The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.
As the oldest sibling in my family, I remember how much of a leap it was to graduate from high school and head off to college for the first time. From moving into my first dorm and learning to navigate the college lifestyle on my own, I quickly learned that college life isn’t complete without a few key essentials. There are many items I wish someone would’ve told me I’d need in college, from storage space to shower shoes (trust me, they are necessary!). Although you may not be starting college or moving into your first dorm for another few months, now is the perfect time to begin planning and preparing for your first year. Below are eight essentials to help any high school grad feel prepared and ready to embark on the exciting college journey.
- Colorful laptop sleeve
Between back-to-back classes, late-night study sessions, and movie nights with friends, get ready to tote your computer across campus all year long! This floral printed laptop sleeve is perfect for keeping your laptop safe, whether you’re carrying it by itself or tucking it away in your tote bag. This gift is a must-have for any high school grad, and Society6 has a variety of fun colors and styles to choose from.
Society6, $31.19; shop now
- Personalized passion planner
If you’re heading off to college this year, a Passion Planner is an ideal gift to help you embody success inside and outside the classroom. This unique planner comes in a variety of styles and designs, and the best part is, for every planner sold, the brand donates funds and planners to non-profit organizations that are doing meaningful work in the community, from mental health awareness to supporting underserved youth. Proceeds from this Rose Gold design benefit the Malala Fund to help women and girls learn and lead.
Passion Planner, $35; shop now
- Gameday bag
Whether you’re getting ready for gameday or need the ideal bag for a night on the town, a clear purse is a great gift for any recent grad. Gloss Game bags come in a variety of sizes and colors to choose from (my favorite is the Coco in natural), along with removable shoulder straps so you can choose your look no matter where your college adventures take you.
Gloss Game, $158; shop now
- Over-the-door organizer
Any college student will tell you that space is often limited in tiny dorm rooms, meaning you’ll have to get creative with storage! This over-the-door vanity organizer is perfect for the future college student who wants a reliable place to store jewelry, makeup, hairbrushes, or whatever small items you might need. This gift will last throughout your first year of college and beyond with varying pocket sizes and durable material.
Dormify, $44; shop now
- Decorative wall tapestry
One of the most exciting parts of freshman year, by far, is getting to decorate your dorm. You may not be able to paint your room, but luckily, a unique tapestry can be a perfect way to dress up blank wall space while showing your personality. This sunshine-inspired tapestry is perfect for any space, and can even be used as a cute curtain, piece of art, or accent piece for your new room. My favorite tapestries have followed me with every move, from my first dorm to my first apartment and beyond. Treat yourself to one this graduation season, and thank me later!
Target, $39.99; shop now
- Bedside storage cart with chargers
Whether you’re moving into a new dorm room or looking for a way to organize your essentials, this unit makes the perfect nightstand and provides extra room for storage, AKA a necessity for any college student. The cart also includes two USB ports and one outlet to charge all of your devices.
Dormify, $139; shop now
- Shower tote
If you’re heading to college this year, trust me, a reliable shower tote is a must! This handy tote has multiple compartments to keep your toiletries organized, and it’s perfect for carrying around your dorm, especially if you have to venture down the hall to a shared restroom. It’s easy to clean and even has a waterproof pocket for your phone, so you can keep all of your essentials in one place.
Bed Bath and Beyond, $9.99; shop now
- Bedding set
How cute is this multi-piece bedding set?! If you’re looking for a cozy yet sophisticated look, this set is the ideal gift to treat yourself with this graduation season. It includes a comforter, pillow sham, pillowcase, flat sheet, and a fitted sheet, so you can grab all of your bedding essentials in one.
Target, $59; shop now
If there’s anything I learned during my first year of college, it’s to always be prepared! Don’t forget to stock up on these essentials before your first day, and get ready to tackle the year with confidence. Graduating high school and heading to college is a significant milestone, and you deserve to celebrate your hard work! Good luck, and we can’t wait to see the great places this year will take you.