What To Bring To College

You’re about to start your first year of college!

You picked your school, you’ve got the paperwork done, and now all that’s left is to figure out what to bring to college.

While your first reaction might be to pack up your entire bedroom at home, let’s take a minute to think. There are a few important questions you need to ask yourself first.

What To Bring To College:

Will you have a roommate?

Chances are that you would have been told this when you got your room assignment. If not, just give the student housing office a call to find out.

Now, dorm rooms are typically pretty small and get even smaller if you have to share them with someone else (which most freshman have to do, unless you pay extra money for a single room).

If you can, get the dimensions of the room so you and your parents know just how much space you’ll be working with. From there, you can decide what to bring to college – i.e. whether you’ll need to bring that extra lounge chair or plastic bins for under-the-bed storage.

How far from home will you be?

This is important when deciding what to bring to college, especially when trying to determine which clothes to bring with you. Always plan by the weather. If you’re going to be far from home and unable to get the warm winter clothes you’ll need in a few months, bring them with you.

Then again, if you’re going to be closer to school (i.e. within a reasonable driving distance for your parents, if you don’t have your own car), you’d be fine with a few extra sweatshirts and maybe a scarf until you can head home for the warmer gear.

Does your school allow animals?

Most schools allow students living on campus to have fish as a pet, but nothing more. They just want to make sure that the dorms are kept clean for the residents. Remember, all schools have different policies, so keep this in mind when deciding what to bring to college.

Personally, I say get the fish! Why not? They make a dreary dorm room more homey and comfortable, not to mention they could serve as a discussion topic to break the ice between you and your new roommate.

Believe me, by the end of my freshman year, my beta fish Steve was pretty popular on our floor, and the other girls went out and got fish, too.

How many school supplies will you need before you can go home again?

Each major demands different supplies from its students, so keep this in mind when determining what to bring to college. Science students may need more pens, pencils, and lab notebooks. Literature majors may require more writing supplies. Math majors may need specific calculators and a few months worth of batteries and pencils.

If you won’t be able to get more of these things while you’re at school, stock up while you’re at home and bring them with you.

Which size bed will you have?

Just as all universities and colleges are different, so will all dorm beds differ. Some will be regular twin beds and others will be twin beds but longer. If you haven’t already found out, check with your student housing office to find out so you and your parents know what to bring to college and can make sure you have the proper size sheets and blankets for the mattress.

Do you know your roommate?

If not, try getting in touch with him or her so you can at least become acquainted before having to live together for the next nine months. You two can also check with each other on who’s bringing their mini fridge and who’s bringing their microwave so you don’t have two of everything taking up your precious limited space.

If you do know your future roomie, do exactly the same thing.

Will you have a meal plan?

As you make your list of what to bring to college, contact the school to find out about meal plans. Most schools offer students the option of buying a meal plan they can use to buy food using some sort of points system. If you’re going to have one of these plans, chances are you won’t need more than a few boxes of granola bars and chips in your room.

If you aren’t going to have much of a meal plan, be sure to store your food in sealed containers in the appropriate temperature to prevent anything from going bad prematurely. The same goes for any prescription medication you need to bring to college.

Do you have the small things?

There are a lot of little things you may need at school that you may not think of until you need them (this happened to me a lot freshman year).

This includes multi-outlet power strips, extra toothbrushes and toothpaste, a small tool kit, scissors, aspirin, Band-Aids, extra laundry detergent, extra deodorant, and anything else you use day-to-day and don’t think about until you run out. So keep these in mind when determining what to bring to college.

Looking for a printable dorm room checklist? We’ve got that too!

Click here –> Dorm Checklist

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Ana Koulouris

Ana Koulouris

Ana Koulouris is a senior at Benedictine University in Illinois pursuing a degree in writing and publishing. When she is not at work in the Office of Admissions or on the university's newspaper, she can be found writing short stories, reading anything and everything, and spending time with family and friends.