Oberlin Blogs

Packing 101

August 8, 2017

Kira Findling ’19

I am not a fan of packing. I tend to wait until the day before, which irks my type-A moms to no end. But before I left for college for the first time, I got excited about packing for the first time. Suddenly, picking which clothes to bring gave me butterflies in my stomach. Putting things into my suitcase meant that college was real - I was really going! But it was stressful deciding what to bring; I didn't want to have too much or not enough.

To help you out as summer comes to a close, I wrote up my own basic packing list. Everyone has different needs in terms of what they bring to school, but this list has served me well throughout my time at Oberlin!

Dorm Essentials

  • Twin XL sheets and comforter/duvet
  • Mattress pad
  • Fan (you'll only use it for a month at the beginning of the year, but if you don't have one, you'll feel like you're melting!)
  • Bed backrest pillow (it'll save your back if you're like me and you like to do your homework in bed)
  • Water filter (a lot of people like to have one, but the tap water is safe to drink)
  • Tupperware (for leftovers and taking things out of the dining hall)
  • Bowl, plate, mug, silverware
  • Trash can
  • Laundry bag
  • Lamp (for reading when your roommate is sleeping)
  • Stick-on hooks (for your towel and coat)
  • Shower shoes
  • Hangers

Dorm Decorations

  • Rug (makes your room a little more homey)
  • Mason jars (perfect for storage of little things, like Band-Aids)
  • Photos of family, friends, and places you love
  • Calendar
  • Posters or tapestries
  • Full-length mirror (some dorms don't have mirrors in the hallways)

I love this post by Esther! It's full of dorm decoration ideas!


I can't help you too much here - this is so different for everyone! Oberlin does get really cold in the winter, so you'll need a thick jacket. You can see mine in this post, but you don't necessarily need one that's that intense and long. You'll also need some shoes that work in the snow; I mostly wear my Doc Martens in the winter. Also: the first few weeks are usually hot and humid, so be ready. Other than that, wear what makes you happy! One thing I love about Oberlin is that I feel free to wear what I want, as wacky or preppy as that may be!

Take a look at what not to bring too. Don't worry too much about forgetting something! Downtown Oberlin has stores where you can pick up the essentials, and you have online options too. Plus, you can always go to the Free Store (!!!), an awesome room in Asia House where you can drop off things you don't need and pick up used items for no charge! I've found many a binder, t-shirt, and small furniture item in that amazing place.

The stuff you bring isn't going to make or break your college experience, but it might make you a little more comfortable! I hope this list helped - there's a few more to be found on the blogs too (here (link 1) and here (link 2) and here (link 3)!). Happy packing!

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