Back to School Shopping List: 21 Supplies for Freshmen Students

When I was little, I used to get so excited when I saw those back to school shopping displays come up in stores or on TV commercials (of course, since it was the 90’s/early 2000’s it was more often “Back 2 School”). It meant finding the coolest folders and pencil cases for the upcoming year. That childhood excitement can come back with your college school supplies.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, average families are expected to spend more on school and college supplies this year with over $75.8 billion. Isn’t that too much? Well, it’s everyone’s favorite time of the school year, shopping for supplies!

After high school graduation, an incoming freshman might not give quite as much thought to school supply shopping as they do dorm shopping–but even as a college student, you’re going to want to swing through a supply store and pick up some essentials.

Here is a school shopping list for freshman college students:

Choosing Colleges School Supplies For Class

Pencils / Mechanical Pencils

Back to school -- paper mate mechanical pencils

Yes some of us still use this archaic form of writing. There are lots of benefits to writing down notes with pencils: being able to erase mistakes, the ability to sketch out a design. Just make sure you buy a sharpener or additional lead.

Pens (various colors)

Back to school -- paper mate flair felt tip pensFor a smoother, quicker, bolder note-taking experience, go with pens. Science also says that using various colors to write down notes will improve your memory. Can’t argue with science!

Highlighters (various colors)

back to school -- sharpie pocket highlightersWhen studying, highlighters are a saving grace. For the most part, you can mark up your textbooks like crazy even if you plan on selling it back–odds are the next student who orders a used book will thank you for the highlighting.

 

Pencil Case

back to school -- homecube big capacity pencil caseRather than digging for pencils or pens at the bottom of your bag, keep all your school supplies in one neat place.

Note Cards

back to school -- oxford neon index cardsThese are a college must-have. They are perfect for creating flash-cards to memorize facts, dates, vocabulary, or people. If you really want to step it up and study on the go, punch a hole through the cards and feed a clip-ring through.

Folders

back to school -- stemsfx heavy duty 2 pocket folderNot everything is electronic, even nowadays. Most teachers will hand out physical copies of the syllabus, class project assignments, or hand back your printed papers with their feedback written on them–keep all these loose-leaf materials in one folder dedicated to the class. Organization is key.

Notebooks

back to school -- mead spiral notebook pastel

While some students prefer taking notes on their laptops, science has proved that taking notes by hand is better for memorization and understanding the material. Therefore, you’ll need a notebook per class–or you could get one of the multi-subject notebooks and keep up to three classes in one.

Binders

back to school -- avery durable view binderSome classes will require three-ringed binders to keep class materials in. Most of the time they will come pre-punched, but if not you might want to invest in a three-hole punch as well.

Paperclips

back to school -- officemate pvc color paperclipsPerfect for keeping papers together, these are a classic must-have for keeping things organized. Nice and simple.

Whiteout

back to school -- bic white out shake n squeeze penMistakes happen, and if you notice a small typo or error just before handing in a paper or research project, you’re going to want some whiteout handy for a quick fix. It’s available in liquid or tape form.

Planner / Agenda

College can get busy, keep it all organized in a handy-dandy planner. As soon as you’re given an assignment or paper, you can jot down the due date in your agenda and get a head start on it. With this tool, you’ll never miss a deadline again!

Backpack

back to school -- modoker vintage laptop backpackYou might have a residual one from high school, but you’re going to want to make sure you have a comfy backpack. Odds are you’ll be hauling material from one end of campus to the other–sometimes in 15 minutes or less–so having a backpack that distributes weight evenly and doesn’t hurt your shoulders or back is necessary.

Here’s more…

Supplies for Your Room

Printer

back to school -- brother hl printerWe’ll start off with an optional supply. Most colleges will have printers readily available and give students an allotted amount of printed pages per semester. However, if you plan to do a lot of printing (I’m looking at you, fellow English majors), or don’t want to bother hiking out to a computer lab, it might be worth it to invest in a printer of your own.

Sticky Tack / Poster Strips

back to school -- duck brand poster puttyThere are many ways to hang up posters around your room, but these are easy classics, and available just about anywhere.

Scissors

back to school -- amazonbasics multipurpose scissorsGood for school and good for tasks around the room. Scissors are a must-have: whether you’re snipping the tag off a new shirt or cutting up definitions and gluing them to note cards.

Click for a FREE College Match Tool

Duct Tape

back to school -- multi colored duct tapeAn excellent tool for any occasion. Repairing a split flip-flop? Duct tape. Fixing a hole in your backpack? Duct tape. Have a rip in a folder? Duct tape. Want to shut your roommate up? Duct tape.

Binder Clips

back to school -- acco binder clipsSometimes a paperclip just isn’t enough. For bigger clipping-jobs, go with a binder-clip–they come in multiple sizes, too, so there’s always one up for the task of keeping a lot of papers together.

Tape

back to school -- ktrio heavy duty tape dispenserTears happen. Whether in your notebooks, a text, or poster–use clear scotch tape to fix up those rips.

Stapler

back to school -- swingline stapler redHave a research paper to hand-in? Bam, staple it and it’s ready to go–nice and neat. Get one for your dorm desk and a mini hand-held one for your backpack. If there are any stapling emergencies, you’ll be prepared, and your classmates will thank you.

Flash-Drive

back to school -- lexar jumpdriveIf you have to bring in a PowerPoint presentation or some pictures to show the class, a flash-drive is one way to do it. Or if you need to transfer a lot of files to a different computer. Or hand off notes to a friend. There are a lot of reasons to keep a flash-drive handy. Though email always works too.

Dry-Erase Board / Cork-Board

back to school -- quartet dry erase board and cork boardMount one of these above your desk and keep your schedules in check. You can use magnets or thumb-tacks to keep tickets or coupons in a noticeable place or hang up fun pictures.

Have you picked you’re pens or notebooks yet? It’s time to pick the best school you always wanted. Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

Click for a FREE College Match Tool

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Allison Wignall

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