back to top

27 Things You Didn't Realize You'd Need In College, But Totally Do

Don't worry, we won't tell mom and dad.

Posted on

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which products they didn't think they'd need in college, but use all the time. From shower items to products for a better night's sleep, check out the variety of things you may want to add to your checklist:

1. A bedside caddy so you don't have to get out of bed to change the channel or read your favorite book.

"Super helpful for things like your phone, book, TV remote, etc. Especially good if you loft your bed and/or don’t have access to a nightstand." —jkf395

Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

2. A faux-fur saucer chair that'll become a lifesaver when you're longing for a comfy seat, or need extra chairs for friends visiting your dorm.

"Something small enough that you can fold under your bed or in the back of the closet. Sure, you have a desk chair, but a week in you're going to get tired of sitting up straight and want something comfy to hang out in." —mackenziec4d90a4399

Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in four colors).


3. A French press for a cup of coffee you don't have to trek to the dining hall to obtain.

Maker brews one liter of delicious hot or iced coffee.

"Cheaper than a coffee machine and can make both cold brew or a strong cup of hot coffee." —anonymous

Get it from Amazon for $26.95.

4. A pair of bookends to keep all those textbooks, notebooks, and magazines mom will send you in one organized place.

"Bookends are quite helpful, especially for all those English majors out there." —skipnees

Get them from Amazon for $4.91+ (available in three colors).

5. A handheld steamer that'll make getting wrinkles out of clothing quick and easy.

Only takes 90 seconds to heat-up and can continuously steam for 6 minutes. Includes one heat-resistant glove and fabric brush. Steamer powers off automatically when water is low.

"A handheld one is much smaller than an iron, and is easier and faster when you need to get wrinkles out of a shirt quickly." —kniche

Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

6. A pair of headphones to make studying for exams, walking to class, and exercising less chore-like and more fun.

Noise-cancelling headphones last for six hours of talk/music time. Take one to two hours to charge.

"You spend a crazy amount of time wearing headphones on campus – watching Netflix or listening to music in your room, in the library, and walking around campus. You're constantly surrounded by other people, even when you sleep. Sometimes headphones are the only way to have some alone time." —ca1ta

Get them from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in four colors).


7. A set of food storage containers for saving leftover takeout food, doing weekly meal prep, and shhhh, stealing dining hall food.

Containers are safe to microwave, freeze, and dishwash, and are BPA-free.

"Meal plans are expensive, you should get your money’s worth!" —graciee4669d4662

Get a 42-pack from Amazon for $16.99.

8. A pair of shower shoes for keeping germs away and feet protected.

"I watched so many people think they could do without them. DON'T be one of those people. You need them. Get them. Please." —caragracer

Get them from Amazon for $13.43 (available in seven colors and a variety of sizes).

9. A planner that'll help you stay organized and on time. No more excuses for late assignments!

"It helps organize assignments and personal life. It can also be used as a journal to document the cool things you do in college." —epb03211

Get it from Amazon for $9.95+ or Jet for $10.95.

10. An electric blanket so you can wrap up like a gooey, warm burrito.

Blanket includes three heat settings and a three hour auto-off feature. Safe to machine wash and dry. Power cord is 6 ft. in length.

"There are no guarantees your accommodation will be warm enough, so an electric blanket is essential!" —sarah1333

Get it from Amazon for $34.99+ or Jet for $34.99 (available in eight colors).


11. A mini stapler to easily bring on-the-go when you need to last-minute staple assignments.

"My anatomy teacher would require our homework to be stapled together and wouldn't let you use his. I can't tell you how many people came running up to me asking to borrow my stapler right before homework was due." —monikap6

Get it from Amazon for $6.19 or Jet for $7.73 (available in five colors).

13. A slow cooker if you're allowed to have one. It might just change your life and save you from the yucky dining hall.

Removable food container is dishwasher-safe. Holds up to 20 oz. of your favorite delicious recipes. Features a carrying handle for easy transport.

"For those days you're too lazy to cook, but miss home-cooked meals." —kittytoes

Get it from Amazon for $25.63 (available in four colors).

14. A back pillow for additional body support while lounging in your bed.

"My room was so small, all I could sit on was my bed. My back rest pillow was a lifesaver and I’m still using it a year later!" —natalief487df5857

Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in two colors).


15. A Roomba so you don't have to vacuum the crumbs the roommates left on the floor. You're welcome.

Navigation system uses a sensor to navigate your living space. Vaccum follows a three stage cleaning system. Can be scheduled in advance up to seven times, or just press the go button when you're ready. It automatically docks and re-charges itself and adjusts to all types of floors.

"That little thing kept our pint-sized dorm crumb-free. I brought it with me to my apartment this year and nobody has to vacuum ever! —amcarmic

Get it from Amazon for $299.99.

16. An Ethernet cable that'll save your life on the day the campus, dorm, or apartment Wi-Fi decides to stop working.

"We have Wi-Fi, but it's awful, especially when other people are on it. An Ethernet cord saved my binge watching experience." —emilyt4b6484bb0

Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (available in four colors and seven sizes).

17. A sturdy umbrella, especially useful if you're going to a college in a land far away. I mean, if your school is in a very rainy and windy town.

"My school basically is a graveyard of broken umbrellas, because many break in the wind. It's worth it to pay a little more and get a good umbrella than keep buying cheap ones." —kelsey9919

Get it from Amazon for $17 (available in 28 colors).

18. A mini fridge for keeping food and drinks chilled and fresh.

Fridge comes with an adjustable thermostat and leveling legs. Also includes a full-width freezer compartment with an ice-cube tray.

"I had so many people tell me I would never need one and they're too expensive to be worth it, plus you'll just store unhealthy food. Well, I've been in college for a month now and my dining hall food is crap. A mini fridge allows me to buy my own food and store it, so I don't have to deal with grainy apples or mushy bananas. I can buy yogurt and store it, and I don't have to worry about it going bad." —marikam4d9654824

Get it from Amazon for $134.39 (available in three colors).


19. An electric kettle to make getting boiling hot water easy, and campus safety standard–approved.

Kettle has an auto shut-off feature and boil dry protection. Device is cord-free.

"Being able to make tea or coffee in your dorm is a great time and money saver. You can also make food with it if you don't feel like walking to the cafe." —chelseat41a52aca5

Get it from Amazon for $29.

20. A basic tool set in case anything in your living space ever needs a quick fixing.

Includes basic hand tools, pliers, a 7-in-1 screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and more.

"My aunt gave me one as a going-away gift. I laughed about it with my friends after. That gift was one of the most useful gifts I've ever received. I used it numerous times throughout my college years, especially assembling Ikea furniture!" —acaciamariem

Get a 34-pack from Amazon for $14.95.

21. A memory foam mattress topper to provide a better night's sleep and save that back from an uncomfy dorm mattress.

"There are a lot of things that I bought for college but used limitedly, however, I will never regret buying a good-quality foam mattress pad. Needless to say, dorm mattresses are normally pretty horrible, so it was worth the money!" —gracem4fcf8709f

Get it from Amazon for $109.99 (available in seven sizes).

22. A shower caddy might seem simple enough to remember, but plenty of people forget. You're gonna want something to transport your hygiene products.

"Don’t juggle your shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, etc. Just shove the stuff in a caddy and then hang it on the shower head." —annalee10

Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in five colors).


23. A pack of ear plugs for a more peaceful slumber. College kids are rowdy, you should know.

"I didn't have any freshman year and didn't think to get any, but I really needed them! The boys next door stayed up late playing loud video games and they weren't nice about turning it down. I used to blast "O Fortuna" as a way to let them know they were being loud, but they didn't always care. Ear plugs would've saved me a few headaches!" —oliviaw43ff8255f

Get a 50-pack from Amazon for $8.54 or Jet for $9.99.

24. A printer for preventing unnecessary trips to the library printing stations and eating through a print quota.

Printer allows for wireless printing from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. You can also print and scan photos using a free Canon print app.

"Sounds lazy, but I hate walking all the way to the library just to print something out." —katherinel40644d425

Get it from Amazon for $49 (available in two colors).

25. A measuring cup if you plan on trying some new recipes at school or you're too lazy to use a real bowl for dinner after class.

Cup is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. Handles are non-slip.

"I thought my sister was being ridiculous when she told me to buy one, but it's honestly come in handy so much! You can use it to measure out things, but it also works as a bowl, which is great because I hate having to wash any more dishes than necessary." —erynj45f532db3

Get it from Amazon for $4.99+ or Jet for $7.99 (available in four sizes).

26. A fan so you can avoid overheating and melting in a puddle of sweat. That would probably make your roomie uncomfortable.

"A fan is necessary to keep the air in your room circulating rather than letting it get stale, so you are less likely to smell your roommate's dirty socks or whatever."


Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ or Jet for $16.99 (available in two colors and two sizes).


27. A mini projector to use during movie or Netflix binges with friends. Guess who's about to win the popularity contest with this baby?

"I plug my laptop into it and it makes the perfect movie night with all my friends." —marykatew43cb8fdad

Get it from Amazon for $44.99 (available in five colors).

Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!