20 Awesome College Survival Kit Ideas

Illustration College Students Diploma Books Supplies


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If you know someone heading off to college or university, you’ll want to make sure they’re fully prepared for the year ahead. And an excellent way to do just that is to put together a well-thought-out college survival kit, equipped with all the essentials.

Short on ideas? Read on!

1. Medicine Bag

Kaddy Pill OrganizerAmazon.com

This is perhaps the most essential item to include in a student survival kit, as having a medicine bag lying around is always a good idea.

Kaddy’s Pill Organiser has six different compartments for easy storage and features a TSA-approved built-in lock, which will make travelling a lot easier.

As for the contents of the medicine bag, you can add things like throat pastilles, cough syrup, aspirin, and cold and flu medicine – perfect for freshers’ flu and its annoying symptoms!

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2. Toiletry Bag

Wayfarer Supply Toiletry BagAmazon.com

Another vital addition to a student survival pack, a fully equipped toiletry bag will keep the prospective freshman well-groomed and polished.

The Wayfarer Supply toiletry bag not only has ample space and different compartments for toiletry products, but it can be hung from its rotating hook, too. Plus, its water-resistant fabric makes it highly functional and durable.

Quintessential items to include in the bag to consider: a toothbrush, nail clippers, cotton buds, hand cream, hygiene products and razors.

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3. Snacks

Blue Ribbon Care PackageAmazon.com

No student survival kit could be complete without snacks. These will especially come in handy during late-night cravings or early lectures.

Blue Ribbon offers the perfect combo of grab-and-go options, including cereal bars, crackers and cookie boxes. Basically, this variety pack is a dream come true for any college student!

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4. Toolset

Blue tool set bag and toolsAmazon.com

Usually, there are maintenance services available at student halls, but a toolset will be useful to set up furniture and do minor repairs that don’t require professional help.

The GreatNeck set includes all the essentials for small projects and repairs, plus it comes in a compact case and a lovely colour.

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5. Supermarket Gift Cards

Whole Foods Market Gift CardAmazon.com

Supermarket gift cards are an excellent way for you to ensure your loved one stays fed. Arguably, you could include some pocket money in the survival kit, but a gift card will be a good back-up if your kid ends up spending their budget on other things.

There’s a whole range of shops to choose from, depending on what’s available near the university campus. This Whole Foods Market gift card is a popular choice, especially considering the range of products available.

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6. Earplugs

Fluents Purple Earplugs in a plastic BoxAmazon.com

Student halls can get pretty loud, especially with noisy roommates or loud neighbours, or both! So, a good pair of earplugs should do the trick, especially during exam season!

Fluents offers 50 pairs of soft foam earplugs stored in a portable case to keep them safe and clean.

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7. First Aid Kit


MediKit First Aid KitAmazon.com

Adding a first aid kit to the survival pack is a wise choice. Even if never used (hopefully!), it’s always good to have access to plasters or burn cream!

MediKit offers a fully kitted bag with all the essentials, and its compact size means it won’t take up much space!

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8. Aromatic Candles

Chesapeake Bay CandlesAmazon.com

Student apartments rarely boast sound ventilation systems and cracking a window open will hardly do the trick. And that’s why an aromatic candle will make for an excellent addition to any college kit ensemble.

Chesapeake Bay’s candles are a great choice. They can burn for up to 70 hours, and their fragrances are naturally enhanced with essential oils, offering a clean and natural smell.

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9. Laundry Bag

Dalykate laundry bagAmazon.com

On a more practical note, having a laundry bag is essential for any student. Although not the most fun item on the list, it will make life a lot easier for them - especially when it’s time to do two weeks’ worth of laundry!

If you want to make this gift a bit funkier, Dalykate offers a backpack laundry bag with adjustable straps. It even has an external pocket for the cleaning products and an inner zipper for coins!

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10. Sewing Kit

Coquimbo sewing kitAmazon.com

Including a sewing set is a great idea, especially when your loved one needs to deal with any outfit emergencies.

Coquimbo’s compact sewing kit contains all the essentials for minor repairs – an ideal option for someone who is a novice with a needle and a thread!

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11. Water Bottle


Having a reusable water bottle has multiple benefits, including that it’s cost-effective and sustainable. Plus, it’s a great way to stay hydrated, which is a common struggle for college students.

Simple Modern offers a wide range of cool designs, and the vacuum insulation in their products means that drinks will stay hot or cold for hours.

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12. Electric Blanket

Pure Enrichment electric blanketAmazon.com

Nothing beats a soft blanket, except an electric one - which is why it will be a great addition to any student survival pack. If you’re not sure which one to go for, Pure Enrichment’s electric blanket is not only super soft but also super safe, as it boasts an auto-safety shut-off feature.

In the case of a poorly heated room, this will be a lifesaver for any student, although it might make getting out of bed a bit harder!

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13. Safety Whistle

Noopel safety whistleAmazon.com

Although perhaps not the jolliest item on the list, a safety whistle is a must. University campuses are generally safe places, so this is merely a precautionary measure.

Noopel’s whistles are a particularly good choice. They provide up to 120 decibels, they’re lightweight and easy to carry, and they can be used in any weather condition due to their water-resistant design.

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14. Academic Planner

Black Academic Planner 2020-2021 with spiral spineAmazon.com

University life can get quite busy, and a good planner is always appreciated by students.

BooQool's academic planner is a perfect gift for the busy college student. Its convenient page layout and stylish design allows room for detailed planning and scheduling, and it will help your loved one stay organised!

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15. Stationery

Anker stationery setAmazon.com

No survival kit is complete without a good set of stationery. Although it depends on the student’s needs, things like pencils, pens and scissors are always useful. If you’re looking for a simple option, Anker’s stationery set contains all the basics for college students.

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16. Instant Food Items

Annie Chun’s noodlesAmazon.com

Even though students should maintain a healthy diet during college, there isn’t always enough time for a wholesome meal. A few instant noodle pots in your kit will definitely be appreciated, especially after late-night study sessions.

That said, these don’t have to be completely unhealthy. Annie Chun’s products are an excellent example, as they contain zero saturated fats and they’re a lot more nutritious than conventional noodle pots!

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17. Coffee Travel Mug

Ello travel mugAmazon.com

For the coffee-dependent student, a coffee mug is a definite necessity.

Ello’s stainless-steel travel mug is both leak-proof and BPA-free, so it’s a safe and healthy option. Plus, it can keep beverages hot for nearly five hours. That way, your loved one will be able to carry a hot cup of coffee around all day and get through their 9am classes without worries.

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18. Playing Cards

Bicycle playing cardsAmazon.com

In a long list of practical survival pack items, here’s something a bit more fun. Card tricks and games are a great way to break the ice with others – perfect if your loved one is a bit on the shy side.

Bicycle’s single deck is suited for a variety of card games and will, without a doubt, come in handy during the first days of college.

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19. Power Strip

Anker power stripAmazon.com

A common struggle in student accommodation is the lack of power plugs for electronic devices. However, there’s a simple solution to this: a power strip.

Anker’s power hub offers overload protection for extra safety, and it can host up to three outlets and three USB ports at the same time.

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20. Kettle

AmazonBasics kettleAmazon.com

A humble yet valuable addition to the list. Although it has a single function, a kettle can be a real time-saver. Whether it’s for coffee, instant noodles or tea, having a kettle will make everything a lot easier.

There’s no need to do a lot of searching for this one, as AmazonBasics offers an affordable option with an automatic shut-off function and a cordless design for easier serving.

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If you want to create a thoughtful gift for a prospective college freshman, consider adding some (or all) of these items in your student survival kit.

Going to university is a significant change, so having the essentials is a good way to help them ease into college life!

What do you think of our survival kit ideas? Is there anything else that should be included? Let us know in the comments section below!