What to Bring to College


Students entering their first year of college face many difficult decisions. They have to choose a school, decide on a field of study, enrol in courses, and budget their money. If you are a student planning to live on campus, you are likely struggling with yet another question: what should you bring to your dorm room?

If you bring too much, your room will feel cramped and cluttered. However, if you bring too little, you will waste money buying duplicates of things you already have at home. Here is a list of essentials you don’t want to forget.


Bring lots of clothes (especially socks and underwear) and hangers. If you plan to return home over the Thanksgiving weekend, you can leave your winter clothes behind until then to avoid bringing too much at once.

Bedding and towels

You are expected to bring your own pillows, sheets, comforter, and towels. The school should provide a mattress, but you might want to bring a mattress pad to make it more comfortable.


Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and other hygiene essentials. Bring at least a month’s supply so that you don’t have to go shopping right away, but don’t try to stock up for the entire year – you won’t have the space.

Cleaning supplies

You should find out ahead of time what you will be responsible for cleaning – some residences provide room cleaning services, while others require you to clean your own room and bathroom – and pack accordingly. An all-purpose cleaner, paper towels, and rags should be sufficient to keep your room clean. Your residence will probably provide a broom and/or vacuum.

Laundry supplies

You’ll need laundry detergent, fabric softener, and a hamper. You should also bring an iron, even if only for occasional use. Ironing boards and drying racks, on the other hand, are bulky and usually unnecessary.

Kitchen supplies

If your residence has a kitchen, you might want to pack some cooking utensils. However, don’t bring more than you will realistically use. A plate, a bowl, a mug, cutlery and a pot will probably be enough if you have a meal plan.


If you are bringing a laptop, remember to pack all of the accessories, including the power cord, the mouse, a surge protector, and an Ethernet cable. Some students bring printers, but printing can also be done in campus libraries for a small fee. An alarm clock is a necessity, especially if you have early morning classes!

School supplies

Bring a backpack, paper, pencils, erasers, pens, and any other supplies you need. Keep in mind that your school will probably sell all of these, so don’t worry if you forget a few items.

Decorations and entertainment

Posters and photographs from your room at home will make your dorm room feel more familiar. Don’t forget tape and pushpins to attach everything to your walls! It’s also a good idea to bring books, movies, and other entertainment. You may not have much free time, but you’ll probably be spending a few quiet evenings in your room.

Other important items

Remember to bring money, identification, and other important documents. You should bring all correspondence that your school has sent you, including your acceptance letter.

Keep in mind that packing for college should be exciting, not stressful. If you forget something, you’ll most likely be able to buy a replacement once you arrive – the stores around college campuses cater to students’ needs. For now, just relax and enjoy the experience!