Oberlin Blogs

A New Oberlin Packing List

April 28, 2021

Charlize Villasenor ’23

A stack of books
Some personal reads! Photo credit: Charlize Villasenor

Obies and soon-to-be Obies! Long time, no post. I hope y’all are doing well and have stayed sane and safe this past year. I’m definitely ready to gain back some more normalcy as time passes. Still, I’m also trying to enjoy some experiences that will probably only come around once—specifically Oberlin’s three-semester schedule and the upcoming summer term. I’ve decided to be slightly more intentional with the contents of my suitcase this semester so that I can experience it to the fullest, and that’s exactly what I’ll be describing in today’s post! Even though most college packing lists include the basics (towels, shower sandals, a shower caddy, etc.), I’m going to include some things that I’ve found helpful or hope will be otherwise beneficial this upcoming semester!


Yoga Mat: The last two rooms I’ve stayed in had no carpet (and I think that’s the deal with most dorm rooms) and have made me realize that I (1) like walking around my room without shoes and (2) am not a big fan of sleeping with socks. Waking up and touching the cold floor first thing in the morning was not exactly how I wanted to start my day, so at one point, I had a blanket specifically so I could have a layer between my feet and the floor. The blanket probably wasn’t the best idea since it would shift whenever I would walk on it a few times, and the yoga mat will definitely give me some cushion when I sit or stand on it, so I’m hoping the solution this semester is the yoga mat!

Tiny Plants: Like most Oberlin students, I bought a plant to keep me company and make me an official Plant Mom during my first semester, but sadly, my plant met its doom this past winter. It was also a little too big to sit safely on my window sill, so the new plan is to bring some mini plant starters with me to grow flowers in my dorm! (However tiny they may be.) I’m hoping they’ll do well with the humidity and summer sunshine, but if not, I’ll probably just buy another plant that’s already a little more mature. 

LSAT Books: To apply to law school, I need to take the LSAT. I told myself I would spend my winter term studying it. Did that actually happen? No. I was a bit busy with a legal internship with RCA Records, so I don’t mind being behind schedule (for now), but I definitely need to put some hours in with my LSAT books before I register for my exam. The goal is to study enough that I can get my ideal score before the semester ends, and I can sell or give away my study aids so they don’t take up space in my luggage, but let’s take it one step at a time and actually crack open those books first.

Robe: This one might seem a little obvious, but I feel at least slightly more dressed up when I’m walking from the shower to my room in a robe than in a towel. Sometimes, you just need that little oomph in your day to make you feel better. 

Shower Sandals: The design of my old shower sandals let water get trapped, so they always took forever to dry and brought the smell of a wet shower into my room. I didn’t think much of it when I got them, but after a few semesters, I realized I didn’t want to keep packing my suitcase with those shoes, so now I’m bringing shower sandals that (hopefully) dry faster! 

Accent Pillows: I’m a sucker for a good accent pillow; what can I say? My bedsheets at home and in my dorm room are both blue, so I have pillows that’ll easily match. I think they’re comfy, and they help make my dorm feel a little more like home, so I’m excited to bring them with me.

Books: I’m trying my hardest to become a reader again and read for pleasure instead of only for my classes, so I’ve set a goal of reading one book per month, and I plan on continuing that throughout the semester. It’s helped me unwind after working on assignments for my internship, and I think it’ll be a peaceful part of my self-care routine while I have classes. I already have a reading list, and I’ve picked up several books from local bookstores and used bookstores near me, so now I just have to choose which books I want to bring and read this summer!


After 3-ish semesters on campus, I’ve definitely learned what I enjoy having with me so I can stay comfortable, so hopefully, this list inspires you to think about what you enjoy as well! I don’t know if I’ll ever get another summer semester at Oberlin, so I’m trying to make the most of it and enjoy the warmer weather while I’m on campus. I hope to see all you incoming Obies this fall, and maybe we can grab a coffee and talk about tiny plants and books! Until then, take care and enjoy your summer.

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