Packing for college can be pretty overwhelming, especially if this is your first time. It requires a lot of foresight to get everything you need for a year away from home! Aside from the usual suspects (sheets, shower shoes, fridge, etc.), our college veterans weighed in on items they wish they remembered. Here are the top picks we think will be a HUGE help:

1. Rain gear
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to school in Georgia or Pennsylvania—it will rain (and possibly snow). And walking across campus in the rain is not my idea of fun. Trust me, invest in a good rain jacket, umbrella and perhaps even rain boots. That umbrella keeping your hair dry will seem like nothing compared to your soaking wet feet in a 3-hour Biology lab.

2. Extension cords, power strips and adapters
You can never have too many of these for your computer, clock radio, cell phone and Christmas lights (we know some of you will have them up all year). So many electronics, so few outlets. Bring them!

3. Coffee and Keurig machine
Morning, noon, night, afternoon or 3am…it’s always Java time when you’re a college student. Like King David, morning, noon and night, I [pray] drink coffee. Be sure to note *Keurig machines are okay but coffee pots are not allowed.*

4. Shower Caddy
Instead of lugging all your toiletries to the shower in your arms, half asleep, bring a caddy with all your essentials ready to go. Make sure your caddy has a mesh bottom so the water will drain quickly.

5. Duct Tape
Duct tape will be your best friend. Use it to cover up wires, secure loose items and solve problems you can’t even imagine right now – just refrain from using it on the walls. I always say, “If you can’t fix it with duct tape…you aren’t using enough!” (And have you seen all the colors they have?!?)

6. First Aid Kit
When you’re not feeling good, the last thing you want to do is make a trip to the local pharmacy. Be sure to include pain relievers, antacids, sunblock, a thermometer (so you know when to miss class), bandages, antibacterial cream and whatever else you think you’ll need. You’ll be glad you did!

7. Adhesive picture hangers and hooks
When move-in day finally rolls around, it’s easy to forget picture hangers. The 3M Command Strips are a great alternative to nails and screws (which are against the rules). Be sure to include different styles and sizes and bring more than you think you’ll need, because you absolutely will use them.

8. Utensils
It’s 10 p.m., you’re watching a movie and craving something sweet. You’ve got milk in your tiny fridge and your favorite marshmallowy cereal – Lucky Charms. But wait…how are you going to eat it? You’re not a caveman – so be sure to bring utensils, a plate and a bowl you can hand wash. P.S. You may need a small bottle of dish soap too!

9. A Filtered Water Bottle or Filtered Pitcher
You need to stay hydrated. However, if the idea of drinking right out of the tap makes you gag or keeping a bottled watered stock is not feasible, one of these items would be perfect! With a filtered water bottle, not only can you save money, you can save the whales. Go green!

10. An Open Mind
Although you can’t physically pack this, it’s something every freshman should have when stepping onto campus on the first day! College is going to be a completely new experience. You’re going to meet different people, experience ‘roommate life,’ make decisions independent of your parents and begin that new journey called adulthood. It will be one of the most exciting, challenging times of your life. So, try new things, join a club, volunteer, visit new places, study, do your best and most of all, have fun!

Now, shop, pack and get ready for an amazing adventure!


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for TMU.

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