Moving into a dorm is terrifying in and of itself: You’re cramming all your stuff into a tiny room with another person whom you’ve likely never met. On top of it all, you’ve probably never been on your own before. How can you prepare for the next four years of your life if you don’t have everything you need? Don’t worry. We’ve been there and know all of the overlooked things you should consider putting in your suitcase.


Seems obvious, right? Perhaps, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve forgotten to bring a pen to class. Always keep extras in your backpack; your classmates will thank you.READING LIGHT

If you’re an avid night reader or just a night owl, get a reading light; it will keep the peace between you and your early-to-bed roommate.NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES

A nice pair of headphones or earbuds are probably the most important item you’ll need. You’ll use them walking to class, on the bus, while studying, in your dorm room (especially if your roommate is annoying, which is definitely a possibility), everywhere.FIRST AID KIT

You’re clumsier than you think.SPONGE AND DISH SOAP

Do the environment (and your wallet) a favor and forgo plastic or paper plates and utensils. Invest in reusable plates and utensils and wash them with a sponge and dish soap. Don’t be lazy.WEEKEND BAG

Weekend trips are fun.HAWAIIAN SHIRT OR LEI

Tacky? Yeah. But I promise you’ll go to a Hawaiian-themed party. When in Rome …STAIN REMOVER PEN

Spill coffee on your favorite T-shirt in a two-hundred-person lecture hall? No problem. Tide-to-go or any other stain remover pen will save you a trip to the laundry room. You should still do laundry at least every two weeks, though.EAR PLUGS AND EYE MASK

The former, in case you have a loud roommate. The latter, if you like to sleep in.COLD MEDICATION

Unless you have the immune system of Deadpool, you’re going to get the flu and/or a bad cold nearly every year. If you’re too tired/sick/vomit-y to walk to the campus health center, a couple sips or tablets of Dayquil (or whatever you prefer) can take the edge off. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor; read the bottle before using.) That being said, you should definitely try to get to a doctor as soon as flu-like symptoms arise: Tamiflu can literally be a lifesaver.