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College Packing Checklist: What to Bring to Campus



College Packing Checklist: What to Bring to Campus

College is likely to become the first period in your life when you get such a degree of freedom and independence. On some levels, it is great; on others, it can become a bit of a hassle, especially if you never had to live away from home before. One of the common problems freshmen face is what to take along to campus? Some things, such as bedding and pillows, are obvious and do not need mentioning. Others you can easily buy cheap if you find yourself short. But there are things with which it is better to prepare beforehand – they can make your life much easier from day one. This article is about them.

Reading Lamp

Sooner or later (unless you are very good at planning), you will have to pull an all-nighter to deal with an unexpected upsurge of homework. Your roommate may not like the idea of keeping the ceiling light on. Unless you buy your assignments from CustomWritings or another writing service, you will need a reading lamp for such occasions.


Even if you are used to doing most of your work on a desktop computer, the college will most likely change this. Firstly, your dorm is unlikely to have a lot of spare room. Secondly, it may be convenient to have access to all your documents during classes. Thirdly, you have to take into account that you may have to work outside of your dorm – for example if you and your roommate have wildly conflicting schedules.

External Monitor

Whether you need one or not depends on your major, but in some situations, it makes doing homework much, much more convenient.

Portable Hard Drive

Cloud storages are handy, but sometimes having a portable hard drive is really useful – especially if you need a lot of cheap storage space.

Anti-Theft Backpack

College campus is a far less secure place than you may believe, plus you will have to leave it. Investing in a backpack that protects you from thieves can save you a lot of trouble later on.

Tool Set

Eventually, something in your dorm will break down, and it usually happens at the worst possible moment, when every minute is precious. Having to desperately look for a screwdriver or pliers when you have to get on with things is not the best use of your time.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Always a nice thing to have, but especially so if you are easily distracted. Having a roommate can severely impact your work efficiency, so anything you can do to isolate yourself from the rest of the world is a good solution. Get a pair of quality noise-canceling headphones beforehand so that you do not have to buy the first model you stumble upon later on.

Computer Chair

No matter what your major is, you are going to spend much of your time sitting in your dorm and studying. Take care to select a comfortable chair – its quality can significantly affect your overall efficiency.


The best thing to move about quickly and take care of your health in the process. Make sure you have all the necessities, such as a bike pump and bike lock, as well.

Earplugs and Sleep Mask

These are cheap and easy to get – but the need for them usually arises suddenly and at times when it is too late to look for them.


Sometimes dorms are already equipped with them; sometimes you can rent one from your college – it may be a better solution than buying one. Cooperate with your roommate on this matter – you only need one fridge, after all.


You should not eat pre-packed and processed foods, but you will certainly will – especially during exams when wasting time on things like food and sleep is often unacceptable extravagance. Again, check if you can rent one from college.

Of course, there are many other things that can make your stay on campus easier and more comfortable, but we believe that these are essential. Also, getting them beforehand and choosing them carefully can prevent you from buying something from this list in a hurry and ending up with a suboptimal product.

Mudassar Hassan brings 8 years of experience in helping grass roots, mid-sized organizations and large institutions strengthen their management and resource generating capacities and effectively plan for the future. He is also a mentor and professional advisor to artists working in all disciplines. He is also the gold medalist from Abbottabad University of Science and Technology in the Bachelors of Sciences of Computer Science and recently Graduated from the University of Bolton with Masters in International Management.