It’s almost that time when recent grads will become official college freshman! And as their mom, you want to make sure that they have everything they need as they settle in for their next chapter. I get it! I just went through this myself last year – well, I guess my son actually was the one that went to college, but I helped him prepare!


The following is a list of items that he found helpful when he got to school. You might say, it’s been “college-kid tested and approved”. Of course, you can find a million lists like this online, and we did as we started to prepare, but many of the things that we purchased, he never used. These are the items that I actually heard him say – “Mom, I used (fill in the blank) or I’m glad I had (fill in the blank), which of course, as a mom, made me feel great to hear! Like, I actually did something right!?!?!? LOL!


Anyway, here’s the list. In no certain order.


  1. Mattress topper. My son actually said over and over how much he appreciated this. The dorm mattresses are not built for comfort!
  2. First aid kit/ including electronic thermometer – we just put this together ourselves, including ibuprofen, bandaids, some cold medicine and Tums.
  3. A standing floor fan. Many dorm rooms have a/c now but even then, it can still be very hot! We also purchased him a fan that clipped to his bed, but he never used that.
  4. An umbrella. In hindsight, I should’ve sent a couple – those things have a way of disappearing.
  5. Full-length mirror. Now, his dorm room did have a mirror that was attached to the wardrobe, but many do not.
  6. Small tool kit.
  7. Extra phone chargers – do I really need to explain this??
  8. Laundry bag – he actually didn’t want this, but I insisted and he was glad we bought it.
  9. Command hooks – you aren’t allowed to put nails into most walls in the dorms, or aren’t able to. These hooks are great for hanging wet towels and posters too.
  10. Shower caddy and flip flops for the bathroom.


I’m sure there are things that others have on their list that were super helpful. I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below with any tips or items!

Three female high school graduates wearing their college t-shirts laughing and having fun.


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