21 College School Supplies Every Freshmen Needs

Between shopping for your dorm room essentials, meeting your roommates and attending orientation, it could be easy to forget the college school supplies that you ACTUALLY need for the classroom and studying. Supplies like pencils, notebooks, planners, etc.

Here’s a full list of college school supplies that every freshman needs:

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College School Supplies for Class

Pencils / Mechanical Pencils

A pack of yellow 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)

Black flair tip Paper Mate pens. Click to view its Amazon page.For 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)

Colorful Sharpie highlighters. Click to view its Amazon page.When 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

Blue, green, and pink Homecube pencil cases. Click to view its Amazon page.Rather than digging for pencils or pens at the bottom of your bag, keep all your school supplies in one neat place.

Note Cards

Oxford ruled index cards in assorted colors. Click to view its Amazon page.These 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.


STEMSFX heavy duty pocket folder in assorted colors. Click to view its Amazon page.Not 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.

NotebooksMead spiral notebook in assorted colors. Click to view its Amazon page.

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.


Avery durable white binder to keep class materials in. Click to view its Amazon page.Some 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.


Rainbow Pack color coated paper clips. Click to view its Amazon page.Perfect for keeping papers together, these are a classic must-have for keeping things organized. Nice and simple.


A 12-pack of blue and white correction pens.Mistakes 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!


Mahi Leather 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.

Supplies for the Dorm Room


Brother monochrome laser printer. Click to view its Amazon page.We’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

DUCK removable mounting poster putty. Click to view its Amazon page.There are many ways to hang up posters around your room, but these are easy classics, and available just about anywhere.


Multipurpose colorful scissors. Click to view its Amazon page.Good 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.

Duct Tape

GatorCrafts multi-colored duct tape. Click to view its Amazon page.An 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

Acco binder clips. Click to view its Amazon page.Sometimes 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.


Ktrio tape dispenser. Click to view its Amazon page.Tears happen. Whether in your notebooks, a text, or poster–use clear scotch tape to fix up those rips.


Red Swingline stapler. Click to view its Amazon page.Have 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.


Purple and white Lexar flashdrive. Click to view its Amazon page.If 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 handoff 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

Dry erase magnetic cork board by Quartet. Click to view its Amazon page.Mount 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 college school supplies yet?

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