Don't buy every item available at Bed Bath and Beyond.
I know what you are probably thinking: "What does she have against Bed Bath and Beyond?" Overall, I think they are a great one stop shopping trip for college. I love the fact that you can reserve items (more like register for them, like you would for a wedding registry) in your hometown and pick them up in your college town. But it's the attitude of college students that buy all of their dorm stuff at BB&B, Target, Walmart, etc. First, when you buy all your decor items at these super common and accessible places (yes, that's what makes them convinent, but that's why the rest of the world shops there too), be prepared that at least one other person on your floor will have the same stuff. Or all of your roommates in some cases.
Point number two, my biggest pet peeve are these pictures:
Notice something? These rooms' contents are entirely from Bed Bath and Beyond. And would I call these dorm rooms well decorated? Not so much. It's entirely purchased without thought, without personality, and honestly, not very intelligently. What makes a space yours is what you put in it obviously. And I don't think anyone would describe themselves as being BB&B. I'm not saying don't shop there. But I do say, mix and match. Not every item in your room needs to be purchased at the same store. I actually highly advise against that. Pick out things that you like, things that are useful for you, and don't worry about not buying everything in this year's college line at Target. Every place has good pieces. I think Walmart is great overall for bulk. If you don't need something special, buy it there. Things like towels, plastic containers (like Rubbermaid).
Don't let big super stores bully you into thinking what you "need" for college.
My best advice? I'm sure you can make a list of things you use daily, weekly, and monthly that you'll need. And I'm sure you have friends that are already in college. Ask them! Things like Ziplocks, band-aids, and disinfecting wipes are rarely on stores' lists.
More will come! Thanks for reading! And if you need help knowing what to pack, feel free to ask me!