Skip to main content

So you've decided to move away to university. Be aware that you will be heading into a "new normal," says Leslie Copeland, first-year co-ordinator at the Campus Life & Engagement office at McGill University in Montreal. So, while you probably want to bring one or two familiar items to remind you of home, you don't need to overdo it, as the most important thing you can do to get involved and adjust to university life is to "take advantage of the things that are available [there]," she says.

If you're staying in residence, here are some tips about what to pack.

Five questions to ask about each item you plan to bring:

Story continues below advertisement

1. Does my room come with it? (Contact your university.)

2. Could I get it there instead? (You're not moving to the middle of the desert. There will likely be grocery stores and thrift stores where you're going.)

3. Does it fit (in the car/plane/room)?

4. Will my roommate bring it? (Some universities let you network with future roommates.)

5. Is it allowed? (Contact your university about verboten items.)

TO PACK

Love it:

Story continues below advertisement

For your room

– Sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases, if not supplied.

– Desk, chair and lamp, if not supplied.

– Desk stationery and accessories.

– A FEW items to make it feel like home (pictures, slippers and that weird thing you got from your grandparents for your birthday).

– Storage containers for under the bed, behind the door, in the closet, on the desk.

Story continues below advertisement

– Hangers, laundry hamper and detergent.

– Dishes, glasses and utensils, if not supplied (you probably won't be allowed to cook in the dorm, but

you may have a stash of snacks for late-night, um, studying).

– Cleaning supplies (sprays and liquids, sponges, broom, etc.).

– Fan or space heater, if allowed.

– An alarm, even if you use your mobile.

Story continues below advertisement

– Will you make it to that 8 a.m. class if your battery runs out?

For yourself

– Enough tops, bottoms, underwear and socks for a week (yes, you'll have to do your own laundry).

– One set of nice clothes, shoes and accessories for interviewing or formal events.

– Rain gear.

– A few sweaters and coat, hat, gloves, scarf for cold weather.

– Running shoes and workout clothes (or a swimsuit and flip-flops) for those workouts that will keep off the Freshman 15!

– Pyjamas (ahem … roommate!).

– Towels, wash cloths, toiletries such as deodorant, shampoo, brush, hair dryer, women's sanitary items, perfume (but be aware of scent-free zones).

– Sleeping mask and ear plugs, if you can't sleep with noise and lights of dorm mates.

– Some kind of music or entertainment system – either your laptop or tablet and accessories such as speakers, or an MP3 player, CD player, DVD player.

– A few board games or cards, just for fun.

– Digital camera, even if you have a phone with a camera – you don't want to miss those late-night, um, study session photos.

– Phone and charger.

For your studies

– Something to take notes, access online materials and chat with professors (laptop, tab and protective

bag or sleeve).

– Memory stick or CDRs for backing up files, unless you have cloud storage.

– Old-school items, such as notebooks, paper, pens, highlighters, calculator and other things for when your electronics conk out or aren't allowed in class.

– Course books.

Leave it:

– Lava lamp/stencilled curtains/pool table and other unnecessary decor.

– Candles/incense/firecrackers and other fire hazards.

– Your entire DVD/comic book/smurfs collection.

– Drum kit/vuvuzela/other noisy irritations.

– Pet bunny/snake/monkey.

– Kegs/illegal drugs/bongs.

– Diamond ring/other expensive items irresistible to sticky fingers.

– Hunting rifle/martial-arts sword/ninja-throwing stars or other weapons.

– Water beds/hot tubs (really, people try to bring these?).

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter