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What to bring

What to bring

Your residence hall room comes with an extra long twin bed and mattress, desk and chair, dresser, closet or wardrobe, small shelf or bookshelf, and overhead lighting. Rooms have tile floors and window blinds. In each hall, there is a laundry room(s) with washers and dryers. If possible, talk to your roommate when you are planning what to bring. However, if you are unable to do so, pack possible double items in a way to make it easier to leave in the vehicle to go back home. Keep in mind that college-owned furniture may not be removed from your room. 

The following list is neither a must have nor necessarily complete depending upon the individual. Many students simply bring too much stuff! Less is better and if you really want to bring something from home, bring it back when you return from fall break. Plan to switch out seasonal things during the breaks. Winter stuff can come back with you fall break while most of your summer stuff can go back home. Same thing with spring break- switch out things and plan ahead for May. The more you bring home spring break, the less you are scrambling to pack in May!

 

Packing in an Age of Sustainability

In the packing guide, you will see “Green Tips” next to a leaf to help you be mindful of your impact on the Eastern Shore. Washington College is committed to sustainability and encourages students and families to help. Even if it’s a small change, it makes a difference. Keeping plastic wrapping to a minimum, avoiding excessive cardboard, using re-usable water bottles, and being mindful of what chemicals we use that ultimately end up in the Chesapeake watershed. Little things add up to make a difference in an area known to be an ecological wonder. All the bay critters thank you!

Packing guide

Residence Hall Tips

Instead of "borrowing" a grocery cart from the store, invest in one of these kinds of carts. Residential Life suggests getting one that is folding and has durable wheels that can go over long stretches of brick (we have a lot of brick walkways here!). Helpful for move in/out, laundry (if you have a laundry room on your floor), bringing large amounts of stuff to events (picnic on the green or near the stadium, anyone?).Foldable cart

Don’t forget- candles that use a burning flame are not allowed nor is incense. However, there are so many alternatives now. Flameless candles that have flickering motion look incredibly real and create a realistic candlelit atmosphere in a room. Students also use fairy lights- just make sure the bulbs do not get hot and never place anything cloth or paper on or near them.

If you are even mildly allergic to pollen, be aware that the Eastern Shore spring comes early. We are surrounded by farm fields plus the lovely flowering trees and shrubs make for a heavy pollen season here. Fall pollen is just as bad as spring with the surrounding crops. Even students who don’t normally have an issue experience allergy symptoms here for the first time in addition to the typical adult onset allergies. A small air purifier will help. Some may even find the need for a small humidifier during the winter months- the air in the halls becomes very dry if the winter temps are consistently below freezing. You can find oil diffusers that are also humidifiers to also have a pleasant smelling room.

Plug in fresheners and oil diffusers are great but they do take up a plug so be mindful of how  many electronics you are bringing and what would best suit your needs. Whatever you choose, these are also small items that need refills. Set your order for autoship and save the precious space in the room. Or Parents/Guardians, send periodic care packages with things like refills and other seasonal items.  When students bring these types of things in bulk ahead of time, they are put away (often deep under the bed) and forgotten about until May move out. Some items just don’t work well in small residence hall rooms, such as electronic tart warmers (spilled hot wax anyone?)

In summer, early fall and late spring, be aware that the Eastern Shore is very, very humid. We are surrounded by water! It’s not uncommon to have a 90% humidity level every day during those seasons. Some students find that having a small space dehumidifier is helpful when they move in,  bring it home fall break to store, then bring it back spring break to use in their room again. Rooms are small- you don’t need a big one but you do need to remember to empty it out daily.

If you are bringing prescription drugs (particularly anything valuable), your passport and social security card (if you plan on getting a job), or anything else small and valuable, strongly consider bringing a small safe. Some roll under the bed, some look like little cabinets. Whatever works for you!

Some valuables should simply not come to college- grandma’s ring, valuable jewelry, grandpa’s heirloom item- none of this should be in a residence hall. Rooms are small, things get broken, lost, and if carelessly left out, stolen. Additionally, students should never have large amounts of cash in their rooms or wallets. Any amount over $100 is too much- use your bank!

You don’t need the big coffee maker. No, really, it takes up too much space and is difficult to clean in a residence hall environment. Single serve coffee makers are efficient, small, and easy to manage. Ones that use ground coffee (instead of k-cups) are cost efficient and sustainable. If you have to use one with k-cups, again, don’t stock up for the whole semester! That case is wasting valuable space in the room. Online shopping has eliminated the need to stock up for months.

Swiffer like products have been a bonus for college students. Bring a both the dry cloth and wet cloths, which brings us to rugs.

Big, room size rugs (invariably 8x10) are difficult to keep clean, vacuum in such a tight space, and invariably are filthy by about December. A residence hall is not the place for expensive or one of a kind rugs! The antique Persian rug needs to stay at home, safely away from spilled soda, ground in cookies, and the inevitable mud of the rainy Eastern Shore.

Using multiple washable throw rugs are much more functional and sanitary. While your rug(s) is in the wash, you can sweep your floor and mop it with the wet cloths quick resulting in a clean floor and rug. Rag rugs, cotton woven, even large bathroom rugs are all meant to be washed in the washing machine and are easy to maintain. 

A first aid kit is essential for the room (and if bringing a car, one designed for the car as well).

Don't forget the flashlight and a spare set of batteries- everyone always forgets a flashlight! Power outages don’t happen often but when they do- it’s important to have.

If you are particularly safety minded and prefer to invest in a useful long term piece, you can look at getting a hand crank weather radio/flashlight combo. Most have phone charger capabilities too.