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What you really need for college

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What you really need for college: Part 6 of the Tips for College series

Itís easy to forget all of the little knick-knacks that donít seem to fit into a specific category. We've covered fashion, bedding, study space and desk supplies, bath essentials and stuff for your little adventures in cooking.

And yet there are so many things still on our list.

Here are the miscellaneous items that deserve some attention too:

Adhesive hooks

These hooks are sturdy enough to hang posters on while being gentle enough to not leave a mark.
Alarm clock

Nowadays, people use their cell phoneís alarm feature. In case your phone isnít always reliable, a stand-alone alarm clock will be sure to wake you up bright and early.


Stock up on AA, AAA other popular battery sizes for little things like an alarm clock, camera, cell phone, push light, or television remote.


Bike racks are abundant on campuses for good reason: students prefer this transportation method to most others. Large campuses and back-to-back classes require a bit of finesse to manage. Another option is to rent a bike from campus. Add a secure bike lock to ensure that your campus-cruising bike is safe from thieves.

Board games

Even college kids still love board games. A few classic games like Apples to Apples or Trivial Pursuit can be ice breakers during group hang-outs.


Cheaper than a vacuum cleaner, a broom and dustpan can tidy up small messes.


Point and Shoot or DSLR, cameras are documenters of friends, parties, and places. A decent camera gives students the chance to document their college moments.


Not all colleges allow freshmen to bring cars. For colleges that do, parking and other costs are often more of a hassle than the value of a car on campus. Public transportation, which is often free for students, provides the best way to get around campus.


Everything electrical needs to be recharged at some point. Keep track of which electronics need chargers Ė this often includes chargers for a cell phone, laptop, mp3 player, eReader, Tablet, stereo, television, and camera.

Extension cords

Outlets tend to be inconveniently located, especially after rearranging dorm furniture. The type of extension cord allowed in a dorm depends on each schoolís policies, but most request a surge protector combination.


In the summer months a fan is crucial. Sweltering temperatures are usually battled by open windows, but at times even that isnít enough. A fan can stir the air and make an oppressive dorm room a bit airier.


Fish arenít affectionate pets but they do add some life to an otherwise lonely dorm room. Bonus Ė theyíre low maintenance!


In case of a blackout, a flashlight can replace prohibited candles as a light source.


Just like a pet fish, a live green plant provides some life to a dorm room. Except plants are even lower maintenance.


Start collecting quarters for laundry. Trust me; itís best to have a surplus of quarters than to run out months into school.

Storage containers

Plastic storage containers can divide supplies into different categories: food, toiletries, and office supplies. Long skinny bins can fit under a lofted bed while smaller bins can tuck into desk drawers.


A television serves as a much-needed distraction from hours of studying. A bit of entertainment television is a stress reliever. A television with a built-in DVD player can also be a facilitator of movie nights.

Vacuum cleaner

Though not essential, a stick vacuum cleaner is useful around particularly messy roommates.

Video games

For the gaming addicts, down time is devoted to Super Smash Bros. tournaments and hours logged on Skyrim. If living without an X-Box isnít an option then consider bringing your gaming system, controllers, games, and cords to college.


Lots of laptops have a built-in webcam, but even so, a separate webcam can be better quality. Skype dates with friends and family members are a great way to stay in touch.

Thatís it!

The complete series of college dorm shopping is finished. Items on these lists are all suggestions by a recent college freshman. Colleges vary widely with policies about allowed and prohibited dorm supplies. So be sure to check the requirements of your specific college before dreaming up big design plans for your dorm.

Catch up on Parts 1-5:

Part 1: Dorm Bedroom Ideas
Part 2:
What you need for Studying at College
Part 3:
What you need for Dorm Room Cooking
Part 4: Surviving the Dorm Bathroom
Part 5:
Pack your College Wardrobe Basics

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