Essential College Pieces Worth the Investment

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I was sifting through the mail last week when a particular piece of paper caught my eye. It was your typical store circular, but plastered on the front page were the words “BACK TO SCHOOL.”


Didn’t school just end? I don’t think my body has fully recovered from the cups and cups of hot coffee that I chugged in May during finals week.

Then I remembered how much I LOVE school and how excited I am to start my senior(!) year in August. Not quite sure I’m ready to be a full #adult yet, but luckily I have a year to figure it out!

Click through to see some of my essential college pieces - they can be a bit pricey, but they'll last you all through college and beyond!

But I digress. Mid-July is the time to start thinking about gearing up for back to school, especially if you’re headed to college in August! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and trust me, neither will your dorm!

College itself is an investment. But it’s also important that you invest in some essential college pieces. These pieces might be a little pricey up front, but they’ll last you four (or more!) years. And they’ll make your college experience just that much more enjoyable. So grab your circulars and let’s get shopping!

Essential College Items


Regardless of whether you go to school in Florida or a remote corner of the Midwest, one thing’s for certain. It will rain, and it will rain harder than you ever thought possible!

There’s nothing worse than sitting through a 75-minute lecture looking, feeling, and smelling like a wet dog. So get a good raincoat, umbrella, and rainboots and walk to class dry + in style.

I have a small umbrella from Target, but it has a habit of blowing inside out so I’m thinking of replacing it this year with a cute, clear bubble umbrella. There’s no chance of it blowing inside out, and everyone will be able to see my super cute Columbia rain trench coat and bubblegum pink Hunter boots! It’s my go-to outfit to brighten up a dreary day. And I always feel like a #boss when it rains.

A Backpack

I was that girl in middle school and early high school who just carried all her stuff in a cute Vera Bradley tote. And by stuff, I mean “one notebook and stylish pink plastic pencil case.”

BUT, the times have changed. And trendy sparkly notebooks have been replaced with expensive computers, lots of books, and an agenda (or three, if you’re Gabby :)).

You’re going to NEED a sturdy backpack to get you through college! Invest in a good one freshman year, and it’ll last you through walks to class, weekend lock-ins in the library, and trips to and from home.

I’ve upgraded from my pink + lime green L.L.Bean rolling backpack (hey, it was 2007, okay?) to a 3-compartment L.L. Bean backpack with a laptop sleeve. You really can’t beat L.L.Bean’s quality and warranty!

I’m also a fan of North Face and Herschel Supply Backpacks! Find one that fits your needs and your crazy college schedule.


Sleep is so so so important in college, especially after a long day of classes and studying. That’s why I try to make my bed as comfy as possible, with a big duvet, blankets, and a body pillow (that I impulse bought from IKEA).

Sheets are one of those essential college pieces that many people don’t give much thought to. Like, duh you need sheets. BUT don’t just buy any old sheets! I bought some “jersey sheets” from Target before my freshman year and I LOVE them. They’re basically sheets made out of t-shirt material, and they feel AWESOME during every season (hot + humid and cold + really cold). Go out and invest in a good set (or two) of sheets – your tired college self will thank you!

Coffee Maker

This might not apply to you if you don’t love (or need) coffee as much as I do, but for me my mini Keurig is one of my top essential college items. I love making coffee and tea in my dorm while I do my readings for class. It saves me so much money at the campus Starbucks, and personally I like other coffee brands (Ily, Green Mountain) way better than Starbucks.

Plus, Keurigs are great for heating up water to make rice, mac + cheese, or oatmeal!

These are my top picks for essential college pieces! Trust me, I wouldn’t be sharing them with you all if I didn’t believe in their power to make your next 4 years at college just that much better. Are you headed off to college in August? Have you already started your college journey? What did you bring? Chat with me in the comments!

  • Hannah, I think these are some great investments. I had to invest in some rain boots when I came to college because tennis shoes were not cutting it in the pouring rain walking across campus. I bought a North Face my freshman year of college (2014) and it is still in great condition! A good quality backpack is a MUST.

    • Yesss the first time I realized that I needed good rain boots is when my tennis shoes were ruined in the massive puddles! North Faces are so expensive initially but I love that they last a really long time and they’re so warm! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚


  • LOVE THIS! Also it has totally inspired me to write one of these posts myself πŸ™‚

    • YAY so glad you liked it! Let me know when your post goes live, I’d love to read it! πŸ™‚


  • I buy my sheets from Target too! I buy the jersey sheets with the pockets in them so I can keep my phone and latest book right where I need them!