11 School Supplies You Need for Your First Year

We are about 2 weeks away from starting college! Summer is going by faster than any of us can imagine, which means school is right around the corner. I remember the summer right before I attended University, and all the emotions that came with it. I was nervous, excited, worries, anxious, thrilled and so many other emotions. I remember counting down the days with my parents and frantically checking off lists of stuff I needed to move into my dorm! Since we are about a month away from starting school, this month will focus mainly on beginning school. If you are a freshman in college, THIS IS FOR YOU! One of the most important things you need in school is school supplies to not only do assignments, but study and plan as well. Whether you are going part time or full time, here is 12 supplies you should have for college! I will try to have links for what I recommend/used before. Most of the supplies you can buy at Target or Walmart. 


1) Pencils

This is probably one of the most obvious supplies, but you will be surprised how many people will constantly ask you for a pen or pencil on the daily. When they see you pull out a pencil pouch, you will get asked like crazy to use one. I also recommend using mechanical pencils because for some reason most colleges (at least mine) DON’T HAVE PENCIL SHARPENERS WHICH IS CRAZY!! I used wooden pencils since I was a kid so I had to go by mechanical. If you take any tests with scantrons too, you can use a mechanical pencil. 

Check out the ones I use here


2) Colored Pens

Colored pens are actually my favorite thing. If you take notes on your laptop, you may think this is pointless but I can guarantee you your battery will run out in the middle of class one time, and those colored pens will be your lifesaver. I also like using colored pens to emphasize points and use certain colors for terms, years, quotes, etc. Also in college (unless otherwise stated) you can use any color pen! Sometimes for tests they want you to use either a pencil or blue/black pen. I have been buying the same pens since high school and they have always worked for me. I’ve also used these pens for serving and I ordered them for myself at any manager job I had! Needless to say, these are some pretty great and durable pens. If you want to pick a set up, grab them here!


3) Notebooks

Notebooks may seem pointless with using laptops and tablets, but I promise at some point as I said earlier, your laptop will go dead and then you will need to write down notes by hand. I usually write down all my notes on the first day of lecture, just to see how fast the professor moves through slides. If they go to fast, then I will use my IPad, just because I can type faster than I can write. If you are a notebook person, I recommend buying a notebook for every subject instead of the 3 subject notebooks. I buy them separately so I can keep all my subjects separate. I also recommend buying notebooks with plastic covers. They are a little more expensive, but when the cover tears off from being thrown around in your bag, you will wish you got the plastic covers! Check them out here.


4) Laptop/Tablet

This one may seem obvious but a laptop or tablet will honestly save your skin. Depending on how you use it, that piece of technology will become your life. I have both a laptop and a tablet. I have an IPad Air 2 with a keyboard and I bring it to class all the time. I usually take notes on my tablet because some professors go way to fast for me. I can also type faster than I can write. I usually leave my laptop at home and save it for papers (and for blog posts). I found it easier to write papers on here because I can open many tabs easier and so on. If you do get an IPad, I recommend getting a keyboard as well. If you want the best note taking app, I highly recommend Notability. You can write, type, and record all your lectures in one place. I won’t link my stuff because it’s older so you won’t find it, but get what’s best for you. 


5) Note Cards

I personally believe I have used over 2,000 note cards in my time, and I don’t think I will ever stop using them. I always keep two packs of note cards in my backpack. If I have time between classes, I will start writing out my study guide on to my notecards, that way I don’t have to spend 3 hours writing them all out a day or two before an exam. I also recommend getting a notecard holder for every subject, so you can stay organized. Check out note card dividers (with note cards) here.


6) Post it Notes

I use post it notes in all of my books, and that is also how I take notes from a textbook. There are so so so so many different types of sticky notes. I use them to differentiate information. For example, yellow is a definition, pink is a date, orange is an important event, blue is dates and green is other general info. I also use a sticky note system for my blog. Orange is stuff I have to do tomorrow, blue is my reminder of where I left off, yellow is things I have to do by the end of the week, and green is classes/people I should contact to learn more. Get a pack of multicolor sticky notes here.


7) Backpack

We’ve had them since the beginning of school and you will use them for a long time to come. The backpack you have can really affect your schooling, at least I think so. If this is your first year of college, PLEASE PURCHASE A DURABLE BACKPACK. I have a leather one that I have had since my first year at University. After 5 years, it is finally starting to rip. Thank goodness my mom knows how to fix it (she’s an angel) so I actually had to get a temporary replacement backpack for this semester and it’s a basic black one and I am very sad. When purchasing a backpack, make sure it can fit allllllll of your school supplies. I am taking 5 classes and they all have large books. If you don’t plan on studying on campus, then you don’t need to take all your books with, but I usually stay there for a few hours so I bring all of my supplies. Make sure it can also fit your laptop/tablet, as well as the amount of pockets, etc. The one I have is pretty old, but the one I just purchased is a good replacement. It also comes in a wide array of colors and styles. Check out the one I got here.


8) Planner

If you are like me, your planner is your life. I live and breath by my planner honestly, and when I finish a planner it looks like a hot mess. For me, finding the right planner is one of my highest priorities. Every year, I always think I have the best one yet but this year I honestly believe it. I always write down what I did in that class and then the homework I have. That way when I get to class (about 10 minutes early) I take those 10 minutes and review what I learned yesterday. By doing so, it prepares me and puts me in the class mindset. Make sure you have more than enough room to write down your homework. The one I have you can grab here , and I highly recommend doing so. This is the closest one I could find, so check out the store for it. 


9) Hand Sanitizer

I will admit it, colleges are absolutely disgusting. Whenever I ate on campus, I always used hand sanitizer before and after. I never know if they washed all the trays or plates so I usually played it safe. I also use some before and after class because those desks and tables (with spilled drinks and old food stains) are very gross. You don’t need to carry a full bottle obviously but a travel size is always recommend it. If you don’t want to pay for it, you can stop by Student Health and they usually have free sanitizer, masks, and tissues. So definitely pick some up there, for free! Or if you hate free things, pick some up here.


10) Calculator

Before you roll your eyes, I get it. Calculators can be expensive. Before you get angry about having to get a calculator just listen to me. Unless you are a major that is STEM based, you do not need a graphing calculator. The most math you may have to do is statistics, and I used my $8 scientific calculator. Some classes as well, you will need a calculator for a random problem on the exam and you won’t be able to use your phone. Don’t worry about buying an $80 graphing calculator, when you can get the $8 scientific calculator which does the job. Check out the one I have here.


11) Scissors

You probably weren’t expecting this one, but there have been too many times where I need scissors and I don’t have them. Even a kids pair, but whatever works with you. But please heed my advice, and get a pair of scissors. The ones I have have lasted me about 4 years now so grab them here!
This concludes my school supplies list for the 2019-2020 year. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at sunshineandseasoning@gmail.com. Nothing is worse than not being prepared for your first semester so pick up these supplies before the first day. Happy back to school season! We will talk back to school all the way up until school starts!

One response to “11 School Supplies You Need for Your First Year”

  1. […] This is a very, very critical item to have on your person at all times. I have used a planner every year since highschool and it becomes my gospel! I have all test dates, assignment dates, blog info, my work schedule and so much more all in one little planner! I have officially found my favorite planner because it has individual course tabs, and more than enough room to write! If you are interested, you can pick up my planner within the link! It also talks about what school supplies you should pick up with links! Check it out here: https://sunshineandseasoning.com/2019/08/14/11-school-supplies-you-need-for-your-first-year/ […]


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