College Student Life | Bucknell University

The Basic Back to College Packing List

Whether you’re a freshman or a seasoned pro, getting back to college and settled takes some planning and organization.

Here’s a few tips to get you started.

Get yourself in order.

Make sure your up to date with your dental visits, doctors’ appointments and vaccinations. Get your school medical done earlier.  You will be glad you are taking care of this now rather than having to see a dentist while you’re away at college when a small problem becomes big one.

Get your finances together and easily accessible.  Make sure you have all your relevant cards and easy access to your bank account.

• Freshman tip:  Check to see what meal plan you have selected, you may need extra funds on an account to cover food and other Campus charges. Other charges can include books,  Greek Fees (if you can rush as a freshman) club, sporting fees, campus and community events.

While using your  lap top in your room, library or other parts of campus,  make sure you have set up a cloud drive to back up your work.  Nothing is worse than losing an almost complete term paper when something happens to your computer.

Get a monthly planner so you can easily keep track of your life.

Freshman tip:  Once you begin classes, mark your project’s and essay due dates on the planner so that you’re never caught off guard by a looming deadline. Create a schedule, prioritize your work load early, creating a good work ethic will give you extra time to discover everything your College has to offer!

Keep all your important paperwork together and in one place.  Don’t forget to take your:

Driver’s license or state ID

Relevant health records, required medication. Health insurance cards.

Social Security Card.  Passport if traveling.

Bank debit and credit card, student discount cards.

On campus transportation.  If you’re attending a large campus, your classes may be a long walk from each other or your dorms. Take advantage of  the Campus Shuttle provided by the University  to take you  between classes,  campuses or  down town.   Check to see if you can have your car on campus and where you can park it. Take advantage of car hire options on campus, you may be able to share a weekend rental with a friend if needed.   A bike or skateboard may be a lifesaver for getting you to class on time. Your College Town or Campus may also have its own bicycle hire program.

Plan your wardrobe depending on the weather and your chances of visiting your home to switch your wardrobe out. If you’re planning a trip home for Thanksgiving, take only a smattering of winter clothing. During your home visit, bring your lighter clothing home and stock up on the cold weather stuff. Exchange it again if you come home for Spring Break.

Freshman tip:  Pack the basics when it comes to your wardrobe for everyday use. Consider the weather in your new College Town, take the right shoes for class, rain, gym and campus events.

Your Room

Grab accessories to express your individual identity, we created a fun collection of items that caught our eye on polyvore:

Dorm room image of our polyvore collection of college accessories

 The Essentials

As most colleges have twin extra-long beds, get the sheet sets for this length.

Mattress protector/pad (you’re not the first to have slept on this mattress).

Laundry Hamper

Bath robe for those trips to the bathroom which may be down the hall.

Shower caddy to keep your necessities all together while you make that stroll to the bathroom.

Towels and hair wraps.

Plastic storage containers. Under the bed storage is great

Bed risers.

Freshman Tip:  Most of these bulky items can be purchased at a large chain store such as Target or Walmart in your College Town.  You can have the items delivered to the local store in your college town, saving you the effort of schlepping it all from your home.

Depending on your dorms rules, you may be allowed to have a microwave, toaster or coffee maker.  A small bar fridge allows you to store left overs and reheat them for later in the microwave, a big money saver.  Most dorms have communal kitchens and  spaces, so check before you purchase.

Freshman tip: Contact your room mate to see if they are interested in splitting the cost of these items.  You won’t have the space to double up.   This goes for other electronics such as a tv or gaming system.

Desk/floor lamps, area rugs and wall décor make it your home.  Once again, it’s good to coordinate with your roomie.

 back to college packing list image

Minutiae (small and great to have around)

Sewing kit.  For replacing that lost button or putting together a few touches to that party outfit or themed dress up night!

Tool Kit. Having a small bag with a few handyman accessories like a screwdriver set and double sided tape will help with dorm set up.

Umbrella.  Nobody likes to get caught in the rain.

Alarm clock, back up to your phone.  Never (unintentionally) miss a class.

Extension cord/power board.

Felt hangers, take up less space and clothes don’t slip off.

Plenty of quarters for the washer/dryer.  Take a small stash so you’re not scrambling when you really want to wear that top to the freshman mixer tonight.

Laundry detergent


Chargers (take a spare or two)

3M Command hooks for the walls.  Hang everything without making a mark – awesome.

Basic first aid kit.  Everyone needs a Bandaid at some point.

Cleaning supplies.  Wipes packets for floors, dust and disinfecting.

Oh yeah, don’t forget your school supplies including a sturdy backpack.

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