No one tells you about packing these items


The Daily Illini File Photo

An I-Guide helps a student moving into a dorm in the Ikenberry Commons move their things from a car to a cart on Aug. 22, 2013.

By Elizabeth Sayasane, Features Editor

Searching the internet for “college packing lists” will return thousands of similar results.  They include bed sheets, a laptop, phone chargers, a speaker, cleaning supplies, a first aid kit and several other essential items to survive in the dorm rooms. While these lists are a perfect place to start, they sometimes leave out items that will make life a lot easier for incoming freshmen. Here are six items not on their list that you won’t want to forget.

Rain Gear

You will probably be spending a lot more time walking to and from class, the dining hall or the ARC than you would at home. Unfortunately, this means you have a much greater chance of getting caught in the rain. While our bus system does an amazing job of connecting the campus, there will still be times where you’ll have to walk a couple of blocks to your destination. During these times, you will be grateful to have an umbrella. Even better would be to bring rain boots and a raincoat. 


Most meals for first-year students come from the meal plan, so you don’t have to worry too much about storing food in your dorm. However, there will be nights when you get Thai food and have leftovers. In times like those, you will need some Tupperware to store it in. It will also come in handy if you have days with a lot of classes and few breaks to stop for lunch so you can bring food with you in your backpack. It may even be helpful to bring a lunch box so you can keep things cold with an ice pack. 

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Art Supplies

While craft time may have ended in elementary school, you’ll still want to pack some art supplies to bring with you to college. A lot of classes will have big assignments that require posters or presentations or some creative elements. In those times, you’ll be glad to have some colored pencils, markers and a glue stick. In addition to assisting with your academic needs, crafting can be a good way to relieve stress and bond with new friends. You can make dorm signs or decorate the community spaces together. It’s nice to know you are prepared for whatever creative situation may come your way!

Mugs and Water Bottles

It’s pretty well known that a lot of college students run on coffee. It can be a helpful pick-me-up on your way to your 8 a.m.  lectures. Make sure to bring a good travel mug to keep your drink warm if you have to take it to go. This will make it easy to stop down at the dining hall for breakfast, fill up your mug and get out the door. Also, make sure you’re staying hydrated to balance out the caffeine and get a reliable water bottle that will keep your drink cold the entire day. It will make all the difference to have a water bottle you can take with you everywhere.

Slides or Slippers

Most packing lists will include shower shoes since you will probably be bathing in a communal shower. However, you may also want a separate pair of shoes you can slip on just when you need to leave your room but not the building. You can wear them to go brush your teeth, to hang out in the common area or to go get your mail. These can be comfortable slides or cozy slippers — just make sure they are easy to get on and off.

Ambiance Additions

While your first year at the University is hopefully busy with classes and clubs and fun outside of your room, you will still spend a considerable amount of time there. Make sure it’s a place you feel comfortable and safe coming back to at the end of each day. Things like oil diffusers, house plants and framed photos can help you do that. They make the whole room feel cleaner and cozier!

Most students inevitably forget one thing or another as they pack up for college. It will not be the end of the world but remembering some of these things can make the transition a little bit easier. 

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