Must-Have School Supplies for Every College Freshman

Must Have School Supplies for College
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I love shopping for school supplies. Every year, I look forward to back-to-school shopping to prepare myself for a new and successful school year! Since I’ve started college, however, I am becoming more frugal and am getting used to the idea of reusing some of the same supplies for more than one year. I’ve found that binders have a longer lifespan when they aren’t being thrown in lockers and piled on top of one another and carried around the halls! 😉
When I started my freshman year at Temple, I wasn’t sure what I would need for college and what supplies should be left back in high school. Here is my must-have college school supply list for all of you who are starting to get those supplies together! If you already have these items lying around the house you should definitely use them! Any way to save money helps, trust me.

1. 1″ Binder, one for each class (depending on your schedule)

I don’t like to use one master binder because I find it too bulky and heavy to carry around in my backpack all the time. However, if you scheduled a lot of your classes back-to-back, it might be helpful to combine one or two classes into a single binder.

Get them here.

2. College ruled notebooks with sturdy spirals (1 for each class)

college notebooks


I can usually use the same notebook for at least 2 semesters which is great. Some of my notebooks have lasted up to 4 semesters of classes! I would have never wanted to do this in high school, but in college it’s nice to reuse the same notebooks if they aren’t completely beat up.

Get them here.

3. Pencil case

The one I currently use is one I’ve had since my freshman year. I typically leave my favorite pens/pencils in the front pouch of my backpack, but the pencil case is helpful because I love to use a lot of colored pens and highlighters to take notes!

Find your favorite here.

4. Plenty of pens

ace your finals

Go with colors if you can, it makes note taking much more interesting! My favorite pens are Pilot G-2s. They write super smooth and don’t leave ink splotches on my paper! I also love Paper Mate Ink Joy gel pens!

5. Highlighters, various colors

Again, note taking is much more fun in color!

Get my favorite highlighters.

6. White-out

Trust me, if you like taking notes in pen… you’ll need this.

Get some here.

7. Mechanical pencils + lead, pink pearl eraser.

I’ve found that most classrooms in college do not have a pencil sharpener… so mechanical pencils are a must-have (or, if you’re like me, just use pen!). And if you’re using mechanical pencils, you’ll probably want a good eraser, too!

Get some mechanical pencils.

Get some Pink Pearl erasers.

8. A good, functional planner


ace your finals

This is IMPORTANT… I couldn’t have gotten through my freshman year without it! Check out this post to find the best planner for your needs!

9. Sticky notes + index cards.

must-have school supplies for college

Whatever size/colors you please. These are useful for note-taking and sticking in textbooks! And index cards for studying purposes, of course.

Get my fav sticky notes.

Get some index cards.

10. Stapler + three hole punch.

Obviously you’ll need to put those 5 page papers together somehow… a mini one for your pencil case might be helpful! The three hole punch is definitely optional, but if you’re like me you’ll hate having a binder pocket full of handouts. With this, you’re able to easily organize everything so you can actually see all those papers!

Get a stapler.

Get a three hole punch.

Hopefully you will now be able to get a feel for the things you need and the things you shouldn’t bother wasting your money on. Also, if you have a dollar store around, a majority of these items can be found there… don’t spend more than you need to!

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  • Yes yes yes to all of these! I use every single thing on this list and definitely could not survive school without them! This is an excellent list – thanks for sharing!

    Stephanie |

  • Just discovered your blog via pinterest. Automatically fell in love and now I am 100% following you on all the social medias. Such great posts!! <3

    Alyssa |

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  • Kelsie Clark

    Could you tell me how i can get the cute little calendar you have on your desktop screen?! I’m obsessed!!

  • Manda Marie Chappell

    I love school supply shopping! and we have the exact same list!

  • AssassinsWay

    I start college soon and this list is really helpful. I wish I had seen it before the school year for the younger kids started that way everything could have been on sale.

  • Pingback: Must-Have School Supplies for Every College Freshman | Website Tips and Tutorials()

  • Jane

    That is a lot to carry, and a lot to lose. As a teacher and a student who has made it through their master’s degree, this is my list: 1 binder (1 inch or 1.5 inch with tabs for all your classes), a notebook for each class (classes that follow each other can often be done in the same notebook), writing implements of your choice in a pencil case, a highlighter (one can last years), post it notes, post it flags, a stapler, and a planner of your choice. Only get flashcards if they work for you or colored pens if colors float your boat. You dont need a different binder for each class or even a different notebook for each class. I have so many students who lose things that way.

  • lewis831

    Great list of school supply items if you looking for great deals on school supply items I recommend