Unofficial Orientation 2018: What to Pack

This is a highly modified repost of Meli’s post from last year, which is a repost of Sam’s post from last year, which is a  repost of Jackson’s post from the year before, which was a repost of Frizzly’s post from the year before, which was a repost of Samira’s post in 2013.


The packing list: possibly the most exciting part of the entire pre-frosh experience. There’s nothing quite like that first pilgrimage to Bed Bath and Beyond, walking through the forest of twin XL sheets and Premium, Ultra High Thread Count, Norwegian-Silk-Worm-Excrement-Infused ® towels. Every which way you look there’s something else that you couldn’t possibly live without in the perfect dorm room you’ve conjured up in your head.

In past years the Wesleying packing list has been incredibly comprehensive in case you were going to forget your doormat.  This year I’m going to shorten the list a little. However, anything I take off I’ll mention at the bottom of this post.

I’m also going to plug Wesleyan’s Waste Not Sale. In the spring of the previous year, students are invited to donate any items they no longer want to Waste Not. The Waste Not Sale takes place on September 1st and 2nd and is a great place to pick up a lot of things on this list for low prices. Anything on this list that you can buy at Waste Not I’ll mark in green. You can check prices here. Profits from the Waste Not Sale go towards environmentally-based projects, local charities, and financial aid. Please keep in mind however that Waste Not items may run out, so it’s your call if you want to buy an item before you arrive or at Wesleyan.

The list below is broken down into different general categories. Should it not satisfy you here are some links to Wesleyan made lists. Lots of the stuff like pens and notebooks may appear pretty obvious but I’ll put it in there in case you enjoy crossing things out.

But without further ado:


  • Laptop (Also a laptop sleeve)
  • Pens
  • Pencils (Mechanical ones are nice)
  • Notebooks (You need 8 max, but if you’re good at managing your space you can probably do it with 2 or 3)
  • Desk lamp (Wesleyan does not provide desk lamps so this is a big one)
  • Sticky notes (useful for reminders)
  • A marker or sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Stapler
  • Pencil Holder
  • Calculator (If you’re planning on taking a class that may require one: mainly in STEM or econ)
  • Folders/binders (might be useful for keeping readings organized although not necessary)
  • Printer (However there are lots of printers you can use around campus)
    • Printer ink and paper
  • External Hard Drive (never hurts to have a backup or two just in case. The Google Drive account connected to your Wesleyan email comes with unlimited space so that can also be a good alternative to an external drive)


  • Backpack
  • Good ol’ milk crates (or just storage bins if you like your room to look nice)
  • Little whiteboard for your door (Penis drawings become an art form)
  • Big whiteboard for inside your room (can do wonders for your organization and time management)
  • Command strips/hooks (these are a game changer for hanging things)
  • Organizing trays
  • Iron/ ironing board (If you’re trying to be fancy I guess, I was thinking of retiring this one from the list, but someone has to bring one so everyone else can use it because most people won’t bring one.  But honestly this is pretty useless, there’s always the old shower steam trick)
  • Sewing kit (I bought one and I used it so you never know, but if you don’t bring one someone will let you borrow one)
  • Swiss army knife (could be useful, but not necessary)


  • Rug (Really ties the room together)
  • Extension cord (I’d recommend waiting until you see your room and then buying one after at Rite Aid, some rooms have an insane number out outlets while others only have one or two)
  • Headphone/Earbuds (Definitely worth having)
  • Speakers
  • Mirror
  • Photos from home and some way of putting them up
  • Posters/art
  • Fan (can be super useful for those three weeks of heat right before winter starts)
  • Books (Even if you probably won’t have time to read them)
  • Chair/beanbag (Nice for when people are hanging out and there isn’t enough space on the bed)

Bathe (All toiletries, body wash, shampoo, and the like are available at Weshop or RiteAid on Main Street if you don’t want to have to travel with them)

  • Towels (Two or three is ideal)
  • Bathrobe (Actually super nice to have)
  • SHOWER FLIP FLOPS (Think of the generations of people who have used that shower before you and all the things that have touched that shower floor, do you really want your feet to be in contact with that?)
  • Shower caddy (not super necessary as many bathrooms have cubbies in which you can store your stuff. It can still be nice to have however)
  • Comb
  • Hair dryer
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Razor/shaving cream
  • Facewash
  • Face lotion
  • Lip balm (pretty useful)
  • Deodorant
  • Body lotion
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Nail Cutter
  • SUNSCREEN (Yes you can get sunburns even in the winter because the white snow reflects)


  • Twin XL sheets (might be worth getting 2 sets although this isn’t necessary)
  • Pillows (Tip: you use a pillow every single day, invest in a good one)
  • Mattress pad (This is basically essential.  Different levels of mattress pads do exist, choose carefully or you might end up with a meh sheet of foam that doesn’t do much)
  • Comforter/comfy blankets (Something nice and comfy)
  • Sleeping bag/light blanket (If you have a sleeping bag and have space to bring it you might as well because you never know, otherwise it’s not too necessary)

Health Stuff

  • Your prescriptions (If your pharmacy is Rite Aid you can use their online refill service to easily switch to the Main Street Rite Aid)
  • Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • Cough Drops
  • Contacts/contacts solution and case/glasses
  • Tampons and pads (The Davidson Health Center sells packs of 15 tampons or 10 pads for $2.00 each)
  • Vitamins
  • [Editors’ note: Gatorade and its more sophisticated cousin Pedialyte. You’ll thank us later.]


  • Air freshener of some sort (Also available at Weshop)
  • Laundry hamper (Must have)
  • Laundry detergent/pods
    • Editor’s note: allllllright. we all know you’re buying tide pods for a lil midnight snacc. 
      • But actually, tide pods are an environmental nightmare and don’t disintegrate completely, which might even ruin your **EDGY ALL-BLACK WARDROBE** too, so stick with some good old powder or liquid detergent.
        • Wear your clothes in the shower. 2 for 1.
          • And when you inevitably lock yourself out of your room, you won’t be chilling in a tiny-ass towel waiting for your roommate to come back from basketball practice because you forgot your phone in your room. The room that you locked.
            • Seems personal but ok
  • Tide Pen (Pretty useful)
  • Vacuum (Essential if you have a rug, all sorts of stuff will get in there)
  • Paper towels (Useful, but instead of packing these buy them at Weshop)
  • Trash bin (Wesleyan does not provide these)
  • Trash bags

Eat (Most of this stuff I wouldn’t pack and instead just buy when I arrive)

  • Refrigerator (Actually pretty nice to have)
  • Microwave (available in all dorm kitchens, but may also be nice to have)
    • Microwave safe bowl/plate
  • Electric Water Boiler (I really want to get one of these)
  • Tupperware (Super useful for when you want to take some food from Usdan for later)
  • Mug
  • Travel mug
  • Water bottle
  • Utensils
  • Cups (You can get real cups and be fancy but you can also just get solo cups at Weshop)
  • Dishes (Not super necessary. You can go fancy and get real plates or just skip the trouble and get some disposable ones at Weshop)
  • Bottle opener (Also available at Weshop)
  • Zip Lock bags
  • SNACKS!! (Maybe some of those Wesleying famous chocolate acai berries)


  • Hangers
  • Boots for the winter (of the rain and snow variety)
  • Good ol’ normal shoes
  • Maybe some nicer ones too
  • Socks
  • Shirts
  • Sweater/hoodie
  • Light and heavy jackets
  • Bottoms: pants/skirts/tights
  • Work out clothes
  • Sweats/loungewear
  • Lots and lots of underwear (Like socks, you can never have too many pairs)
  • Things to keep you warm: Hat/gloves/scarf
  • Umbrella
  • Accessories: jewelry/bags/sunglasses/watch
  • Swimsuit
  • Recommended: One v fancy outfit for a ~formal~ that you’ll always hope to be, but never actually are, invited to.
    • Formal season is a thing. it’s a thing. 

Specific Wesleyan Move in Stuff

  • You’ll probably get a list of things to bring with you to orientation, but it’s a smart idea to bring a government-issued ID, your bank account info (account/routing number) if you’re applying for a campus job.
  • Debit/credit card/$$$$ (#expensleyan)

Things from last year’s list that didn’t make this year’s

  • USB drive
  • White-out
  • Eraser
  • Scotch Tape
  • Envelopes/Stamps (If you need these you can buy them at WesStation on campus or at Rite Aid on Main Street)
  • Duffel bag (if you’re bringing one hopefully you’re packing stuff inside it and therefore don’t forget it)
  • Tacky adhesive (command strips are better)
  • Flashlight (Most phones have this capability now)
  • Batteries (These are only useful if you’re bringing something that requires batteries and virtually nothing else on this list uses batteries)
  • Screwdriver (unless you’re the sort of person who is fiddling with things a lot, there’s always someone you can borrow a screwdriver from though)
  • Phone and phone charger (It’d be impressive to forget these two)
  • Doormat (why was this on the list? meli’s note: WHY NOT)
  • Washcloths (If you have towels they all become one)
  • Alarm clock/radio (We have phones now so this is a little excessive.  If you’re the sort who needs more than one alarm to wake up an alarm clock may be useful however)
  • Tissue boxes/Facial tissues (Don’t pack this unless you need it for the trip. They are readily available at Weshop)
  • Coldeze/Motrin/Emergen-C (If you have a cold, or don’t, go to the health center and ask for a cold kit, it includes “common over the counter medicine, cough drops and other goodies to help relieve some of your cold symptoms.”
  • Pepto Bismol (If you need it you can get it at Weshop)
  • All-purpose cleaner (This isn’t super necessary. If you really need to clean something you can probably borrow it from someone else)
  • Dishwashing soap/sponge (Not really necessary unless you plan on doing a lot of cooking.  Even then in many dorms there’s at least a communal dish soap)
  • Plastic bags (I don’t know what these are intended for, maybe to replace trash bags? I suppose they could also be a “You never know” item)
  • Hand sanitizer (Let your bacteria live, if your hands are dirty wash them with soap)
  • Cutting knife/board (Unless you’re going to be a real dorm chef. I definitely recommend buying these in Middletown)
  • Safety pins (These could be useful in certain situations but you can probably just borrow them or buy some at Weshop/RiteAid when they become necessary)
  • Car registration, insurance, and $100 for those bringing a car to campus (This isn’t necessary as you can register your car online. Please don’t forget to bring your registration and insurance info though)
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