8 unexpected things every student should bring to college

 PhotoAlto/Dinoco Greco | Getty Images

It's that time of year when students across the country pack their bags and head off to college. There are few feelings as satisfying as the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have everything you need for every situation ahead. Friends, families and your school itself will all have their own packing suggestions — but there will always be something missing.

Students know they need to bring classic college materials like books, a laundry bag and bed risers, but here are eight unexpected things every students should be bringing to college that won't be on a packing list:

Baby noise machine


Price: $34.99

Consider: the Marpac Dohn Original Sound Conditioner™ Hushh Portable Sound Machine

One of the cheapest and most effective ways to deal with noisy roommates or neighbors is a portable sound machine. Sound machines specifically designed for babies are great options because they are often designed for "on the go for portable naps" which means you can easily bring yours with you, whether you're sleeping in your dorm or grabbing a nap in the library.

Credit card

Capital On

Price: $0

Consider: the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card

While college may feel like a scary time to open a credit card, it can actually be one of the most financially responsible things students can do. Many students leave college with little or no credit history but by opening a credit card made especially for students and consistently paying it off, you can earn cash back and build a credit score that will help you thrive once you graduate. John Ganotis, founder of, recommends the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card to CNBC Make It.

Essential oil diffuser


Price: $19.99

Consider: the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

Dorm rooms are notoriously smelly, but most colleges don't allow scented candles and Febreze (which, don't get me wrong, students should also bring) can only do so much. If you want to make your dorm room a place your friends actually want to visit, consider bringing an essential oil diffuser. There are plenty of surprisingly affordable options that will make your space smell like home.

Ice trays


Price: $2.49

Consider: the Sterilite® Ice Cube Tray White

Some dorms will have ice machines — but most won't. Buying a few inexpensive ice trays will pay off big on hot days when you need a nice cold drink, and since other students probably wont be bringing their own, having a few on hand can help you break the ice.

Mini steamer

Joy Mangano

Price: $19.99

Consider: the Joy Mangano mini hand steamer

Bringing an iron and an ironing board to college is one of the least convenient ways to keep your clothes looking sharp. This mini steamer is small enough to fit into even the smallest of dorm rooms, and is perfect for smoothing out wrinkles on first-day-of-school-outfits.

Old sneakers

 seb_ra | Getty Images

Price: $0

Consider: Your closet

Everyone wants to look their best at school, but only bringing your nicest most revered shoes will mean missing out on lots of fun that college has to offer. Late night walks home, early trips to the library and impromptu sporting events will make you grateful for a trusty pair of sneakers that you don't mind getting dirty.

One (and only one) notebook


Price: $ 27.00

Consider: Rocketbook Wave

It's easy to get carried away with the school supply shopping but all you need during your first week of college is one really great notebook. Each class will require different materials and it is a mistake to spend lots of money on supplies before you know exactly what you need. If you have an open mind, you can even consider a high-tech option like the Rocketbook Wave, which allows you to upload notes online and can be wiped clean.

Swiss Army Knife


Price: $54.99

Consider: Huntsman Wood Medium Pocket Knife

While handy parents may want to see students head off to school with a full tool-kit in tow, most students won't actually need everything that includes. A Swiss Army Knife is a convenient way to bring a knife, screwdriver and scissors to campus. Plus, students over the age of 21 know that a corkscrew and bottle opener is always a helpful tool to have on hand.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss:

Marcus Lemonis: Here's why it's important to graduate from college
Marcus Lemonis: Here's why it's important to graduate from college