The Ultimate College Packing List: UPenn Edition

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Things I personally found were unnecessary purchases, or things I have seen on a lot of lists but you don’t have to buy!!
Unnecessary Purchases
Alarm Clock
I don’t know why all these college packing lists include alarm clocks because I seriously don’t know a single person who uses a physical alarm clock rather than their phone to wake up in the morning!!
I purchased a bathrobe with the intention of wearing it to the bathroom when I was going to take a shower, but I honestly have been fine with just using my towel!
Brita Pitcher
A hot take!! I purchased a Brita pitcher at the beginning of the year but never use it. I thought it was really difficult to fill in the sinks, and I didn’t really trust the sink water since it sometimes came out yellow-tinted. This does not mean I endorse buying bulk plastic water bottles. The school has a lot of water bottle stations where I can refill my reusable water bottle so I do that all the time instead. Also, my 10 cup Brita was too big to fit in my mini fridge, so if you do get one, I would recommend getting the !
Desk Chair
Dorm rooms come with a desk chair already. I would consider investing in a chair cover (like a faux sheep skin) rather than a new chair because then you have to deal with storing the old chair. However, I do know some people who put their old desk chair under their bed and got a new one.
Many people including me got sick during the beginning of the school year. I had Emergen-C and took it daily but I honestly don’t know how much it helped.
Food Storage Containers
I don’t find that it’s necessary to store leftovers in plastic containers since I had a dining plan and went to the dining halls to eat for every meal. If I did eat out, I would just store the leftovers in the to-go boxes they came in.
Laundry Basket
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!!
Plates and Bowls
I personally did not eat in my room much (it completely stinks up your room) so I didn’t find that I needed bowls or plates. Additionally, if you purchase bowls and plates, you’ll need to also purchase dish cleaning supplies and have to hand wash your dishes (which I think is a hassle)
Not really necessary––the freshman 15 isn’t really a thing at Penn because the dining options aren’t great (in my opinion) and there aren’t many options to eat/snack late at night
I would recommend purchasing textbooks after the first week of classes! This is because oftentimes a professor will list something as required reading (even though you might not actually need it). The only class this doesn’t apply to is your writing seminar (make sure to buy that) Pro tip: you can get books cheaper when you buy them used from the Penn bookstore!!
Throw Pillows
Dorm rooms are small and throw pillows will collect and just take up space. Additionally, you’ll have to move them to the ground or somewhere else in your room when you sleep, so in my opinion, it’s a little unnecessary to have an excessive number of throw pillows.
Trash Bin
The school provided us with a small recycling bin that I use for my trash. Students collect lots of paper bags from on-the-go food options, so I use those bags for my recycling.
You can borrow utensils from dining halls and then return them at the end of the year #collegehack. Also, a lot of dining halls offer plastic utensils.
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