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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emmanuel chapter.

As a senior in college, I know the stressful feelings of back-to-school shopping. Especially when you are entering college for the first time, there are so many items that you have to remember to bring with you, and it can feel super overwhelming. I remember how it felt college shopping for the first time, and I wish that I knew what items were going to actually be useful.

I want to share some of the random items in my dorm that I use a lot, some make life so much easier and others are just great products to have. Many of these items are affordable or have a more affordable  version of the same product. The concept of each product is what I want to share with you all, so feel free to find a version of these products that will  better fit your style or budget.

Ice cube tray/bin

I recently bought this for my kitchen and it is a game changer. If you do not have an ice machine, I feel like this is one of the best alternatives. All you do is fill the ice cube trays and freeze them, then insert the trays into the ice box with the press of a button. I am an ice water lover and am constantly refilling my ice trays, this makes it easier to store a lot of ice and not go through it so quickly.

40oz tumbler with handle

On the topic of water, I really recommend having a big water bottle. This is my designated water cup and I love it because it is big and can hold a lot. Because it is insulated, it keeps my ice water colder for longer, which is very useful on hot days. I struggle with remembering to drink water and stay hydrated, so having a big water bottle like this has helped me a lot.

Over the door clothes drying rack

This product may be more exciting and useful for those who care a little bit too much about laundry like me. I bought this for my freshman year and it is still going strong.It was especially helpful to have this when I had a communal laundry room. Once all of my laundry was done, I could hang up this drying rack in my dorm room and use it for anything that needed to air dry. It is definitely helpful to have!

Shopping cart

If you walk to get groceries, this shopping cart is a must. Living in a city is amazing until you have to go food shopping and haul all of the heavy groceries home. This item will help combat that problem and make life so much easier. 


I just recently got this fan and it works so well. Many people understand the struggle of living in a dorm with no air conditioning, and this fan is great at cooling down my room and does not take up a lot of space. There have been some hot days since I moved back into school and using this fan made such a difference. 

Weighted blanket

This is a product that I seriously cannot live without. I have found that sleeping with a weighted blanket is stress-relieving and helps me sleep better. It is super soothing to use and helps me feel calm after long school days. There are many different kinds of weighted blankets, but this one in particular is so soft and warm.

Haley Clement

Emmanuel '24

Haley Clement is a fourth-year student at Emmanuel College, double majoring in Counseling & Health Psychology and Sociology. She has a passion for music, film, art, crafts, and animals! Check out Haley’s articles below.