by Zoey

Add These to Your College Packing List!

Packing up for your first year of college is exciting and challenging at the same time. There are tons of online resources that provide lists and ideas of what to bring, but there are always some of those random little things you’ll need that aren’t on a standard list. Here are some of those oddballs to think about bringing:

-water boiler

Most students have meal plan their freshman year which provides them with most of their meals. However, sometimes last-minute ramen noodles or a big pot of tea during odd hours of the day become necessary, so it’s nice to have a quick way to boil water.

-wrinkle release spray

Doing laundry in college often gets pushed to the back burner–who knew?! If there’s a shirt you need to wear for an event that’s gotten a little wrinkly since its last wash, spray some wrinkle-release on and call it good!


Some dorms have doors that automatically close behind you, so grab a doorstop and prop it open! This allows you to meet new people and get the dorm air circulating.

-comfy chair

During my freshman year, I assumed I could get comfortable in bed to do homework and it wouldn’t be a big deal. But then I would always fall asleep…So if you have a comfy chair that won’t make you instantly fall asleep, I highly recommend bringing that!

-a way to waterproof your backpack

Did you know it rains in Ames, and a backpack you’ve had since the 6th grade might not be super waterproof? I learned those the hard way when I walked to class in the pouring rain and water-damaged some of my textbooks. Bring a waterproof backpack, find a waterproof cover to wrap around it, or throw some plastic bags over your textbooks if you know you’ll be in the rain. Wet paper is no fun.

-sewing kit 

I’ve always liked sewing, so for me it was a no brainer to bring a small sewing kit to college. However, once people on my floor knew I had it, I became the floor seamstress. If you know how to sew, definitely consider bringing a couple spools of thread and needles. Fixing clothes/backpacks is much cheaper than buying new.

-old bike

Even if you live on campus and fairly close to all of your classes, I definitely recommend bringing an old bike or finding a cheap used one. Biking around on the trails in Ames is a great escape from the daily grind of class, plus biking to places like the library and grocery store is often faster than a bus since you’re on your own time. I can’t imagine being in Ames without my bike. (Emphasis on old because there’s really no need for a fancy bike on campus)

-Reusable dishware

It might seem easier to bring disposable dishwater to your dorm, but it really just makes things messy. Reusable things are so much better for the environment, plus you can’t run out of dishes–you just have to wash them!


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