Twin XL Mattress Topper
College mattresses are not comfortable!! Invest in a mattress topper!! The one I use is 2 inches, but you could do more depending on your personal preference.
Twin XL Comforter
Type of comforter is personal preference! I also used a weighted blanket but found that it was too warm in the summer/beginning of school
This depends on the size of your bin. You’ll want to have bags lining your trash bin so it doesn’t become gross inside
You will want to make sure to have some form of identification on you while you’re at school!! This is important for if you need to travel domestically or need to show identification at downtown events
I recommend purchasing tide pods because it makes doing laundry simpler (you only have to bring one pod with you to the laundry room rather than a whole bottle of detergent). Personally I don’t use dryer sheets but if you do, you should get those as well.
In lieu of a laundry basket or hamper, I would recommend a with handles/straps that can easily be carried up and down the stairs. Personally, I use a large canvas tote bag (which I already owned) that I can carry to the laundry room easily. I find that this process is a lot more convenient than for my friends, who let their laundry build up, have to lug a large basket up and down stairs and may even need to do multiple loads of laundry in one instance. Additionally, some friends who have left their laundry hampers on top of the machines (because they don’t want to keep carrying them back and forth) when doing laundry have had their hampers stolen!!
Lots of underwear!!
Doing laundry is really a function of how much clean underwear you have left! So if you don’t want to do your laundry, then I would bring all of your underwear to school!
Lots of socks
Along those lines, make sure to have lots of socks! Many of my friends also only do their laundry when they have run out of clean socks.
Depending on your lifestyle, bring as many active clothes as you need.
Whatever pajamas look like to you, make sure you have a few pairs!!
Professional wear (Suit/ Professional Dress and Blazer)
I’d recommend having at least one business casual outfit. If you are a part of a professional club, you may need to have business casual clothing. Also, you’ll want to have something to wear in case you are interviewing. Guys can also wear these suits to date nights or formals.
I’d recommend having running shoes at school so you can participate in active things.
There are a limited amount of outlets in your dorm room so you want to make sure you have enough!!
I prefer using AirPod Pros
Don’t forget a phone charger!!
You will need a laptop for every class!! And don’t forget your laptop charger!!
This is the exact shower caddy that I use on a daily basis. I would suggest getting one made of quick drying material rather than hard plastic so it doesn’t mold
I personally use foam Birkenstocks which I already owned, but these are a more affordable option which my friends use and they totally work too!
Nail Clipper/Nail File
Hopefully you already own these items and don’t need to purchase them
Type of pillow is up to personal preference. I like using a memory foam pillow!
Shampoo and Conditioner
Personal preference!! The only thing I’ll note is that many of the shelves in the communal bathrooms are shallow and not that tall (except for the top one) so it can be difficult to fit all of your products if they are all tall and large.
Make sure to bring whatever prescriptions you have and also make sure to have a plan for how to refill your prescriptions!!
Comb or Brush
Really up to personal preference
Really up to personal preference
For the sake of yourself and your hall/class mates, PLEASE bring deodorant!!
Definitely necessary!! Consider purchasing multiple
I would recommend purchasing these in bulk.
Various Dental Items (Retainer, floss)
This is all up to personal preference, but obviously you will want to bring what you use at home (ie: retainers, water pick, etc.)
I recommend purchasing it in bulk and then storing it somewhere
I also purchased this in bulk and stored it under my bed
Everyone’s note taking strategy is up to them (some use a notebook for all subjects, some use multiple notebooks, some take notes on iPad, etc.) so just make sure you have what you need!! Note: Make sure you have at least one notebook on the first day of school!! Some professors will jump straight into teaching and you don’t want to miss anything!!
Pencils + Erasers
Regardless of how you take your notes, you will need to have pencils to take tests
The type of backpack you use is really up to you! Some people even use tote bags. If you get a backpack, I’d recommend getting one with a laptop section and a place to hold a water bottle.
Get these to hang up your towels, bags, etc. These are very versatile and can be used for many things. Personally, I only needed three (one to hang up my laundry bag, one for my body towel, and one for my hand towels).
Long Winter Coat
It gets cold in Philly and Locust Walk becomes a wind tunnel so I’d highly recommend investing in a warm winter coat!
TwinXL Sheet Set
I have two sheet sets so that when one set is in the wash I’ll always have sheets on the bed. Make sure to get TwinXL so that they fit on your dorm mattress!!
Lighting in dorm rooms is poor, and if you plan on studying in your room, you’ll definitely want to invest in good lighting for your study space. I’ve linked the desk lamp that I personally use, but below is:
I suggest getting thin, space saving hangers since you don’t get much closet space in your dorm room!!
In my opinion, dorm room lighting is NOT sufficient on its own. I purchased round bulb string lights which I attached with because I liked the look of them, but many people I know have the
This is the exact towel set I purchased for use at school. I would recommend having two bath towels so you always have one to use in case one is being washed. I also made sure to have a hand towel and face towel. Some people suggest against having white towels, but I haven’t had any problems
Twin XL Mattress Protector
Keeps the mattress topper in place
This is the exact umbrella I bought with one day shipping after it was pouring in Philly to the point that school had to be cancelled due to the Schuylkill River overflowing!!
In case you decide you want to travel somewhere international over break, I would highly recommend bringing your passport to school so you don’t have to deal with having it shipped to you last minute! Also, make sure that it isn’t expired/close to expiring!!
Carry-on size luggage
Good for shorter trips that you may take on weekends to New York, Fall Break, back home, etc.
Phone Case Wallet
You need your Penn ID to go everywhere on campus!! Even to use the bathroom!! It’s so easy to lose your card and it can be a hassle to have to get a temporary card when you leave your card in your room. That’s why you need a phone wallet to keep track of your Penn ID, real ID, and card. You can get these at the Penn bookstore but I would suggest not buying one until you get to campus since clubs and the school give out a lot of free ones!! NOTE: This is a recommendation but not necessary because I know a few people (very much in the minority) that don’t have one.
For walking around your room or to the bathroom and back
If you enjoy comfy clothing, I would bring sweatshirts/sweatpants. You definitely don’t need more than a few pairs because they take up a lot of close space!!
You should bring at least one bathing suit just in case you ever go somewhere warm over break or if there are tropical themed parties!
The floors of dorm rooms are cold and gross (depending on where you live you might not even have hardwood floors!). I’d recommend investing in an area rug to make your living area much more comfortable. I ordered a month into school after I measured my room properly. If I had gone off of my room dimensions, the rug I originally wanted to order would have been too big to move in easily.
You definitely don’t need a Dyson but I would recommend bringing a hair dryer!!
I’m originally not from Philly, so it took a while to become acclimated to the Philly weather! I really appreciated having deep moisturizing lotion because my skin was super dry when I first got here
You will want to have a variety of pens/sharpies for note taking or just writing in general
Calculator and charger
Check your class syllabus’ for if you need a calculator (I believe most Wharton classes will need one). I just brought the scientific calculator I used in high school and it works great!
My room actually came with a mirror mounted to the back of the door of my closet, however if it didn’t come with it, I would have purchased this mirror that hangs on the door (my friend uses this exact one)
Eye mask/ear plugs (things to make sleeping easier)
Dorm room blinds aren’t that effective and the thin walls mean that it can be very loud sometimes!! I personally sleep better with an eye mask. I don’t use ear plugs but I know some people do if they have roommates (I have a single).
Reusable water bottle
There are water bottle filling stations all over campus. I’d recommend investing in a reusable water bottle so that you don’t generate as much waste through consuming water from the readily available single-use plastic water bottles.
I made it through 4 months at school without having a mini fridge and I know many friends who do not have them. Ultimately, I purchased one because 1) the rentals were all gone (but I still wouldn’t recommend renting because you can buy one for that price) and 2) I felt that I was wasting a lot of food because I never saved leftovers and 3) I missed refrigerated water
10 ft charging chord
So you can go on your phone while in bed
Hopefully you already own tweezers and don’t need to purchase them. I personally prioritized having tweezers so I could do my eyebrows myself while at schoiol.
For special occasions or going out!
Depending on the layout of your room, you definitely don’t need to purchase this. I chose to get it because there was a gap between the wall and my bed so my pillow kept falling on the floor. I purchased this 5 months into school, since I had been using a piece of cardboard as a headboard, so it definitely is optional!!
This one definitely depends on the size of your room. Mine was very small, so I wanted to have extra space under my bed to move my dresser under so I could have more space to take advantage of. However, I know many people who don’t have these.
I purchased this stool to be able to get onto my bed after I put it onto the bed risers. I appreciate the extra storage space and seating option for guests as well!!
For note taking
I had one pair of not very nice heels that I wore for every date night.
(Casual Suit/Short dresses)
I wore short dresses for the date nights I went to and I also borrowed them from friends. For guys, you will want to bring a suit that you might not care about as much.
Frat shoes (shoes you don’t mind getting dirty)
The floor of frat houses are really disgusting!! If you plan on going to frat parties, make sure to have a pair of shoes which you don’t care if they get dirty and have things spilled on. I’d recommend something leather so you can wipe them down.
"Fracket” (frat jacket)
Do not buy a fracket!! Just bring an old jacket that keeps you warm and you don’t care if it is lost, stolen or spilled on at a party/event.
There are many types of themed parties
I’ve felt that Penn feels pretty secure in terms of bringing valuable pieces to school. How much jewelry you bring is up to personal preference, but I find that I wear the same pieces on a daily basis and might add a few extra accessories when going out
Tan France says that belts should only be used as accessories, not as a utility, but I think you should have at least one!!
Going out bag
Crossbody bags are easier to bring around when you’re going out in my opinion, but handheld ones work as well!! It’s up to you how nice of one you want to bring, but I don’t suggest bringing too many. Personally I rotate between 2
Hair styling products (Straightener/Curling iron)
I personally do my hair before going out so I use my hair tools frequently!
These are available for purchase from CVS close by or even the McClelland express dining hall located in the Quadrangle
My general tip for makeup is to bring everything that you use on a daily basis and then a few things for special occasions. Don’t bring too much and don’t bring expired products. Going to college is a great time to refresh your collection! Also, bringing a easily portable makeup bag makes it easy for you and your friends to get ready together!!
If you are visually challenged like myself, make sure that you bring contacts/glasses. If you wear contacts, make sure you have enough to last you through the school year!! I’d also bring a pair of glasses even if you never wear them because it’s always good to have a back up in case you get pink eye (which unfortunately is way more common than you’d think––definitely not speaking from personal experience!!)