Supplies for College Classes

It’s getting to be about that time—classes start pretty soon, and you need to start getting ready. And while “getting ready” doesn’t mean the same thing in college as it did before, there are a few things that are pretty similar, one being that you’ll need to buy school supplies.

Buying school supplies for college depends largely on the classes that you’re taking. There are quite a few things that you’ll need for any class, though, so that makes it a little easier.

Many professors also include a list of required items in the syllabus for their class. Not everyone does this, though, so it’s good to start thinking before your class starts about what you’ll need to successfully complete the class so you’re not scrambling to buy one last thing right before you need it for the class.

Most of the things you’ll need for every class involve writing. They’re the obvious things, like notebooks. It’s not a bad idea to buy a lot more notebooks than you need at the beginning of the year so you can just grab one from your stash when you need it (this can be especially useful if you end up needing more than one for any given class).

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Notebooks are great for taking notes in, but you can’t take many notes without having something to write with, so make sure you have a bunch of pens or pencils as well. Which you use is up to you, many people like pencils. The ability to erase what you’ve written can be useful in classes that involve a lot of math.

An alternative to using notebooks for taking notes is to bring your laptop to class and take notes on that. If you’re prone to distraction, this may not be the best idea, as you’ll probably have internet access, and it’s easy to get off track and stop listening.

Whichever you decide to do, you should also invest in some 3-ring binders or folders so that you can keep any handouts, old quizzes or tests, and your syllabus together.

You can also take your notes out of your notebook and put them in a binder, keeping everything from that class in one place.

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Other than notebooks, pens or pencils, and a 3-ring binder or folder, your supplies will depend on your class.

  • Are you taking a math class? You’ll need a calculator (and probably a pretty robust one—consult your syllabus for requirements), and having a notebook filled with graph paper might not be a bad idea. You might also need a compass or a ruler as well, especially if you’re in a geometric math class.
  • If you’re taking a body science class, like anatomy or physiology, you may need your own set of calipers or a goniometer (though these are usually provided for you). You’ll need to purchase your own set of lab goggles for chemistry and biology.

What you’ll need for a class varies considerably—so check your syllabus early and make sure you’re prepared on the first day!