5 Things Camden Can’t Live Without in College {+ FREE Printable Dorm Packing List}

*this post is in partnership with Walmart. All thoughts and opinions are ours.

I remember the stress of moving to college last year. With my first freshman, I was feeling all the feels and completely lost on what he really needed to succeed and be happy in college. This year is so different because Cam knows EXACTLY what he wants and needs – phew! I recently sat him down to get his absolute must-haves for every college student. Plus, he helped me create a FREE printable College Dorm Checklist to make move-in day a whole lot less stressful for you.

The point of college is to be a launching pad for life, right? So you want to make sure their education and technology needs are addressed first.

5 things Camden says ALL students need

  • Portable– after taking an expensive break from a laptop after Camden dropped it while skateboarding in class, we learned that having a more affordable laptop was very important, at least at bring to class. Especially since all missions are web-based and stored in a cloud anyway.

Walmart has some great options like this Acer Aspire 3 with a 15.6-inch Full HD screen. 802.11ac 5 Wi-Fi delivers a smooth Internet experience at connection speeds up to three times faster than previous generations!

  • Desk– obviously your student is going to spend a lot of time studying – at least that’s the hope! So making sure they have a good office is super important. Here’s the thing though. They will most likely move around again and again, so you don’t want anything expensive.

That’s why we recommend something like this Mainstays Small Writing Desk with Two Shelves. At just $32.96, you can’t beat it. Plus, it’s compact, which is necessary when you’re dealing with a dorm room.

  • Comfortable chair– in addition to a desk, your student obviously needs a chair and because he’s going to be spending a lot of time there, you want something comfortable. Camden was really pleased with the Mainstays Vinyl & Mesh Office Chair. If you’re looking for something a little more compact, Cam says the Mainstays Mesh Task Chair with Plush Padded Seat was also super comfortable.
  • Listeners– Cam said the noise level in his dorm was always really loud, so he really used his headphones a lot. We went with the onn. Noise canceling headphones on the ear. Cam liked that they were super light, they could last a long time between charges, and the Bluetooth connectivity was still very good.

He said he preferred his Beats Studio Buds for working out in the gym better than the over-ear headphones. He even claims they stay in place better than his Apple Airpods which would always fall out while he was working out.

  • Office organization– organization is the key to academic success, it helps reduce stress levels, and it’s just essential because let’s face it. The dorms are super small and the organization helps you fit more of what you need. Below are a few items Cam says he used and loved last year (and what he’s bringing back with him this year).

We were able to find everything we needed on our list above at Walmart. With their everyday low prices, it’s a lot less stressful to get your middle schooler everything they need to go to school. Not to mention the fact that you can grab everything they need there, like an air fryer, steamer, wrinkle pen, blemish pen, shower shoes, and shower caddy. These were a few more “must haves” from Camden’s list – ha! So random!


One tip we have is to use the Walmart app to order everything for in-store pickup at the Walmart near your child’s campus. It saves a lot of space if you’re packing a car and definitely easier if you’re flying to your student’s campus. Walmart also offers awesome (and fast) shipping. If your student’s dorm allows it, this can also be a very convenient and cost-effective option.

To make dorm shopping a breeze, head to the homepage of Walmart.com for all your college needs. They’ve got everything your student could need, from tech to cleaning supplies to toiletries and even fashion, all in one easy-to-buy place.

You can also check out their University Checklist for a very comprehensive overview of EVERYTHING your student might need or you can download the FREE printable Camden Dorms Checklist here.

free printable dorm packing list

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