What I Brought to College Orientation + 5 Must-Have’s

If you’re heading to college this coming year or are a member of the class of 2021, there’s a good chance you’ll be attending college orientation this summer. My orientation was June 22-23, and I thought I’d share my packing list for everyone out there who’s not really sure what they should bring! Along with what I wish I had brought, and what was truly essential.

5 Must Have's for College Orientation

The end of June is hot, and walking around outside in the heat isn’t an option for me ever. To help combat the heat and give myself a fighting chance I had a saline infusion on the 21st. With temperatures nearing mid-90’s I spoke to my orientation leaders and asked if we could remain indoors as much as possible. They assured me this wouldn’t be an issue!

What I Brought:

I brought one outfit and one set of pajamas, because though it was a two day orientation obviously I had one outfit on my body which didn’t need to be packed.

I had a light jacket with me, but ended up carrying it for most of day one and decided I didn’t need it for day two. The rooms and buildings were cool but comfortable.

For day one I wore a loose black and white striped sleeveless top and peach shorts, with black compression socks and converse.

For day two I wore a blue-purple short sleeve top and black shorts, again with black compression socks and converse.

As far as pajamas go I wasn’t sure what the climate in the dorms would be, but my body temperature regulation is a mess due to Dysautonomia, so I brought a long sleeved shirt and shorts to sleep in. I should have brought sweatpants! The air conditioning was blasting most of the night, and while the blanket provided was heavy, some extra warmth would have been nice.

I also brought:

  • Toiletries
  • Medication for both days
  • All emergency medications for any possible situation
  • Water bottle
  • Underwear (duh)
  • Peggy‘s gear/necessities
  • Pen
  • Wallet/ID
  • Nuun and Normalyte
  • Clif bars
  • Phone and charger

5 Must-Haves For College Orientation:

  1. A water bottle – and I’m not just saying that because I’m obsessive about hydration! Summer is hot, whether you’re getting acquainted with your university in June or August, it’s not unlikely that the sun will be out in full force. Even if you luck out and it’s not, you’ll be out all day and doing a fair amount of walking. Carry some water with you. Your body will thank you!
  2. Something to write with. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many people showed up to my college orientation without anything to write with or take notes on.
  3. Pajamas. My college orientation was overnight. I know not all college orientations are two days, so of course if yours isn’t then you can disregard this point! For those of you who have multiple day orientations, this is for you: I was surprised to hear that a handful of people forgot some component of their pajamas. A girl I hung out with forgot pajama pants and her dad had to buy her sweatpants, but she wasn’t the only one. I doubt you want to sleep in the clothes you’ve been wearing all day, so you’ll be needing some sort of pajamas for the few hours they’ve saved to let you sleep!
  4. A snack. You don’t know what sort of food will be provided, how long you’ll have to eat, or when you’ll be eating. If you’re someone who gets hangry, is hypoglycemic, or needs to eat often, bring a snack or two! I always carry a Clif bar with me and it’s super helpful when I feel myself crashing.
  5. An open mind. Most people I came across were incredibly kind, and it was really refreshing to be surrounded by so much happiness and excitement! However, I came across a few people who were shut off to trying something new, and guess what? After trying to encourage them for a couple minutes, no one wanted to be around those people! There was a girl in one of my sessions who was nearly in tears at the prospect of having to take a music class. She wouldn’t listen to anyone who tried to talk to her about it, and was simply beside herself. When chatting about joining clubs and making friends, one girl started talking about how this was going to be just like her elementary school and that she would have no friends. Instead of being open to the idea of joining clubs or trying new things, she complained about how she never had friends! While yes this is quite sad, it wasn’t the time or the place! And I don’t think advertising that you’re bad at having friends is the best way to make them. Be open to new experiences, you never know what may happen!

There wasn’t really anything I felt I forgot, but there were a few things I wish I would’ve had that could have been useful! This includes sweatpants, as I mentioned above, and something sweet or fruity. Due to my dietary restrictions I couldn’t have any of the desserts. At the end of the night, I wished I had brought a piece of fruit, or one of my sweet treats from home!

You can read about my full college orientation experience here. Want tips from 11 incoming college freshman who have already been through it? That post is coming soon!


    1. It helps keep me focused too! I’m a firm believer in note taking – at least you probably became their go-to girl!


  1. Hey Peyton! Just found your blog on pinterest, and just wanted to say hello! My college orientation was three years ago, but I definitely agree with that last point on your list! If you go into orientation closed off, you won’t gain anything from the experience! I wrote a lot of similar things in my own post about orientation 🙂 – Nice to meet you, Alyssa @ Living in Full Bloom


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *