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The Ultimate College Necessities List

OK, that time is approaching. The college countdown is on, and it takes a lot to prepare for the start of your freshman year. One of the most important (and exciting things) is choosing (and buying) what to bring. In this article, I not only give you (what I find to be) a more broad, more flexible list than Keuka will send you, or what else you might find on the internet, but I also give you strategies and lessons I have learned so that you might be able to save some money, not come with too little (or too much!), and be able to transport your stuff without too much hassle.

So fist I took Keuka’s list, and I coded it. Most things are legitimate needs, but some of them are unnecessary expenses that you don’t need. In my opinion, there are also a lot of gaps; however, anything that is italicized is unnecessary, and anything that is bolded is super important (at least in my experience). Got it?


This is really important; do not overlook it!

This is not mandatory, merely auxiliary, and in many cases, you are better off without it.

Keuka College Suggests…

And Keuka College Forbids…

OK, now that we’ve gone through the initial list, let’s take a look at my list, which has tips and explanations and is categorized by school supplies, electronics, dorm supplies (personal v. shared), clothing/hygiene, fun, and other.

School Supplies:

Note Taking Tips:

If you are used to teachers telling you, or at least suggesting to you, which supplies to use, you won’t have that in college. But don’t sweat it. Some classes require a lot of note taking, and others are more discussion and project based. The easiest thing to do is to buy a bunch of loose-leaf lined paper (that you can keep reusing semester after semester), two or three 1 1/2″ binders, some dividers, and a couple folders with labeled pockets for each class. Furthermore, in many cases, you will be required to bring your books to class, so, to make room in your backpack, put all your class notes for that day in one larger binder with dividers (i.e. one for Tuesday/Thursday classes and another for Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes). This has worked best for me, and these materials are also very flexible so you can feel out which classes you will need more paper in and which classes you won’t.

 If you have a problem taking notes, but need them for a lecture course, Keuka’s A.S.K. office offers note taking assistance.

Printing Tips:

And if you are fine with black and white printing, don’t get a printer. Ink is expensive, and most college libraries let students print for free (copies may cost extra; at Keuka, it’s 5¢ a page).



Yes, I don’t think I need to persuade you more. A simple list will do.


Dorm Supplies (Personal v. Shared)


The college strongly urges you to talk with your roomies (once you get their information) about who wants to bring what. It’s a really good idea. I did it, and it was great knowing everyone was on the same page.



For some of you, this may be the funnest (yes, this is a common vernacular word) part about moving in. My advice? Bring lots of egg crates to store stuff under your bed (and to pack them in), and try not to pack too much. You don’t have to go with the bare minimum, but I wouldn’t suggest taking everything. Trust me. The less stuff, the cleaner your room stays, and the less of a hassle you’ll have moving it back and forth.

Basic List:

Decoration List:




You don’t need everything, especially since laundry is free here. You get three dressers and two wardrobes if you are tripled in Davis, and two dressers and two wardrobes in Space or Saunders.



Just a helpful list in case you might forget anything. I included welleness and beauty supplies.



You may hear otherwise, but this is a necessity. =]



Personal documents for your first campus work-study, and other random things that I can think of…

Overall, I hope this list has covered enough and served as a more today, relevant list for your packing and buying needs.

Packing tips:

Pack things in as many collaspable boxes and recyclable bags as possible!

Buying Tips:

About Erica Ruscio

Hey, all you prospective Keuka students! My name is Erica Ruscio, class of ’13. I have a double major in English with a concentration in creative writing, and visual & verbal art. I also have a minor in communications.

I am the chief blogger and wordsmith for the admissions blog, Eye on the Storm, here at the Keuka Communications Office. I am in charge of posting pertinent information that will help you, as a prospective student or member of the Keuka College community, grow in understanding of what it’s like to a part of this wonderful and exciting college.

Just so you can get to know me a bit better, here are some fun stats:

Hometown: Middlesex, N.Y.

Career Goals: To become a children’s librarian and publish and illustrate children’s and young adults books

Campus Clubs: Arion Players Drama Club, Sigma Tau Delta, Lambda Pi Eta (Treasurer), Women’s Center Advocacy Club (Co-President)

Work-Studies: Admissions Blogger, Lifeguard, TeamWorks! Facilitator, and A.S.K. Writing Tutor

Most Recent Field Periods: I worked with Youth Services at Penn Yan Public Library this past summer, and I worked at Lightner Library this past January.

Activities I Enjoy: Going to concerts (any genre, mostly rock), playing guitar, camping, art (painting, drawing, design), drinking coffee (like it’s my job), running, blogging and designing websites, reading, and creative writing

Favorite book/movie: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (the books and the movies)

Why I love Keuka: The amazing and abundant opportunities and the amazing and personable faculty and staff!

View all posts by Erica Ruscio →

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