By Aubrey Harper

Packing for your first year away from home is a pretty daunting task. There are some pretty handy apps and plenty of checklists online (like this one that UC Davis Student Housing conveniently compiled) that can help, but there’s always something you wish you had brought! Here are 10 things to make sure to bring to your freshman dorm!

  1. Extra pillows/blankets. Since your only seating is a desk chair and beds, pillows and blankets make hanging out in your room a lot more cushy. Also, when it’s November and your building hasn’t turned off the automatic A/C keeping your room at 60º, you basically live in a throw blanket.

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  1. Bike light and extra batteries. You’re going to be biking at night. You need a bike light. Don’t be surprised when it will probably accidentally stay on during the day when you don’t notice, and it will run out of batteries. So make sure to bring both. I had a bike light that screwed onto my handlebars, which was convenient because it was relatively difficult to steal and I didn’t have to remember to take it every time I might need it.

  2. Clorox wipes. When your mom puts these into the cart while you’re shopping for all your dorm room stuff, DO NOT STOP HER. Sickness spreads fast in such close quarters.

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  1. Extra lighting. Between my roommate and I, we eventually accumulated 5 extra lamps by the end of the year. That’s on top of the 2 lamps that are provided. Don’t rely on the overhead lighting.

  2. Dusting materials. Do yourself a favor and bring a dust rag and some Pledge. Allergies in Davis are brutal, so there’s no use making them worse by living in filth.

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  1. Snack foods and plates/forks to eat them. Study snacks are a must, and they’re a lot easier to eat when you don’t have to eat like an animal. Also bring things with which to wash said dishes.

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  1. A small suitcase/bag to pack to take on weekend trips. Three day weekends are a great chance to go visit the nearby hometowns of your roomies, so make sure you have something that could function as a bag for these trips.

  2. Ear plugs. Nothing like a super loud party next door the night before an exam to make you wish you had brought ear plugs.

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  1. A laundry basket. I mean a REAL laundry basket. With structure and handles and preferably made out of plastic. I had one of those hamper/laundry bags in order to save space. Do not be fooled, those are not even close to the same convenience as a real laundry basket.  I cannot count the times I tried to stuff all my clothes in there and managed to drop socks and underwear all over the laundry room floor because the bag was weirdly folding. Plus, they are pretty handy to stick random stuff in (if you ever actually take the time to empty/fold your laundry).

  2. Fruit bowl. Weird? Yes. But since you can take one fruit out of the dining commons everytime you go, you start to accumulate a lot of apples and bananas. Like, a lot. The bowl helps to avoid finding an old banana wedged between your bed and the wall. If you don’t particularly like fruit, make it a snack bowl with deliciously unhealthy goodies.


I hope this helps you to have a great start to your first year in the dorms!