Try to acquire as much of the packing list for Freshman year at college as possible before travelling to college, but if you're buying a lot of these items it can be easiest to buy them once you get to college. On the day your parents drop you off, just plan a trip to one or two big box retailers in the neighborhood like Target to stock up on the miscellaneous small stuff. It's a great way to send your parents off knowing they've been helpful.
Enrollment Papers & Finances:
- Tourbook & maps; tickets; your itinerary
- Emergency information: who to contact in case of one
- All enrollment paperwork
- Schedule of classes & any notes you made in course catalog for selecting courses
- Checkbook, debit or credit card, etc.
- ID such as drivers license or passport
- Old fashoined printout of contact information for key family & friends; when the web crashes and your computer's lost, you want to be sure to be able to contact a few key people.
- Health and Dental Insurance card and Instructions to child regarding co-pay or no co-pay, etc.
- Warranties on your computer, iPhone, mp3 player etc. (stuff always breaks)
Computers and Gear:
- One or two power strips, maybe extension cord, a 2 to 3 prong adaptor
- A couple ethernet cables in case you need them, the longer the better
- Your computer & power supply if it's a laptop
- Headphones for computer, consider USB headphones with mic to Skype home for free
- Webcam to keep in touch with friends & family?
- Printer (& extra ink cartridges)
- Surge protector
- If you have a secure list of passwords for online accounts, bring this, but be sure to keep it in a secure fashion (KeepandShare is a great place to keep your passwords securely online)
- Cellphone & charger
- Software on CDs that you might need to reinstall on your computer or install on a new computer
- iPod & charger & cables & earphones
- Backpack / messenger bag
- Small tool kit: consider hammer, screw driver, eye glass screw driver...
- Socks - dress - 2 pair
- Socks - 4 athletic, 15 other
- Bathing suit - 2
- Belts - 3-4 different styles including 1 very nice
- Hankerchiefs - 11
- Jeans - 5
- Shorts - 7
- Long-sleeved shirts (button ups) - 6
- Light zip up jacket
- Medium jacket
- Glasses & sun glasses
- Pajamas - 4 bottoms
- Sneakers - 2
- T-shirts - 13
- Button up short sleeve shirts (polo, etc.) - 5
- Underwear - 15
- Bath Robe (for the trip to those shared bathrooms)
- Khaki pants
- Black dress pants - 1
- Suit (easy to clean) - 1
- Sweatshirt - 1
- Umbrella - 1
- Raincoat - 1
- Winter coat (s), scarf, cap, gloves, boots
For the Dorm Room:
- Sheets and pillowcases
- Mattress pad
- Bedspread or comforter
- Sleeping bag
- Bedside lamp (clip on lamp is good for bed too)
- Desk lamp
- Storage such as footlocker, wire/plastic crates, cardboard boxes
- Small throw rug
- Broom & dust pan
- Waste basket
- Alarm clock/clock radio
- Dry erase board
- Laundry basket / or real big laundry bag is even better
- Laundry detergent
- Quarters for laundry
- Clorox wipes. Cleanup sticky spills.
- Water bottle.
- Medication (a little kit of Tylenol, Advil, cough drops, and cold medication (if you don't need it, your friends will!) [Not to give any medications to others unless they know that they are not allergic to the medication (s) and DO NOT GIVE ANYONE OR THEMSELVES ANY MEDICATIONS IF THEY HAVE BEEN DRINKING; Also no mixing any medications!]
- Instructions on dosage for medication for Motrin, Tylenol, cold med., etc.; List of any medication allergies or make sure your child knows what exactly he/she is allergic to
- Digital thermometer & instructions on normal range & when to go to Nurse office
- Box of tissues
- Shower tote / shower caddy
Toothbrush and toothpaste, floss
- Styling products
- Nail clippers
- Lotion / sunscreen
- Razor and shaving cream
- Blank CDs & DVDs to burn
- Stapler and staples
- Printer paper
- pens and pencils
- pencil sharpener
- Notebooks, three ring binder, three hole punch, tape and page protectors
- Pocket folders
- 3x5 cards
- Post-it notes
- Paper clips
- Rubber bands
- Zip-top baggies (large & small)
- Glue dots for hanging posters on the wall.. they don't leave holes and are very secure
- Hanging files & Manila folders (or you can keep all your notes & files securely online in KeepandShare -it's free!)
- Sticky-tack to hang up posters, pictures and decorations (dorm damage fees can be expensive from duct tape, nails, glue etc.)
(Check with roommate(s) to avoid duplication)
- Audio equipment
- TV and/or DVD player (coax cable for the TV)
- Coffee maker / hot water kettle
- Coffee mugs
- Microwave (often can be rented from the college)
- Hotput to make hot water for tea & coffee (if no microwave)
- Small refrigerator (often can be rented from the college)
- Area rug
- Couple fav posters from home for comfort factor
- Dry-erase board for your door (so people can leave you messages)
- Dish soap, scrubber, dish rag / towels (to wash mugs etc. in bathroom)
- Saran wrap, foil
Late Night Snacks:
- Top ramen
- Mac-and-cheese- especially the individual microwave variety
- Poptarts (also doubles as perfect breakfast-on-the-go)
- Cheez-its, wheat thins, pretzels, etc.
- Hot tea, Cocoa
- Cup-of-Noodles-hands down, a college student’s best friend--perfect for late night cramming and hey, no dishes!
Misc Tips from Experienced Parents:
- Rolls of quarters for washing machines. More than a few parents said rolls of quarters were one way of helping do their children's wash without physically being there.
- The cure-all: duct tape. It's not a joke. Students need it to tape down all those wayward cords, fix broken items and hang things.
- Batteries. All sizes, and don't forget chargers. Most students forget that camera and calculator batteries die with lots of use, and there's not a go-to drawer filled with batteries like there is at home.
- Flip-flops for those community showers. They forget too that college dorms can be welcoming venues for germs.
- Flatware. At least one fork, knife and spoon are necessary - and often more if students tend to lose them. A box of plastic utensils is one suggestion. How about a plastic bowl and plate & roll of paper towels.
- Lighting such as flashlights and lamps. Lighting in dorm rooms is notoriously poor.
- Over-the-door storage units for shoes or extra hanging clothes or under-the-bed boxes. Dorm rooms are small. Need we say more?
Creation date: Aug 23, 2013 1:05pm Last modified date: Apr 4, 2016 7:59am Last visit date: Feb 20, 2021 10:31am