Packing for college is a daunting task. Managing to fit your movies, books, and shoes — not to mention full wardrobe — into one vehicle is impressive. But after you’ve stuffed your life into little boxes and bags, you may realize that there were a few important things you forgot to pack.
Here is a handy checklist from Her Campus Media and some tips from fellow readers to help. Are there other must-bring items we have have on this list? Tell us about them.
Earplugs and a sleeping mask
Your roommate may snore, talk in his or her sleep, watch TV all night long, or listen to extremely loud music. Earplugs and sleeping masks are affordable, can be found at any drugstore, and save students from needless stress and mindless drama, especially before an exam.
”The number 1 most important thing to bring to college: comfortable bedding. The mattresses at my school have been used probably since when Nixon took office, so they’re well worn out. Having a mattress pad, soft sheets, blankets, and a comfy pillow has made all the difference in helping me to sleep well and recharge, rather than tossing and turning uncomfortably every night for three years.”
Submitted by Josh Throckmorton, Los Angeles
Sounds ridiculous right? Not so, especially when rooming with someone you don’t already know, as it may prevent stuff from mysteriously disappearing behind your back. Also consider that dorm theft is widespread across college campuses, so having those valuables stored for safekeeping is never a bad idea.
”Don’t forget a small fan, it gets steamy here in Boston in the fall.”
Submitted by Chrissygm, Salem
First aid kit
Now that you’ll be away from school, you won’t be able to just use your family’s Band-Aids whenever you get a cut. Make sure to get a supply of bandages and disinfectant. Might as well get some headache medicine, tums, and cold medicine, as well.
Submitted by John in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Melissa in Cambridge
Not for yourself, but for your company. If your dorm room is going to be a haven for visitors, low-priced snack food, purchased in bulk will satisfy your guests, and save you a trip to the grocery store.
Shower foot wear
Get flip-flops for the shower stalls. Remember that you’re not the only one who uses them.
Submitted by INF, Boston
A water filter
Sure, you may have a sink in your dorm room that delivers an endless supply of water, but do you really want to drink that?
Bottled water isn't much better, not only taking up space, but eating at your wallet as well. Water filters can be purchased for $20-$30 and provide nice, clean drinking water on hand at all times.
”Your buttons will fall off at some point and the school store might not have a sewing kit.”
Submitted by Melissa, Cambridge
Small tool kit
”Small tool set for hanging stuff and fixing things.”
Submitted by Joe, Boston
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to school in Massachusetts, Florida, or Pennsylvania – it will rain. And when it happens, you will have to walk across campus (in that rain) to your morning class. If you don’t have rain boots or an umbrella … well … you get the idea.
A flash drive and a hard drive
The flash drive to transport your papers and presentations from your laptop, to your school’s computers. The hard drive for when your computer crashes — right before the start of exams. Murphy’s Law at its finest.
Plastic ware, dishes, cups
Plastic silverware may not be the most environmentally friendly, but it is the most effective and easiest to clean up after. You’ll eat lots of meals in the dorm, especially under tight deadlines. Not exactly the best time to be fretting about dirty dishes.
What other items should college students make sure to bring to their new homes for the year that they may not have thought of? Share your ideas.