Dorm Do's and Don'ts


What to bring to campus and what to leave at home

Anastasia Nicholas / For The Post

Many incoming Ohio University freshmen move away from home for the first time when they get to college and might be at a complete loss of what they need to pack.

OU’s move-in guide lists more than 50 items to bring to campus, but not all of those items are needed.


1. Plates and utensils

I wrongly assumed I would be eating all meals in the dining halls. At least half the time, I ended up getting my food to go and eating in my dorm. The dining halls provide plastic utensils, but I got silverware to avoid creating unnecessary waste. Plates and bowls are useful for the same reason, plus they’re good for putting in the microwave.

2. Your bike

Signature Athens Food

Lauren Bacho | FILE

(Left to right) Cady Hall, Foster House and Brough House located on South Green.

You can get anywhere on OU’s campus in less than 15 minutes on foot, but a bike helps speed up the process. And it’s always fun to simply take a bike ride, even if you don’t have a destination in mind. Don’t forget to bring a bike lock, too.

3. A carpet or rug

Bringing a rug wasn’t even on my radar when I was packing. Thankfully, my roommate brought a rug that covered most of the floor. I don’t know what we would have done without it. Dorm rooms have tile flooring that get cold in the winter, and I wouldn’t have wanted to walk barefoot.

4. Shower shoes

That being said, you will need a pair of cheap flip-flops to wear in the shower or to simply walk around your residence hall. I was always disgusted when I noticed the girl in the bathroom stall next to me was barefoot. Don’t be that person. Your don’t want your neighbors’ first impression of you to be that you have poor foot hygiene.

5. A keychain

A keychain or lanyard is the quintessential freshman identifier, so don’t wear it around your neck. Still, it was extremely useful for me to have my Ohio ID and my room key in one consolidated area, as you need both to get into your residence hall. If you lose either, it will cost $12 for a new Ohio ID and $95 for a new room key. A keychain can help save you that trouble.

Don't bring:

1. A television

Everyone I know who brought a TV said they ended up not using it — same with the kids who brought a gaming console. The residence halls have TVs in their lobbies, which helps with making friends. For shows that I couldn’t bear missing, I was able to stream them online.

2. Your car

Every underclassman I knew who brought a car to campus ended up rarely using it. They had to pay for a parking passes in remote locations. One of my friends had to go on a 20-minute bike ride to get to his car. If you live on campus, bringing your car with you is essentially a money hole.

3. Ohio State University apparel

It should be obvious, but not everyone realizes it’s unnecessary to bring other schools’ merchandise to campus with you. By that same token, your wardrobe doesn’t need to be entirely made up of OU gear and nothing else, either.

4. Pets

Several girls on my floor brought small pets with them, but that is against the Housing Student Handbook. All animals, except fish, are not allowed in residence halls, according to the handbook. That does not, however, apply to a service or an approved emotional support animal.  

5. A mop

I went all year without using mine.

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