5 School Supplies Every College Student Needs

9 Jan 2019

Your first semester of your freshman year of college can be an incredibly exciting, yet stressful time. The next four years might be some of the best years of your life, but it’s important to start out on the right foot so you can make the most of your semester. It can be difficult to know exactly what supplies you need for each class, especially if you’re just starting out. With that in mind, here are some often-overlooked supplies that can help you make sure you’re prepared for your first semester.

Pocket folders

You’d be surprised by how many papers professors hand out throughout the semester. You need somewhere to keep all the important papers, especially because some professors only hand out paper copies and don’t post anything online. You need somewhere safe to keep your syllabus and any assignment papers, so invest in a few pocket folders. Consider getting two for each class: use one for all the papers you’ll need to bring to class, and the other for papers you need to keep, but not bring to class. Pocket folders are also ideal for keeping older notes organized.


Planners might seem unnecessary, but they’ll help you remember important due dates and test dates. In addition to remembering when assignments are due, a planner helps you keep track of things that aren’t on the syllabus. For instance, if your professor mentions that class is cancelled next week, it might slip your mind if you don’t write it down. Planners are also great for setting aside study time, allocating time to spend with friends, and remembering group meeting times. There are a ton of options for planners in different designs and styles, so choose one that works best for you.

Stapler (and staples)

It’s not uncommon to find yourself rushing to print a paper five minutes before class starts. Obviously, you don’t want to hand in loose papers, and most professors don’t keep staplers in the classroom. In order to be prepared, consider carrying a small, portable stapler (and extra staples) with you.

Pencil case

Highlighters are great for marking important details in readings, pens are necessary for taking notes, and you need No. 2 pencils for taking multiple choice tests. You also need somewhere to carry post-it notes, index cards, your stapler, and any other supplies you want to bring to class. A pencil case is non-negotiable if you want to easily find and keep track of your supplies. If you’re rushing into class and have to rustle through your backpack for a pen, you’ll leave a bad impression on both your professor and your classmates.

Flash drive

Although flash drives are becoming less of a necessity, they’re still good to have. Some professors require you to hand in projects on USB drives. They’re also useful for storing presentations, especially if you’re unsure if your laptop is compatible with the classroom’s projector. Flash drives also offer a secure way to store your files, and you don’t need internet to access them. If your laptop doesn’t connect with school printers, a flash drive can help you transfer files to a school computer.

College can be stressful, so eliminate as much stress as possible by shopping for all necessary school supplies before the semester starts. The first semester of your freshman year sets the pace for how the rest of your college experience will be, so making sure you’re prepared goes a long way. And while this list includes some commonly needed college supplies, remember to check each syllabus for any additional supplies needed.

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