5 Things to Pack for College that Students Forget

By Abby Tolbert /
5 Things to Pack for College that Students Forget

Homecoming, prom, and graduation day are all officially visible in the rearview mirror. You’ve spent your summer on camping excursions, late-night fast food runs, and on Netflix rewatching “The Office” for the third consecutive time. As the leaves begin to change and new Septembers are visible on the horizon, college preparations are on the minds of many recent high school grads.

Whether you’re trekking across the country or attending a school that’s a little closer to home, arriving for your first day of freshman year doesn’t have to be stressful. Organization and preparation are two integral parts of making sure that your move-in process goes off without a hitch.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of some easy-to-forget items you’ll need to make your dorm-dwelling (shoebox) feel a little more like home.

5 Things to Pack for College that Students Forget

1. Lamps

You’d be surprised at how many college dorm rooms lack overhead lighting. As romantic as studying by candlelight with your crush from Econ 101 might sound, there’s nothing fun about stumbling around in the dark the morning before your first 8AM biology class. (Side note: Avoiding 8 AM classes at all costs is also a potential solution to this problem. Seriously, don’t do it to yourself.)

5 Things to Pack for College that Students Forget

2. Alarm clock

I know what you’re thinking, “Mom jeans and chokers might be back in, but this isn’t the 90’s, Abby, we have smartphones now.” Hear me out though, alarm clocks are tried and true time management stalwarts. Their sheer reliability makes them a better option than the iPhone 7 that you forgot to charge last night.

3. Mini Trash Can

Perfect for tissues and scrap paper. Also perfect for the wrappers left behind from your fun-size Snickers bar binge last night. (Don’t blame your lack of self-control, blame Aunt Barb for sending you that darn care package in the first place.)  

Wall Decals for Your Dorm
Photo: Makerista

4. Photos of Family and Friends

No matter how vehemently you claimed that you were “like, SO over” high school, homesickness is pretty inevitable for new college students. Having warm memories to smile back on can make the transition from your hometown to an unfamiliar college campus a lot less taxing.  Try out these budget-friendly wall decals or splurge on a personalized calendar that’ll help you keep track of those dreaded essay deadlines in style.

5. Business Wear

Pop culture has a way of painting a picture of college students as lazy, sweatpant clad gremlins who crawl out of bed at noon every day. While this is sometimes accurate, you will actually need to dress up on occasion. Dust off those old debate team slacks and throw them in a suitcase. They’ll definitely come in handy for important events like career fairs and interviews.

As you leave behind life as you’ve always known it to embark on new adventures and forge new friendships, it’s important to take some time amidst all of the excitement to prepare for yourself for such a significant change.

Packing necessary tangible items is imperative, yes, but don’t forget to soak up your last valuable moments with the people you love most. Near or far, you’ll miss them more than you think.

Still need to thank the special people in your life for graduation gifts? Check out the Pinhole Press customizable Thank You cards!


Pinhole Press Intern Abby TolberAbout the Author: Abby Tolbert, Pinhole Press Intern

Abigayle Tolbert is a college student at SUNY Albany studying marketing and management. A self-proclaimed chicken tender aficionado, she loves spending her free time looking for the area’s best pub fare and taking sunny walks in Albany’s historic Washington Park

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