The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday June 18th

Welcome to UNC. Here are 26 things you should pack for your first year


Packing for college is stressful and time consuming, and packing for college in the middle of a turbulent and confusing time is even worse. 

So, we're here to help you out as best we can. 

We reached out to our readers, UNC students and alumni who have been there, and asked them: What is the one thing you needed as a first-year at UNC that wasn't on the traditional "back to school" packing list?

Here's what they said: 

  1. Rain boots, raincoat AND umbrella – don’t pick and choose, you need all three. 
  2. A handheld steamer or wrinkle release spray.
  3. Backrest pillow for sitting in bed and studying.
  4. Sleep mask. (If your roommate leaves the light on all night!)
  5. A small fan to create white noise and avoid arguing with your roommate over the thermostat.
  6. A good, lightweight blanket for days on the quad. North Carolina = fire ants. You want the blanket. 
  7. A lamp for your desk so you can control the light. 
  8. Extension cords for your laptop charger. Outlets are always just a few inches too far away from your desk at Davis Library.
  9. A small stapler to keep in your backpack. You’ll be everyone’s favorite person when it’s time to turn in a paper. 
  10. Card slots that attach to your phone or wristlet keychains for keys. Avoid the lanyard! 
  11. Single-package snacks for library trips and when you wake up too late for breakfast.
  12. Good headphones that cancel out noise. 
  13. Emergen-C or any other immune-boosting supplement. 
  14. Popcorn for when friends come over.
  15. A rug to cover the dorm floor.
  16. Reusable water bottles and bottle brush cleaners.
  17. A Brita water filter to keep in your dorm fridge.
  18. A small amount of cash for emergencies. 
  19. At least one outfit for formal or professional events.
  20. Quick and easy instant meals like canned soup or mac and cheese.
  21. Microwave-safe plates, bowls and food storage.
  22. Hot sauce for dorm and dining hall food.
  23. Cold medicine and pain relief. 
  24. A small vacuum.
  25. A step stool.
  26. Tile trackers for dorm fobs and keys.

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