Back to School Checklist for College Students | The Light Lab

Back-to-School Checklist for College Students

Whether you’re a first-time college student or a seasoned studier, going back to school gives you the perfect chance to get organized for a fresh start before your next set of classes. Check out our back-to-school checklist for your college school supplies and college apartment.

Back to School Checklist for College Students | The Light Lab

College School Supplies Checklist

School Supplies

  • Planner. A good planner will keep your schedule organized through every class, test and meeting.
  • Notebooks and pens. Grab a few notebooks and label them by class. If you’re a visual learner, try taking notes with colored pens.
  • Writing style manuals. No matter your major, you will likely be required to write a lot of papers, and your professors may have specific writing and citation style requirements. Pick up a paper copy of the correct style guide or download it online.
  • Flash drive. Between group projects and presentations, a flash drive will help you make sure you always have what you need. It’s also a great backup in case of a computer malfunction.
  • Index cards. Index cards are a studier’s best friend for those long nights of exam prep. Assign each class a different color to stay organized.
  • Mechanical pencils and erasers will set you up for success during those seemingly endless math and accounting problems or language classes.
  • Highlighters are helpful when marking excerpts in printed workbooks.
  • Backpack. A good backpack will help you lug all those books and notes.
  • Class books and supplies. Most classes will require one or more specific books. Many classes like math and science require you to purchase additional items you will need to use in class, such as a calculator or pair of goggles.
  • Sticky notes. Sticky notes are great for marking your class notes or leaving yourself reminders around the house.
  • Laptop or tablet. A lightweight laptop or tablet is an excellent tool for taking digital notes and doing research.

Back to School Checklist for College Students | The Light Lab

Apartment/Dorm Supplies

  • Mop and broom
  • Trash bags
  • Disinfectant wipes or spray
  • Paper towels
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry hamper
  • Stain remover
  • Toiletries
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Travel mug
  • Batteries
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Mirror
  • Trash can
  • Desk lamp
  • Fan
  • Extension cords
  • Alarm clock
  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge
  • Coffee maker
  • Utensils
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Food storage containers
  • Food staples like pasta, rice and vegetables

Back-to-School Checklist for Your College Apartment

  • Check your air filters to make sure they are clean. Clean air filters let air flow through your HVAC system more easily, saving you energy and money.
  • Clean your refrigerator. After a long summer away, give your refrigerator coils and vents a good cleaning with a vacuum attachment and/or flexible bristle brush. This will help your fridge cool more efficiently and use less energy.
  • Test your ceiling fans. Your ceiling fans can help you feel cooler in warm weather and warmer in cold weather without changing your thermostat setting.
  • Set up your utilities. Make sure your electricity, water and gas are turned on before you go back to your apartment. If you need to sign up for new electric service, shop for competitive electricity rates.
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries if necessary.
  • Get renters insurance. Some rental agreements will require renter’s insurance, but even if they don’t, it’s an inexpensive way to make sure you are covered in case of damage or theft.

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