What To Bring To College Checklist

As a college junior, I am already starting to think about my housing situation for my senior year. It’s important to start early or else all of the good housing, and roommates, will be scooped up.

Preparing for next year is almost daunting and reminds me of my first year, as far as planning on what to bring to college. Looking around my room I remember thinking, just pack it all up, put it in the car and lets go.

But let me tell you, you cannot take everything you own to college. It is important to take the basics like bedding, clothes, school supplies, and bathroom toiletries but here are some important things you certainly don’t want to leave behind.

See below for my “want to bring to college” checklist:

Ear plugs

Ok, I may the roommate who snores and I am not afraid to admit it. I know my roommates wished they had earplugs. This may not be the first thing you think of when packing up for college, but trust me you will not want to forget these little guys.

Besides being useful for a snoring roommate, earplugs can save you on the nights when you need sleep but everyone else seems to be having a good time, blasting music and yelling.

And, earplugs are super cheap so they will not break the bank.

Shower shoes

While you may be used to a clean shower and bathtub at home, the college dorms are far from that. Yes they have a cleaning service who may come in once a week but trust me, these showers are gross.

With the many students who have used them there is bound to be fungal spores or bacteria on the shower floor. You will be so sad if you do not have a cheap $5 pair of plastic flip flops to wear in the shower and back to your dorm.

Adhesive door hooks

Having a few of these Command hooks will be a lifesaver for the small space you are provided with in your dorm room. While you may be used to hanging your shower towel over the bathroom door at home, you do not have that luxury in the residence halls. Having a door hook for either your closet or front door will be so helpful after your shower time.

Plus, if you have more than one you can also use it to hang belts or purses so they are not on your door handles or laying all over your floor. It will help your door room look even more tidy.

First Aid Kit

Your college campus will undoubtably have some kind of health center where you can go for serious injuries or when you get sick. However, for those random mishaps that happen you will want a first aid kit.

For example, paper cuts that bleed or cutting yourself shaving will grant some Neosporin and a band aid or two. It is better to be prepared rather than scrambling around trying to find something to patch yourself up with.


Many college campuses do not have heating or air conditioning. During my first two weeks of school freshman year we were cursed with 100 degree hot weather. With no air conditioning many students were sweating even in the evening. However, for those of us who brought a small mini fan for our rooms we managed to survive the week.

Small Set of Dishes and Snacks

Yes, the dining plan is how most college freshman eat. What your campus won’t tell you when you sign up for it is that not all of the dining halls are open 24 hours.

On my campus it was the weekends that were hardest to find food. For this reason I implore you to get a small set of dishes for your food and purchase some snacks that will hold up with or without a refrigerator. Think applesauce, fruit snacks, crackers, etc.

Water Filter

By having a water filter you can save money and not buy plastic water bottles. Better yet, get a Brita personal water bottle. You can carry it with you and fill up your water anywhere, always having a personal filtration system by your side. You won’t regret it!

So while you may be more concerned with taking your entire closet of clothes or your set of recreational reading books, this dorm room checklist is comprised of the items you do not want to forget when packing for college.

Be the student who is on top of it all, rather than the one who is begging their neighbor for a band-aid or food. By having these dorm essentials you might even make another friend or two.

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Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg is a junior at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism. At school, Kait can be found interviewing people or hitting the gym. As the Colleges Against Cancer president, Kait helps to fight cancer and she educates her peers on the disease. Apart from school she works two jobs, enjoys traveling, and cooking for her roommates.