Summer time usually means back to school preparation time for most students. And especially for those recent high school graduates! If you haven't already begun looking into what the new or returning student will need for their college endeavors we compiled a list of items that would be a great collection of items to have for their living and learning situation on campus. There are many options and we recommend shopping around, of course. Here is a list of those must-haves for college.

Laptop computer

Compact, portable full of memory and all a student needs to keep organized while on campus and at the dorm. Laptops are great for taking notes in class and storing assignments and more. As for PCs we like Dell and Lenovo laptops, in addition to the great Mac books as another choice.

Cell phone/Smart phone

If they don't have one already, they need one now. Cell phones are practically a necessity on campus. And better yet, a smart phone will be able to help them conveniently handle the many tasks that the smart phone can handle…while keeping up with friends, instructors, landlords, and more! The on-the-go emailing capabilities really help you out when in a bind at school.

External Hard Drive

It's a great idea, especially in older college dorms to back up files. When storms surge in many areas, so does the electricity. It would be a pity to wipe out everything on a hard drive without being backed up. The assignments stored on the computer are essential and a student cannot afford to see them erased. What do you do then? Skip the class? Redo the entire semester's work? Scary to think of isn't it?


There are printers throughout campus, but it would be a good idea to have a little inkjet just for the dorm. Sometimes it can get really inconvenient when working on a late night project on a cold winter night and having no place open to go to print out your assignment due in the morning. They could wait and get up earlier and go to the copy center, but why not get more of that valuable sleep time that so many students are deprived of?

WiFi Router

Having your own router can be really handy in the dorms. That way you aren't stuck at one spot all the time and can move about your room and even the hall to share information with other people in your hall. Convenience is key.

USB Flash Drive

It's a great investment to have a flash drive or memory stick on you at all times. This way you can easily download and upload information from other students' laptops while on campus. I suppose the other option would be to email it then download it, but if you don't have your laptop on you, then memory sticks are great just to have around.


TV's are must-haves. They help break the stress cycle and give students a break in private. It does not have to be anything extravagant, in fact, maybe a more budget one would be a good idea. You don't want any envious dorm mates wanting that TV too much do you?

Digital Camera

Digital cameras are great for college because they allow the student to document their journey through college. These pictures become little treasures later on in life. Plus, parents, don't you want to see what they are up to over there in school? Lots of fun and interesting stuff goes on in college. Get a camera for them.

Laptop Bag

Don't forget a laptop bag for the laptop. There are some really stylish bags out there like the backpack kinds that are really helpful when you have other things to take to campus with you in addition to the laptop.

Surge Protector

In reference to the power situation I mentioned earlier, get a good surge protector to help protect the computer from any despair due to electrical problems and storms. It's always a great idea to be cautious…especially when there is so much at stake in college.


Source by S. Michael Windsor