A Freshman’s Guide to Dorm Essentials at UNC
When rising junior Winter Earnhardt moved into Koury Residence Hall last fall, she made the mistake of overpacking.
“I was the person who brought way too much,” she said. “I realized very quickly that I didn’t need everything.”
Beyond the cushions, Earnhardt said she brought an excess of books, toiletries and shoes – all of which took up space in her room, rather than being used.
Current UNC students have shared their favorite dorm items, essentials, and packing tips as the Class of 2026 prepares to move into their residence halls.
What to bring
Earnhardt said she researched what to pack via online videos of UNC dorms, while Class of 2022 graduate Alexis Cameron consulted various essential packing lists to compile her things. .
During his freshman year at UNC, Cameron lived in Stacy Residence Hall, a freshman dorm on North Campus.
“I think the place was really cool and I didn’t have to walk so much to get to class,” she said. “It was still quite social. I made a lot of friends the first year.
Before her freshman year, Cameron said she tried not to buy too much before moving in because she wanted to see what her roommate had.
“Don’t buy a bunch of stuff up front because you’ll just move in, your parents will be annoyed because you have so many boxes,” Cameron said. “And you’ll just have to move it at the end of the year.”
Along with the basic necessities, she recommended incoming students invest in a mattress topper for dorm beds and a broom to mop the floor.
Cameron continued to live on campus during his sophomore and freshman years. She said having a TV and a futon enhances her dorm experience — even though they may not be necessities.
“Having friends just enhances the social experience,” Cameron said. “And it was a great place to take a nap.”
In order to have a better experience in her dorm, Earnhardt was grateful that she and her roommate brought lamps and string lights.
“The lights in the dorm are like very bright fluorescent lights,” she said. “It was really difficult, especially when we were trying to relax at night.”
what to leave
For students planning to live on South Campus, rising senior Caroline Bowersox suggested leaving most formal or uncomfortable wardrobe items behind.
Bowersox, who lived at Hinton James Residence Hall, couldn’t believe it when people said she was just going to wear t-shirts and shorts until the first day of class.
“I had a class at Hanes Art (Centre) at 9am and my roommate and I walked there and it was so sweaty,” she said. “I was wearing a really cute outfit. It was just pointless.”
Earnhardt also said she brought a whole assortment of shoes and only ended up wearing the same pairs.
“I wore tennis shoes or my Crocs 90% of the time, so I didn’t need boots and flip flops and all those shoes I brought,” she said.
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