Your first year of college is right around the corner, and there are a lot of things you’ll need to know to make sure you start your year off on the right foot. As always, reach out to your Advisor with any questions, but you can use this blog as a quick cheat sheet to get you started.

Moving into the Dorms?

Check out some of these ideas below to help make dorm life a little easier.

Colleges include a pack list of essential items for students living in the dorms. Here are some of these pack lists:

While many of these things are the same between schools, it’s important to check out your school’s specific list to see what they provide in your room and what you have to bring. For instance, many schools provide closet space, but you may want to bring additional storage for your folded clothes.

There may be items on this list that have you asking why you need them. Here are a few answers to some of those questions:

  • 3M Products (command strips): you’re going to want to decorate your room, and many residence halls will not allow nails or thumbtacks in the walls
  • A Robe: You’ll have to make a walk from the bathroom after you shower to your room. Even when you get dressed in the hall bathroom, you may still want a robe for that walk down the hall!
  • Shower Shoes: If you live in a traditional-style dorm, you’ll share your bathroom with many other people.
  • Surge Protector/Power Strip: You might only have access to two plugs in your room, so you’ll want a power strip for the rest of your electronics.

Speaking from our experience as staff when we attended college and lived in the dorms, here are a few things that aren’t on the list that you’ll want:

  • A tool kit, or at least a hammer and a screwdriver.
  • A first aid kit, or at least a box of bandages.
  • Reminders of home. Especially if you go to school out of town and are close to people still in that town.
  • Under-the-bed storage for shoes, blankets, books, etc., that don’t fit anywhere else.
  • For laundry soap, it may be best to use laundry pods because they’ll be easier to haul down to the dorm laundry room.
  • A rug to save your toes from the cold floor.


Freshman on Campus Events

Most universities provide fun icebreaker events to encourage students who live both on- and off-campus to connect with their peers and get their college experience off on the right foot. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of those opportunities, even if some of them sound silly.

Get in touch with, or at least check out the website for, your school’s Student Life Department. It is their job to help make sure you have access to all of the opportunities and experiences you can to help you feel at home.

Caring for Your Health

Your first year of college will feel rigorous and, at times, pretty scary. It is important to make sure you take care of both your physical and mental health.

This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym but take some time for yourself. Go for a walk. Make sure to get healthy food in the dining hall occasionally (even though those chicken nuggets are tempting), and take some time to decompress.

College campuses always offer counseling services, too. This is an excellent confidential, and safe way to get things off of your chest and work through what feels too heavy to carry alone. Don’t let the stigma of mental health care stop you from taking care of yourself.

Don’t forget! Your Alumni Advisors, Alan and Moriah, are here to help you ensure your first year of college is the best it can be!