10 Unexpected Things You Should Bring To College

Posted by Amanda Stilwell on

When preparing for going to college, we all know the standard checklist items like extra long twin sheets and bathroom caddies. But what about the products that are often excluded from checklists but are real game changers? Did you even think about additional storage space while picking out the perfect string lights to hang over your dorm bed?

Don’t worry; we’ve put together a list of ten overlooked essentials that will make your semester even better! 

1. Protective Eyewear

Those late-night study sessions on your computer could be harmful to your eyes. Blue light has been linked to blurry vision, eyestrain, dry eye, and sleep disruption. 

We recommend Stoggles protective eyewear because of their stylish frame options and colors in addition to blocking blue light, UV rays, and debris. Stoggles look just like regular glasses, meaning there’s no stigma… and no damage to your fashion sense. Bonus: These come in handy if you’re in lab or pre-med classes too!

Unlike the rest of your body, you can’t just put a band-aid on your eye when something goes awry. If you thought college expenses were high, consider the extra cost of needing to treat your damaged eyeball: Treating severe eye injuries can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

As eyewear experts, we love a trend. But not this one: Nearly 35% of all eye injuries happen to people 18 to 45. That mini steamer or stapler in your dorm room might not be as innocent as they seem. 

We get it, though — no one wants to go into a lecture hall looking fresh out of middle school or feeling as uncomfortable as your first week wearing braces. That’s why Stoggles come in Aviator, Cat-Eye, and a billion (estimate) other shapes to make you feel as chic as Elle Woods and as comfortable as Elle Woods.

Even if you don’t know what lies ahead after college, you’ll at least be able to see after college. And, if you do plan on going into nursing school, medical school, getting a micro-bio Ph.D., or similar, guess what? You already have your PPE in the bag (or case, to be specific). 

2. Portable Charger and Extra Charging Cable 

It can happen more easily than you think. You’re out with your friends, and your group gets separated, and your phone is dead. Keeping a portable charger in your bag can prevent you from getting stuck or in a vulnerable situation.

3. Dry-Erase Board

Looking for a great way to easily communicate with your roommate about your schedule or cleaning duties? A dry-erase board is a perfect tool to keep you both on the same page. Plus, you can personalize it with fun color markers and your art doodles.

4. Portable Fan

A fan can help with bringing white noise and airflow to a stuffy dorm room. Getting a portable fan means you can have it in your bag for warm afternoon study sessions in the quad too.

5. Mini Safe

We all have belongings that are personal and treasured. A mini safe is a great place to store any valuables like your passport or jewelry, and it’s never a bad idea to stash some extra cash just in case of an emergency. These are very portable, meaning you can bring one with you anytime you travel too.

6. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Even if you’re rooming with your best friend from high school, chances are you don’t want to hear them chatting to their parents or significant other while you’re studying for your chemistry exam. Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones are last-minute inclusions on your packing list you won’t regret. 

7. Shower Necessities

Sure, you’ve packed all your favorite body washes and lotions, but did you even think about flip-flops? Unless you’re lucky enough to have a private apartment, you’ll probably be sharing a bathroom with numerous other students. 

One of the highlights of college life is sharing a shower with 20 to 30 people you don’t know, so trust us when we suggest your college packing list should include flip flops and a shower caddy, so you can keep track of your own things and avoid putting your feet on floors that probably aren’t as clean as your mom’s. 

At Stoggles, it’s no secret that we care a lot about your safety, but it’s tricky to wear protective eyewear in the shower, even with awesome anti-fogging abilities. And you can’t wear glasses on your feet since that makes no sense at all, despite being kind of a funny mental image. 

So yes, put down three bucks to get the flip-flops that will hopefully shield you from the bacteria-ridden dorm showers

8. Mini Fridge

You’ve seen the TikTok, and as a college freshman, there’s no better time to make that iconic mini fridge your very own. Depending on where you attend college, you may even need to invest in a water filter or a reusable water bottle you can fill frequently. 

A mini fridge is a dorm room essential that can be a lifesaver during long study sessions. Fill it with mini water bottles, your favorite iced coffees, energy drinks, and a few snacks, and you’ll make your college dorm room your favorite study spot.

9. Utility Cords

Nothing is worse than finding out on move-in day that there are exactly two plugs in your dorm room; one for you and one for your roommate. With phones, computers, and watches that need a charge, you’ll definitely want to pack in a power strip (or two) and at least one extension cord. Be sure you get power strips with built-in surge protectors to stay safe. 

10. Laundry Care items

Sure, you’ll be keeping most of your laundry for your mom to do on breaks, but in between, you’ll need to do a couple of loads on your own. A laundry basket and a mini streamer are two often overlooked college student needs that will keep you from looking frumpy and wearing the same clothing every day. 

Be sure to pack in a few hangers to hang up your freshly steamed items and a small bottle of stain remover to ensure you can take care of any unexpected spots. 

The Good Ol’ College Try: But Better

It never hurts to be prepared when starting or returning to college, and these overlooked college essentials can help you feel confident from the start. Your freshman year is big, and you’ll need to pack more than school supplies for your adventure back to school. 

Make your dorm the best dorm possible by making sure you’re bringing the essentials to keep yourself comfortable and functional. And don’t forget to keep Stoggles in your tool kit. Keeping your eyes safe from blue light will help you avoid eye strain, headaches, and feeling fatigued from staring at your philosophy notes all night. 


Blue Light has a Dark Side | Harvard Health

Eye Health Statistics | American Academy of Ophthalmology

The Eyes Have It: Protecting Employee Vision with PPE | OSHA

Wear Shower Shoes Unless You Want to Risk an Infection | US News

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