Campus Life

What to Bring to College (and What to Leave Home)

Moving into your university’s residence hall or apartment is one of the most exciting times in your life. There’s so much to do—from moving in to decorating and making it your home. Here is a list of what to bring to college and the stuff you’ll want to leave at home.


Campus Tour (Student)


Aside from the obvious things like clothing, toiletries, and food, you will want to bring/pack/buy:

  1. Bedding: You’ll want to supply your own pillows, pillowcases, sheets, and comforter. Be sure to check out your university's FAQs page as well as your housing contract to know what size bedding to bring.

  2. Computer and printer: Most of your courses will require that you have access to the internet, a word-processing software, and a printer. Be sure to check with your university’s housing office about what kind of internet connectivity you’ll need to be prepared for. Most have ethernet or wireless options available.

  3. Lighting: you will need a desk lamp to illuminate just your side of the room, in case your roommate is sleeping while you’re cramming for that exam.

  4. Kitchen supplies: you’ll need utensils, cups, bowls, and plates.

  5. Microwave: For all of those cheap convenience meals college freshman are known for. Some universities provide a microwave so be sure to check your university's FAQs page or check with your university’s housing office.

  6. Coffeemaker: you may think you won’t drink coffee, but wait until 8 a.m. classes happen.

Whether they’re not allowed in residence halls or it’s already supplied, leave the following items at home:

  1. Mattress: Although you’ll need to bring bedding, the university supplies a mattress.

  2. Furniture: All residence hall rooms are furnished with a bed frame, mattress, desk, chair, and closet or wardrobe per student. All furniture issued by the university must stay in your room, but depending upon your individual space, you may want to furnish your room with additional small items, like a television stand or customized headboard.

  3. Refrigerator: Each room comes with its own fridge or mini-fridge. Some may allow you to bring an additional mini-fridge, so be sure to check with your university's housing office.

  4. Family heirlooms: If something cannot be replaced and has great sentimental or monetary value, it’s best to keep it at home.

  5. Candles: due to fire hazard, candles are not allowed in residence halls.

  6. Pets: Keep Fluffy at home, but make sure to visit often!

Featured Resource The Ultimate Campus Tour Checklist

Here is the full suggested packing list from USA Housing. Moving into your college apartment or residence hall is one of the most exciting times in your life. Enjoy it!

Additional Resources