College Checklist | What to Bring, What to Leave At Home

Posted by Columbia International University on Sep 14, 2015 2:00:00 PM


The big day is almost here. Move-in day! Mom has taught you well enough to include your toothbrush and fresh sheets. So this college checklist skips the obvious and hits on the essentials not all college freshmen know to pack; plus, thoughts on what should be left behind.

What to Bring


☑ Catchphrase & Group Games

If a game requires a group of people and encourages high energy put it on the list.

☑ Spikeball

Find a patch of green on your campus to play Spikeball, throw frisbee, or


kick a soccer ball. Spikeball is a good choice because it’s a relatively new sport, so people are more likely to stop and watch. Invite them to play and start building friendships.

☑ Selfie Stick

Now that you’ve made you’re first new friends at college, capture the moment forever with a group selfie.

☑ Shower Shoes or (Extra) Flip-Flops

Make sure you pack shower shoes. Residence halls clean their bathrooms appropriately; they just get a lot of use. If you go with flip-flops, make sure they’re an extra pair. Sporting your shower specific footwear around campus is not recommended.

☑ Surge Protector

Having a roommate means two of everything. Two computers, two alarm clocks, two phones to charge, and sometimes even two TVs. Solve your energy needs with a surge protector. What an easy way to be a good roommate?

☑ Formal Attire

The first few weeks of college can supply students with enough free t-shirts for a full wardrobe. However, sooner or later a collared shirt or dress will be required.

☑ Clothes Hangers

Hangers are often forgotten and rarely provided by residence halls.

☑ Something to Remind You of Home

A family photo or your favorite stuffed animal will make any college dwelling feel more like home. Home sicknesses comes and goes. A taste of your old life helps when you're feeling down.

☑ Something that is Uniquely You

Moving away to college is not an excuse to act like someone you're not. It's a time to discover your academic potential and delve more into what you are passionate about. Enter into college fearlessly expressing yourself through personal interests or your favorite clothing (no matter how embarressing).

☑ Alarm Clock

Sorry to break it you…but yes. You will need to wake up early to arrive bright-eyed and ready to learn on the First day of class. Those first few days of excitement, new friends, and fun will come to an end and the books aren’t far behind.

What to Leave


☒ Cinder Blocks

Confused? Your R.A. will be too when she sees the destruction these cause to a dorm’s floor. I’ve seen countless freshmen use cinder blocks to prop up all kinds of furniture. Whether it be a bed, futon, or TV stand it’s a bad idea. Most students find them for free, move them in, and believe they’re savings money; however, it ends up being a costly mistake.

☒ Seasonal Clothing

This one is important. For the fall semesters, leave your winter clothing at home on move-in day. This lightens the load, clears up closet space, and gives you a good excuse to visit home as weather gets cooler.

☒ You’re Childhood Bedroom

As stated above, a few things to remind you of home is fine if not overdone. Year after year incoming freshmen bring pictures, stuffed animals, and high school memorabilia in an attempt to recreate their room at home. It’s just too much and will severely annoy your roommate.

☒ Candles

Fire of all kinds is a bad idea in a residence hall and there’s a good chance your university prohibits candles (no matter how good they smell).

 Workout Equipment

I can feel you disagreeing with me already…but here it goes.

A specialized workout programs means specialized equipment is necessary. But why pack all this equipment? Weights are heavy, the university fitness center is free, and you’re committing to working out alone. Get out of your room and into your new community at the fitness center. Did I mention it’s free? Now that you’re in college “free” will swiftly become your new favorite word.

 Cooking Appliance and Supplies

Bring forks, spoons, bowls and plates. Anything else will be resigned to taking up space.


Social gatherings, test-taking, public speaking, new things, new people, the future and so much more can paralyze us. Somewhere in your college years you will rub elbows with all of these. Take these challenges head on and leave no room for fear in your suitcase.


Welcome to Blue & Gold: a mixture of advice for incoming freshmen, student life highlights, and professors' insights into living with a biblical worldview. In short, everything a CIU student needs to know or a place to inform yourself before you apply!



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