What You Don’t Need on Your College School Supplies List

Do you not know what to pack for college? Here is exactly what you need for your college dorm, your college schoolwork, and your college life. Here is what you do and don't need for college.

Written by Blossom

July 27, 2016

Summertime is almost over. Man, oh man. It feels as if every year, summer gets shorter and shorter. But as much as I love sleeping in and getting yelled at by parents, it’s time to move out. And move into the school supply aisles at Walmart and Dollar Tree.

As once an angsty/emotional freshman, going-to-college shopping intimidated me a bit. I was asking all my upperclassmen friends what they needed for class. And I just felt lost because they were telling me a whole bunch of mumbo jumbo hocus pocus that I’ve never even heard of.

Back to school shopping is intimidating—especially if you’re a freshman. You have no idea what you need, and if you’re like me, you’re skeptical about everything and everything that costs money.

Therefore, this LIST was made: a compilation of money wasters you should avoid on your college school supplies list.

And if you want the full list of what you do and don’t need for college, you can click here to have it delivered straight to your inbox!

Going to be a freshman in college soon? Going back-to-school shopping for school supplies and dorm room essential can be daunting, and it's is a great opportunity to overwhelm your mind and your wallet! Here's what you do and don't need on your college back to school supply list

What You DON’T Need on Your College School Supplies List

1.The dorm bedding packages sponsored by your school

Some schools will send you catalogs of overpriced garbo hoping you succumb to their “convenience.” Well news flash: these items aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

Mercer sent me a catalog of beds layered with sheets, mattress toppers (like..what the heck was that). comforters, towels, pillows,etc.

And they were all around $200.

It’s not even the price that scared me away initially. It’s the fact that I didn’t need that crap.

I plan on using the same bedsheets for at least two years. If I wash it and take care of it, why do I need like 4 different bedding sets?

And the pack came with a loooot of towels for I don’t know why.  I think the most towels you need are two, MAYBE three, but really all that stuff’ll get heavy and even less inconvenient when you’re trying to move out.

Besides, I bought a bedding set at Ross for $25.

2.Textbooks…on the first day

My statistics teacher emailed us weeks before school started saying we’re going to need a graphing calculator for the class, but I’m the type of girl that believes it when she sees it.

So I waltz into the classroom and after introductions, I asked if we’re going to be needing a graphing calculator for the class. You know, the ones that cost over $80, i.e too much stress and commitment.

I know what you’re thinking—Gosh, you’re so annoying. Obviously, you’re going to need a calculator; she just emailed you about it!

But that’s where you’re wrong, my friends.

Ms. Stats replied, “No, you will not need a graphing calculator for this class.”

That’s right. We did EVERYTHING using Microsoft Excel on the computer, so we had no reason for a graphing calculator. I don’t know why she told us to purchase one nor do I care because I just saved 80 big ones!

Sorry for the long analogy, but my point is don’t buy textbooks before school starts. Teachers are always changing the curriculum and they’re not always cognizant about how it’ll affect us when we first get the syllabus. Because in most cases, they don’t even look at the syllabus until 3 days before school starts.

However, you are warned: some teachers expect money to grow from trees and require you to be prepared the first day of class. So you are at a risk if you don’t show up to class with books in hand, but if your teacher doesn’t take off a letter grade every day you don’t have the book, I think it’s worth the wait. If you’re taking a class that you know you will suffer in or that is taught by a merciless teacher, I’d get the book for that class first.

English classes, however,  I’m sure you can make friends to share with, find the pdf online, and save your money.

Related: How to Have A Productive School Year

And I know in the back of your head, you’re remarking, “well, you’re going to need that calculator for Calc so you’re gonna have to buy it eventually, cheapskate Blossom” And that’s where you’re also wrong.

Because my mom bought a calculator at a thrift store.

For 2 dollars.

*drops mic*


3. Microsoft Office

If you’re buying a new computer to help you embark on this new journey, skip the conmen at the tech stores and don’t buy Microsoft Office.

It’s not because nobody uses it anymore.

Or because it’s not compatible with most of your teachers’ computers.

It’s because it’s free.

It’s totally free for college students, so as long as you have a student email.

And I learned this after buying it from Best Buy and returning it the next day (I also did the same with my laptop, but that’s another story).

4. A Printer

I was on all fours for the longest looking for a cheap quality printer to buy with my laptop. I actually went on Walmart.com to see if I could get a bundle (laptop, printer, and laptop case). I searched for reviews on each item (a great way to waste time and cause unnecessary stress), and ended up not even purchasing a printer.

And I was fine.

My classes weren’t as writing-heavy because I was an undecided freshman, but as a freshman, you’re probably going to go through the same type of general classes. And with these classes, you don’t really need to print that much.

I loaded up about $20 bucks on my printing card and it lasted me 2 semesters. I didn’t need to worry about finding paper, buying ink toner, or lugging around a printer to and from Mercer.

And what’s neat about my school is, you can download the printing software which enables you to print in your room, in the Caf, on the moon (with hotspot)—anywhere. You can print from whichever computer/laptop has the software and then during free time, you can go to the library and pick it up. This saves ample time from waiting to log on to a slow library computer or—even worse—being stuck behind the kid that has to print out 100 sheets 5 minutes before your class starts.

There are a lot of money wasters in the antsy-to-get-to-college department, and these are only the beginning.

I’ve compiled a list of things you actually do need for your college dorm. It’s a DO’s and DON’T’s list of college shopping that I know you’ll enjoy. It’s pretty much everything I ever needed as a freshman in college, and you can get it right here!

Going to be a freshman in college soon? Going back-to-school shopping for school supplies and dorm room essential can be daunting, and it's is a great opportunity to overwhelm your mind and your wallet! Here's what you do and don't need on your college back to school supply list

And if you suddenly find that you NEED something that’s not on the list, and maybe even deemed as a money waster, go for it. I’m very critical with my money, so I deem many things as a money waster. What works for my tiny little shack might not work for your luxurious dorm (because the freshman dorms at Mercer were TINY.)


Any rising sophomores/upperclassmen in the house? What did I miss on this list?

Going to be a freshman in college soon? Going back-to-school shopping for school supplies and dorm room essential can be daunting, and it's is a great opportunity to overwhelm your mind and your wallet! Here's what you do and don't need on your college back to school supply list



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  1. Poorva

    i completely agree with all your points

  2. Sarina Wang

    You DON’T need to bring all your shoes. I literally brought all my cute wedges and wore NONE. I’m not sure about your college, but there is SO MUCH WALKING where I live, so everyone is always wearing sneakers or sandals. Goodbye wedges LOL. But I agree with everything you wrote. I didn’t even look at the school bedding information they had sent & went straight to walmart 🙂

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Wedges all over campus? Nahhhh not for me lol. My campus is tiny, but I still wouldn’t do that too my little piggues. How DID you do it? Thanks for your input!

  3. Marissa Kathryn Hilburn

    Great list! A printer ended up coming in handy for me, but everything else is great. My first semester I bought all the recommended books from the school bookstore a few weeks before class even started. I still cringe at how much money I wasted!

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Yeah! What works for me not always works for everyone else. Wishy washy teachers…gotta love em (sigh)

  4. Brianna Wronko

    Great tips! I’d also add that if you have a kitchen or a lot of food trucks nearby…don’t buy a meal plan unless required. Restaurant food is often a lot cheaper and tastier than the cafeteria.

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Oh, I wish I had a kitchen. Unfortunately, meal plans are required for everyone on campus at my school. But thanks for your input!

  5. Crazy Beautiful Weddings

    Great advice!! Every freshman should take this into consideration. My daughter bought way too much for her first year. But you live and learn! ?

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Definitely! Thanks for stopping by

  6. Elizabeth Hunter

    So true on many of these. I brought way too much stuff my freshman year, hoping to send a bunch back home this semester.

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Glad you could affirm to this list. Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth 🙂


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