Dorm items: What to bring, what to leave at home

By Jacob Singleton, Assistant design editor


For most freshmen, the first year of college will be their first time living away from home. This newfound freedom will be exciting, and if properly prepared, a dorm will feel less like a dorm and more like a new home. This is not a complete list, but it’s a list of items that University Housing residents of past and present have found to be lifesavers.

DO: Bring photos of your friends and family. Not only will they bring happiness during the late nights of studying, but they will also liven up the dorm’s plain walls. Command strips and other easy-to-remove hangers will be your best friend.

DON’T: Bring your whole wardrobe. Bring only the clothes you love and know you will wear. Don’t worry about not having enough t-shirts; the first few weeks of college will provide you with more opportunity for free t-shirts than you could imagine.

DO: Buy a memory foam mattress pad. Although the mattress claims to have a “soft” and “firm” side, both actually feel like the floor. Because living on campus means walking several miles a day, your fatigued muscles will thank you for bringing a mattress pad.

DON’T: Bring the whole animal kingdom of stuffed animals. Sure, you can bring your childhood favorite to comfort yourself in times of need, but if you have a whole suitcase full, you may want to reconsider your packing choices.

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    DO: Buy a rug. Nothing makes the dorms more uncomfortable than the cold tile floors, but throwing down a large rug is the single easiest way to make your dorm a place you’ll want to live.

    DON’T: Bring the Portillo’s gift card that you got for high school graduation. If you’re from the suburbs, you’ll have to spend those gift cards at home. While you’re there, tell them to bring Portillo’s to Champaign.

    DO: Bring accent lighting. You’ll need a desk lamp to study when your roommate is asleep, and you’ll want some string (Christmas) lights to hang from the ceiling for those late nights spent in with your friends.

    DON’T: Bring candles, decorations that need to be nailed, pets, or hoverboards. To see University Housing’s full list of what to/to not bring, visit their website.

    Jacob is a sophomore in DGS.