life saver for any college student!

4. Wall hanging supplies

A cinderblock-walled room won’t feel like home until you add your own special touches. Hanging supplies are a lifesaver for every college student. They make it so easy to decorate your dorm!. If you want hooks to hang clothes or decorations, you’ll need different supplies than if you needed to hang up pictures or paintings.

Luckily, Target has all the Command strips and hooks you could ever need. They are perfect for college dorms as you won’t leave nail holes or rip paint off of the walls. They’re very easy to use (and very easy to take off once the school year comes to a close).

4. Reusable coffee mug

Travel mugs are a no-brainer when it comes to college gear. They’re just so perfect in so many ways - they eliminate your need for wasteful, disposable cups, they can be used again and again, and they often come in cute patterns and designs! Better yet, you’ll often get a nice discount on your drink (both on and off campus) for not using a disposable cup! It’s truly a win-win.

Pick up a Yeti travel tumbler at REI. It comes in a variety of colors and lasts a long time.

5. Outdoor Blanket

The perfect item to have for those chilly nights out on the quad. There’s no better way to make new friends than by hanging out together on campus. Grab a few floormates, some snacks, and something to sit on, like this outdoor blanket on Amazon, and you have the perfect setup for some bonding!

6. Mini stapler

Mini staplers are one of the unsung heroes of college life. In the mad scramble before class, the last thing you want to do is wait in line for the stapler after printing out all of your assignments. If you have a mini stapler on hand, the easier your life will be (and your classmates will be grateful that you brought one).

Mini Staplers can be found at any office supply store/any store that sells office supplies, like Staples. They’re definitely handy for college students to keep on hand.

School can be hard, but the prep work doesn’t have to be. With all of this in tow, your college freshman will be set for success, and with a Mastercard gift card stashed in their back pocket, they’ll have all the reassurance they need to make this first semester a great one.