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10 Things you Should and Should not Bring your Freshman Year of University

One of the most exciting things about being a freshman is preparing for your dorm room; picking out a plush, bright new comforter, sparkling string lights, adorable decorations, and an assortment of organizational products. The downside to all of your new stuff? The extremely limited space in a dorm room.

In order to help you avoid making the mistakes I did my freshman year, I decided to compile a list of things that I wish I had not brought to university and the things that I was glad to have:

1. Do NOT bring your entire wardrobe

Limited closet space means bringing only the essentials. I was certain that I would need a variety of nicer dresses, skirts, shoes, etc. for college events and classes, but in reality I ended up predominantly wearing leggings and casual tees. If I were to do it again, I would have brought only the clothes I wear everyday and one nicer dress and pair of shoes for the fancier events or interviews.


2. DO bring a plate, bowl, and utensils

You may not think that you will need these items if you are on a meal plan, but they will definitely come in handy for late night study snacks or for when your parents send those precious care packages. Check out Indigo here for a variety of cute bowls, plates, and mugs. NOTE: You do not need an entire dish set, just one of the items you use most frequently.


3. Do NOT bring books for “casual” reading

As a huge bookworm, I was sure that I would need some of my favourite books with me. I quickly learned that my mountain of academic reading assignments left little time for casual reading. And, when I did have free time, my brain was too tired to read for fun.


4. DO bring a foldable drying rack

This was an item I did not have my freshman year but wish I did. There are certain items of clothing that you do not want in the dryer, or sometimes you may not have the time to babysit your clothes while they dry in the communal laundry room. Instead, invest in a smaller drying rack that you can easily fold and put away when not in use. Bonus: you can save money on laundry by letting your clothes air dry. Check out this drying rack from Ikea here


5. Do NOT bring all of your make up/jewellery/nail polish/etc.

Like with clothes, you will quickly find that you are only using the essentials of these items. To save space, try to limit yourself to only bringing the makeup you wear weekly, pieces of jewellary that go with everything, and your favourite polish colours. Simplicity = best.


6. DO bring a change of sheets

Having an extra pair of sheets will save you time when you need to wash your sheets but don’t have time for laundry.


7. Do NOT bring a TV 

I loved having a TV in my bedroom at home and thought that it would be something I’d really miss having in my dorm room. Like with casual reading, however, you will not have a ton of spare time to leisurely watch TV and thus the TV would just take up space. In addition, most dorms have a communal living area with cable TV. Your laptop will also suffice for late night Netflix binges when you need a study break. 

8. DO bring an agenda

It is nearly impossible to keep track of all of your assignments, tests, and deadlines without an agenda or calendar. I suggest buying a cute, smaller agenda that you can bring with you everywhere. This will help you organize your time and know when every assignment is due, club meeting is, or party is happening. It’s also great to get into the habit of creating “To Do” lists for each day/week. Check out Indigo here for a great selection of cute planners.

9. Do NOT bring a ton of smaller decorations

They will look adorable when you first set everything up and your room is clean and fresh, but come a few weeks later when you are drowning in assignments/readings/midterms/etc. you will want to use your desk for books and papers – not that cute elephant figurine from a trendy store.  

10. DO bring a power strip 

It’s a great idea to bring a power strip because it is unlikely that your dorm room will have enough outlets for all of your devices, or that the outlets will be in a convenient place to use. This also helps to prevent your cords from becoming a tangled mess. Check out London Drugs here for a 6 outlet power strip.

Honourable mention to bring: a printerThis is not a necessity as your university will more than likely have a place for printing needs, but it is definitely a luxury to have. When you finish an assignment an hour before it’s due – it’s Uni, this happens – you may not have time to run to the nearest printer. Be warned, however, that if you tell your friends you have one, everyone will be asking you to use it.


I hope that you find this list helpful, HCUBC Cuties, and please feel free to let us know if we missed anything. Welcome, class of 2021! 


Samantha is a third year UBC student majoring in Political Science. Samantha loves any kind of tea, drawing, reading, and traveling to new places. Her favourite thing to do is play with animals and write stories. One day, she hopes to have traveled to every continent.
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