4 Must-Have Items to Put on Your College Packing List

tcs college students

tcs college students

Your bags are packed, your car is loaded and your mom is crying openly in the driveway while your dad pretends the sun is bothering his eyes. It’s time for you to head to college. It’s time to enter the world of dorm living, taking care of yourself, and answering to no one. It’s time to become responsible.

Rewind a few weeks – or a few days – to when you began packing for your big move. College is most young adults’ first time living on their own so it’s a challenge figuring out what to pack. You weren’t sure if you were going to need your entire desktop computer or just your laptop. What about your favorite recliner? What does a college student really need when heading off to campus?

A coffee pot

If there is one thing you need in your dorm room aside from your toothbrush, it’s a coffee pot. You’ll have plenty of late nights, early mornings and sleep deprivation to warrant an excellent coffee pot.

Just remember you don’t need a fancy coffee mug or an entire set of mugs, which your parents might very well try to pack and send with you. You live in a dorm. You need disposable dishes.

An alarm clock

You have to be responsible for yourself now. Mom and Dad aren’t going to come into your room three times every morning to remind you to get out of bed and get ready for class. They might call three times a day, however.

Whilst the alarm on your phone is sufficient, it’s a good idea to invest in a secondary alarm. Placing it out of reach of your bed is an even better idea. This forces you to get up to make the noise stop – and you will want the noise to stop.

A thumb drive

Perhaps you should consider two or three thumb drives with excessive memory. While you don’t want to imagine that anything will happen to the many lengthy papers you will write over the course of your college career, it’s always a good idea to save, save, save.

Backing up your work is similar to insurance. If you spill coffee on your laptop, you needn’t worry about losing that 24-page paper you just finished. It’s on your thumb drive. If your laptop melts in the heat of your car, you needn’t worry if you’ve backed up your work.

A microwave

Unless you have the funds to order take-out every night, you might need to attempt to cook. If you live in a dorm, that will be difficult. There won’t be room for much more than a small microwave, but that’s perfectly sufficient.

You can eat all the pizza you want, but sometimes you’ll want to use that microwave for something a little healthier, such as steamed vegetables with dinner. Otherwise those freshmen 15 will soon turn into the freshmen 20+.

A typical countertop microwave is all you need to eat a little healthier and a little more cheaply, since so much of what’s available in the grocery store can go right in there without a second thought.


Most college dorms aren’t exactly known for their spacious, open floor plans and luxurious upgrades. They’re known for smelling questionable after students move in and for being your first home away from home. Don’t waste space with big furniture or needless items.

There’s so much you needn’t bring with you to college and a few things you might not have thought were necessary. There’s no sense in packing too much only to have to pack it again and return it home at Thanksgiving.


The author Kathrina

Kathrina is an enthusiast of all-things college lifestyle. She's the expert!

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