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14 things every college student needs (even those still living at home)

Male and female students using laptops in classroom

Back-to-school season is here, which means there's not a lot of time left to shop for the back-to-school essentials every college student needs. Whether you're heading back to campus, spending another semester living with your parents, or happen to be said parents yourself, now is the time to pick up a new laptop, planner, backpack, bedding and more.

Take a look at these things every college student needs -- even those still living at home -- from Apple, Lululemon, Keurig and more student-loved brands.

Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5
Acer via Amazon

Having a computer is all but essential, but there's no need to spend thousands to find one for college. The 15.6-inch Acer Aspire 5 is a lightweight Windows 10 laptop, powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 processor, that features 128GB of storage and 4GB of memory. It's not the right laptop for creative students who need a more powerful machine for image and video editing, but it's more than enough computer for taking notes, accessing lesson plans and homework, taking remote classes, watching YouTube and staying in touch with family.

It's usually priced at $400, but you can save $26 on the Acer Aspire 5 right now at Amazon.

Apple MacBook Pro

2020 Apple MacBook Pro
Apple via Amazon

Not every college student needs an Apple MacBook Pro, but having one can be invaluable for anyone working with graphics and video. The entry-level model, powered by the snappy Apple M1 processor, offers 256GB of storage, 8GB of memory, a touch bar with Touch ID and up to 20 hours of battery life. Available in space gray and silver, it's currently 15% off at Amazon. 

Hunter original waterproof Chelsea rain boot

Hunter original waterproof Chelsea rain boot
Hunter via Nordstrom

Once you've inevitably walked a mile to class in a torrential downpour, you'll be more than sold on investing in a pair of rainboots. These classic men's Chelsea rain boots, available in two hues, are reduced from $140 to $90 as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Joules Ashby premium lace-up Chelsea boots

Joules Ashby premium lace up Chelsea boots

You'll never guess that these Chelsea women's boots are actually rain gear. They come in black or navy and have cool contrast laces.

Papier The Jag academic year planner

Papier The Jag academic year planner

A planner is a must, whether digital or old-school. This 12-month academic planner with a cool jaguar print has weekly and monthly overviews. It's available in two colors, and you can customize it with your name.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo true wireless earbuds

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds
Anker via Amazon

A good pair of headphones come in handy during study time. The Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo offers solid sound quality, Amazon reviewers say, especially given their under-$50 price point. They're a great pair of wireless earbuds for the gym, too: The Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo is IPX7 waterproof, offering protection well beyond sweat resistance. They last for 5 hours on a single charge, or for 20 hours when you recharge them using the included wired charging case.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro
Apple via Amazon

A big upgrade over the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo earbuds, the Apple AirPods Pro offer premium sound and a premium look. They also feature active noise cancellation, a perk that can come in handy in noisy dorms -- turn it on while the music's playing, and the outside world fades away. Apple AirPods Pro last up to 4.5 hours on a single charge, or up to 24 hours with the included wireless charging case.

Regularly $249 at Apple, you can pick up these trendy earbuds for $190 on Amazon.

Uncommon Goods fix-it kit

Uncommon Goods fix-it kit
Uncommon Goods

A toolkit is a must when setting up a dormroom. This one, which includes a hammer, pliers, a tape measure, a screwdriver and more, is available in pink or black. 

Keurig K-Supreme Plus Smart single-serve coffee maker

Keurig K-Supreme Plus smart single serve coffee maker

The latest Keurig model, the Keurig K-Supreme Plus Smart, has a technology called BrewID. The tech recognizes the brand and roast of your K-Cup, and automatically customizes brew settings according to the recommendations of the roaster who created it. You can further fine-tune your cup by choosing from five strength, six temperature, and five cup-size settings.

Lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0

Lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0

Here's a solid backpack that'll hold up for more than just one year. Choose from five colors in this water-repellent backpack from Lululemon with a 16-inch laptop pocket. 

Calpak Kaya laptop backpack

Calpak Kaya laptop backpack

If sporty just isn't your style, check out this faux leather backpack that comes in a range of colors. It has a compartment for a 15-inch laptop and a luggage-trolley sleeve for traveling. 

Urban Outfitters Myla floral duvet set

Urban Outfitters Myla floral duvet set
Urban Outfitters

This floral-print duvet cover set is available in a twin XL size, suitable for dorm beds (standard sizes are available as well). The dorm room-friendly twin XL set comes with a duvet cover and pillowcase.

Twin XL-size duvet set

AllModern Coolidge 100% cotton duvet cover set

AllModern Coolidge duvet cover set

If prints aren't your thing, try this 100% cotton duvet cover set from AllModern that's 37% off. Choose from six colors and all sizes, including twin XL for dorm beds. This set includes shams and a duvet cover.

Twin XL-size duvet set

Great Bay Home jersey knit sheets

Great Bay Home Jersey Knit Sheets
Great Bay Home via Amazon

College residence-hall beds are generally twin XL size, so go to school prepared with twin XL bedding. These jersey-knit sheets (80% cotton, 20% polyester) by Great Bay Home are super comfy -- like sleeping in a big t-shirt -- and available in 9 colors to fit any dorm-room aesthetic. This 4.6-star-rated set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcase.

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