What Supplies Does Every High School Freshman Need?

Over 4 million students began high school in 2010.

1 What are School Supplies for High School?

Junior high and middle school students often experience big changes when they transition to high school. Entering the freshman year of high school involves attending a new building, meeting new teachers and facing new challenges and opportunities. Freshmen often take more specialized courses than they have in lower grades, and some students experience having lockers for the first time in their educational careers. These new experiences necessitate changes in the school supplies students need each fall. Although individual requirements vary depending upon schedule and instructors, some supplies are fairly standard.

Back to school is often the time many students are required or encouraged to collect their needed school supplies, and many schools offer school supplies lists or back-to-school supplies for their students before the first day. These lists can include things like colored pencils, flash drives, glue sticks, mechanical pencils, notebook paper, pocket folders, ballpoint pens and many other needed supplies for the student’s school year. Students and their parents tend to use Amazon or local stores to college their needed supplies before the start of classes, and sometimes the child’s teacher can offer supplies for their class. While school supply lists are most common for students in grade school, like elementary school, middle school or high school, some college students also have required supply lists.

2 What Supplies Does Every High School Freshman Need?

3 Basics

While high school supplies can vary by year, teacher, and class, there are many supplies that are considered basic. Pencils, pens, erasers, sharpies and spiral notebooks make up the staples for school, including the freshman year. A portable pencil sharpener comes in handy when the classroom sharpener is busy or for quick use after class starts. Spiral notebooks fit easily into small spaces such as cramped lockers and backpacks, making them easily carried. Students can carry small supplies between classes more easily with a soft pencil case, particularly if students are not allowed to cart backpacks with them into classrooms. Even then, freshmen need a sturdy backpack to carry homework materials after school.

4 Organization

Loose-leaf notebooks stack easily in most lockers and can be labeled for quick reading along the spine. Purchasing a different color notebook for each class can help students choose necessary materials from their lockers quickly with less chance of grabbing the wrong notebook. Some students prefer a single, large binder with dividers. Binders also allow students to clip pencil bags and folders inside, saving space and keeping materials organized, and students can easily add or remove paper. Most importantly, students need a method to keep track of assignments, so include a small date book or assignment notebook. Spiral-bound college-ruled notebooks are also listed for certain classes needing more writing space for notes, and three-ring binders can also come in handy when needing organization help.

5 Technology

Many students desire laptops, but schools don't usually require high school freshmen to have them. Instead, districts often give students access to computer labs on campus. Rather than a computer, parents should supply a calculator because math, science and business classes often use them. Higher-level math and sciences courses tend to demand more complicated devices such as graphing calculators or scientific calculators, so students should wait until they hear from the teachers for these classes before purchasing a model to be certain they get the correct one. Protractors can also be used in certain class settings.

6 Other Supplies

Some must-have materials make studying easier. Students can use index cards for research or making flash cards. These may be ruled or not and come in various colors that can be helpful for organizing. Highlighters draw attention to important material, making studying easier. Many schools encourage students to carry water bottles, especially during warmer months. Finally, lockers don't always have built-in combination locks, so purchase necessary padlocks. Even if the main locker has a built-in lock, the gym, art or music lockers may not. Lunchboxes, scotch tape, post-its or sticky notes, hold punches, and even construction paper can also be needed for different classes and activities in high school.

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.