What to bring (and not to bring) to IU: The Freshman List

So I have been wondering for a few weeks now what I should write about in my next blog since I’m not in Bloomington this summer. I knew I needed to write something to the incoming freshman, but I couldn’t come up with any earth shattering tips about orientation. Then it hit me: tell them what to bring. This was the hardest thing when it came to getting ready for school for me. Freshman year, you feel clueless on what should be necessities. I felt like I had a million things I needed to get and didn’t want to bring things I wasn’t going to need (a dorm room only has so much space, ya know.) So, I consulted some friends and sorority sisters and here is what we all came up with:

What to bring:

Rain boots

-This was the number one response I got from every girl I asked. They weren’t something I used very much in high school, but I also didn’t have to hike to class back then. You will appreciate them in April when it is absolutely pouring outside 4 out of the 5 days you have class. 

Power Strip, Flashlight/Book Light

-The power strips are a MUST. There are plenty of outlets to plug them into, but you are going to have way more electronics than you anticipate. The flashlight is great in case of emergencies, or when your roommate is asleep and you need to do homework. That is where the book light comes in handy, because it is much easier than a flashlight. 


-Ok, I got this response a lot as well, but I want to include it with discretion: you do NOT have to have a laptop to survive on this campus. There seems to be computers absolutely everywhere on campus, BUT it is extremely helpful to have one of your own. I know in my major lectures, over half the class was using a laptop to take notes on, and being an avid facebooker/twitterer myself, I had to have one. Note: a printer is not something you need. They are all over campus, much like the computers are.


-Substituion: some kind of fuzzy socks! The majority of the time, you aren’t going to want to walk around your dorm floor without any shoes on (ew, you don’t know what has been there before you) and you also don’t want to always wear shoes. So slippers, clearly, are the perfect compromise.

Photos from home/comforts of home

-This is my absolute favorite must bring. The dorm room is nothing but drab when you first move in. Bare white walls and some old wooden furniture. But once you add in all the pictures of your best friends, family, and a few of your favorite stuffed animals and posters, it starts to feel more like home, and then becomes your home.

Debit Card

-This is much easier than carrying cash around on you all the time, and your parents can reload it whenever you need extra money. It is also perfect for emergencies, or when unexpected expenses come up. Load it up with the money you got from graduation, and you should be good to go!

What NOT to bring:


-This was one of the first things I thought of when I started to pack for college, but it just really isn’t necessary. A lot of the dorms don’t even have working kitchens, and the dining halls are so close you wouldn’t think twice about cooking your own food anyway. Bring paper plates, plastic cups, and utensils, but leave the real stuff at home. 

500 of your favorite high school t-shirts

-Ok, this might have just been a personal problem, but my closet was busting at the seams with t-shirts from high school (mainly from show choir and musicals, mind you) that I never, ever wore. Bring a few along (you’ll probabaly end up sleeping in them, honestly) and of course your IU gear, but nothing more. 

An Iron

-Alright kids, let’s be honest, when was the last time you ironed your clothes? If you don’t do it now, you probably won’t do it at IU. There are plenty of products out there now, too, that you can spray on clothes to get wrinkles out! (Buy some especially if you think you will need to be dressing up a lot!)

These are just a few of the things you need to think about while getting all of your shiny new dorm things together! Hope you all are getting excited! And oh, don’t forget that IU gear!!! GO HOOSIERS!


p.s. Here is a picture of my dorm room last year!!

A dorm room

(Special thanks go to Alyson, Chelsea, Lindsey, Sami, Laura, Chelsie, Kristen, Emily, Keren, Brianne, Effie, Courtney and my mother for all the input! You guys rock!)

Brooke Mankin

Speech-Language Pathology major, Class of 2015

I am a Speech-Language Pathology major with a Psychology minor and Folklore/Ethnomusicology minor in the Class of 2015. On campus, I am an active member of my sorority, a member of the Indiana Hoosierettes pom and dance team, and a member of Hoosier Tap Company, a new tap dance group on campus. I also teach tap dance at Windfall Dancers here in Bloomington. I love musicals, all things Disney, and writing!