Many families know some of the common things that a freshman student is expected to bring to college, but it’s hard to think about everything. Of course, personal things from home can assist with the transition, but you’re going to need more than bedding and a laptop to get through the year.
Before you buy or pack something, try and check with your school what things are and are not allowed. Many schools need to be very vigilant about health and safety laws, and the guidelines vary from place to place. One school does not allow microwave ovens; another may have strict rules on the size of the fridges allowed.
If you’re going to college out of town, only pack up what you need for the weather period. Bringing your whole wardrobe may seem important, but there may be more difficulty trying to find a spot for all of your things once you’re in your room. One trick for out-of-state students that will save you money on postage and give you more space to pack other stuff you’ll need is to purchase some items before you get to your new place.
Often, try talking to a recent graduate about what to bring. They will tell you about “wouldn’t worry’s” and “must-haves” stuff in your new college residence. They might even know the specifics of your complex and would be a major relief.
ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR YOUR DORM
- Your student ID and government ID
- Your debit card or credit card
- Cash money as you never know when your card would just not work
- Any other relevant documents that can help you get employed on or off campus
- Bed sheets
- Pillows and pillow cases
- Cold medicine
- Cough drops
- Flip flops
- Umbrella if the climate is rainy
- Your charger
- Trash bags
- A first aid kit that contains band-aids, antibiotics, alcohol
- Plastic forks, spoons, knives
- Cleaning supplies – You are now an adult and should definitely clean your room!
- Storage boxes
- Batteries if you have certain items that require batteries
Like kitchen basics, classics of clothing are essential. These are the simple stuff that should still be in your wardrobe.
If you’re like most people, you open your wardrobe and drawers at home and start squeezing everything in your luggage a few days before it’s time to go to school. Taking the time to reflect about it helps you to pack more comfortably and use less space in your already tiny dorm room or off-campus apartment. Focus on the college clothes that make the major staples that you can create your wardrobe around and leave the rest at home!
Here are some clothes you’re not allowed to leave home without.
For the warm weather
For the first month of school, a couple of classic pairs of denim shorts are perfect for fighting the sun. Just because the semester begins doesn’t mean the weather has cooled down.
Don’t forget at least one pair of shorts for the first month. But you won’t need more than two pairs, unless you’re in a hot environment all year round.
Match with a long-sleeve shirt for those moderately hot days of the fall. Or dress them up with a beautiful, feminine blouse.
Stuffing your suitcase with as many tops and blouses as you can is enticing, but consider the minimal space in the dorm-room closet!
Invest in a few simple shirts with varying necklines in neutral colors – V-neck, scoop, and traditional. Without unnecessarily filling your precious closet room, this gives you more choices.
For any pants and shoes, traditional black, grey, and white shirts match beautifully.
Boots, sneakers, shoes in general
Shoes take up a lot of room, but for a great college closet, you would need multiple pairs.
A perfect starting point is a nice pair of boots, shoes, a pair of pumps, and a few pairs of trendy sneakers.
Dorm cooking comes with its challenges, whether you have access to a kitchen or you are operating with only a microwave and mini fridge, the first of which is stocking the pantry properly. Between small space and a restricted budget, it can be hard work to find out what to buy.
Here are few suggestions of what you would need to get in order to get your school year off right and to help you break the loop of terrible dining hall meals and ramen noodles.
Canned beans might just be the greatest staple in the cheap and practical pantry ever. They’re a decent protein source, super flexible and they’re not going to ruin your tight budget. I love lentils and green beans particularly. In a sandwich, you can throw them, mash them into a quick dip, mix them with pasta or make a burrito of rice and beans.
Cheese is an awesome snack, and a much better complement to salads, burritos and tacos.
If you’re mixing it with mayonnaise and some vegetables for a sandwich, or eating it directly from a can, tuna is certainly a great choice for fast, nourishing meals.
Pasta is perfect for a dorm room pantry since it is cheap, simple and easy to prepare, with minimal cleaning and, of course, delicious. Add a selection of soba and rice noodles to your pantry.
Spices! Salt, pepper, and oregano just to name a few
Basic seasonings can make a world of difference and really make your meal healthier. Salt and pepper are important, but don’t fail to remember what you’re most likely to cook before buying spices. Try dried herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano or rosemary, or even chili powder, curry powder or chili flakes, if you want to spice things up.
ESSENTIAL SCHOOL SUPPLIES
- Pens, pencils and crayons
- Pencil sharpeners if you are using a non-mechanical pencil
- Notebooks, binders, and paper
- Laptop, be it an Apple laptop or a Lenovo one, don’t forget to take it with you!
- Backpack for your laptop
- Index cards
- Anything that can help you take notes
Have you stayed in a dorm before? Would you stay in a dorm?