An open laptop surrounded by several college school supplies, including pencils, sticky notes, and a backpack.
Student Life

Must-Have School Supplies for College Students

Whether you’re starting your first year at a university or want to fine-tune your college school supplies list, you can count on Varsity for helpful tips. We’ve done our homework on all the best school supplies for college.

Stay Organized

Organization is half the battle when it comes to academic success. One of the best school supplies for college is a calendar—not just the one on your phone, although that can be helpful too. Hang a large calendar on your wall, and use color-coded stickers to indicate test days and due dates. A planner is another tool to help you keep tabs on deadlines, but you can also jot down short- and long-term goals, notes, and reminders.

Stay Healthy

A well-insulated water bottle keeps your water icy cold for hours and encourages you to stay hydrated and healthy. You’ll be doing a lot of walking around campus, so a high-quality backpack is a must. Here are some tips to prevent back and shoulder pain from carrying a backpack:

  • Adjust the shoulder straps to fit properly
  • Always keep both straps on your shoulders
  • Limit what’s in your pack to 10 percent of your body weight

A lumbar pillow also helps prevent back pain after hours of sitting at your computer.

Take Notes

Taking good notes is one of the most important things you can do. Whether you opt for analog, digital or a mix of the two, you need the right tools for the job. Try these note-taking supplies:

  • Post-It™ Flags to mark important pages or passages
  • index cards for studying, memorization and speeches or presentations

Take even smarter notes with a Livescribe pen that lets you record lectures and skip to relevant sections based on keywords in your notes.

Boost Efficiency

A multifunctional printer is one of the best investments you can make while you’re in school. Imagine how much time you’ll save by not going to the library or computer lab. There’s nothing worse than running out of paper when you’re down to the wire, so stock up on paper when you find a good price! A multipurpose desk lamp also helps you stretch your school-year budget while providing charging ports and mood lighting along with light for studying.

Keep It Together

Flash drives, jump drives, memory sticks, thumb drives—whatever you call them, these compact devices let you easily store and organize papers, notes, and other important documents digitally. Another inexpensive yet helpful item for your college school supplies list is a multipack of mini staplers. These compact versions of an office classic often come with staples and may have built-in staple removers. They’re also an easy way to keep your papers in order on the go.

Other Items for Your College School Supplies List

You’ll likely be writing a lot of essays, especially early on in your school career, so a style guide is a good reference for most students. If you tend to quiz yourself as part of your studying regimen, consider picking up some cover-up tape. This ingenious sticker adheres softly to paper, allowing you to cover up important words in your book or notes and fill in the “blanks.”

Give Yourself a Financial Toolkit for College

In addition to calendars, staplers, and other helpful items we’ve previously mentioned, there’s one more thing you should add to your college school supplies list: a banking account from Varsity. 

When you choose an account from Varsity, you’ll enjoy access to our complete Digital Toolkit. Stay on budget with mobile banking, chip in for pizza using Zelle®, or pay for all those supplies with a debit card sporting your school’s logo. 

Plus, as a fully-digital financial service, you can take Varsity wherever you go! Before you head into your next semester, open your Varsity account today!

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