What You Should And Shouldn’t Bring To NIU

College is, hands down, one of the most fun and memorable experiences you’ll have in your entire life! Sure it has its fair share of ups and downs, but either way, it’s an experience that you’ll certainly learn and grow from. Today, I want to go over one of the first lessons I learned in college, and that’s what you should and shouldn’t bring to NIU.

What You Should Bring To NIU

Shower Shoes

Also known as flip flops, basically. I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t want to do this when I first moved into the dorms, because the idea of taking a shower with anything on my feet seemed like an odd form of punishment to me. But you know what a worse punishment is? Athlete’s foot! Do yourself a favor and go to Walmart and pick up a pair of $2 flip flops and save yourself the infection. You can thank me later.

packing for NIU


Ear Plugs

If you sleep with the window open at NIU, the sound of geese can start ungodly early in the morning. In addition, if you have a roommate who snores or fellow residents that refuse to respect quiet hours, they’ll come in handy. I’ve learned this from experience.

packing for NIU


A Printer

The printing quota at NIU is always changing; and by changing, I mean it’s always decreasing. For the most part, professors prefer you to turn in papers online, but there will always be those professors who require a hard copy of a paper to turn in during class. If this is the case for you, having your own printer may be your best option in the long run.

packing for NIU

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A Mattress Pad

More than likely, the mattresses in the dorm rooms aren’t that comfortable and have been slept on by a ton of other people. Getting a mattress pad/topper will save you a ton of pain and aches that can eventually come from sleeping on a dorm room mattress.

packing for NIU


What You Shouldn’t Bring To NIU

A Coffee Maker

Granted, many dorms will allow you to have a coffee maker under certain circumstances, and this will vary depending on what university you go to and what type of dorm you’re in. However, it’s always safest to assume that you can’t bring them. They can be a fire hazard if they’re left unattended, so my advice would be to ALWAYS check first to make sure they’re allowed in the dorm room.

packing for NIU


I know, I love my Bath & Body Works candles just as much as the next scent-obsessed person, but these are in no way allowed in the dorms. They’re, well, a literal fire hazard. But if you are someone who likes your place to smell fresh when you come home, I’d suggest using wax melts/wax warmers. It may still be beneficial to check to see if these are allowed too, but I’ve been using them since my sophomore year of college and they’re affordable and smell amazing!

packing for NIU

A Cable Box/WiFi Router

Most residence halls will provide its students with free cable and internet.(If this isn’t the case, change schools. So there usually isn’t a huge need to bring these items, anyway.

packing for NIU

Streaming Devices (Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, etc.)

Just like the coffee maker, you MIGHT be able to bring these devices to your dorms, but always check first, because due to residence hall technology security settings, these devices may not work in the dorm rooms.

packing for NIU

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Have anything else you should or shouldn’t bring to NIU? Comment below!

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Shatece Haynes

Shatece is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and a minor in LGBT Studies. She currently attends Northern Illinois University and is incredibly excited to be writing for SRtrends.