What to bring to college orientation? The full list

What to bring to college orientation?

College orientation is an exciting and pivotal moment in your academic journey. It's your first opportunity to immerse yourself in the college experience, meet new friends, and get acclimated to campus life. 

To make the most out of this experience, it's crucial to be well-prepared. In this guide, we'll walk you through a comprehensive checklist of what to bring to college orientation.

Essential Documents

College orientation often involves paperwork, so be sure to bring the necessary documents:

Identification: Your driver's license, passport, or state ID.

Admission Letter: Proof of your acceptance to the college.

Financial Aid Documents: If you're receiving financial aid, bring all relevant paperwork.

Medical Records: Any pertinent medical information and vaccination records.

Emergency Contact Information: Ensure you have contact information for a trusted friend or family member.

Financial Essentials

Managing your finances is crucial in college. Here's what you'll need:

Bank Cards: Your debit or credit cards for everyday expenses.

Cash: Having some cash on hand for emergencies or small purchases is a good idea.

Checkbook: Occasionally, you might need to write a check.

Budgeting Tool: Consider a budgeting app or spreadsheet to track your expenses.

Comfortable Clothing

College orientation can involve various activities, so bring a range of clothing options:

Casual Wear: Comfortable outfits for walking and mingling.

Business Casual: You might have meetings or workshops, so pack something a bit more formal.

Weather-Appropriate Attire: Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

Swimwear: If there's a pool or beach event.


Walking is a common part of orientation, so choose footwear wisely:

Comfortable Shoes: Sneakers or walking shoes are a must.

Flip-Flops or Sandals: For casual and warm-weather events.

Toiletries and Personal Hygiene

It's essential to stay fresh and clean during orientation:

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Shampoo and Conditioner

Soap or Body Wash


Razor and Shaving Cream

Hairbrush or Comb

Feminine Hygiene Products

Towels and Washcloths

Bedding and Linens

If you're staying in a dorm during orientation, you'll need these essentials:

Bedding: Sheets, pillowcases, and a comforter or blanket.

Towels: Bath and hand towels.

Pillow: A comfortable pillow for a good night's sleep.

Laundry Bag: Something to transport your dirty clothes.

Electronics and Accessories

In today's digital age, electronics are indispensable:

Laptop or Tablet: For taking notes, staying connected, and completing any online tasks.

Chargers: Don't forget chargers for all your devices.

Power Strip: Useful for charging multiple devices simultaneously.

Headphones: Essential for listening to lectures or unwinding with music.

Alarm Clock: Ensure you wake up on time for activities.

Note-Taking Supplies

You'll likely attend informational sessions, so bring the tools to capture important details:

Notebooks or Notepads

Pens and Pencils


Sticky Notes

Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is vital, especially if your orientation involves a lot of walking:

Reusable Water Bottle: Fill it up throughout the day.


Orientation schedules can be busy, so having some snacks on hand is smart:

Granola Bars



Trail Mix

Medications and First Aid

Don't forget your health:

Prescription Medications: Ensure you have an ample supply.

Over-the-Counter Medications: Pain relievers, allergy medicine, etc.

First Aid Kit: Basic supplies like band-aids and antiseptic wipes.

Backpack or Tote Bag

You'll need something to carry all your essentials:

Backpack or Tote Bag: Choose one that's comfortable to carry.

Personal Items

These are often overlooked but essential:

Keys: If you'll have a room or apartment key.

Student ID: If you have one already.

Glasses or Contact Lenses: If you wear them.

Optional Items

Depending on your preferences and needs, consider packing:

Umbrella: In case of rain.

Portable Phone Charger: Handy for long days.

Laptop Lock: For added security.

Books or Reading Material: For downtime.

Sports Equipment: If you plan to participate in athletic activities.

Positive Attitude

Finally, one of the most crucial things to bring to college orientation is a positive attitude. Approach each activity with an open mind and a willingness to meet new people. Orientation is an excellent opportunity to start building your college support network, so be friendly and approachable.

In conclusion, college orientation is a thrilling and essential part of your journey toward higher education. By ensuring you have all the necessary items on this comprehensive checklist, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of this experience. 

Remember to stay organized, maintain a positive attitude, and embrace the opportunities that orientation offers. It's the beginning of an exciting chapter in your life, so enjoy every moment!

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