What you’ll need to be sure to bring:
Photos, although seemingly simple, are a great way to not only decorate your dorm room, but to bring a piece of home with you to school. My closet and walls on my side of the room were covered with photos that I had developed of me with friends and family. It’s a good reminder of all of your support systems (as well as good memories) as you enter the new and exciting, yet daunting phase of your life.
2. Rain Gear
Coming from the Seattle area, I was pretty prepared for the rain that awaited me in Portland. I was ready to go with my rain jackets and rain boots. However, if you aren’t from an area that typically gets a lot of rain, make sure to check that you pack those things! You will not survive the fall, spring…or the winter…….or even the summer, without your rain gear here in Portland.
3. Sweats – and lots of comfy clothes
Your favorite pair of sweats will be a staple item in your wardrobe in college. As soon as I was done with my obligations for the day, such as classes, work, and other activities, I would change into my pair of over-sized Nike sweatpants and be cozy! You won’t want to forget these — they will probably be your most worn clothing item while at college!
4. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks!
You will want to load up on snacks for your dorm room before you start school (especially if you’re someone who likes to constantly eat throughout the day, like me). Luckily, if you have a meal plan, you’ll have Mac’s Market to buy snacks from, but it’s always good to stock up on your favorite bulk snacks before school begins. I brought my favorite crackers from Costco, some trail mix, and some protein bars to start me off. It’s useful to have these snacks because you never know when you’re going to need a study snack, get the midnight munchies, or just be too lazy to walk over to the market.
5. Slippers! (And fuzzy socks)
Slippers — another staple of the college wardrobe! I don’t think I would’ve survived freshman year without my slippers. They would come on as soon as I stepped foot into my dorm room. You don’t need to go buy the newest, most expensive pair of slippers, but get yourself something cozy to be able to slip on when your hanging out in your room! These are also nice to walk around your dorm in — whether you need to go pick up a package at the front desk, walk up to your friends room on the 4th floor, or go switch out your laundry — slippers are the comfiest and easiest shoe to wear!
If you can’t already tell, I am a fan of comfort and coziness 😊 I think at one point I had four blankets at school with me at once. There’s never enough blankets in my opinion! Not only do I use these for extra insulation when the cold, winter months arrive, but I also like to use them when watching Netflix, or even doing homework. I have this one blanket that I brought from home that now is my favorite blanket — I can’t imagine not having it at school with me now! It also is a little piece of home that I got to bring with me.
7. Any type of poster/messages from friends and family at home
This is obviously optional, as many of these items mentioned are, but I personally enjoyed having these pieces of home. Like the photos, these posters and messages reminded me of special experiences and people in my life. Right above my bed, I hung a poster that I had received after giving a talk on a retreat my senior year of high school. It had the name of the talk on it, as well as messages from peers and teachers who were also present on the retreat surrounding it. I also had little memos and notes from my friends and family hung up above my bed and my desk as well. These may seem simple, but these are the items that you can look at when you’re having a bad day, are sad, or just down in the dumps, and make you feel a lot better.
Things you could probably go without:
1. Your whole closet
I know I’m not the only one who literally brought almost every article of clothing with me to school. I’m going to tell you right now — that is not necessary! Definitely bring what you think you’ll wear, but you’ll have the opportunity during Christmas break (and fall and Thanksgiving break, if you go home for those) to switch out clothes for the different seasons. You don’t need to bring all of your summer and winter clothes at one time. Plus, it’ll save you some space in your closet.
2. Excess of anything, really
When I was packing for school, I was worried about potentially running out of certain things (such as toothpaste, shampoo, etc.). However, it is super easy to restock on this type of stuff. Fred Meyer’s is just slightly over a mile away, so you could walk there to pick up these essential items. You can also restock on these items during breaks (depending on how far away you live). It really isn’t necessary to bring 3 of everything right at the beginning of the year.
3. Any type of large storage
Coming from the girl that brought her entire wardrobe with her to school, I can still say that I did not need any extra storage (other than a small bin for shoes). I had my bed lofted to the first level, so just a bit higher than what your bed at home is probably at. My rule of thumb was that if the storage container can’t fit under my bed, it shouldn’t be in my room. You are sharing a single room with at least one other person (maybe even 2 or 3), so you should try to conserve as much space as possible.