Things I Wish I Brought to College for a Better Experience: 21 College Regrets

Things I Wish I Brought to College

College move-in day – usually filled with excitement, a million boxes, and maybe a tear or two from your parents, or maybe that’s just you. You packed what felt like everything you’d ever need – clothes, textbooks, that giant stuffed animal from childhood. But after a few weeks of dorm life, reality sets in. You realize there are a few things you totally forgot, or maybe wished you packed differently. Now, you have a list of some “things I wish I brought to college.”

This article is your chance to learn from the wisdom and maybe some silly mistakes of upperclassmen.

We’ll explore 21 “college regrets” when it comes to packing, but don’t worry, it’s not meant to make you feel bad!

What do I wish I knew before I went to college?

First, don’t stress about picking the perfect major right away. College is a time to explore different subjects and discover passions you never knew existed. Take a variety of classes, step outside your comfort zone, and see what sparks your curiosity.

Second, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Join clubs, attend campus events, and strike up conversations with people in your dorm or classes. The friends you make in college can become your lifelong support system, your chosen family.

Embrace the challenges, too. Those late nights fueled by coffee will test you, but they’ll also help you grow in incredible ways. College is a marathon, not a sprint, so enjoy the journey – the friendships, the discoveries, the late-night talks that turn into early mornings. It’s a time to learn, to grow, and to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Read: When Should You Start Packing for College?

Things I Wish I Brought to College for a Better Experience

Here are 21 things I wish I would have brought to college:

#Essentials for a Dorm Room

1. Comfy Sheets and a Mattress Topper

You must have comfy bedding to get a good night’s sleep in your dorm room. Purchase a high-quality mattress topper to add additional comfort and support. To create a comfy sleeping environment, be sure to have soft sheets, pillows, and a warm blanket.

2. Study and Desk Equipment

You’ll study in your dorm room, so make sure it has a functional desk. Ensure your desk is solid and has enough space for your laptop, books, and study equipment. 

Purchase plenty of notebooks, pens, highlighters, and sticky notes—all of which are necessary for studying. A desk lamp will also give the right lighting for your study sessions.

3. Storage and Organizational Tools

It’s essential to make the most of your space and maintain organization because dorm rooms are frequently small. To keep your possessions organized and accessible, invest in storage options like bins, cartons, and under-bed storage containers. 

Consider employing desk organizers and drawer dividers to organize your stationery and study materials. Organize your clothing and shoes by using hangers and a shoe rack.

Read Also: 10 Best Air Purifiers For Dorm Rooms In College | Buy Now

#Food and kitchen supplies

4. Microwave with Mini-Fridge

You must have a little fridge in your dorm room if you want to store perishable food and drinks. This allows you to easily obtain cold beverages and food without leaving your room.

A microwave is also helpful for quickly and easily preparing meals and reheating leftovers.

5. Kitchen utensils and equipment

Ensure you have basic cooking gear like pots, pans, knives, a cutting board, and culinary utensils like spatulas and spoons if you intend to cook in your dorm room.

Depending on your needs and preferences for cooking, you might also consider minor gadgets like a toaster, blender, or electric kettle.

6. Food preparation tools and wholesome snacks

It’s critical to keep a supply of wholesome snacks on hand for those occasions when you require a short energy boost or a light meal.

Consider granola bars, dried fruit, almonds, and whole-grain crackers as wholesome alternatives. 

You can pack and preserve healthy meals for your busy college schedule by having meal prep tools, including containers, reusable water bottles, and a lunch bag.

Read Also: What Does an RA Do in College? What you need to Know

# Personal hygiene and care

7. Bathroom essentials and the shower caddy

Use a shower caddy to transport your amenities to and from the bathroom. It keeps your belongings organized and simple to find.

Include all the basic personal care things you use frequently, like toothpaste, a toothbrush, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner.

Also, see: 30 Dorm Room Checklist For A Freshman|

8. Cleaning products and detergent

Ensure you have the necessary tools because doing laundry is necessary for college life. Keep a laundry bag or basket handy to carry your dirty garments to the washer and dryer.

Stock up on dryer sheets, fabric softener, and laundry detergent. A stain remover can be useful for removing any difficult stains.

9.  First aid kit and medication

It’s crucial to have access to all necessary medications, including both prescription and OTC treatments for conditions like headaches, colds, and allergies.

A simple first-aid pack is also helpful for treating minor diseases or injuries. Include supplies like bandages, antiseptic cream, painkillers, and other required medications or equipment.

To ensure you have all you need for the semester, keep in mind to routinely replenish your personal care and hygiene supplies.

Read Also: Dreamy Danish Pastel Room: How to Create Your Own Serene Sanctuary

# Electronics and technology

10.  A desktop or laptop computer

For college life, having a dependable computer is important. Choose a computer that will match your demands for studying, researching, and finishing tasks, whether you prefer a laptop or a desktop. Make sure it has the hardware and software requirements for your courses.

Also, see: Can You Use a Laptop in an Exam in the UK?

11. Dependable router and internet connection

A steady internet connection is essential for online research, accessing course materials, and maintaining contact with instructors and classmates. 

If there isn’t internet connectivity at your dorm, think about buying a dependable internet package or using mobile data. A router can also assist in guaranteeing a robust and reliable Wi-Fi signal in your room.

12. Surge protectors and extension cords

Extension cords and surge protectors are necessary because many electronic devices must be charged, and there are few outlets in your dorm room. 

Surge protectors assist in protecting your electronics from power surges, while extension cables let you increase the reach of electrical outlets. These are especially helpful for setting up your computer, charging your phone, and running other electronics.

Read Also: 35+ Dorm Wall Decor Ideas: Transform Your Space with Style

Accessories and Clothes

13. Options for All-Weather Clothes

Consider bringing various clothing alternatives suitable for various weather conditions while preparing for college. 

Include breathable, light clothing for warm days and layered items like jackets or sweaters for cool days. Be sure to take necessities like socks, underwear, and sleepwear.

14. Cozy Walking shoes

You’ll probably wander about campus a good amount as a college student. Invest in a pair of supportive, cushioned shoes so you can walk for extended periods.

Flats, loafers, and sneakers are standard options. Also, think about packing a pair of sandals or flip-flops for relaxing in the dorm room or the shower.

15. Dressier Garments for Special Occasions

Numerous social gatherings and formal functions are frequently a part of college life. Having at least one or two dressier outfits in your closet is a good idea for such occasions.

This can entail a dress or suit and business casual wear for formal occasions for presentations or interviews.

Also, bring warm-weather accessories like hats, scarves, gloves, and a raincoat or umbrella for cloudy days. Don’t forget to pack for the weather where you’ll be attending college and the activities you’ll participate in.

Read Also: Embrace the 80s Aspen Theme Ideas for Your Dorm Room

# Cooking and Kitchen Skills

16. Simple Cooking Methods

Learning some fundamental cooking techniques will significantly improve your college experience. Master fundamental cooking skills like boiling, sautéing, baking, and grilling. Know how to use a knife safely and effectively. By mastering these techniques, you’ll be able to make various foods and enjoy cooking more.

17. Cooking manuals and online sources

Invest in a few trustworthy cookbooks or look into internet sources that offer quick and inexpensive recipes appropriate for college students. 

Look for dishes with few ingredients and quick preparation times. Quick and inexpensive meal-planning websites and apps can be excellent resources for ideas and direction.

18. Advice for Grocery Shopping and Meal Preparation

Schedule your meals in advance to avoid last-minute stress and ensure a well-balanced diet. Consider your schedule and nutritional preferences when you plan your meals for the coming week or month. 

Create a shopping list based on the planned meals to minimize impulsive buys and save money. Choose wholesome products and look at economical options like frozen produce, bulk grains, and low-cost protein sources.

Read Also: How To Prepare For Freshman Year Of College in 2024| 20 Tips

19. Folding suitcases

Hard-sided luggage is ideal for surviving the abuse of baggage carousels at airports, but not so much for a college dorm. Your parents won’t want to carry your empty luggage back home, and storage space in your room will be at a premium, warns Ardrey.

She advises putting your belongings in duffle bags or recyclable boxes that can be disassembled and stored for later use.

20. Medication and a first-aid kit

The amount of studying you want to perform will undoubtedly result in a paper cut or blister. Keeping Band-Aids and other first-aid necessities nearby is always a good idea.

In a similar vein, colds and flu are common ailments in college. When you’re feeling unwell, Mom always has the perfect cure.

When the first case of being away from home sniffles comes, be prepared to treat yourself by learning the brands and dosages of the painkillers, allergy, and cold medications she takes.

21. Rainwear

flood Kevin Spacey CHSThe flooded streets and walkways after a heavy storm, especially at high tide, are one of downtown Charleston’s problems, er, beauties. Pack a complete set of rain gear, including boots, a jacket, and an umbrella.

You have to go to class even though the streets are up to your shins in water. Flip-flops might seem sensible in these circumstances, but you never know what lurks in the murky storm-water run-off. 

Read Also: How To Hang Curtains In A Dorm Like A Pro: Easy Steps

FAQs – Things I Wish I Brought to College

How do I bring everything to college?

Prioritize and pack lightly! Use suitcases or duffel bags for clothes, and check with your college about box guidelines for dorm essentials.

What clothes to take to college?

Pack comfy clothes for classes, pajamas for dorm life, and versatile pieces you can mix and match for different occasions!

What bag do you bring to college?

The best college bag depends on your needs! A backpack is great for carrying textbooks, while a tote bag is handy for everyday essentials.


College is a unique experience that comes with its own set of challenges. While it’s impossible to anticipate everything, preparing ahead can significantly affect the quality of your time at school. 

By reflecting on these 21 college regrets, you can avoid making the same mistakes and have a more enjoyable experience. 

Whether investing in comfortable shoes or reaching out to professors for help, small changes can significantly impact. 

Don’t let regrets define your college years – take control of your journey and make the most of this transformative time in your life.



You May Also Like