What You Should and Shouldn't Bring to College

What You Should and Shouldn't Bring to College

7 minute read

Oh would you look at that, move in day is coming and you're having 1 specific question- "What Should I Bring to College"? Well we wanted to help! We made a comprehensive list of some items that truly make a lot of sense and proved invaluable. Other items we brought did NOT help whatsoever. Ready to learn what to bring for Move-In-Day? Keep Reading!

What should you bring to college?

Non-Perishable Snacks- Seriously, all of that moving is going to make you hungry! Bring yourself something quick and easy to eat in a pinch!


Some clothes

One professional outfit and one formal event outfit.

If you can afford it, a small fridge. If you can't, a meal pass can prove to be so useful!

Good tennis shoes

A car, but if you are wanting to stay on campus, a bike is a must. But be careful! Some schools require bikes to have a parking pass. If you're looking into smaller schools however, this item can be skipped. Some universities also have temporary car rentals , bird scooters, and buses that make living without cars so easy! 

Shower Shoes- You will not want to put your bare feet on the floor in community showers! 

Shower Caddy 

Sheets, Pillows, and Blankets- Avoid bringing too many throw pillows, they will ultimately just take up too much space and end up on the floor.

Try to reach out to roommate to see what they're bringing so your items don't overlap. No one wants two microwaves, two tv's, and two refrigerators ( unless you don't like to share... like me;) ). 

A rice cooker- More specifically one that can slow cook as well. This way you can make basic soups, curries, and rice!

Power strip with a surge protector (maybe bring a couple)- It is pretty much guaranteed that your room will not have enough outlets for everything you need to plug in, power strips will be a lifesaver!

Command strips, push pins, or mounting putty for decor- We highly recommend decorating your room at least a little to help you feel more at home in your new space. But beware, command strips will definitely take off the cheap dorm room paint if you aren't extra careful when it comes time to move out.

Eyemask- This is perfect for all the midday naps and for when your roommate is up late studying with a light on!

Door stopper- Not only is this helpful for propping open the door on move-in day, but having your dorm room door open while you just hangout actually does help you make friends and get familiar with the people on your floor!

A lamp or other alternate lighting- Trust me, you will get sick of the overhead fluorescent light in your room, a lamp or string lights will make the vibe much cozier.

A rug- Much like having a lamp, a rug makes things much cozier and lets you avoid stepping on a cold dorm floor first thing in the morning.


A laundry basket with wheels

Air Freshener- Febreze works wonders!

Schoolwork Essentials:

For your first day of class we recommend bringing the basic class necessities, you can adjust our list based on your personal needs. At most schools, the first week of classes is syllabus week, or sylly week as you might hear it called on campus. This is when your professors will outline what the semester is going to look like and tell you the specific things you should bring to class. It is important to remember that some professors will have different rules for their classes. For example, some have a strict no technology rule so you shouldn't count on solely using a laptop or tablet for notes.

First day essentials:

Backpack or tote bag

Computer and any necessary supplies/accessories

Calendar or planner






Additional essentials for class:

Textbooks- Many students prefer to wait and get their textbooks after the first day of classes so that they can see exactly what they will need for the homework on the syllabus. This can help save you from wasting money on a book that you won't actually need for the course. If you like to plan ahead though, your school should provide you with a list of books from all your classes so you can get them ahead of time. We recommend renting or buying used books to save money! 

Items for specific classes- This could be anything like a calculator, camera, computer programs, sketchbooks, etc. that you may need for a certain class. Don't worry if you aren't aware of what you need ahead of time, often your school's bookstore should have many of these items for sale! 

Reusable water bottle- Stay hydrated in class!

Small stapler- Having one of these makes you a lifesaver for the whole class when you have to turn in papers in person!

Extras to keep in your bag that may come in handy: Gum/mints, hand sanitizer, small lotion, tissues, feminine care products, portable phone charger, lip balm, tide pen, mini deodorant, etc.

Index cards- These are great for studying and sometimes professors will allow index card "cheat sheets" for tests!

Umbrella- There is nothing worse than showing up to class soaking wet because you didn't have an umbrella.

Sticky Notes

Headphones or earphones- Preferrably with noise canceling.

Items for Health and Personal Care: 

Everyone likes looking their best! But, it can be hard to think of the exact items with so much going on during moving. Here's a quick list of what items you should bring that will keep you looking your absoulte best for your first day back! Keep in mind this list can be as long as you like but we narrowed it down to the necessities! Some items can be picked up from local stores near your school so you don't have to move in with them!

    Shower gel or bath soap

    Shower Cap

    Shampoo and conditioner


    Hair grooming tools- combs, hair dryer, brush, etc.

    Toothbrush and toothpaste


    Skin care

    Perfume or body spray

    Anyone who wears makeup might want a portable makeup kit/box

    Bathrobe- Preferably the softest one you can find!


    Eye drops



    Nail clippers


    Heating pad

    Cotton swabs

    Shaving kit

    Handheld mirror

    First Aid kit, including basic adhesive bandages, vitamins, aspirin, cough drops etc.- This will cut down on trips to the health center!

    Prescription medicines and copies of each prescription- If you are moving away for school, check with your hometown pharmacy and see if you can get multiple months of your prescriptions in advance! Some schools also offer prescription refills at their health centers, if using this option make sure to verify that they will refill your specific medications!

    Bathroom cleaning products

    Shower mat

    Dry Shampoo

    OKAY Big list right? Well these essentials are one thing but there are a few things we need to tell you to NOT bring to college as well! Not bringing these things will save you a big headache later down the line. Ready to read them? Let's get started!

    What you should not bring to college

    Debt. Since your focus will be on school, having credit card debt can weigh on you a lot on you and since your working hours might be less while being a student, clearing debts is a good idea before heading to school!

    Furniture- We recommend picking up small, self-built items as you go along your college journey. DON"T bring a giant futon you will regret it! Think light, pack light.


    Certain Kitchen Appliances- Have a giant air-fryer? Leave it! Have the biggest Keurig? leave it! Downgrade the size because your counter space will for-sure be shrinking!


    Space Heaters and Electric Blankets- these are typically not allowed in dorms as they are fire-hazards


    Candles and Incense- Again fire-hazard!


    Printers- Typically libraries on campus will have a printing allotment so bringing a printer is not needed


    Too Much Clothing.

    Pets and Animals- Unless your pet is a service animal, pets are typically not allowed on campus, but double check to make sure your animal is allowed before bringing it. Some campus' do allow them!


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