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10 Things Every College Student Needs

I just sent my baby girl off to college! Cue the tears… If you want to hear more about this process, and why my heart is brimming with pride for her and all that she has accomplished and overcome, listen to my latest episode of Ready to Rise with Lucie Mitchell.

I don’t know about anyone else who is sending a kid off to college, but I have been grasping at every idea for how to help her prepare, and what things she needs or items that might make her new life on campus easier! Yes, we have already moved her in, most schools are already coming up on or in the midst of homecoming, but I am still sending her care packages with things when I think of them. Maybe I’m having a hard time letting go ;) , but I thought I would share some of the items on my list in hopes that it might be helpful for other parents, family members and friends of students. So, here are 10 things I believe any college student could benefit from having in their dorm or apartment!

A Paper Planner

This is likely the first time your student is on his or her own, keeping track of all their responsibilities on their own. A planner will help them keep organized, remind them of important assignments, due dates, and appointments. I know I couldn’t survive without my planner, and I know passing this habit along to my children will help them succeed as well! Personally, I love this one because it not only helps me to organize the chaos, it also has space for goal creation and tracking, and has tons of space for journaling and note taking.

Cleaning Supplies

Obviously, right? But it’s one of those things you may not think about until you need them. laundry detergent, dish soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, and room freshener are all things they’ll want and need to maintain a clean (or at least clean-ish) space. Just because they’re off to college doesn’t mean they want or need to live in a frat house… and even if they do, it doesn’t have to smell like one, amiright? Here is a line I’m completely in love with – they’re non-toxic (no worries about classic cleaning chemical fumes in a small living space), super concentrated to last, WORK, and small bottles so as not to take up too much space. Plus, they smell amazing and very affordable!

First Aid Kit

This one may not be the most exciting or shiny. It’s just realistic as hell. If your student or their roommate or friend does something dumb, or gets hurt somehow, do you want them bleeding on a bus - because none of them have a car on campus - on their way to the nearest Target or Walgreens to get band aids? Probably not, right? A basic first aid kit will help them avoid this situation… which, probably could have been avoided anyway, but that’s another topic.

Microwave Tea Kettle

This is a must, especially if your student lives in a dorm. No stove necessary! Quickly and easily heat up water for tea, instant coffee, ramen, or any other hot water need! Here is a super affordable option with some great reviews on Amazon.


Your hormonal teen is too quickly growing into adulthood, but may still be dealing with some adolescent skin issues. And even if they’re not, a good skincare routine is a healthy lifelong habit that helps with confidence and overall wellness! Make sure they’re equipped with simple but effective skincare to battle hormonal and stress-related acne, and maintain clear, healthy, and hydrated skin. Here is a brand I can’t get enough of; I’d recommend the Keep It Simple face collection for your student!

Mattress Topper

The mattress in your student’s college bed was likely either provided by the school or a good bargain, and probably leaves something to be desired in the comfort department. Rest is important for both physical and mental health, and success in academics and extra curriculars. A mattress topper is an affordable way to help them be a little more comfy and get better quality sleep (as we know the quantity may be lacking at times!).

Essential Oils

When they’re feeling sick, stressed out, in need of focus, wanting to freshen up a room… essential oils! Peppermint for headaches, lavender to unwind, eucalyptus to clear sinuses, citrus for energy and focus. These are some great basics for your college student to have on hand. Grab your responsibly and sustainably sourced oils here!

Lockbox or Safe

Even if your student has chosen the safest college campus to attend, college living quarters are all at least a little unpredictable. She or he is likely sharing a room, house, or apartment with others. Theirs and their roommates’ friends and acquaintances will be in and out, and unfortunately… people sometimes steal. Make a small investment into a sneaky safe like this one to protect valuables and personal information.

Surge Protector

With safety and convenience in mind, a surge protector is a must – here’s one with space for both outlets and USB ports. There’s likely to be few outlets available for them to use and lots of things that need to be plugged in. Lower the chance of a fire, and provide more space for all the things that need power to avoid being late for class only to discover your laptop or phone is out of charge!

Hanging Shoe Organizer

Not just for shoes! Cleaning supplies, small clothing items, accessories, toiletries, cosmetics, the options are endless. Making the most out of the small spaces is just part of the college experience for most. A hanging one with clear pouches like this one will help your student be more organized and tidy in a small space. And if you’re looking to make the most of small drawer space, check out these foldable drawer organizers!

Do you have or know a student in their first year of college? What were their must-haves and saving graces in their year(s) living on campus? I’d love to hear about things I may have missed!


Lucie Mitchell, CTNC & CTLC

Fierce and Beautiful Wellness, LLC

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This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition.

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