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What basic supplies should I bring going into college as a freshman living on campus?

I am new to the college life and I want to be prepared but I don't want to show up to collge "over" prepared. #college

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Archana’s Answer


Most colleges have their suggested lists for what to bring to campus. However I guess, below list should help you narrow it down to what you must take with you.

Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your first year at college. These are just suggestions; you should adapt this list to suit your own situation.

To save packing or shipping, it might make sense to buy some of these items after you reach the campus. It might also make sense to pack for one season at a time and switch items when you go home during breaks.

Room Needs/Storage

• Bedside lamp
• Alarm clock/clock radio
• Mini trash can
• Storage bins
• Under-the-bed storage trays
• Desk lamp
• Fan
• Drying rack for laundry
• Bulletin board and pushpins
• Dry-erase wall calendar/board
• Mini toolkit (including screwdriver, hammer, wrench)
• Picture hangers (double-sided tape for concrete walls)

Linens/Laundry Supplies

• Sheets and pillowcases (2 sets. Check with college for size needed — some college twin beds are extra long.)
• Towels (3 each of bath, hand and face)
• Pillows (2)
• Mattress pad (check with college for size needed)
• Blankets (2)
• Comforter/bedspread
• Clothes hangers
• Laundry bag/basket
• Laundry detergent, fabric softener and stain remover
• Lint brush
• Mini sewing kit
Office/Desk Supplies

• Electronic storage media such as memory cards and USB flash drives
• Stapler and staples
• Printer paper (if you decide to bring a printer)
• Pens and pencils
• Pencil holder and sharpener
• Notebooks
• Folder with pockets
• Labels of various sizes
• 3 × 5 index cards
• Sticky notes
• Paper clips and binder clips
• Rubber bands
• Tape
• Scissors
• Highlighter pens (multiple colors)
• Ruler
• Stackable desk trays (at least 4)
• Stamps and envelopes


• Laptop (printer is optional; there are usually computer labs where you can print)
• Portable speakers (if you want to play music from laptop/MP3 player)
• HDMI cord, Ethernet cord for computer (check if your room has wireless)
• Surge protector
• Extension cords
• 3-2 prong adapters
• MP3 player
• Headphones
• Camera
• Cell phone

Shared Items — Check with roommate(s)

• Audio equipment
• TV and DVD player
• Coffeemaker/hot pot/microwave, if allowed
• Small refrigerator (if one isn’t provided)
• Area rug
• Posters/art


• Antacid
• Aspirin or other pain relievers
• Vitamins
• Antidiarrheal medicine
• Adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment
• Cough drops
• Shower caddy
• Shower shoes (flip-flops)
• Shampoo and conditioner
• Hairstyling products
• Bath and face soap
• Travel soap container(s)
• Toothpaste and toothbrush
• Dental floss
• Comb/brush
• Tweezers
• Nail clippers
• Hair dryer/straightener/curling iron
• Razor and shaving cream
• Lotion and/or facial moisturizer
• Cotton swabs


• Underwear
• Socks
• Pants/jeans
• Shirts/blouses
• Sweats
• Pajamas
• Slippers and/or flip-flops
• Sweaters
• Light/heavy jackets
• Gloves/scarf/hat (and other foul-weather gear as needed)
• 1 pair of boots
• 2 pairs of sneakers or comfortable/walking shoes
• 1 set of business-casual clothes
• 1 pair of dress shoes
• 1 swimsuit

Household and Kitchen Items

• Paper towels
• Trash bags
• Lightbulbs
• All-purpose cleaner
• Plastic storage bags
• Food-storage containers
• Dish soap
• Wet wipes
• Tissues
• Bowl, plate and cup
• Coffee mug
• Water bottle
• Silverware
• Can/bottle opener


• Umbrella
• Backpack
• Sports equipment

Hope this helps.

All the best for your college years!

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Keith’s Answer

Archana had a comprehensive list, although you can certainly get by with a lot less than this. When I went to school I flew by myself, so couldn't pack my parents car or anything like that. I didn't bring much more than my clothes, a laptop, a printer (which I didn't need), and my bedding. I think I mailed the bedding separately, everything else fit into two suitcases.

I think a lot of students bring way too much with them. You don't need much if you will be living in the dorm and eating in the dining hall. Keep in mind that everything you move in, you will likely have to move out at the end of the year!