16 Things to Make Sure You Pack for College

It’s that time! Either you have scoured the aisles of your store of choice for dorm essentials or you haven’t given packing a single thought and are now scrambling to get everything you need. Don’t worry: aside from the essentials, here is a list of 16 things you will definitely want to make sure you pack for college.

*(this post is not sponsored)*

1. Blackout curtain
Blackout curtains are a great way to both dress up your room with a fun color or pattern and make your room conducive to sleeping. Easily hung on a tension rod, blackout curtains block unwanted light from outside, such as a street lamp or the sun, and will make sleeping and midday naps between classes better.

2. Small fan/heater
Some like it hot, some like it cold. Dorms don’t usually have individual thermostats, so rather than freezing out your roommate or melting during an autumn heat wave, it’s a great idea to have either a small fan or space heater (or both!) if you prefer your room to be cooler or warmer. This one from Walmart is perfect for a dorm room!

3. Wristlet/ID holder
I understand guys normally keep their student IDs in their wallets, but for girls, having a little wristlet or ID holder can be a lifesaver. Not only will it keep your ID secure, it can potentially hold keys, chapstick, a pack of gum, or cough drops: also things you never knew you needed. Just don’t forget it on your way to chapel or meals or you won’t be able to swipe in!

4. Rain boots
Sorry guys, but girls definitely have this one easier. When it rains, it pours, and if there is one necessity for a girl at UVF, it’s a pair of rain boots. Not only are they helpful for wading to class when it rains, you can also puddle jump like a kid again! However, if you’re a guy and you aren’t looking forward to potentially soaking your feet in your Converse, here’s a list of shoes guys can wear in the rain.

5. Foam mattress topper
College mattresses probably aren’t like your cozy bed at home, but a foam mattress topper can make a huge difference in how well you sleep at night. It might be a little bit of an investment, but mine has lasted me all 4 years and it’s been worth it.

6. Clorox wipes & cleaning supplies
Clorox wipes are the best invention in the world in regards to cleaning supplies, so you will definitely want to make sure you pack a container of these. You can use them on almost any surface, which makes cleaning for move-in, room inspection, and check-out so much easier. But don’t forget other cleaning supplies too!

7. First-aid kit
You’ll be surprised how many times you’ll end up needing something from a first-aid kit: band-aids, ointment, alcohol swabs, ibuprofen, cough medicine, etc. The first time you or your roommate get sick in college, it’s very handy to have supplies. And you can always reach out to your RA and the campus nurse! They are wonderful resources available to make sure you’re doing well and will have any supplies you might not have.

8. Filtered water pitcher
You will not regret this purchase. Water filters help purify the water and make it taste so much better. You’ll probably want to replace the filter at the end of each semester, but overall it’s much cheaper than buying cases of water all the time! Brita and PUR are great trusted water filter brands!

9. Reusable water bottle
Going along with the filtered water pitcher, having a reusable water bottle to take to classes to help you stay hydrated during the day is important and handy! My bottle of choice is this Contigo water bottle. It has served me well all throughout college, but bring whatever kind of water bottle you like!

10. External hard drive
This wasn’t something I thought about until AFTER my computer’s hard drive died. Thankfully I wasn’t in the middle of working on a huge paper. So if you want to make sure your assignments, papers, pictures, etc. are safe and secure, having an external hard drive is crucial.

11. Sweatpants
I don’t know about you, but after a long day of classes, all I want to do is put on sweatpants and watch some TV. Wake up late and have 10 mins to get ready for class? Sweatpants. Gotta run errands on Saturday? Sweatpants. Everyone will be jealous of how comfortable you are and lament their own decision to not wear sweatpants that day. Plus, UVF Forge pants and joggers are the BEST. Buy them here or in the Patriot Store on campus!

12. Power strip
Since there aren’t always a ton of electrical outlets in dorm rooms, power strips provide those extra outlets for plugging in your mini-fridge, laptop, phone, lamp, etc. Getting one with a surge protector is especially helpful, just in case!

13. School supplies
You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but it’s more common than you might think for students to be so excited to move into a dorm that they forget to buy school supplies! A planner is especially helpful for organizing assignments so you don’t get behind!

14. Microwave-safe dishes & dish sponge
For those days when ramen is your meal of choice or you have leftovers to reheat, microwave-safe dishes — and a dish cloth or sponge to clean them — are a necessity! True, paper plates are more convenient and don’t require as much clean-up, but having real dishes are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly in the long run!

15. Electric kettle
If you’re a big tea or coffee drinker, this is a must. For the days you don’t want to walk to the Anvil or the cafeteria for a hot beverage, you will be so thankful for your kettle. It’s also a better way to make ramen (in my opinion). This one with automatic shut-off is safe and affordable!

16. String lights
Whether you love the holidays or just enjoy the soft light they produce, a strand or so of lights add a comforting touch to any dorm room. Great for watching movies or just relaxing, and you can choose from multiple colors!

Happy packing!

Is there anything I might have missed on this list? What are some items you didn’t realize you needed in college?

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