What to Pack

You Don’t Need:

  • A Face Mirror (rooms almost always come with full length mirrors)
  • A Whiteboard (unless you want one on the inside of your room, they come standard on the outside of your door)
  • Nalgene (you’ll get one as part of Orientation – but MiddKids always need more than one Nalgene…)
  • A wastebasket or recycling bin. You are provided with both. But strangely, you no longer get trash bags.

You DO Need:

Surprised: You Forgot

  • Wall tacks or ways to stick up your posters (Painter’s tape will be your best friend, it’s easy & comes off clean so you won’t risk being fined for room damage at the end of the year)
  • A stapler, hole puncher, calculator
  • Ethernet cord (even though the campus is mostly wireless, good to have for streaming movies and those Sunday night homework scrambles when there is high-traffic!)
  • Ziplock bags, rubber bands
  • Hangers — if classy, try wooden ones!
  • Dry erase marker
  • Several towel (or two if you want to keep a separate gym locker)
  • Sunglasses
  • Bookbag/Backpack/Messenger Bag
  • Toiletry Kit AND a shower caddy.
  • Umbrella AND a raincoat. It gets windy.
  • Do you have the chargers to you cellphone, camera, and computer?

Winter Gear

  • Winter Coat: While it might not be economically feasible for everyone, you are definitely going to want to buy a nice winter coat for your four years at Middlebury. Yes, it’s an investment. Even if you put on ten layers, it won’t cut it in the winter here.
  • Rain Boots: Most of the time, you actually can get away without snow boots at Middlebury. That’s because Middlebury plows the sidewalks. But when it rains, it rains and you’re going to need to wade through the mud and gigantic puddles. Hiking boots with Goretex are a good medium as they serve triple duty for snow, rain & hikes.
  • Hat, Gloves: These are what actually keep you warm. Get a good hat and pair of gloves. Stay away from cottons as they don’t do well in wet weather. Wool, polypropelene, or synthetics will do you good.
  • Long underwear: There comes a time each year when you can’t just keep wearing jeans with nothing underneath. They invented long underwear for a reason.

Tech Gadgets

  • Cellphone: Yes, people communicate on campus via cellphone not their dorm phones;
    which you would have to request as they are not just in every room as in years past. The campus is heavily populated with smartphones, but many students have not-smartphones as well.  Phones are by and large the primary communication tool on the campus though, so try to get one if you don’t already have one.
  • Computer: You’re preferably going to want a laptop mostly to study away from your room. You don’t need anything fancy: wireless card/internet browser, iTunes, and a word processor should get you through most stuff.
  • Digital Camera: OK, you don’t need a camera. But it’s nice to have to document college. Parents appreciate photos and so do all the friends who want to be tagged on Facebook. You can also rent these from the library for a day at a time, so if you want one for special events, it’s a good resource!
  • Alarm Clock: Wake up, you got class!
  • Power strip and extension cord: Most rooms actually have enough outlets, BUT they aren’t in all the places you want them. Hence, powerstrip.


  • Laundry: you do not need quarters (no matter what state is on the coin). You’ll purchase a special card for doing your laundry which you load cash onto (note, the first time the kiosk to purchase the card will only accepts $5 bills).
    Drying racks (purchased anywhere including at the Bookstore and also available from most common’s offices) are good for the environment, the clothes, and the wallet!
  • Underwear and Socks: Bring a lot of them, more than all that other stuff.
  • Formal Clothes: There are several events each semester where it’s nice to have formal clothing. If you have it, bring it. Bring two or three nice outfits maximum. Middkids don’t dress up that often.
  • Under-bed storage bins are key to fitting all your clothes in your room, particularly freshman year.

Odds and Ends

  • Bedding: Extra long sheets, please. Mattress pads and memory foam pads are also a good investment.
  • Desk Lamp: This is so that when your roommate wants to go to bed, you can still read.
  • Posters, Wall hangings: Bring your flags, awesome indie-rock posters, etc. You got white space, fill it up
  • Rug: Got cold feet getting out of the shower? You don’t have at least a small rug.
  • Scale: Not sure whether this is good or bad. Maybe just enjoy the great outdoors and don’t worry about the freshmen fifteen.

Shared Items (if you’re willing to link up with your roommate):

  • Printer: You really don’t need a printer.  In my opinion, they take up space and are hardly ever used, but if you insist, they can occasionally be useful if you are running late to class and need to print something out quickly.  Otherwise, each student is allotted a printing quota each semester and can print for free.
  • Speakers: Trust me, as much as you think you’re the one who’s going to throw epic dance parties, you’re not. But a really good set of speakers (not small crappy ones) can come in real handy so ask around to see if anyone else is packing their sweet setup.

Fun Things:

  • Says one commenter: a popcorn popper, crazy clothes for themed parties especially the annual eighties dance party, Halloween costume, your best group board games, massage oil, water filtration system, tupperware containers.
  • “a nice thick blanket to lay on Battel Beach with (or other grassy areas), that won’t get wet? You don’t usually want to use the one you sleep on.”
  • Seriously, bring your costumes.  You will always find a good use for them.

Hit the comments if you have further suggestions!

Back to Unofficial Orientation.


6 thoughts on “What to Pack

  1. Small dustpan and brush. For all the winter grit (sand, salt) that will accumulate in your room. You don’t always have access to a vacuum cleaner.

  2. Rewriting Unofficial Orientation « MiddBlog

  3. Most girls have way more than one week worth of clothes. And the longer you can go without doing laundry, the better.

    You do NOT need quarters cause the laundry is all by coins. Drying racks are good for the environment, the clothes, and the wallet!

    In theory, one should not be weight-conscious, but if you have a scale, bring it. You’ll make a lot of friends cause they’ll want to drop by and check their progress on the freshman fifteen…

    Fun things to bring: a popcorn popper, crazy clothes for themed parties especially the annual eighties dance party, Halloween costume, your best group board games, massage oil, water filtration system, tupperware containers

    Decorating: sticky stuff that actually works to hang posters. Anything you want to hang on your door MUST BE LAMINATED due to fire codes, so expect that.

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