10 Essential School Supplies You Need When Moving to College

You must be very excited about your very first day at college. It’s an important part of your life after high school graduation.

However, studying in college isn’t as similar to high school. The academic syllabus, as well as the environment, are quite different. That’s why coping will be a bit challenging if you don’t have the right supplies.

You may forget that you need some basic school supplies when you’re busy gathering textbooks and items for college dorms, but these tools are quite essential to ensure that you get the most out of your study hour.

Essential Supplies for College Students

While college life is quite thrilling, it can be difficult as well if you lack the right equipment. Here are some of the essential things you need to start your life in college.

Student Planner

On your very first day of college, you will get a syllabus with exam dates and assignment due dates from your respective professor. Record the dates once you receive the syllabus.

A student planner will help you record all the necessary dates for assignment dues and class tests so that you don’t miss any of them. Consider it your new best friend from the beginning of your college life.


If you take math in college, the calculator will be an essential part of your life. No matter how good you’re in math, doing higher-level calculations can be challenging without a good calculator.

When shopping for your college essentials, do not forget to buy a good calculator. If you’re confused about which one to buy, go to the website, research all the options, and find the right one for you.

Sticky Notes

When reading an academic book, it’s crucial that you note the important passages or parts for future reference. A sticky note can do wonders in that case. It will help you keep notes on some particular parts of your book, which you can use to write the research paper or presentation.

Besides, you can also use sticky notes as page markers. Use different colors for different pages so that you can find your desired page without any trouble.


Unlike high school, where you might be forbidden from highlighting your textbook, it will be a must-do job when you’re in college. You need to accentuate important lines, paragraphs, and new vocabularies when you’re reading a book or research.

Using highlighter pens will make it easier for you to find the important line you need when you will read that book again. It is highly suggested that you use different colors to make a code of different topics.

Citation Style Guide

Depending on your subjects, you may have to write a lot of essays until you graduate from college. You need to follow a specific guideline for the title pages, essays, citations of the quote, and bibliographies.

To maintain this essay writing style, you can follow a citation style guide such as MLA or APA guidelines. If you’re studying in science, an APA style will help you, while humanities students are mostly asked to use an MLA style guide.

Stapler, Tape, & Paper Clips

While not essential, these tools can be extremely beneficial, especially when you’re in an exam hall. You may end up taking lots of extra sheets during your exam, and the last thing you want to do while turning your paper to the examiner is to look for a stapler.

Most exam halls provide a stapler, which isn’t sufficient for the entire exam hall. So having one can save you and your friends’ time. If you don’t have a stapler, some paper clips and tape can also help you.


You will get a number of notes and assignments from your teachers and seniors throughout college life. How are you going to find the important one if you don’t arrange them properly? The best way to arrange this pile of papers is to keep them in a file.

There are several types of files available in stationery stores. Buy some based on your needs. Buy different colors for different subjects so that you can find the right one when needed.

Computer & Printer

Some colleges require the use of computers for assignments and exams. Besides, when you need to submit essays or research with proper citations, it’s good to have them typed.

It’s not essential to have a computer or laptop as most colleges have computers in their labs. However, having your own computer will definitely make your life easier.

Apart from the personal computer, you will also need a printer if you don’t want to wait for hours in a queue to print your assignment using the only printer of your college lab.

Pen & Pencil

While shopping for  college, it’s highly possible that you will forget about these basic but essential tools. You must carry your pen and pencil to the class.

While pens can be used to take notes, pencils are usually best to do the calculations. Try to carry pens in at least two colors so that you can write down the important parts in different colors or color code your notes.


You don’t want to carry all your books and notes in your hands, particularly on a rainy day. That’s why it’s suggested that you carry a backpack. It can be anything from a standard backpack to a messenger bag, depending on your personal choice.

No matter what kind of bag you are carrying, make sure it is waterproof and has enough space to carry your essentials. Also, buy a high-quality bag so that it can last throughout your college life.

Final Thoughts

While most of your budget will be on textbooks when you’re in college, you should not forget about these basic and essential tools. Having these things in your bag will make your life a lot easier.

Our list contains the most basic things a college student may need. You may need additional supplies if you choose to move into a college dorm.

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