P1080129College. Nothing says independence like it. Being away from your parents for the first time, meeting people from all over the country, and getting to know yourself as a person. But being a freshman in college, who really knows what they need to bring? Well here is a list of 12 essential things you need to take with you to begin your college journey.

Nine times out of ten, you’ll be sharing one huge bathroom with a million other people on your floor, so instead of carrying your shower gel, tooth brush, etc. all in your hand, carry your shower catty whenever you go into the bathroom. Not only is it easier to carry, but it’s also a good place to store your hygiene items your using at the moment.

Reasons why I didn’t make the shower catty and shower shoes both number one, because they are both important for different reasons. Since you will end up sharing one bathroom with so many people, shower shoes are a MUST when entering and exiting the bathroom and during your showering time. There could be so many different types of bacteria on the floor of the shower, you don’t want that to get on your feet at all. A simple pair of flip flops would be the perfect pair of shower shoes.

We all know the mattresses in those dorms are terrible to sleep on without the proper mattress covering needed to make them bearable. Having a mattress cover increases the level of comfort you’ll have when it time for you to hit the sheets for those 8am classes.

4Cleaning Supplies

ALL cleaning supplies is necessary when living in a dorm. Think about it. It’s like your own mini apartment, minus your own bathroom and own room. You get the point. Having cleaning supplies is good for just the upkeep of your room. Nothing is better than having a tidy room to come home to.

We all know that money starts to get a little funny when you’re not working so you have to ask your parents for money. And when they don’t give it to you, what are you left to do? So in a way to save the little cash you may have, why not cook a meal or two that will be able to hold you over.

6Ramen Noodles

Pots and pans lead me into my next essential. Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are a life saver on the days where you don’t have money and no other food to cook. Ramen is one of the cheapest yet tastiest (if you make it right) meals you’ve get accustomed to cooking during your freshman year of college. Just don’t eat it every day.


Having a laptop and printer is a major key to all your college classes. Typing papers and printing them will cost next to nothing since you’re using your own equipment. A laptop is very important for when you’re finished all your assignments and you’re just ready to relax. You guested it Netflix and Hulu. When your roommate is fast asleep and you’re wide awake, just plug in your headphones and watch some movies on Netflix or catch up on your favorite shows on Hulu.

Coming to college I know it can be a lot to keep up with especially all the assignments and due dates you’re going to be getting at one time. I thought that using my phone was a better way to keep track of all my assignments, when actually using a planner helped me see everything that I had to do. But let’s be real, who really goes to their calendar app on their phones on a daily basis?


I can’t stress how important snacks are to a college freshman. Sometimes you don’t want to eat an entire meal so you’ll just have snacks. Compile your favorite snacks of all time and I guarantee you’ll be fine throughout the day. Just don’t eat too many snacks. No one wants to gain that freshman 15.

There is no better way to start off a day full of classes but with some music. Listening to music has actually been proven to rejuvenate a person because of the tempo and rhythms in music. Listening to music while getting ready for classes helps put yourself into a good mood so that you’ll be able to take on a day of classes.

I know you’re probably thinking “Why would I need a lint brush?” I can’t think of how many times I had to ask my roommate for her lint brush because I had lint on a top I wanted to wear or a pair of pants. It may not seem like it’s an essential item to bring with you to college, but you may find yourself using it more than you thought you would without it.

12An Open Mind

Even though it’s the last essential ‘item’ to bring to college, it’s one of the most important. Coming into college we are all so accustomed to what we know from our cities based on how we were raised, so naturally we’re drawn to people who are from where we are. Don’t I repeat DON’T do that. Explore people from places than you. Join organizations that you thought you could never see yourself in. Explore your school for everything it has to offer you in ways that it’ll make you a better person in the future.

So there it is. Everything you, the incoming freshman is going to need this coming fall. May these items help guide you through a wonderful freshman year.

Ready for college but not sure what to expect, or even bring? Before you say goodbye to your parents and friends, check out this ultimate guide to surviving your first year in college, and in particular at the country’s 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). We created the #HBCUFreshmanBible to help build a bridge for students to make a successful transition from high school to black colleges, you can read more here.