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Packing List Essentials

Get your college packing list ready! Here are a few things you might need to add:

1. Fans
The good news is the dorms are very equipped for the cold. The bad news is, during the first few weeks of school, it is very warm indoors. The solution is to bring along a fan (or two or three) to college.

2. Door mat
When it rains or snows, it is nice to have a doormat inside your room for your wet shoes. I use it even when it’s not raining! It keeps me organized by having a set spot for my boots.

3. Laundry bag
I brought a pop-up basket to keep my laundry in, but a bag is helpful when carrying my clothes to and from the laundry room.

4. Stamps
I ended up buying a lot of stamps at the mail room because I forgot to bring them. If you plan on writing letters or postcards, definitely remember to pack those along with your envelopes.

5. Reusable mugs
Biggest rookie mistake is not bringing your reusable mug (or at least buying a University of Rochester mug once you arrive!). If you fill up your mug with coffee or tea on campus, it is significantly cheaper than purchasing coffee or tea in a cardboard/plastic cup. Save that declining and that environment!

6.  Warm jackets
If this isn’t the epitome of an essential at the University of Rochester, I don’t know what is. Don’t forget your jacket for the colder months! It seems weird to pack in August, but you will need it soon!

Friends don’t let friends go jacket-less.


Now here’s a few optional things you might be interested in bringing!

1. Bicycle
I personally searched for a college that seemed to have lots of bikers on campus. I just loved the idea of biking to class. There are lots of bike racks as well as a lot of bikes at Rochester! I used mine during the fall semester, though I barely used it in the spring. There is no indoor storage*, so one downfall to having a bike is leaving it outdoors in the rain and snow. That being said, the tunnels on campus are awesome to use and most classes are at most a 10-minute walk. So, it isn’t bad at all to go on foot. Otherwise, I think bikes are a great resource that lots of Rochester students take advantage of, but they are not truly necessary.

*There is indoor storage under Spurrier from December to March. You need to register your bike, and you are unable to get your bike out for use once you put it away in December until March.

2. Tupperware
I brought some sandwich bags to pack food on the go or for my dorm. I packed my lunch almost every day during the spring semester. The University also provides eco-friendly clamshells for $5.00 for a whole semester. You can take dining hall food on the go and have the container washed when you return it to the dining hall. There is also a grab-and-go café called Meliora. You can take a sandwich or salad or parfait, with chips or an apple, and with a drink and cookie. It is so convenient! I find that because these options are available, I don’t really need to use Tupperware to bring food around campus with me, but it can still come in handy.

3. Decorations
I, too, had the dream of creating a beautiful dorm room with string lights and an elephant tapestry. However, these two items are restricted under the Residential Life Fire & Life Safety Guidelines. Don’t despair; you can still pack posters, approved lights, and other festive decorations! Your room will be beautiful no matter what! Check out the link before purchasing that lamp with octopus arms, though.

This is how I decorated my dorm room. The battery-powered lights were $3 at Target and the Rosie the Riveter poster is virtually an essential.


4. Swimsuits
If you are on the swim team then this is a must-have. But even if you aren’t, I would recommend you bring one anyway! I randomly packed one for school. To my surprise, the pool at the athletic center actually removes the lanes on Sunday nights and allows students to just play around in the pool.

Questions about what to bring or not to bring? Comment below 🙂

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