Unofficial Orientation 2022: What to Pack

This an updated version of Maury’s update of Fos’ coronavirus update of a not highly modified repost of Fern’s post from 2019 which was a highly updated version of Meli’s post from the year before, which is a repost of Sam’s post from the year before that, which is a  repost of Jackson’s post from the year before that, which was a repost of Frizzly’s post from the year before that, which was a repost of Samira’s post in 2013.

This is part of our 2022 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

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. However more recently we’ve been trying to shorten the list a little. Anything we take off will be mentioned 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 in the first couple days of school 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 Waste Not Sale gets crowded fast, so you want to get there early (like earlier than whatever you think is early) and be prepared to have to wait an hour or so in line. Its hectic, but you can hang with all your new friends and meet people. 

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 (It can be nice to have a mini stapler in your backpack for when you need to staple your homework before you turn it in. I made my entire freshman math class indebted to me this way)
  • 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)
  • Command strips/hooks (these are a game changer for hanging things)
  • Organizing trays
  • 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)
  • Scotch Tape (bc why not)


  • Rug (Really ties the room together)
    • Editor’s note: if you can get a washable rug, you will be so grateful. My rug last year held at least 6 different types of bodily fluids and the next global pandemic and even the strongest vacuum could not salvage it in the slightest
  • Extension cord (I’d recommend waiting until you see your room and then buying one after, some rooms have an insane number out outlets while others only have one or two)
  • Headphone/Earbuds (Definitely worth having)
  • Speaker
  • 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 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’s still 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 clippers
  • 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

  • FACE MASK! (Multiple if you can.)
  • Your prescriptions (There is a pharmacy in the Walgreens down the road for potential refills)
  • Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • Cough Drops
  • Contacts/contacts solution and case/glasses
  • Coldeze/Motrin/Emergen-C (If you have a cold you can ask the health center for a cold kit, which includes “common over the counter medicine, cough drops and other goodies to help relieve some of your cold symptoms.”)
  • Tampons and pads (The Davidson Health Center sells packs of 15 tampons or 10 pads for $2.00 each)
  • Vitamins
  • Hand sanitizer (If you’re on the move, ya gotta)
  • [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)
  • Recycling bin
  • Trash bags
  • All-purpose cleaner (Great for quickly cleaning shared spaces and keeping yourself COVID-free!)

Eat (Most of this stuff I wouldn’t pack and instead just buy when I arrive. Price Chopper on Wash is cheap & good!)

(editor’s note 2019: everything on this list is huge, pls invest)

  • Refrigerator (Actually pretty nice to have) (you can 100% Waste Not it but also look out for upperclassmen selling there’s on wesadmits!)
  • Microwave (available in all dorm kitchens, but may also be nice to have)
    • Microwave safe bowl/plate
  • Electric Water Boiler
  • Tupperware (Super useful for when you want to take some food from Usdan for later)
  • Mug (you can get so many cool ones from waste not from years past)(you can also get shot glasses at Waste Not lmao)
  • 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 (you can get tons and tons and tons and tons of these at Waste Not)
  • 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 past year’s lists that didn’t make this year’s

  • USB drive
  • White-out
  • Eraser
  • Swiss army knife (could be useful, but not necessary)
  • Envelopes/Stamps (If you need these you can buy them at WesStation on campus)
  • 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)
  • Pepto Bismol (If you need it you can get it at Weshop)
  • 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)
  • Big whiteboard for inside your room (can do wonders for your organization and time management)
  • 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 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)
  • Iron/ ironing board (If you’re trying to be fancy I guess. There’s always the old shower steam trick)
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