24 Essential School Supplies You Don’t Want To Forget

24 Essential School Supplies You Don’t Want To Forget

What are the essential college school supplies you just can’t live without?!

Starting college comes with lots of preparation, and you will need some new supplies to help you ease through your course.

Stationery shopping is one of my favorite things to do! I completely geek out over pens and highlighters.

It isn’t just for grade school, you still get to do some back-to-school shopping when you’re in college!

Below is a comprehensive list of all the college school supplies you will need!

College School Supplies

2020 Essentials

Let’s get these two items out of the way because they are ESSENTIAL during this time.

If your school has decided to hold in class-lectures, you absolutely need hand sanitizer and a mask! They’re non-negotiable for your safety and those around you.


1. Pens

You will obviously need some reliable pens for college. You want to choose some reliable pens that give a smoother experience, to really optimize your note-taking.

Choosing the right pen doesn’t sound so important, but you will be taking down so many notes during class, and a good pen will make a difference.


Keep different colored pens, and lots of pens, with you, and a couple stashed away in your dorm so you never run out.

2. Pencils

Pencils might seem a bit redundant, but you should definitely keep some with you in college.

They are absolutely mandatory for any math classes. You have to be able to erase errors or to sketch out designs and ideas.


Some college courses call for specific pencils (typically #2 for Scranton exams), so make sure to check if there are any that you need.

Keep some extra lead and an eraser packed with you as well.

3. Highlighters

Highlighters help so much when studying.

They can colorfully mark your textbooks and help you make more attractive notes.

You should have at least 3 different colored highlighters to help mark out your work into specific sections.

4. Scissors

You probably haven’t imagined yourself needing to cut something during a lecture, but you most definitely need to keep a pair or two of scissors in your dorm or in your pencil case.

You might land up with some unexpected arts or crafts to do for a lecture, and if you are staying in a dorm with your own kitchen, you will definitely need a pair of scissors every now and then.

Keep one pair of scissors in your pencil case, and another in your kitchen.

5. Dry Erase Marker

Some college study halls offer dry erase tables, and some college libraries have study rooms with whiteboards, so keeping some dry erase markers on you can help if you get to use these.

This way you can use your own without having to ask to use someone else’s!

6. Pencil Case

Don’t be the student who scratches in their bag for 10 minutes during a lecture trying to find their one pen – be organized.

Keep the supplies you use daily in a pencil case. It doesn’t have to be like the printed, brightly colored pencil cases you used in high school.


A plain pencil case is perfectly fine and will help to keep all your stationery and items organized.

Check your pencil case before leaving for classes each day to check it is stocked with everything you need.

7. Notecards

Notecards are so handy to keep in college. They can be used to make flashcards, which help you to learn different facts, vocab, or dates.

Get different colored note cards so you can categorize them easier.

8. Post-It Sticky Notes

If you are in a lecture and find an important section in your textbook, you can easily use a sticky note to mark your place and to make any quick notes if you need to.

Sticky notes can be so handy when it comes to note-taking and studying, and you should always keep a few with you during lectures and study sessions.

9. Scientific Calculator

Even if you aren’t majoring in mathematics or science, you should keep a calculator with you.

You will need to take quite a few general courses in your freshman year, and there is a good chance at least one of them will require the use of a calculator!

Don’t be stuck without one!

This is one product you may want to hold off on purchasing until you get your syllabus!

Some math classes only allow you to use a specific calculator in their course. You don’t want to have to buy two for no reason. 

10. Hole Punch

You will need to store your notes away neatly, shoving loose pages into a full folder will not work.

Take some pride in your notes and file them properly in a file.


You won’t be able to file them without a punch – so keep one close so you can quickly file away pages before they start piling up.

11. Binder Files

It is a good idea to keep a different binder for each class, either with labels or color-coded to help you tell the difference.

Filing your work and notes keeps it all organized and in one place.

It is so important to get into this habit from early on.

You don’t want to have all your math notes mixed in with your history! Stay organized from the start.

12. Planner

It is so essential to have a planner with you throughout college.

You will have assignments given to you in class, exam dates, social and sports group meetings, and so much else pop up that you need to pencil down.

Choose a planner that suits to you (it is always motivating to have a nice-looking planner) and get into the habit of taking down due dates, appointments, and anything else that pops up!

13. Notebooks

You will need something to take notes on during lectures, and notebooks are way better than scrap pieces of paper.

Try to get a different colored notebook for each of your classes, so that you can keep your notes separated and more organized.


Spiral notebooks are a good option as they feel lighter, and you can easily rip out pages if you need to.

14. Stapler

As much as you think you might not, you will need a stapler.

You will have papers to write and different projects and assignments to print out, and having a stapler to keep it all together before handing it in makes a difference.

A stapled project looks much better than one with the corners turned in!

15. Paper Clips

Paper clips are perfect for keeping all of your loose pieces of paper together, and they can be kept on your desk for when it is time to gather study notes.

Try to purchase a set of paper clips which come in their own holders, so you don’t have them scattered all over your desk and dorm room.

16. Folders

Not all of your assignments and notices will be sent electronically.

Your lecturer might hand you physical copies of projects, the syllabus or assignments during lectures.

Don’t shove these into your bag for them to get ruined and lost, keep them in folders until you get home to file them properly.


Once again it is a good idea to have different color folders dedicated to your different classes.

17. Whiteout

Everyone makes mistakes, and instead of having crosses and lines through your work, keep some whiteout with you to simply erase what you need to.

Just make sure that if you are using whiteout for projects, that it is accepted by the lecturers.

Some don’t always like finding it in their work. 

You can buy liquid or tape whiteout, both work well, but I’m more partial to latter.

18. Backpack

You are going to need a good, reliable backpack for college, to keep your stationery, notes, laptop, and everything else in.

Make sure the backpack you choose is waterproof, to protect its contents in the case of a sudden downpour, and that it has a padded compartment for your laptop.

Choose a backpack that has adjustable straps, so it can better fit you and be more comfortable while you carry it around all day.

Check out the best waterproof backpacks here.

19. Printer

If you have some spare money left over for stationery, a printer is always a good purchase.

Your college will more than likely have printers available, and each student gets their own amount of papers to print each term.

But having your own means you don’t have to worry about going over this amount, waiting in line to use the printer, or facing a printer that doesn’t work.

Plus, I like to study printing out as much as I can and highlighting.

I didn’t want to make a bunch of trips to the library every other day.

20. Poster Strips / Sticky Tack

Hanging posters around your dorm room is made easy with poster strips or sticky tack.

It will keep the posters on the wall, and do no damage to the paint when they are taken down. Keep a spare supply in your dorm room for when you might need them.

21. Duck Tape

Duct tape is an absolute must-have in college (I’m serious!).

It can fix nearly any problem, a broken backpack, a ripped folder, pretty much anything that needs fixing!

You don’t have to keep it in your backpack (that’s a tad creepy), but it always helps to have some close by. 

22. Binder Clips

Sometimes you need something a little bigger and stronger than paper clips, and that’s where binder clips come in.

They can be used to hold larger stacks of paper together.

Binder clips come in different sizes, and it is a good idea to buy a box with a couple of different sizes to suit different needs.

23. Tape

Keep some tape in your dorm room for when you accidentally tear your notebook or need to do some crafts.

Tape is handy to have, and you wouldn’t want to be left not having any when you need it!

A tape dispenser that cuts the tape easily is helpful to have.

24. Flash Drive

You might have to do a presentation in a lecture room or download some notes, a flash drive will come in handy for this.

They can even help you get some movies and series from a friend!


Buy a flash drive with a large memory so that you never have to worry about running out of space.

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Starting freshman year on the right foot means getting the right college school supplies! These are the essential back-to-school items I couldn’t live without. You don’t want to go to class without these school necessities #college #schoolsupplies #collegeessentials
Starting freshman year on the right foot means getting the right college school supplies! These are the essential back-to-school items I couldn’t live without. You don’t want to go to class without these school necessities #college #schoolsupplies #collegeessentials
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