Leaving for College: Supplies

When it is time to move to college, you may wonder, "What kinds of things will I need?"  Though the pandemic has changed the nature of college in that a lot of colleges are allowing only freshmen and sophomores during the fall semester in states with less outbreaks, you can still experience that first time away from home without your parents.

There are three categories of items that you will need for your home away from home (aka dorm):  things you already have, things to order to arrive at your dorm, and things that you can buy once you are at your college campus.

In addition, you need some extra items because of the pandemic!

Things You Can Pack

As you look at your bedroom and consider what items to take, don’t forget to bring things that will ease your homesickness, like that poster of your favorite pod casters!

Here are things to bring on the plane with you:

  • Medications
  • Personal items (not shampoos, etc.)
  • Laptop and phone
  • Clothes for about a week or two
  • Favorite thing (not high school stuff that you will not wear!)
  • Masks and gloves
  • Hand sanitizer

Things to Order for Delivery

There are two categories of items to deliver:  winter items that you may not already own and items that are too big or cumbersome for you to take with you on a plane.

Things to deliver to your dorm or to pick up near campus:

  • Extra-long twin bed-sheets (most colleges use them)
  • Comforter
  • Pillow
  • Desk lamp
  • Detergent
  • Laundry hamper
  • Surge protector
  • Shower shoes (you will have to possibly share a communal shower!)
  • Towels
  • Personal items (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, razor, deodorant, etc.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand soap
  • Lysol spray
  • Printer (if your school doesn't provide them.)
  • Trash can
  • Trash liners
  • Ziploc bags for food
  • Clothes hangers (easy to forget!)
  • Umbrella
  • Snacks and pre-packaged dinners for when you are sick
  • School supplies
  • Extra masks
  • Extra gloves

Winter stuff (for snowy climates):

  • Fleece is important:  Get a jacket or pullover that you don’t mind wearing daily.
  • Wool, not cotton socks.
  • Insulated, waterproof shoes.
  • Snow boots that are insulated, waterproof, and have good non-slip tread.  This is probably going to be one of the most expensive of your purchases.
  • Hats that are waterproof and insulated.
  • 2 pairs of gloves or mittens (a lighter one for when it is in the forties and a heavier one for the snow.)
  • Scarf
  • Long underwear:  sounds funny, but you will need it under your clothes during winter!
  • Cashmere sweater or two
  • Fleece lined leggings.
  • 2 waterproof coats (a lighter one for when it is in the forties and a heavier one for the snow.)

Things to Buy on Campus

Things sold on campus will have a premium added to it, like groceries or convenience items.  Ask your parents to take you somewhere to get some of these from the neighborhood community.

While you are on campus, check out the nearest bank.  You might want to set up a checking and savings account for that on-campus job.  In addition, you will need to go somewhere for the quarters you will need for laundry.  Investigate whether your school has a campus card for laundry.

However, there are two kinds of things that you can definitely get at the campus bookstore:

  • Books for classes
  • College swag for you and your proud parents!

Keep in mind that you will have to pack up everything at the end of the school year to store for the summer (maybe longer.)  Don’t go overboard in your purchases and you should be fine!  Remember, most rental car agencies only rent to people who are aged 21 and over.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Books about Getting Ready for College

How to College, book cover
Infographic Guide to College, book cover
Her Campus Guide to College Life, book cover
Everything College Survival Book, book cover
Freshman Survival Guide, book cover