What to Actually Bring to College (from a College Freshman Who Severely Overpacked)

So we’ve all been there. We have a trip, vacation, or in my case, moving away to college and packing for a dorm, and we either 1. Don't know where to start or 2. Pack way too much.

I am a victim of both.

After about a month of being here at UConn, I’ve gotten the gist of the fundamentals needed here to make your college life run smooth. Outlined below are objects you may not originally expect a huge need for, but should really look into.


1. Humidifer

In the month that I've been here, I've witnessed my friends have FOUR instances of bloody noses. Dorm rooms are small and the air can get VERY stuffy. However, there's a solution! I found this cute cat humidifer on Amazon for around $15 and it's really helped with the air circulation in my dorm. Not to mention, it is also portable, lights up (it's my night light!) and it's adorable! If you are someone who can fall victim to colds regularly, this is a huge help. I got a bit of a cold already by sleeping with the fan on too high, and having this cute cat on my desk has really helped my stuffy nose!



2. Tapestry/Wall Decor

I feel like having a cozy dorm room is crucial. You sleep there, dress up there, quickly eat snacks in there when you have that one hour gap between classes, and hang out with friends there. I really tried making my dorm room as cozy as possible, and it's helped with my productivity levels. Having a comfortable space to live in gives you a better mindset and helps you feel better, which is so important in college when there's so many other possible stress factors. Not only that, but having people tell you that your room reminds them of home feels awesome!



My dorm!


3.  First Aid Kit!

This is a necessity for college. The first day of move in, I decided to go for a walk around the ENTIRE UConn campus and as a result had blisters on my feet (please do yourself a favor and wear sneakers going on long walks around campus... those sandals that were good to use walking around the neighborhood won't work great here.... believe me.... I learned the hard way). Luckily, I had a first aid kit which really helped heal my foot. I recommend making your own kit rather than just primarily relying on one from the store/online in order to ensure everything you need is there. Pictured below is everything I put in a bin for my overall kit. The Spongebob kit is a mini one I bought at CVS filled with basic bandaids and gauze. I put a tube of Neosporin in there as well.

My kit!


4. Mini Vacuum

Dorm room floors can get VERY dirty VERY quickly. If you have long hair and a carpet in your room.... I HIGHLY recommend investing in a mini handheld vacuum. You walk in and out of your room multiple times a day and dirt can quickly accumulate as a result. I bought this vacuum on Amazon for about $49 and it's helped my carpet remain clean.


5.  Insulated Water Bottle

I originally bought a huge pack of Poland Springs plastic water bottle to campus and stuffed them under my bed. However, it was tiring having to keep going to the store and buying more when there were quicker and more environmentally friendly options on campus. I decided to invest in a Hydroflask since there was so much hype around them, and I think it was an awesome decision. UConn has so many water stations around and Hydroflasks KEEP THE WATER COLD! FOR HOURS!

6. Mini Backpack

Apart from the large backpack you most likely use for class, I recommend getting a small backpack to use around campus as well. There are times when you just want to go to a dining hall, hang out with friends, or go to a campus event, and you need to carry your essentials, but don't need a huge backpack to lug around... and this is where a small backpack is very helpful. I bought mine from Vera Bradley, and I always carry medication, water, juice, my lanyard, money, phone, and other small essentials in it and I love it!

Here's the bag I bought!



Both of these are the hardest things to bring with you, but the most important. The first few weeks of UConn, you'll meet so many new people, learn about a bunch of organizations you never even knew existed, and have many expectations broken (in a good way). Know your value, be friendly, and get prepared for a new journey!