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What To Bring When Moving To College

University at Albany students laugh in a dorm room.

Can you feel it in the air? The time to move-in to college is right around the corner! Moving away from home can really teach you a lesson in independence and self-reliance. We’ve previously offered tips on how to make your new residence feel like home. However, a student also needs to have a number of daily essentials with them to get through the semester comfortably. Being prepared and having key items available to you can not only impact your life socially, but academically as well.

So, have you thought of packing yet? Do you know what you’re bringing? No need to worry because we have a few college essentials that might make your living experience much more efficient and convenient.


Room Essentials:

For every student who will be living on campus at college, there are a few must-have items that you should not leave home without. Most college residence halls are designed for students to share a room– sometimes leaving you with limited space. Bringing items such as

  • a shoe organizer/shelf,
  • coat rack,
  • storage bins,
  • detachable/over-the-door hooks,
  • desktop or bunk bed organizer,
  • power strips,
  • bulletin board

can leave you with more space than you would have imagined. Keeping your living space organized and clean can improve your efficiency and effectiveness in getting your projects done or even improve your relaxing time.

Bathroom Essentials:

In many dorms, communal bathrooms are very common. Depending on your residence hall setup, you could be sharing a bathroom with anywhere from one to over twenty different people. If that’s the case, you need to have a way to organize your bathroom supplies. Items such as

  • a robe,
  • shower caddy,
  • flip flops,
  • soap travel case and
  • toothbrush case

can be life savers while at college. These goods can provide a greater sense of comfort and organization in a shared space.

Classroom Essentials:

The amount of supplies you need to carry with you on campus can depend on many factors. How many classes are you taking in a day? How much time do you have between classes? Ultimately, you want to make sure you have with you the tools to capture the info needed to pass the next test and class. A quality laptop that matches your classroom needs is a must have for getting your work done on the go. Other items such as

  • a messenger bag,
  • post-its/highlighters for note taking,
  • a day planner,
  • flash drives and
  • portable chargers

all provide students with the ability to study and accomplish their work much more efficiently.

Seasonal Essentials:

No matter what SUNY campus you go to, each season is quite similar. Weather can go from sunny and warm to snow or rain in a day. Mother nature is always putting variables into her equations. To be safe, items such as

  • rain coat/boots,
  • umbrella,
  • snow boots,
  • a winter jacket, gloves and hat,
  • sunblock, sun glasses

can be essential to surviving the little tricks mother nature throws your way while at college.

Having key items like these available to you in your college residence will help you keep a workable schedule for academic and social activities. Did we leave out any important items? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Written by Steven Molinari

    Steven was a student assistant in the Office of Communications of the State University of New York in summer 2014. He is an undergraduate political science student at Binghamton University.




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    There are 4 comments

  • I made the mistake of bringing too much, then had to gradually get item by item back to my parents’ house. Well, what can I say, it’d be nice to know that in advance, but we all learn either the easy or the hard way 🙂

  • This is a good list of essentials

  • Mike says:

    I think you should bring books too:)

  • I spent all my years in college without half of these 😀 It’s amazing how creative you can get without having the luxury of your parent’s house. I’m sure I’m not the only one

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