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10 Overlooked College Essentials to Bring to Your Dorm

Leaving home, starting college, and living in an unfamiliar place are all very nerve wracking. Starting your life away from home can be tricky to navigate, especially if you don’t know what to bring to college. Here are ten things I wish I had brought to college my freshman year.

a lamp or other lights

I hated having the fluorescent lights on in my dorm. They always gave me a headache, especially at night while I was trying to study. I had a small desk lamp, and it was perfect! It’s also great to have, especially when your roommate wants to go to sleep, but you have a long night of school work ahead.  

a beach towel

When I thought about what I should bring when going to college in Colorado, I didn’t think I would need a  beach towel. You will probably use a towel, especially if you like to picnic or swim. Using your shower towel is not ideal! 

extra face coverings

Personally, I worked on campus, and I had to wear a cloth mask to work every day. When I went to the gym, I liked wearing disposable masks, so I didn’t ruin my cloth masks. Regardless, have a variety of masks! 

acne spray for face coverings

Moving to college, stress from school, new eating habits, and the masks all contributed to some well expected acne. I found a salicylic acid spray by Versed that I would spray on my masks before I wore them, which helped keep my skin clean! 

an extra set of sheets

Having an extra set of sheets was a lifesaver! When you’re busy with classes and need to change your sheets, you might not always have time to do laundry. When I found myself in this situation, I was glad to have an extra pair!

Wrinkle spray

Along with not always having time to do extra loads of laundry, you also do not have the time or the space for ironing. Wrinkle spray is essential, especially if you need to look presentable for a presentation or interview! 

a business casual outfit

At some point in your college career, you will probably need a nice outfit for a presentation, interview, or a meeting. Even if you end up not needing one, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry!

reusable grocery bags

Along with reusable grocery bags being environmentally friendly, Colorado just issued a charge on plastic sacks- ten cents per bag, to be exact. Buying reusable bags will then help you save money in the long run along with being environmentally conscious.


Dorm room carpets can sometimes be a little gross, even after running the vacuum a few times through. They are great to wear in your dorm room and will prove to be very convenient on runs to the laundry room. A pair of slippers is a must!

extra chargers and cables

Dorm rooms don’t typically have enough outlets. Bring a power strip! You should also be sure to include extra phone chargers, HDMI cords, adapters, and other similar items you might need throughout the school year.

Regardless of if you brought these things or not, college is a time for trial and error. See what works for you because there is no one size fits all list of items to bring!

Hi! I'm a sophomore at the University of Denver, double majoring in Criminology and Psychology with a minor in Socio-Legal Studies. I'm really excited to get started with HerCampus!
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