Campus Life Going to College

Packing for the Dorm

Written by CB Community

Your dorm room will be home for the next two semesters and possibly even the next 4 years. If you’re not comfortable in your new “home,” you aren’t going to be a happy camper. After some adjusting to the dorm and life on campus, it will be easy for you to adapt, add, and alter, but you’ll want to kick off your new living situation the right way.

Here are some ideas for what you should bring with you to campus so that you can survive until October or Thanksgiving break.

The Basics

  • Computer, printer, paper, and ink
  • Surge protector and a three-prong extension cord
  • Laundry bag/basket and detergent
  • Backpack
  • Hangers
  • A fan – you may need air
  • Soap, shampoo, and other toiletries
  • Aspirin, Advil, cough syrup, and other medications you might need
  • A reliable alarm clock
  • Batteries
  • Linens, including a warm throw and a comfortable reading pillow ( coordinating with your roommate about colors and décor is helpful in this category)
  • Reading lamps: one for your desk and one to clip on your book
  • Plastic cups, silverware, plates, and napkins – you will not only eat in the cafeteria!
  • Sticky tack to hang posters, etc.
  • Shower caddy
  • Extra pens and pencils
  • Extra ink cartridges
  • Paper and binders
  • A credit card with a very limited credit amount (no more than $1,000)
  • List of your doctors’ names and tphone numbers with prescribed medication scripts
  • One locked suit case for valuables

To Make It Easy

  • Plastic plants – you can forget to water them and they’ll still look good.
  • Rolls of quarters for laundry
  • A sewing kit
  • Under-bed storage
  • Stamps
  • Reminders of home
  • Pictures of home, your pets, and friends
  • Your senior yearbook
  • Special items from your room at home (limit this to two or three non-fragile items)
  • Cocoa and a stash of your favorite candy

Those Creature Comforts

  • Bluetooth speakers
  • DVD player
  • Collapsible TV chair
  • TV
  • Mini fridge
  • Warm rug for your feet as you rise from bed

You might want to peruse Amazon’s Dorm Room Essentialsalt for all the items that you will need to make your dorm room feel like home

Read the Small Print!

Make sure to check with Admissions, Residential Life, or in you college handbook to find out what you can and can’t have in your dorm room. That can vary from hot plates to space heaters to portable air conditioners. Save yourself the trouble of filling up your car with things you’ll have to ship back home.

Tip: Be sure to look into all the different discount cards available to students. Some will allow you to save up to 50% on things like pizza (a college staple), hair cuts, computers, plain tickets, textbooks, cellphones, and more! 

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.