Packing for college is a stressful process if you have no one to help you. You have to pack everything from clothes, school supplies, electronics, and toiletries for the next four years of your life. It’s hectic to know where to start when you don’t even know what room you’ll live in yet. But fear not, this ultimate guide will help you pack for college so that you can get all of your essentials with ease.
Table of Contents
The lifestyle you live will determine what clothing you need. For example, if you live in an apartment-style dorm room in Naismith hall with a shared community bathroom, it’s probably best to pack for comfort and discretion when using the restroom. If your school has on-campus housing where students typically live in individual rooms with bathrooms, feel free to pack whatever makes you most comfortable.
The best thing to bring with you in terms of clothing is primary, neutral colors. If there is one piece that has the potential to make or break your outfit, it’s probably jeans since they go with everything. Unlike dresses, jeans also tend not to take up too much space and are great for day and night events.
As long as you have a variety of tops in different shapes and sizes along with some accessories like scarves, belts, or jewelry, then you’ll be all set when it comes to packing for college.
The trick to successfully fitting all your clothes into one suitcase is thinking about what you’ll be wearing and how often. You won’t need as many tops or bottoms if you can mix and match them. Don’t bring anything that only goes with a few other pieces.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be any changes once classes start. Don’t forget that there may be mandatory uniform requirements during certain times throughout the year, depending upon which courses or extracurricular activities you have chosen. Make sure to plan by checking your school website for this information.
Toiletries are essential to bringing as well. Many colleges will have a community bathroom for you to share with your dorm mates. You’ll want to plan if you need something specific, such as hair products or makeup.
Those items can take up precious space in your suitcase. It’s also worth noting that it may be necessary to pack certain topical medications like bug sprays and sunblock, depending on the time of year.
Other things like small appliances or kitchenware aren’t necessary, but they make your life a little easier. A toaster oven is great for making small meals if you don’t have access to a full-size stove. Bring an electric kettle so that you can enjoy tea and instant coffee in the comfort of your dorm room instead of going out every time.
If there’s one thing you should bring from home, it’s probably shampoo and conditioner as well as laundry detergent. Most college students use dryer sheets which are not allowed on campus due to fire hazard concerns. Dryers also typically only allow half the amount of water into their machines compared to what goes inside washing machines at home for clothes not to be too heavy.
Don’t forget to bring your cellphone. It’s okay if you don’t have service yet, as most students find that there are enough accessible Wi-Fi networks on campus that they use their phones for texting (SMS) only during the first few weeks of school.
You’ll want to make sure you buy an international data plan before leaving home.
However, you can check email and social media without having to pay exorbitant fees for using outside internet sources while abroad. Many carriers also offer discounted rates when purchasing multiple months upfront rather than paying each month individually, especially.
Make sure that all your pictures and videos from home get backed up online. It is okay to leave behind any other electronics that aren’t necessary for your first week of college besides a cellphone.
You’ll need basics like scarves, belts, and socks regardless, but it’s also worth bringing a few key pieces to round out your wardrobe, like dress shoes if you don’t own any. A good rule of thumb is to think about what would be worn with everything else.
Make sure that there’s room in the suitcase for everything and some extra space if something unexpected comes up while packing. An easy trick is taking inventory every single day until you’re ready to start heading out towards campus so that you can immediately note anything significant or surprising.
Alan Roodey is a professional Author and contributor to many sites. He loves to write on various topics.