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What to Bring & What NOT to Bring to Conn College

While everyone is looking forward to different things about starting college, packing is almost definitely not one of them.  Time consuming, tedious, and – lets face it – probably a little sad, packing for college will probably be the number one thing you procrastinate this summer.  With a little planning, however, packing can be pretty tolerable – maybe even fun.  A good place to start eliminating stress is to go in knowing what you can and can’t bring.  Read on for the unofficial Conn College guide to what you can’t bring, what you can probably get away with anyway, and what you simply won’t survive without.

What NOT to bring:

As far as prohibited items go, Conn tends to be pretty lenient.  If you’ve heard horror stories from friends at schools that prohibit all-too-necessary things like hair straighteners and blow dryers, you can relax; living at Conn won’t place any restrictions on your daily hair regimen.  Conn’s official list of prohibited items is fairly reasonable, with only the following off limits:

  • Hot plates/skillets

  • Hibachis and grills

  • Toaster ovens

  • Space Heaters

  • Candles/incense

  • Flammable fluids

  • Air conditioners

  • Ceiling fans/lights

  • Halogen lamps

  • Outside TV antenna/satellite dish

  • Pets

  • Wireless router
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What you CAN bring:

Again, Conn’s list of prohibited items is pretty reasonable, so there probably isn’t a big chance you’ll find yourself needing (or really even wanting) many of the restricted items.  However, if for some reason you do have a need or want for one of these items, as long as you’re responsible and don’t draw attention to yourself, you could reasonably get away with having most of the following:

Hot plates/skillets

One of the riskier ones, and definitely one that you’ll need to be careful with. But, again, as long as you exercise caution, you shouldn’t run into too much trouble with a hot plate.

Space heater

You could probably pretty easily get away with having a space heater, but honestly, the heating in the dorms is pretty reliable, so its doubtful you’d find yourself needing one. In the end, its probably not worth taking on the added responsibility of a space heater when you can just rely on the dorm’s heating.


Candles are easy to get away with, just don’t leave them burning when you’re not in the room.  Incense you should probably leave at home.  The smell can be pretty strong, and even if you don’t get in trouble for it, you run the risk of disturbing your neighbors.

Toaster Oven

Similar to hot plates, you could probably get away with having a toaster oven, but the caution you’d need to exercise in using it may outweigh the benefit of having it in the first place.  Since Conn has no restrictions on either microwaves or toasters, its probably just best to make do with those and leave the toaster oven at home.


Though not officially listed on the “do not pack” list, it’s obviously implied that alcohol possession is prohibited for underage students.  Like anything else, however, if you are responsible and use some caution, you can safely use and keep alcohol in your room – just keep it concealed during pre-break room checks and keep the volume down to avoid unexpected visits from your floor governor while drinking. However, before you pack up your stash, make sure you check with your roommates first.  If they aren’t comfortable with having alcohol in the room, its not worth causing roommate problems this early.  You can always ask a friend to store your alcohol for you later on.

What about anything I didn’t mention?

If not mentioned here, anything else on Conn’s official list is probably too risky to get away with (or simply too unnecessary to warrant further consideration.)  Once again, the choice is yours, but always exercise caution when using any prohibited item, both for your own safety as well as that of everyone else in your dorm.
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What TO bring:

Your final college packing list will of course be much longer than any list of things you can’t bring, but while you’ve got packing on your mind, here are a few Conn necessities you may not have thought of.

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We’ve said it before, YOU WILL NEED A FAN.  Before coming to Conn, make sure at least one of your roommates plans on bringing one, as we can guarantee you will need it, probably well into the first semester.

Brita pitcher

Another necessity we just can’t stress enough.  Unless you want to walk to the dining hall every time you need a drink, you’re going to need a Brita pitcher in your fridge.  Also keep in mind that you will probably need a cup to fill it, as most dorm sinks aren’t big enough to fit the whole pitcher under the faucet.

Rain boots

Rainy days aren’t a big deal when you’re driving to school and all of your classes are in one building, but at Conn, you’ll be walking outside between classes all day. It may be a small campus, but even the shortest walk can be pretty unpleasant if your feet are wet.  We promise you’ll get good use out of your rain boots this year.

Drying rack

The laundry machines at school are probably less state-of-the-art than you may be used to, so you might want to have a drying rack around for your more valuable clothing.  A small drying rack can easily be folded up and stored under your bed after use, and is an easy alternative to leaving your favorite sweater to the mercy of college dryers.


Stringing up Christmas lights around your room may seem a little basic, but having an aesthetically pleasing lighting arrangement will go a long way in making your dorm room feel like home.  The ceiling lighting in most dorms can be pretty bright, so you will definitely want some softer lighting options for nighttime study sessions or late night get-togethers.  When it comes to dorm life, a good physical atmosphere is just as important a good emotional and social one.

Bottom line: Use your judgment!

When packing, especially for your first semester, its important to remember that just because you could get away with something doesn’t necessarily mean you will.  Always exercise caution and make sure you are respecting those around you.  After all, prohibited items are prohibited for a reason.  When in doubt, leave it at home.  You can always bring it or have it sent to school later in the year.  Happy packing, Camels!

What are some other tips for what to bring and what NOT to bring to Conn? Comment below and share this article with friends!
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Kayla Kibbe

Connecticut College 2019. English Major.

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