School Supplies for College Students

Book bags with wheels attached have got to be the best invention since the girdle panty. Arthritis sufferers will love them–and over 30-year-olds with a bum back. Here is a list of school supplies for college that will get you started.

  • Pens – Erasermate pens are great for writing in-class essays, so you can “erase” your mistakes afterwards.
  • Pencils – I’ve always preferred retractable pencils as oppose to have-to-sharpen-with-a-pencil-sharpener pencils.
  • Notebook with Paper – You’ll need a notebook for note taking, but also for in and out of class assignments. Professors prefer notebooks with clean edges; that is, if you want a clean grade.
  • Dictionary – Some professors will take points off from incorrectly used words or misspelled words. that is, if you don’t use spellcheck on the computer.
  • Calculator – Math classes can be stubborn, so why bother with calculating 5684 divided by 79 in your head?
  • Post-it® Notes and Flags – These items are good for sticking inside your textbooks.
  • Small Stapler or Paper Clips – In-class essays can be long.
  • Aspirin – Painkillers for headaches or body aches while your professor is lecturing for three hours.
  • Band-Aids – For in-school cuts and scrapes. Remember, college kids are contagious!
  • Anti-bacterial Wipes – It’s not uncommon for the school’s restroom to run out of soap. Coincidently, while you’re in there.
  • 9 x 12 Bookbag, minimum – A sheet of paper is at least eight and a half by eleven inches. Do you see the correlation?
  • USB Memory Device – A USB memory device is for file saving from a computer and transport because having a “diskette” is way too old school. Some of your classes will actually be in the computer lab.

Textbooks and Other Supplies for College

Buy textbooks on the first day of class or email your professors ahead of time. The number of books available at the school bookstore does not equal the number of students registered for a particular class. Some students buy their books from other students or at online stores like Amazon,, EBay or you can check here for textbooks. In which case, the bookstore doesn’t want to end up holding more stock than the demand.

Resale Value of Textbooks

Sometimes professors are just mean. And the school bookstore’s personnel look like the childhood monster that gallivanted from your closet as a child. You buy a textbook, oh, let’s say for $130, a brand spankin’ new paperback. Then, after the semester is over, the bookstore offers to pay you $40 for the said book. Or worse, after you’ve purchased a $65 book for a business class and you try to sell it back to the bookstore, you get this kind of lip: “We’re sorry, but this is the old edition and we can’t buy it back.”

Unfortunately, this happens a lot and there is not much you can do about it, other than use the textbook in the library or try to find the book online at a discounted bookseller. You could always organize a protest with your fellow budding students to demand that professors use books that are up to date with a higher resale value. But then again, you could always sell the book yourself.

Reading Glasses

My vision wasn’t “poor” until I started reading text the size of a Battledore-Wing, Fairy Fly. With that said, you should start picking out reading glasses if you haven’t already. This is not to say that you need glasses (of course not!). This is to say that most textbooks try to squeeze in as much text as possible with eight-point fonts, so they can save on trees–or production costs.


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