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Back-to-College Essentials

Being prepared for college goes beyond your basic bedding

Written and produced by Anna Logan

Tapestries and fairy lights don’t have to be the go-to design choice for dorm décor. Living comfortably in an apartment or dorm requires thinking outside the box. Beautiful bedding is a given, but what about a funky lamp and a chic French press to make those all-nighters a little more bearable? Here, 15 essential items you’ll need to survive college.  

Add a bit of luxe to your room by upgrading from cold tile floors to a comfy rug. Unique Loom makes beautiful and reasonable rugs and recommends going with a 5x8.

New for fall, this bedroll from Jayson Home is both cozy and stylish. Don’t waste your money on trendy bedding you’ll want to dump in spring. Instead, invest in a solid blanket to use on your bed or at the chilly October tailgate. 

This lamp puts a fun new spin on a traditional silhouette. Using LED technology, Rejuvenation’s Bulbing Ziggi Desk Lamp is both chic and good for the environment. Did we mention how cute it is? Be sure to snag yours when it goes on sale in October!

Limited wall space leaves little room for boring. Kate Spade’s Written in the Stars Calendar keeps track of all your football games, sorority date nights, and term papers.

Dorms are notorious for being petri dishes during cold and flu season. These adorable tissue box covers from Collier Rose Ink mask ugly box designs and come in a range of patterns from soft and sweet to tribal and dynamic.

This heart shaped light from CB2’s newest collaboration with Fred Segal is an essential light and accessory for any college student’s room.

Spending a few dollars on coffee every morning is a great way to run out of money. Instead, opt for this French press. Trust us, your espresso will taste better than what any Starbucks barista would make.

Every true coffee lover needs their own mug. Not only are the hearts on this set darling, but West Elm will also donate 50 percent of proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign. 

Indulge yourself with these super soft, super chic towels from Matouk. The monogrammed letter ensures that no one will steal your new favorite towel.

Communal showers are no fun, but you won’t have to worry about someone using your $75 shampoo if you store it in PBteen’s Bath Beauty Bin. Plus, carrying it back and forth to the shower won’t be a chore—you’ll want to show it off!

Being sleep deprived doesn’t mean you have to skimp on luxurious self-care. With Meant, you can get a full-service spa night with only five products. Their Absolute Balm is to die for.

Perfect for that first college apartment or your post-grad crash pad, the Aria Malachite Bar Cart is a timeless piece that transitions with you from young adulthood to maturity.

Losing thumbtacks is a nightmare, not to mention a safety hazard! This adorable build-a-hedgehog from Kate Spade prevents serious injury and may even make living without your dog a little easier. On sale in September.

Tape dispensers are one of those things you never truly realize you need until it’s too late. This brass dispenser is sturdy enough that it won’t go missing but not bulky enough to be a nuisance.  

Some days, college students can barely keep themselves moving, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to try to keep some plants alive. These iridescent terrariums from West Elm take the succulent trend and add a designer stamp of approval. Mark your calendars! These beauties go on sale September 19.