Buy This~Don't Buy This~ College Kids Tell Us What they REALLY Needed

Here is what was worth the money and not worth buying for their dorms

By South Charlotte Macaroni Kid July 25, 2022

When I sent my son off to college last year, I was determined to make sure any need he could possibly have was taken care of. That involved every over-the-counter medication he may need, a first aid kit fit for the ER, blankets, games, sports equipment~The list went on and on. When we moved him out after freshman year, the amount of stuff that was either unopened or not moved from where I put it was unreal. To save you the same here are the things that college students told us they were happy they had, what they wished they had, and what was a total waste of money. 

Happy to Have 

A good fan (this is the one we got our son, it's the best!) 

A kettle for hot water (think ramen) 

Snacks and drinks 

A long phone charger 

Family pictures (I made my son a collage on a website and framed it, he hung it above his desk) 

A quality speaker 

A good mattress pad (spend the money on this! Dorm beds are awful) 

Basic First Aid Kit 

Portable charger

Waste of Money (Stuff they didn't use) 

Blankets (Guilty, I sent my son with a snuggly UGG blanket that sat on a chair for a year) 

Desk lamp 

Air purifier 

Shower caddy 

Card games 


Kitchen items

Dorm Decorations 

Too much luggage (hard to store) 

Wish they had (or wanted more of) 

Gift cards for food delivery 


An extra phone charger (stuff gets lost) 

New bed pillows about 1/2 through the year (send fresh ones back with them after winter break) 

Hope this helps get your kiddo off to college with the essentials they really need and less of what they don't need. It is easier to send stuff later than drag a bunch of stuff home! When my son goes back this year, it's the bare minimum!