Orientation season is starting and heading off to your soon-to-be home for a busy overnight stay can be overwhelming. You’re probably trying to decide what to pack for college orientation. In order for you to enjoy the intro to college life (and not stress the small stuff), here is exactly what you should pack for college orientation.
1. Comfortable shoes (Nikes, Birkenstocks, slip-ons)
Chances are you’r going to be walking, standing and moving…a lot. Wear comfortable shoes (AKA not new shoes).
2. Jeans (or bottoms of your choice) & 2 comfortable tops
You can wear the same bottoms two days in a row, just switch out your top. I recommend jeans over leggings because they are comfortable and casual, but still polished. If it’s going to be really hot, wear shorts but make sure you have a pair of jeans or leggings for the night time activities too.
3. A light jacket/windbreaker
It wasn’t supposed to rain at my orientation but I got there and it poured the entire two days. Lesson learned? Pack for weather changes.
4. Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, dry shampoo etc.)
I recommend just showering before you go and then the next day when you get home – It’ll save you time, stress and packing space (you won’t need to lug shower stuff with you). If you must: pack a light towel, flip flops, and travel size shower products.
If you wear makeup, keep it simple. Mascara, concealer, lip balm. Boom. Minimal packing and quick to get ready.
6. A notebook, pen and pencil
If you’re a note taker, this is extra helpful. But even if you’re not, these are things you’re going to want to pack for college orientation anyways – you’ll be receiving a ton of new information you’ll want to remember for the start of the year. Better safe than sorry.
7. A drawstring bag or purse (big enough to hold folders and papers)
Some school orientations give out drawstrings but bring your own bag just in case. You will get a lot of important papers that you won’t want to lose. Plus, you can store your notebook, pens and pencils in here too!
8. The “obvious” stuff
Phone charger, underwear, pajamas, license/ID, any papers you have to turn in or bring with you…make a checklist.
9. The one “extra” set
I recommend bringing your own top sheet, light blanket and pillow….but I’m just a little nuts. Your school will provide them for you so if you choose to ignore this option when you pack for college orientation; no sweat.
That’s right…bring questions with you to orientation. This is your chance to get fully prepped and ready for the start of college. Write down any burning questions you have and ask away once you get there – everyone on campus will be willing and excited to answer!
Basically, the key to orientation packing is: don’t over pack. You will be so busy and remember, you’re only there for one night – simplicity is the mindset to pack with. Although it is a bit intimidating, remember that everyone is nervous and that a smile and “hello” can be a really nice way to make a friend. My orientation roommate ended up being in one of my fall semester classes AND lived on my dorm floor! Keep an open mind and welcome to college!
Have something else you would add to the list of what to pack for college orientation? Share in the comments!
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Kathryn is an Internation Politics student at Penn State who loves The Real Housewives, a good book, and lots (and lots) of coffee. You can usually find her at brunch with a plate of Eggs Benny scrolling through Instagram.