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    16 Products I Still Regret Not Buying For My Freshman Year Of College

    Believe it or not, freshman year doesn't have to be a struggle.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A waterproof Bluetooth speaker so you can start your day jamming out to your favorite songs without worrying about getting your phone wet.,

    Some people — *cough* me *cough* — bring their phones into the shower with them for music, which is honestly a dangerous game for obvious reasons. But this tiny-yet-powerful speaker lets you play it safe while you play your tunes. Mount it against the wall using the suction cup, or hang it from the curtain ring for easy access.

    Promising review: "I bought this product about six months ago and I have used it numerous times. The sound is surprisingly very good considering the low price I paid. I use this frequently while in the shower and it has held up very well to being splashed and dropped, which is better than I can say of some 'water-resistant' speakers I've tried. The battery life holds well enough while in use. I would definitely recommend this product." —CJ Worthington

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99 (available in four additional colors).

    2. A rechargeable phone case because having six back-to-back classes and realizing you forgot your phone charger in your room is the *cherry on top* of a freaking long day.


    Whether you live on campus or commute to class, nothing beats the security of knowing you have a fully-charged phone for anything that comes up. So, of course, I kicked myself every time I forgot to juice up my portable charger knowing fully well that I was in for a long day. This phone case, which slides right over the iPhone 6/6S, would've eliminated all my battery life woes while also protecting my phone from drops and scratches, at least on the back.

    Promising review: "My iPhone 6 started dying after only a few hours of use, even with 100% battery at the beginning of each day. Since I started using this case, I no longer have this problem. I can endlessly check Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat and not have to worry about my battery. I no longer have to constantly plug my phone into a wall charger. The case is secured at the top with a magnet, so it's easy to get my phone in and out of the case. I have also dropped my phone multiple times and it doesn't seem to have an effect on the battery case." —Todd Mashak

    Get it from Amazon for $35.95 (available in three additional colors).

    3. An ultra compact cold brew maker with an easy-to-use filter — it's perfect for iced coffee lovers hoping to ditch the loooong line at their campus coffee shop.


    Did I mention that the one-quart pitcher can fit inside your mini-fridge?? And did I ALSO mention that it'll save you A TON of meal points throughout the semester??? Because as someone who spent half of mine on iced coffee at Starbucks, my own personal cold brew maker would've been pretty rad.

    Promising review: "This coffee maker is my BEST FRIEND! I use this every day, and it's so simple! My coffee comes out perfect every time. I'm a cold coffee drinker, and I put about eight to 10 scoops of freshly ground coffee into the filter. I let it sit overnight and the next morning, I remove the filter and dump the grounds. It makes four days worth of coffee, and I love that it's ready to go for me, especially since I wake up at 4:50 a.m. and I need to make my coffee quickly! It's very easy to clean as well. Be sure to remove the rubber linings inside the caps so that you can clean in the crevices." —Panda

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in one- or two-quart sizes).

    4. This waterproof backpack cover that'll protect your books and laptop from the fury of hurricane-esque downpours.

    I'll just say what we're all clearly thinking right now: Umbrellas don't do ANYTHING to protect your bulky backpack from torrential downpours. Fortunately, the backpack gods blessed us with this easy-to-use elastic cover to keep the elements away from our laptops and textbooks.

    Promising review: "I love it! Once upon a time, Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on my college campus. Naturally, I brought only an umbrella, but I should’ve just worn swimming trunks. My entire bag was soaked, my textbooks were soiled, and my MacBook was waterlogged. Ever since I bought this product, I've gotten judged by fellow classmates for the ridiculous cover on my backpack. But, the joke was on them when Hurricane Michael came through and they ALL complained that their textbooks were ruined. The quality is amazing, and it fits into a tiny bag with a carabiner. The reflective strip is also a nice touch!" —Johnny F

    Get it from Amazon for $7.59–$12.58 (available in six additional colors and four sizes).

    5. An ultra durable laundry backpack for when you have no choice but to wash three weeks worth of dirty clothes because you've been "studying" nonstop.


    I pretty much dragged my giant laundry bag down the hallway with one hand and juggled my detergent bottles with the other, when I COULD HAVE just gotten this bag that would've easily fit on my back and let me effortlessly carry my other laundry essentials.

    Promising review: "I bought this for my daughter to take to summer camp. We both love it!! It's a very well-made, rugged bag. My tween loves it because it’s 'cute,' and I love it because it holds a TON of clothes and can be thrown right in the washer as well." —Customer 17

    Get it from Amazon for $19.90+ (also available in natural or black and white).

    6. This bamboo laptop desk tray that was pretty much made for people who do their best work in bed — if they don't fall asleep first, that is.


    Sometimes, I just wanted to work from the comfort of my covers, but it was super inconvenient since I couldn't have everything I needed in one place. So, a desk tray that lets me work and safely have a drink in bed without the risk of spills — AND that includes a ~secret~ side drawer for pens and notepads — would've doubled my productivity game.

    Promising review: "I'm a senior in college, and I am so mad I didn't find this sooner! There is nothing I love more than doing homework in bed, but not having a desk makes that difficult. This tray is amazing and I will never go back. The bamboo is high-quality, there is a magnetic drawer on the side, and you can elevate your computer for easy typing. I seriously love this thing." —sunflower

    Get it from Amazon for $30.99.

    7. A handy, dandy wheel desk so you commuter students out there can conveniently and comfortably work on assignments in between classes.


    When you just want to speed through your English essay before class but don't want to leave the comfort of your car, this hook-on tray gives you a makeshift desk in seconds. And when you aren't busy cramming for an exam, the slim design makes it easy to stow away inside your seat pocket so you can actually, you know, drive.

    Promising review: "This is the best purchase I've ever made as a college student who waits and eats lunch in their car between classes. I drive a Volkswagen Jetta and this fit on the steering wheel. You can also flip the sides — one side is flat for doing homework, and the other side has a cup holder and the tray dips inward, which is amazing because it will catch all the crumbs so you don't make a mess in your car." —Buehler

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (also available in gray).

    8. This odor-removing spray that'll make your clothes smell a liiiiittle fresher so your classmates won't know that you're wearing that Star Wars t-shirt for the second time this week.


    The worst part of getting dressed when you're already really late is grabbing a shirt from the "lightly worn" pile and realizing that it still has a little bit of Monday's funk on it. Fortunately, this natural spray removes food and trash odors instead of only trying to mask them — aka, you can focus more on taking notes in class and less on feeling self-conscious.

    Promising review: "I trust this product entirely to rid fabrics of odors without leaving a perfume-y fragrance, staining, or spotting. It's light, fresh, and odor-neutralizing. It has a subtle, herbal fragrance that fades quickly into nothing but a fresh scent. I have sprayed it on my clothes while they were still on my body. I trust its efficacy and its safety. I've had good results on linen, wool, and even polyester upholstery." —Rebecca

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $15.98.

    9. A jar of keyboard cleaning gel so you can be a better parent to your laptop and prevent your belongings from getting TOO dirty too quickly., Amazon

    It's easy to overlook tasks as small as cleaning between your laptop keys when you're taking 20 credits, interning after class, and working a part-time job on the weekends (guilty as charged). But since this cleaning gel is so easy to use — and, admittedly, looks VERY fun to squish against your keyboard — there's no excuse to not get rid of the dirt and dust stuck between your keys before they cause a major problem.

    Promising review: "I was skeptical at first, and was afraid that my keyboard would be all gummed up with yellow slime! But, the opposite happened: It made my keyboard as good as new. I got all those dog hairs between the keys! And, there was no lingering smell on my keyboard or hands. It's kind of fun to play with, too." —Billy

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    10. A foot massager that fits conveniently under your desk so you can ~heel~ your ~sole~ while you study.

    I, like 99.9999% of college students, didn't have the time or money for a masseuse between trudging across campus with a boulder on my back and working out at the gym to (try) to maintain some of my health. But this massager relieves some of that stress for less than $20 — and all you have to do is sit back and move your feet across the rollers!

    Promising review: "I press my feet into the product, especially the spikes, and allow it to sit momentarily. I do this for different areas in my feet, and I'm careful not to press too hard or overdo it in any way. A few minutes later, walking feels different — my toes feel freer, and my foot feels like it's bending a little better. I believe that releasing tension in my feet may help release tension in my legs and other parts of my body. Be careful not to overdo it, and you might find it useful, too." —User.

    Get it from Amazon for $16.95.

    11. A time-marked water bottle to motivate you to stay hydrated when you're running from class to class all day.


    I may or may not have been guilty of not drinking as much water as I should have been, but a water bottle this cute would've DEFINITELY motivated me to keep it around more. Plus, the leakproof designs means that I would've been able to put it in my bag without worrying about spills.

    Promising review: "I love the color! This bottle is huge, but that’s the point. The handle and strap are strong enough to let you carry a full bottle. I appreciate the motivational words, and I always think about how I'm going to outdo the next mark by drinking my water before the indicated time. I use this at work and use two connected straws to drink out of it since the bottle is too deep for the length of a regular straw." —Michelle Meadors

    Get it from Amazon for $8.32–$20.96 (available in 18 additional colors, and in three bottle sizes).

    12. This natural deodorant that'll take you from the gym to class feeling so fresh, you'll actually start believing in magic.

    Instagram: @

    When it comes to deodorant, the "all-day fresh feeling" I've been promised always ended by noon, and I've been left smelling funky and feeling self-conscious around my peers one too many times. I very recently began using the Bali Secrets natural deodorant — during the peak of summer, might I add — and it has yet to fail me. You wouldn't have guessed that I went to the gym before coming in to work, and it keeps me dry all day.

    Promising review: "I couldn't be more satisfied with this purchase. After trying the deodorant, I was immediately blown away by how well it works. It smelled lovely, kept me odor-free through a day of extensive ballet classes, and it didn't leave a wet, sticky feeling like most other natural deodorants I've tried — and I've tried many. I will be a faithful customer for life." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $13.29 (available in five scents).

    13. A set of cooling towels that'll make living without an air conditioner in the hot, stuffy dorms in September MUCH more bearable.


    Rocking one of these as a scarf would've kept me cool and made being in a fan-free dorm room much less miserable! After soaking the towel and wringing it out, the chilling effect lasts for up to three hours.

    Promising review: "I purchased these cooling towels for a family trip to Disney and I must say, they work perfectly. It got so hot and they were so cool and comfortable that my daughter didn't want to take hers off. After the park, I rinsed them off to keep them damp, then put them in a resealable bag and put them in the freezer. The next day at Disney, I'd bring the bags with us and by the time we needed them, I'd just wring out any extra water and they were ready to go. I would highly recommend this product." —Natasha Lovelace

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $15.99 (available in 12 additional color sets).

    14. And this three-speed tower fan — it'll keep your dorm room cool without taking up valuable floor space, so you can pretty much say goodbye to your forehead sweat now.


    I'm not sure what possessed me to wait until my sophomore year to invest in a fan for my room, but better late than never, right? This fan comes with a remote so you can control it without having to get out of bed and stumble around in the dark. Plus, the minimal noise lets you keep this baby going without distracting you (or your roommate) from studying.

    Promising review: "Wow do I love this fan. I live in an adorable pre-World War II apartment with no central AC and only ceiling fans. I could not be happier with this fan. Southern California summers are hot, but within 10 minutes of turning this on, the living room significantly cooled down. I don’t know how this is possible considering that it’s a fan and not an air conditioner, but frankly, I don’t care. It works. The fan is also light enough to transfer from room to room if need be, but considering the price point, I just may buy another one instead. I highly recommend this!" —Fay

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in two colors/finishes).

    15. A hot air brush that gives you an ultra volumized look when you live that broke college student life and don't have money for a blowout at the salon.


    I've always dreaded the two-plus hours it would take me to straighten my hair the night before class. But now that I'm older and know better (and am better at happening upon really good products by chance), I started using this brush on my curly hair, and — whoa — I get a smooth, volumized look in less than an hour! The brush has a ceramic coating so you don't totally fry your hair, and the even heat distribution quickly dries wet hair.

    Promising review: "I was skeptical about this product, but like everyone else, decided to give it a try based on reviews, and...WOW! I have fine, wavy hair, and this is perfect for achieving a salon-like blowout without too much heat. Sectioning off your hair definitely yields the best results. But beware, I didn't read the instructions and brought the tool abroad. Turns out, it does NOT work even with a voltage converter, so it immediately stopped working. But I loved it so much that I'm gonna swallow that loss and buy another one ASAP." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $43.20+ (also available in mint).

    16. An adhesive shelf mount that conveniently sticks to the wall by your bed, so you don't have to reluctantly slink out of bed when you forget your nighttime necessities.


    I can't even begin to count the number of times I've gotten all cozy under the covers only to realize that I forgot to grab my headphones from my desk on the other side of the room. Or maybe it was allergy season and I just wanted to keep a pack of tissues nearby. That's where this baby comes in. The wall mount comes with adhesive tape, so you don't have to worry about drilling a hole through the dorm walls to get it to stick. Alternatively, you can use Command picture hanging strips for a nice, clean removal at the end of the school year.

    Promising review: "I bought this for my daughter so she could keep her phone near her since she has a bunk bed. The sticky pads worked well — we let it sit for 24 hours before she put anything in it. It's a great size for an iPhone." —Jeff Finkelstein

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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