The college packing list you haven’t seen

Group of girls in college t-shirts

Hey seniors! Well, actually I should say freshman! So, you are on your way to college? This is such an exciting, busy, and perhaps nerve-wracking time. But, you’ve finally made your decision and you’ll be there in just a couple weeks. Your college experience will be what you make of it. So go research those professors, join some clubs, and insert yourself into campus life. In the meantime, here is a list of things to bring that maybe you haven’t considered. Perhaps they are not ALL absolute must-haves but I think you’ll find some pretty darn important! Hopefully, you have a bit of room to squeeze at least one of these in!

The dorm must-haves you may be forgetting to pack:

Twinkle lights for your room

Pepper spray

Foam topper and mattress cover

Earplugs/sleep mask

Water bottle with filtration


Business Professional Outfit

Formal outfit


Bathing suit

A weekend or overnight bag


Ice/heat pack

An outdoor blanket

All the advice you’ve gotten along the way!

Info on how to access healthcare near you or on campus

Let’s go over these college dorm essentials in more detail…

Twinkle lights for your room-because ambiance and aesthetics!

Pepper spray-weather you take pepper spray or some newly learned self defense skills, the key here is to use common sense and be observant of you surroundings. Don’t walk home alone late at night or under the influence. Always walk with a trusted friend or see if your campus has an escort program.

Foam topper and mattress cover-Those dorm room mattresses are thin and probably kinda gross. A super thick mattress topper will make all the difference in your comfort. Make sure an add a cover too!

Earplugs and a sleep mask-Sleep will be hard enough especially if you will be sharing a space. unless you are a super heavy sleeper plan on sleeping with earbuds or earplugs. These are my favorite earplugs. A sleep eye mask will also be incredibly helpful if say your roomie is studying and you are trying to sleep or if you don’t have blackout curtains.

Fan-Depending on your location and housing situation an oscillating fan might come in handy to cool the air and provide some white noise. It all comes back to a great night sleep which is the recipe for being alert and productive during the day.

Water bottle with filtration-while most universities should be equipped with water filtration stations around campus, it’s a good idea to have one of these bottles in your room just in case the nearest filtration station is farther than the bathroom faucet. This water bottle with filter takes up a lot less room than a pitcher.

Business Professional Outfit-Career fairs, interviews, free headshot day, club events, presentations, etc.

Formal outfit-Sorority and fraternity formals.

Umbrella-This is a reminder to bring appropriate weather related articles for your location. That may be beach items or parkas and snow boots.

Bathing suit-This falls into the better to have it and not need it, than want it and not have it category. Plus it’s small and easy to pack, but also hard to shop for and sometimes hard to find if you are purchasing in the off season. Also, most college gyms have some type of aqua plex that you may be able to use as long as you are a student. Here you can decide…one piece sporty speedo or cute bikini.

A weekend or overnight bag/reusable tote-Just good to have. Perfect for bringing home that dirty laundry.

Vitamins-You’re eating habits are about to change, whether you want them to or not and it will be more challenging to find the food you are used to. Many kids have vitamin deficiencies or digestive issues during their first year at school.

Heat/Ice Pack-If you work out or play any type of sports this is a must!

An outdoor blanket-perfect for picnics, outdoor movie nights, or just studying in the grassy quad.

All the advice you’ve gotten along the way!-Surely friends and family have given you advice for your journey. Hopefully that advice is based on experience, which you should definitely take with you!

Info on how to access healthcare near you or on campus-You will likely get sick at some point if not right away so it’s important to have a plan in place to access your private healthcare, the student health center or urgent care. Know the copays, how to make an appointment, and how you will pick up prescriptions. Best to find these things out before you are too sick to want to do the research.

What did we forget?

Do you agree with this list? Is there anything we are missing? Drop a comment and tell us what your college must have is or was!

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