THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD BRING TO UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE
Here is a list of some of the TOP things we STRONGLY recommend you bring to your 1st year university dorm or residence room.
1. A HEATER AND FAN
Let’s face it, most residences are OLD. And old buildings typically don’t have great heating and air conditioning systems meaning your room will be either way too hot or way too cold. Sadly, like myself, most people don't realize it until they are there so it’s a mad dash to Walmart to find one (who is usually sold out when everyone is doing the same thing).
2. Smart Decorations
Did you know that a lot of dorms are actually modeled after prisons? They are and you will definitely feel it when you get to your res. Most people going into first year know this, but don't pack the best things for their dorm decor. Realistically people don't buy functional or long lasting dorm decor and end up throwing it out after first year wasting money and time. So here's a list of dorm decor that will make your room feel like home, not become clutter, and serve an actual purpose:
Flags, like the LUG Keep The Dream Alive Flag
A good mirror (I got mine at Winners, but Ikea is great for cheap options)
One to two throw pillows (max)
Mini fridge with magnets (my friends and I actually picked up this and its fun to see the messages they leave)
3. COOKING SUPPLIES
Is there any better late night meal than some home cooked Mac and Cheese? You can’t pull off the 3 AM KD without a pot, spoon, and colander. Having a few essential kitchen supplies is a game changer for the dorm so don’t forget to pack a few key items to help make your room a bit more food friendly. Some ideas: Kettle, pot and pan, colander/strainer, cutlery, mugs and cups, a cutting knife and board, plates and bowls.
4. A GOOD WATER BOTTLE
This is something people forget to bring and the small plastic ones they give you during O-week will break or get lost, but bringing a good water bottle is super useful for a multitude of reasons. First, staying hydrated, pretty important and you can't bring a glass of water to the campus gym or class. Next, you can easily sneak it into dining hall and sneak out juice, soda, or milk back to res; ergo save money, live better, water bottle. Lastly, if you are of age to consume alcohol in your university town and are safely consuming it, its a great way to carry your beverage. Most students are unaware of the open alcohol tickets until they get there, meaning you can get a ticket for having an open can or bottle even on a sidewalk, res hallway, or outside your res and in my experience, the bylaw officer is always there when you least expect it. You don't want to pay for $100 ticket for a simple mistake, just have a water bottle you can put things in.
My first year I just assumed I would only eat at dining hall so I didn't bring any snacks to my dorm, just cereal and some frozen meals. I deeply regret that decision because there were many times I was not hungry enough to walk all the way to dining hall, or I just didn't have the time, so I just went hungry. I did not have to live this way and it was a waste of dining hall swipes. Just go to Costco buy things like granola bars, rice Krispy squares, beef jerky, Mr Noodle, KD, or anything that can last long without expiring. It’s also good to have some food around for when you bring people back to your room to hangout or game.
6. SOME SEMI-FORMAL CLOTHES
Probably the most forgotten thing to bring to university clothes wise. You may think you won't need a nice shirt or dress because you are in a science or another program where it doesn't require you to dress up for presentations. However, a lot of residences and programs have semi-formals, you have possible job interviews, and additionally if you rush a fraternity or sorority you do have to dress to impress. One suit or one black dress will usually suffice, but do not forget it or you'll have to look for something near campus which is either extremely difficult or expensive.
Most people know to already buy these prior to university, they are great for hanging posters, flags, bags, and towels. Just get a wide variety of sizes and shapes to meet all your needs and avoid damaging your res walls, also be VERY CAREFUL when taking these down as the paint they use to paint residences are not great and can get pulled off easily. I have command hooks to hang my sorority paddles, my LUG flag, my hanging shelves, a couple of signs, and jerseys.
8. PAIR OF SUNGLASSES
A pair of sunglasses for partying is a university staple, they're amazing for darties, hoco, St.Pats, RUSH, and every night out. They have a coolness factor to them that no one quite understands and makes everyone look better. A selfish plug here but LUG SPEEDSHADES are an absolute staple and will have you looking fast and feeling confident.
9. EXTRA STORAGE
Res rooms are small, like uncomfortably small and you are likely sharing an extremely small space with another person so bring as much storage space as you can. Luckily most bed allow for storage underneath and can be put on additional risers so bring plastic boxes, plastic drawers, milk crates, hanging shelves, and hangers that can hold multiple items of clothing; literally anything you can throw items into quickly to clean up. Even if you do not have a lot of things that you are bringing you will accumulate things throughout the year and now you will at least have a place to put those things instead of your room becoming a cluttered mess.
It’s also a great place to store your sports equipment for any leagues you decide to play…
10. A MINI FRIDGE AND FREEZER
This was a game changer for me, during my first year I lived in apartment-style residence so it was six girls sharing one fridge, needless to say it got pretty full quickly especially the freezer (we had to duct tape is closed at one point). Like many first years, I had already brought a mini fridge up to store drinks, leftovers, and food I bought that I didn't want anyone taking, and I used it all the time to the point where I just started putting everything I needed, but I didn't have enough space to store a box of frozen chicken nuggets, or the frozen meals my parents brought me when they visited. So, after the winter break and some Facebook marketplace hunting I found a mini freezer the same size as my mini fridge. I now had enough space to store more frozen food for myself and alleviate the freezer situation for my apartment, I also had enough space to put my coffee machine and some cups on top, I basically did not have to leave my room anymore before noon (which helped with hangovers). These are also both things I have taken with me throughout university, and my roommates always appreciate the extra fridge and counter space.
BONUS: SPORTS EQUIPMENT
This may be something you bring up post-October reading week or at the beginning of the year depending on how far your university is or if you take public transportation back to your school. But bringing up sports equipment such as skates and a stick, football, soccer ball, basketball and shoes, provide a source of entertainment during syllabus and O-week and is a great way to meet other people who have the same interests as you. Also, if you are interested in playing in rec leagues such as LUG softball and hockey, you'll already be ready to sign up a team with some people.