College Dorm Must Haves

It’s that time of the year, our babies are either starting their journey for the first time or returning for another year of college 2021-2022.  I really hope you get to experience this with your child because it’s one of the proudest moments it’s almost indescribable.  You will cry tears of happiness, sadness, and feel all kinds of emotions but it’s all worth it because this is where they learn to fly and grow as young adults.  Make sure to pack enough tissues + don’t be afraid or ashamed to take as many photos as you want.  After all, you want to be able to relive and reminisce on these special moments.

Last year, Jasmine attended her first year of college at Penn State University majoring in psychology.  Move-in day, I cried like a big baby and shed more tears on the flight back home to Florida.  The passengers sitting next to me probably thought I was a crazy madwoman.  I remember that day like it was yesterday and I can honestly say I didn’t care what anyone thought of me.  I was a mess and thank goodness for waterproof mascara!!

We always say that we do so many hard things in life, but do we.?.   I swear to leave my firstborn in State College, PA was one of the hardest things ever.  Luckily for me, they ended the semester early and I was able to see her before Thanksgiving.  It made her first year easier knowing she’d only be gone for a few weeks. Phew…

This year’s semesters are back to normal and I will have to find another thing to look forward to so I won’t be so sad.  Maybe I’ll plan a girl’s trip for us.  I really don’t know how I’m going to feel this time around – the emotions don’t happen until we’re going through the motions.  I might be okay – I might be that crazy madwoman on the flight back home again, yikes.

In today’s post, I’m rounding up all of the “must-haves” for any college student’s dorm or apartment.  Last year, I totally went overboard buying so many unnecessary items.  This year I am going in with a clearer picture of what is really essential.  The saying, “less is more” totally goes well here too!!

college dorm must haves


Mattress Sheets

All college mattresses are Twin/Twin XL so you need to buy sheets that are labeled just that or they will not fit.  Another thing, college sheets do not have to be fancy like I once thought.  You teen more than likely will not even wash them as often as they should be washed.  Let alone change them out like we advise.  This year, we went with this $25 sheet set from Target that will be perfect.

Plates + Cutlery

Dorms typically don’t come with a sink to wash dishes so throwing things away makes life so much easier.  My daughter and her roommate ended up doing dishes in the community bathrooms.  I recommend making a bulk run to the nearest Costco or Sam’s Club and stock up on paper goods, plates, bowls, cutlery (forks, knives, spoons), solo cups, etc… When you buy breakfast, lunch, dinner in the dining halls they provide these things for you.

Cold Weather Attire

This can be tricky because you don’t want your kid to freeze + be uncomfortable.  When everyone says, “dress for the weather” they aren’t wasting their breath.  I spent so much money on coats, long johns, hats, gloves, and Jas didn’t wear half of it.  She ended up loving one coat or hoodie and wearing that over and over and over again.  It’s just what kids do.  We donated a lot of her stuff at the end of her freshman year.  For this year, she’ll have one long coat and a short jacket style with a sherpa lining – each one is under $50.  She also has a handful of hoodies + cardigans she’ll have in the rotation.

Most Loved Items

BEAST Tumbler, it comes in a variety of colors and is super affordable.  You can get it monogrammed if you’re into that!  It keeps your cold drinks cold for several hours and you warm/hot drinks warm/hot for hours on end.  They also make amazing gifts!!

LED Travel Mirror, folds flat so it’s easy to pack and isn’t bulky.  It lights up well so it’s perfect for applying your makeup or plucking your eyebrows.  The price point won’t break the bank!!

A laptop stand will keep your hand carpal tunnel free and it is healthier for your neck.  This item is a must-have for sure (hands up in the air).  This one, in particular, is adjustable which I recommend, and is very sturdy.

External battery pack, once charged 100% it will last a long time.  This is definitely essential because college students are always on their devices which take up a lot of juice.  It’s great to be/feel prepared + ready.

I hope this is helpful!  I wish your son or daughter all the best on her college journey.  It can be fun but you have to remind them to stay focused on the end goal.  There will be many times where they will want to give up but they can’t – they have to keep pushing through.  As repetitive as it may sound it is our job as parents to keep reminding them until it is embedded in their brains.  “You have to push through!!”  LOL…

If you have any tips on how to deal with the sadness or anxiety of a young one leaving for college please share in the comments section below.  Thanks for being here!!

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