An Unconventional Move-In Checklist

You’ve probably seen tons of posts about what you should bring to college. I know that my mom did – she had a very long list of ‘college dorm essentials’ when I first moved in. However, I’ve noticed there are quite a few things that not a lot of people think about when they come to college, but are still really important. Hopefully this checklist helps you remember all the things that slip through the cracks when you move in!

1. Something to wear on a formal occasion

I almost forgot to bring my suit coming to college. I also know that a lot of freshmen don’t bring something formal because they figure that they won’t need it. Don’t do this!

Something to wear on a formal occasion is super important, even if you are a freshman. When you go to career fairs (which I definitely recommend, even if you are in your first year), you want to look sharp. Additionally, a lot of your clubs or RSOs will have formal events and dinners, and you don’t want to be that one person who’s scrambling for a tie at the last minute!

2. Stationery

I’m guilty of not bringing an extensive set of stationery with me. When I came to Illinois, all I had in my pencil case were a couple of pencils, pens, and a calculator. However, the number of times I’ve had to ask my friends for a pair of scissors is embarrassing!

You probably won’t need a lot of the tools you used in high school math, like protractors or compasses. However, make sure that you do have at least a pair of scissors and a ruler handy. You’ll need those a lot more than you think, and it’s way more convenient to have them.

3. Batteries

There is no worse feeling than when you’re about to head off to your calculus exam, and the ‘low battery’ notification pops up on your calculator screen. Like the last point, I didn’t buy any batteries when I first moved in. My advice: buy a large pack of them when you move in, and they’ll last you through college.

Again, batteries are something that you might not need too often, but it’s really frustrating when you do need them. The last thing you want to do before a big final is sprint to the Walgreens on Green Street because your calculator is on its last legs.

4.Sanitary wipes…especially now!

Before COVID-19, sanitary wipes were a thing I seldom saw in dorms. If you know you’re going to eat in your dorm or have a couple friends (who might make a mess) over, sanitary wipes are a must have.

Personally, I like to keep my room clean and wiped down – I feel much more productive when I’m in a clean working space. Even if this isn’t the case for you, I still recommend always having a container of sanitary wipes – you don’t want to run over to the bathroom every time you spill something!

Moving into your dorm is a long and sometimes tiring process, so don’t fret if you can’t get these things on your first day. However, do try to have the items I listed available in your room – they’re a lot handier than you think!



Class of 2022
I grew up in Hong Kong, China, and I’ve come across the world to Illinois to major in Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I’ve always thought outer space is super cool, and I love that I’m learning everything that I can about it at Illinois.

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