What You Actually Need to Bring to College

I survived my first year of university living in residence/dorms. Of course there are no-brainer items you need to bring like sheets, clothes, etc. But there are a few items you'd think are no-brainers but are easy to forget or think they're not important. I've compiled a little list of things that you should bring/buy/stock up on before move in day:


  1. Scissors. You don't realize how much you use them until you don't have them.
  2. Lysol wipes. They're perfect for cleaning your tiny place. You can clean up spills and stains with them. They're also perfect for dusting off surfaces. 
  3. Nail kit. I know it seems like you never use them but you use them more than you think. 
  4. Things you regularly use when you're sick. Remember you no longer have access to your mom's overstocked medicine cabinets and pantry. Remember to pick up things like hot water bottles, neocitran, tea you like, vaporub, cough drops/syrup, pepto bismol, whatever you will make you feel better and more at home when you come down with a cold. Colds and flus are rampant in dorms due to the lack of sleep, sharing facilities like bathrooms, lots of drinking, stress, etc. 
  5. Mug and Caffeine (tea, instant coffee). No matter what you need a good mug and access to cheap caffeine in university at all times. Even if you have access to coffee and tea in a dining hall and/or are close to coffee shops like I was you need cheap, easy to make caffeine for late study nights either in your room, common room or library. Caffeinated green tea is a good choice for all nighters. Instant coffee (I like the flavoured nescafe ones), hot chocolate mix, teas, chai mix are all good choices. Also I would suggest buying a travel mug for early mornings and late night study sessions in the library. 
  6. Cup for alcohol. Let's be real. University students drink. A lot. Even if you're not a big drinker like myself, a plastic cup or mason jar style mug are perfect for lugging your preferred drink to the inevitable dorm party. We actually got drinking mugs during our frosh/101 week but they're not great quality so it's good just to pick one up from the dollar store. 
  7. Water bottle. Having multiple classes in a day or row will leave you parched and carrying a water bottle around all the time is necessary. 
  8. Advil/Tylenol or preferred pain medicine
  9. A large supply of tampons/pads, if you're female of course. 
  10. Large supply of underwear/socks. You will not want to do laundry. You will be busy. You won't have time. Or you straight up will be too lazy to walk your laundry to the laundry room. And you will have literally used all of the underwear and socks you own in every way imaginable. Even if you're not lazy with laundry, laundry adds up if you have to pay for it. I did a major la senza haul before I went to school and had enough socks and underwear to get through a month without doing laundry. 
  11. Shower caddy. Of course this is only necessary if you have a shared bathroom not connected to your room or unit like I did. 
  12. Bathrobe. Definitely not necessary. But this definitely makes sharing showers and avoiding having to do the uncomfortable walk between your room and the bathroom (if your room/unit doesn't connect to the bathroom) in a towel. 
  13. Large supply of snacks, chocolate and candy. Even if you have a meal plan a large supply of things like granola bars is great to have for between back-to-back classes or during long study sessions. It will save you money and are a great pick me up. University is hard you need sugary snacks to get you through. Whether it be gummys, chocolates or candies. Buy some in bulk and eat them during heartbreak, while studying, etc. Also, even if you have a meal plan some premade soups or cup-a-soup, kraft dinner, ramen noodles or whatever other quick-make meals you like. 
  14. Tide to Go. 8:30 classes, coffee travel mug, 'nuff said. 
Good luck!

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