College Packing: What to Bring & What to Leave at Home

Published by Hope Nelson 5 days ago on Tue, Jul 9, 2024 8:00 AM

Packing for a new school year at college – whether it’s your first or fourth year – can be an ordeal. There are often questions of what you can really fit in the car, or the new dorm, or the apartment. Considering what chores you will need to do, how much cooking your meal plan might require of you, and whether you have room for a TV or a couch can all add items to your packing list. Sometimes, it comes down to making tough decisions of “what to pack” and “what not to pack.” While incoming freshman may find this list helpful during their first time packing for college, students of any age can use it to remind themselves what they’ll definitely need to bring – or definitely won’t need to bring! 

Pack: Bedding 

That’s right – your own bedding is a must! College dorms aren’t hotels; they don’t provide students with sheets and comforters for their use. Showing up without bedding means that you’ll be sleeping on just a mattress. In addition, make sure to pick the correct size of bedding! Most dorm beds fit sheets and comforters that are made for “Twin XL” beds, so you can’t bring your queen-size set from home. That’s a plus if you want to try out a new style or color scheme in your college dorm room! 

Don’t Pack: Personal Refrigerators and Microwaves 

Luckily for Concordia students starting or returning in the Fall 2024 semester, all dorm rooms now come with a provided microwave and mini-fridge set! This year, you won’t need to think about bringing – or buying – these appliances, since they’ll be waiting in your dorm room for you when you arrive. Additionally, personal fridges and microwaves are no longer allowed in the dorms, so make sure that you remember to leave yours at home.  

Pack: School Supplies 

Remembering everything you need to pack in order to live away from home at college can be a lot -- but in the chaos of organizing and packing, don’t forget to bring basic school supplies! Not only are you going to be living away from home, but you’re also still attending classes! Notebooks, binders, pencils and pens are necessities for every college student! It’s also especially useful to have a personal laptop through which you can access the Internet and sites like Blackboard, Concordia’s student portal, and others.  

Don’t Pack: Too many clothes & shoes 

It can be tempting to bring all the clothes and shoes you own to college – after all, who knows when you’ll find a need for that one pair of pants you haven’t worn in three years, or the pair of shoes that you bought for a specific event? However, storage space in dorm rooms is limited. With only a dresser and a closet in most rooms, it’s easy to find yourself running out of space to stow away your entire wardrobe. Instead, bring clothes that are in-season and switch them out with others when you go home for breaks. Or maybe consider donating some rarely-worn clothes before you come to college.  

Pack: Important Documents 

Going to college means living on your own, and for many students, that means that they’ll be taking on more responsibility regarding their personal lives. Whether it’s for a job application, car insurance payment, or scheduling a doctor’s appointment, it is important that college students have access to important documents and records. These can include the student’s car insurance or health insurance cards, debit or credit card, driver’s license and more. Keeping these records in hand can make life easier in many different situations that may arise.  

Don’t Pack: Prohibited Items 

There are several items that, although students might use them at home, are not allowed in dorm buildings – so don’t bring them! These include candles, personal and large appliances, and pets or pet items. In addition, other items that students should avoid bringing to college include – but are not limited to – weapons, illegal substances and other dangerous items.  

Packing for a new year at college doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you have a good idea of what you need to prioritize, as well as what you don’t need to think about bringing! So start making your packing list soon, and you’ll be ready to jump into new experiences at Concordia University, Nebraska in August! 

Concordia University, Nebraska is a community of believers that combines Christian, Lutheran faith with rigorous academics and real-world experiences to create an atmosphere that helps students to fulfill a higher purpose and carry out their vocations. Learn more about studying at Concordia here.  

Related Stories