15 School Supplies You’ll Need to Buy to Ensure College Success

Are you one of the approximately 19 million high school graduates preparing to attend college soon? If you want to be among the 4.5 million who graduate at the end of your course, you’ll need to arrive prepared. 

Nowadays, it takes more than stationery and books to be successful in college. You’ll find a host of handy tools to choose from that go far beyond these basics to help you thrive in modern times. 

To achieve your full potential, you should put these awesome supplies for college success on your shopping list.  

1.The Basics for College Success

Regular back-to-school supplies like stationery may have taken a back seat to the latest tech innovations, but you’ll still need substantial supplies of the basics.

Stock up on the following age-old standbys for college students:

  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters
  • Notebooks
  • A scientific calculator if you’re studying science or math
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Binders and Folders

Of course, your stationery requirements will depend on your study methods too. For instance, if you like to study using index cards, you’ll need a stash of those.

2.A Smart Phone

A smart phone’s essential for keeping up with your new college friends but it has some important study uses too.

You can use it to take notes in a pinch, record important parts of a lecture, or as a portable diary.

There are several handy apps that can help you organize your student life too. Some of the best ones include:

  • Revision apps
  • Exam prep apps
  • Bibliography helper apps
  • Video calling apps
  • Dropbox for large documents
  • Dictionary apps

Your college is bound to have an app for important announcements, and you might want to join WhatsApp study groups too. 

3.Smart Phone Accessories

When you’re relying on your smartphone for access to these important apps, the last thing you need is a chipped or scuffed screen.  A stick-on screen protector will save you squinting at your screen trying to make out the display and you can replace it easily and cheaply if it becomes cloudy.

A TrackR helps you keep tabs on your phone when it makes its way to the bottom of your rucksack, or you can’t find it in your dorm. You simply attach the disk to your phone, and it will ring when you press the button on the controller, even if it’s on silent at the time. 

An extra-long charger is a bonus when your desk’s a little distant from the nearest power source and you can buy them in three-packs, so you’ve always got a spare if one goes missing. 

4.A Power Bank

When you’re on the move between classes, you won’t always have time to charge your phone when needed. A power bank gives you the backup you need to ensure your smartphone’s always ready for action. 

Remember to charge it every night though, or you could find yourself ‘powerless’ the next day. If there’s a shortage of electrical outlets in your dorm or room, you can also opt for a solar-powered bank.

5.An iPad or Tablet

These devices hit the sweet spot between a laptop and a phone when it comes to portability and readability.

It’s much easier to read and understand complicated notes on a larger screen. Although these aren’t essential gadgets, they do come in handy when one of your other devices proves too cumbersome or goes flat unexpectedly.

Make sure you save all your work to the Cloud and sync your devices if you want easy access to all your notes while on the move.

6.An External Keyboard

If you find it difficult to type on an iPad or tablet, you can get an external keyboard to help streamline the process.

These helpful gadgets attach to your iPad in both portrait and landscape mode and are Bluetooth-enabled, so you can type on two devices at once. Some of them come with LED lights so you can see what you’re doing if you’re working after lights out too. 

Likewise, spending hours hunched over a laptop keyboard isn’t the best thing for your back. When you attach an external keyboard and mouse to your laptop, you can sit back in comfort while you work.

7.A Stylus 

Do you prefer handwritten notes? Studies have shown that handwriting your college notes helps you retain information better.

It’s easy to misplace your notes and hard to customize them or move things around as you please. A stylus for writing notes on your devices is the happy medium between paper notes and typing everything on a device. 

A stylus with a mesh tip helps protect your screen from scratches and prevents that annoying tapping sound while you write. Some of them come with a ballpoint on the other end in case you want to switch to conventional note-taking.

8.A Laptop 

A laptop’s ideal for taking notes on the go, and a vital ingredient for being successful in college. It’s especially effective when combined with a charging backpack to ensure your laptop’s ready for action when you are. 

Many charging backpacks are solar-powered, so they’re always charging wherever you go, and they come in handy for keeping all your devices fully charged. You need to transport them all in a backpack anyway, so plugging them in to charge along the way is a handy convenience. 

Not all charging backpacks can cope with more than one device at a time, so make sure you buy the right one for your needs.

9.A Printer

Although most colleges provide access to printers, you never know when you’ll need one in the middle of the night for that last-minute assignment. You’ll find having your own small printer will really alleviate stress when you’ve left things a little late.

Besides, it more convenient to print as and when you please rather than making a special trip to the IT room or library at college.

Remember to stock up on appropriate printer cartridges and paper, or you risk running out of these essentials when you least expect it.

10.An External Hard Drive

Apart from offering much-needed extra storage and saving your device’s storage space, external hard drives are important for backing up your work.

If you download all your notes and assignments onto one of these storage facilities, you’ve always got access to them. So if you lose one of your main devices, or it breaks down, all your hard work isn’t lost along with it.


Headphones or earbuds can help you block out some or all the background noise while you’re studying. This is especially important if you’re working in a public space like the college library.

If you want to drown out the surrounding sounds totally, headphones work best. Earbuds tend to let in some noise.

12.Digital Voice Recorder

These come in handy for recording lectures and practicing presentations. You could use your smartphone instead, except some lecturers don’t allow you to take your phone out during their classes.

They’re a cost-effective solution for revision and hearing your lectures over again can really help jolt your memory at times.

13.Reference Books

Good old-fashioned reference books come in handy for looking up things while you’re in the middle of a paper and you don’t want to keep switching screens.

Depending on your course you might need a dictionary, thesaurus, and a citation style manual. Most college classes in the humanities use MLA citation style, while science and research papers use APA-style citations.

14.Flash Drive

With free could storage like OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox, it’s a lot easier to keep track of your work without relying on an ever-disappearing flash drive.

Yet, there are a few times when a flash drive will come in handy. That’s especially true when you don’t have internet access, or you want to keep your documents extra secure. Occasionally, a lecturer might ask you to hand in your work on a flash drive too.

15.Student Planner

A student planner helps you keep track of your life at a glance. An online calendar’s great, but it’s not always easy to gain a perspective of what’s coming up on a device.

With so many outings, sports events, deadlines, and classes to attend to, a student planner comes in super-handy for managing your time at college.

Embrace Every Moment of Your College Years

College is one of the most exciting times of your life, and now you can make the most of it thanks to this list of must-haves for college success.

When you’ve got your studies down pat with these college school supplies, you automatically have more time for all the fun activities and socializing up for grabs in this busy environment.

Keep browsing our blog for handy tech tips to suit any stage of your life. 


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