So while looking at decorations for next year’s room I kept running across packing lists for new college Freshman. And I definitely remember looking at them and thinking, God I need so much stuff and I definitely overspent in preparation for this year. So do yourself a favor and while you need to be prepared don’t buy something that you have never used before and think you need now. So, I will give you my list of what I think are college essentials and why.
Rule #1: Don’t bring everything, because then when you go home for visits you have to pack so much, just to feel like you have options and you’ll never wear it all anyway and have to pack it all up at the end of the year anyways. So bring:
- T-shirts: don’t lie to yourself, you’re not going to dress up everyday and you need something to sleep in…
- Blouses: they are what make the everyday outfit into a masterpiece!
- Jeans/ Sweatpants/ Leggings/ Jeggings (honestly whatever your go to pants are, because college makes you feel lazier than ever and if you’re not comfortable then why wear it?)
- Layering Options: So cardigans,sweaters,jackets, coats, tanktops: weather is unpredictable, know and accept that
- Two Dressing Up options: Have a pair of colored pants for your lazy days when you need to dress up and don’t want to, and a nice skirt or dress for when you have to dress up seriously and pants are a no-go.
- Underclothes (bras (Sports Bras too), underwear, socks): unless you’re a commando kind of person
- Lastly: bring some accessories to spruce up the everyday or to change up a look
- Laundry Supplies (Detergent, softener, dryer sheets, unless your a pod person, then bring those, and a laundry basket) If your laundry isn’t free, bring a few rolls of quarters.
Rule #2: Don’t bring every piece of make-up you own. Honestly in the weeks before college starts, categorize what you use daily and only pack that and maybe some backups. I brought way too much and have slowly brought stuff home every visit, because it clutters up the small space you have to live in. So bring:
- Your everyday beauty routine stuff:(make-up, moisturizers, face wash, and shower supplies, perfumes, toothbrush, etc.)
- I highly recommend a plastic shower caddy, the cloth ones, while cute, get gross and don’t dry as quickly.
- The one thing lots of people forget is nail-clippers, because whenever we’ve needed them they’ve always been there and we’ve never thought about it.
- Most freshman dorms don’t have any personal bathrooms, they’re communal, so don’t bring a shower curtain or toothbrush holder, you’ll feel pretty stupid spending money on something you can’t use.
- If you are a person that uses a razor with switchable razor heads, bring backup razor heads, because the stores around campus don’t always supply the ones you need and no one likes to feel prickly.
- DEODERANT!!!: I would think that would be a given in the every day routine stuff, but some people don’t so please bring some and use it….
- Towels!: because dripping water all over the floor is no fun.
- A Robe- walking naked from the showers is a no-go and putting clothes on when you’re still wet is no fun
- Shower shoes: aka flip flops, people are gross and you don’t want to get mixed up in their nastiness.
- Your medicines if you take any!
- Have your mom fill a first-aid kit for you! Your mom knows your illness tendencies better than anyone and when you get sick on campus, you don’t want to have to drive to Walgreen to get Tylenol or cough syrup.
Rule #3: If you didn’t use it in high school what makes you think you’re suddenly going to decide to use it at college?
- A PLANNNER!!!: They don’t provide one anymore, so don’t just grab a cute one, get one that you know you’ll use and can keep track of assignments and projects in because once the syllabus is handed out, you won’t be told about assignments, you’ll just need to know and do them in time. ( Gosh, being grown up is hard!)
- Notebooks: they’re quick and easy, especially if your laptop dies in class and they’re no outlets or even worse your professor is old-fashioned and doesn’t allow computers or cellphones in class (it happens…)-Don’t spend a ton of money on cute notebooks either, march your butt down to the local dollar store and get the cheap option, college is expensive; don’t spend money when it isn’t necessary.
- Highlighters!: You can write all over your textbooks! ( But not if you’re renting it…remember which books are which)
- Pens: and lots of them especially if you’re a color-coded sort of person, get lots of colors!
- A Printer: If your school has free printing don’t bother, but if not, it’s cheaper to just get one, or use an old one your parents don’t use anymore! Remember the paper and ink to go with it or it’s useless.
- Pencils: Unless you’re confident enough to take an exam in pen or think the scantron will accept it.
- 3-Hole punch
Rule #4: If you thought this should go under School Supplies then you’re sadly mistaken…Being organized is honestly the key to success in college.
- If you’re bringing something, it should fit in a container, preferably a reusable one so that it will be easier to bring everything back home at the end of the year.
- Ottomans are really great because they store stuff, and you can sit on them or kick back in them.
- If you’re able to loft your bed, definitely bring something you can sit on, like a futon, or an inflatable chair or a bean bag! Just someplace you can study in or when friends come over, they can have somewhere to sit. Sitting on other people’s beds can feel awkward not just for you but for the person that has to sit there.
- A Lamp: If your roommate is sleeping or you have to get ready for an early class or are studying late hours: a homey lamp is the best light source ever!
- Tissues and Germ-X: again, the dorms are a dirty place!
Rule #5: Bring things to decorate that you love, but that aren’t so obnoxious that your roommate constantly thinks of throwing them out when you’re not there. Options are:
- Twinkle Lights (Battery operated of course!): They make everything cozy and will make you feel more at home.
- A good throw blanket! You don’t want to constantly hide under your covers to get warm!
- Pictures of family and friends. Familiar faces make the first semester seem easier to get through.
- Your favorite books…or a couple of your favorite books (if you’re hurting for space, download Kindle to your computer or tablet and store them on there.)
- Something smelly: and by that I mean a good smell. Dorms aren’t known for smelling like daisies.
- A rug: winters are cold and your feet will feel it if you have tiled floors like I do.
- Trash can: unless your room is your trash can and I’ll try to respect that.
- A one person dining set, have two of each utensil, two plates, a bowl and a mug (it seems like a little, but you don’t need a lot. Don’t buy this stuff, steal from your parents, they will be glad to not pay as much)
- Dishtowel and dishrag: Unless you plan to lick it clean?….I mean you could…
- Dish Soap: because germs are yucky!
- Ziplock baggies! or some form of tupperware : You’ll use them more than you think!
- A travel mug: early morning classes deserve your attention too
- A water-bottle: dehydrated is not a good luck on anyone.
- Snack foods…whatever you like that lasts a long time (If you don’t want to buy it before you get to campus, scout the local Sam’s Club or Costco that’s near and go during welcome week!)
- If you like to cook…bring the stuff for it.
Rule #6: If momma ain’t happy, then no one is! The same applies for college students and their beds! If it’s not comfortable, you won’t be able to sleep.
- All the normal things you need to make a bed (Linens, a spare set of linens, blankets and pillows!)
- I highly advise both a mattress pad and an eggshell mattress pad. (These beds are thinner than a chip.)
- Some sort of pillow that you can lean on while studying, like the large pillows with arms!
- And a lapdesk: there will be plenty of times that you will study on your bed or the floor and need this.
- Phone/Charger ( if you don’t use your phone for an alarm, then get or bring an alarm clock)
- Microwave or MiniFridge: Coordinate with your roommate before you come and see who wants to bring what, because two of each takes up a lot of space!
- Coffee Maker: if you love coffee as much as I do, you won’t want to spend all your swipes on coffee
- TV: again coordinate with your roommate! Two TVs is one too many in a tiny dorm.
- A good Calculator: no matter your major, you’ll have to take a math class.
Hopefully, you made it all the way through that, but even though that seems like a lot, compared to what some people bring, that’s nothing! The amount of things that my roommate and I brought this year that we have never used is three times the size of this list! Good luck to all of you high school seniors out there and don’t forget to send in your deposits and choose your housing options!
Another helpful hint, before you go for orientation week or whenever you register for classes: Send in your transcript and make sure it got there, and if you have any transfer credits, you’re the person that has to transfer them. If they’re from another school like IU or Ivy Tech, request a transcript from them and have it sent to the university you chose. If it’s AP credits, get on College Board and send them to your school online. THEY DON’T TRANSFER THEMSELVES!!! Those classes will only save you money if you remember to transfer them.
So Goodluck to all my future Greyhounds during their last few months of high school, you’ve made it this far, there’s only a little bit left! Also, if I forgot anything that you think is essential to college life comment down below and share the wealth.