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Your Unaesthetic *but necessary* College Packing List

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

Major congratulations are in order for Brown’s incoming Class of 2028. After what was (hopefully) not too awful and strenuous of a college process, we are so glad to have new members joining our community. As the celebrations (prom, graduation, and all the other senior festivities) subside, it is inevitable that the college creepies may be starting to surface.

The idea of starting a new chapter of your life can be equally daunting as it is exciting, but I want to make sure that it is as smooth and easy as possible. I, for one, love to know that I am as prepared as possible for anything I do, and I am sure that some of you are the same way. When starting to shop for my dorm, I searched the internet far and wide, trying to differentiate between what I actually need, and what would turn out to be a dirt collector. Thus, here is my tried and true list of what you really need as a freshman in college:

(this list is not in order of importance)

  1. A drying rack
    1. Listen, I know you are probably telling yourself that it is a waste of space and that you will just hang up your clothes, I told myself the same thing. Get a drying rack. You can find a cheap foldable option on Amazon and you will not regret it. 
  2. Air purifier
    1. Part of Brown’s charm comes from its old architecture. That being said, that means the dorms are gross and dusty. In an environment where sickness loves to spread, an air purifier is a crucial step towards minimizing illness. 
  3. Medicine/tea/tissues (any and all you can think of)
    1. On a similar note, you WILL get sick. All. The. Time. You are not going to want to run to CVS when you feel like you are on your deathbed, so be prepared. You won’t have anyone to take care of you the way you previously did, so set yourself up for success!
  4. A BIG fan
    1. This is only really necessary for the first few weeks of school, but the dorms do not have AC and they get HOT. (I had three large fans and barely made it!)
  5. A vacuum
    1. Your dorm will get dusty! 
  6. A plastic (!!!) shower caddy
    1. Unless you want a nice side of mold with your daily shower, please get a plastic shower caddy instead of mesh.
  7. Shower shoes
    1. On a similar note, I am assuming you do not want foot fungus! There is a simple solution: shower shoes.
  8. A Brita (or any other water filter)
    1. The majority of Brown’s dorms do not have filtered water; you will be thankful to have a way to filter your water.
  9. A good water bottle that you like
    1. Hydration is crucial for making it through college. You are going to need an emotional support water bottle that you can have on you at all times (my current favorite is the Owala, but anything works!).
  10. Rain boots
    1. Providence gets a lot of rain. I have never once regretted having a sturdy pair of rain boots. 
  11. A storage ottoman
    1. I have a storage ottoman that doubles as a step stool to my bed. The dorms are small and you are going to want to maximize your space.
  12. Three times the amount of socks you think you need
    1. The sock thief is real – please overpack when it comes to socks.
  13. Command hooks
    1. Again, space is minimal. Command hooks are amazing for jackets, bags, hats, etc. 
  14. A power strip extension cord
    1. You are going to need more outlets than you have. 
  15. Slippers that can be worn outside
    1. This may be my biggest recommendation. There are communal bathrooms and your slippers need to be able to get slightly wet.
Hi! My name is Dani Budoff and I am in Brown's class of 2027. I am from Manhattan, New York, and I am on the economics path. In my free time, I love to go for walks, play board games, listen to music, read thriller books, journal, and hang out with friends and family. My absolute favorite thing to do is to try new cafes and restaurants wherever I go!