13 College Student Must-Haves – The Dorm Edition

by | Aug 2, 2016 | Guest Post, House & Home, Tips

Hey all! I have a very special guest writer today – Greer Gates! She is sharing 13 college student must-haves for college kids living in dorms… If you are a curious cat like me and want to know a bit about Greer you can watch our Monday Minute here and our Facebook LIVE here!

Greer Gates

Greer is entering her second year of college and we figured with her first-hand knowledge, she’d have some great advice to share!

For me, it will be just a short couple of years before my oldest heads to college (HOLD ME), and I am looking for all the wisdom and insight I can get as we get closer. I know we are all in different seasons of life …. so if you have littles, this might be something to stick in your back pocket. And others… this might be helpful as early as next week when you have to go dorm room shopping.


Without further adieu, here’s Greer’s list of 13 college student must-haves, specifically created for those living in the dorms.


I’m going into my 2nd year at Mills College and here are some things that I used in my first year that helped me! Most of my friends from school said I was over-prepared, but they all came to me when they needed super glue or medicine! So with everything in mind that I had for my freshman year, I narrowed this list down to the things I used and really appreciated that I had. I hope you/your new college student will find this helpful!

College Student Must Haves for living in dorms | Jenny On The Spot


  1. SHOWER SHOES! 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - shower shoes I cannot even begin to tell you the terrible things about dorm bathrooms. And mine weren’t even co-ed! I highly recommend going out and getting a pair of *shower shoes. Or two.
  2. Shower caddy. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - shower caddy via @jennyonthespot Most schools don’t have storage within the bathroom for you to keep your stuff, so I just have a plastic caddy with shampoo, conditioner, body soap, a loofah, and a razor in mine. Something easy to cary from your room to the bathroom.
  3. 3M Command Strips. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - 3M Command Strips via @jennyonthespot Dorm walls are fragile and fixing them can be hard. And if the maintenance guys have to fix them – EXPENSIVE! Hanging up posters, mirrors, or small shelves with a few *Command Strips makes moving out the end of the year so much easier.
  4. Coffee maker! 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - KeurigI personally drink a lot of coffee each day (I’m not going to tell you how much because there might be judgement) so I have a *Keurig in my room. It is super easy to use and clean. I use a reusable K-cup and fill it with my own coffee grounds (cheaper and less waste).  If you’re going to get a coffee maker, make sure you check what your school allows. My college says that we can’t have anything with an exposed element, like a coffee maker with a pot and a warmer.
  5. Customized first aid kit!13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - First Aid Kit via @jennyonthespot
    If your kid is anything like me, they may tend to be accident prone. Many times I get cuts or a sunburn – hence the aloe and excessive amounts of bandaids and Neosporin. Also throw in allergy meds, and things for colds. When you’re sick for a week, NyQuil and DayQuil become your new BFFs; and nobody wants to go have to find and buy Pepto Bismol or other medicines when they need it ASAP. So buy a little travel bottle! All these items fit perfectly in a plastic shoebox!)  And also chapstick!13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - chapstick via @jennyonthespotThat stuff is handy. 
  6. Vitamins. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - Vitamins via @jennyonthespotI am constantly sick. And usually for weeks at a time. I found these vitamins to help me! I really like the *One A Day because they have 100% of your Vitamin C and Zinc (both help fight colds). Maybe it’s just the placebo effect, but I FULLY believe in these guys.
  7. A wall calendar – or two. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - Erasable Calendar via @jennyonthespotI like to know everything that is going on. So I have two calendars in my room so I can see the current month and next month. Also, a couple different colored markers to spice it up. We found this one at Target.
  8. Assorted blank note cards. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - blank note cards via @jennyonthespotBecause you may need to *write a thank you note after an interview or maybe your roommate’s birthday is tomorrow and you totally forgot. Just a good thing to have.
  9. Pair of headphones/earbuds. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - Earbuds via @jennyonthespot And a backup pair. I like to keep a pair in my bag/backpack so that way when I go to study in the library or the field, I’ll have them on me. Because it really sucks when you walk across campus, unpack all your stuff and realize that you don’t have your *earbuds. Also, there’s a chance that you’ll get a noisy roommate/neighbor. So headphones can help that situation.
  10. Laundry pods! 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - laundry pods via @jennyonthespotThere is less of a chance of making a mess with these guys. Also, it’s less stuff to carry down to the laundry room. I just throw *a pod into my laundry bag and head down.
  11. Reusable water bottle. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - reusable water bottle via @jennyonthespotKeep my *reusable water bottle filled up and make sure you use it! Because there won’t be anyone there to tell you to drink water! I carry a water bottle with me everywhere and I am constantly filling it up. I also like to have *sparkling water on hand. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - sparkling water via @jennyonthespotIt’s good to mix it up sometimes!
  12. Easy on-the-go snacks and breakfast. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - on-the-go snacks via @jennyonthespotI didn’t go to the dining hall for breakfast, I just made *oatmeal in my room before class. There’s also the option for a granola bar on the way to class. Personal preference. Also popcorn. Wether it’s already popped or not, I always have some in my room. It’s an easy snack for late night studying or movie nights.
  13. Pencil/pen bag. 13 College Student Must-Haves - The Dorm Edition - pen and pencil bag via @jennyonthespotI am a Business Economics major so I draw a lot of graphs and write a lot of formulas. So I have at least 10 different pen colors in my bag at all times. Maybe that’s just me trying to keep it interesting but it really helps to separate concepts by color. I also have 2 pencils and an eraser in my bag. I like to be prepared. (We got our bag here.)
College Student Must Haves for living in dorms3

College Student Must Haves for living in dorms3

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Wasn’t that great! GOOD GOOLLY it’s been so long since I got to shop for my own dorm room. Want to know a secret? I still have my Monet-inspired comforter. But not the poster of Johnny Depp 😉

Thank you, Greer for this most excellent college-prep primer!

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