The most important thing to realize when planning what to bring for your dorm room is that each dorm is different. The rooms in Hotel Ryan (as the University’s newest dorm is occasionally referred to as) are drastically different from Morrissey (which boasts the smallest living quarters on campus). Thus it is essential to go the Office of Housing website (screenshots shown below) or google your dorm’s official website to see the specific details and photos for your dorm. Does your dorm have air conditioning? Modular furniture vs. regular beds? Is there room for a futon? All these things are dorm specific. Other great resources are your Frosh-O, which is the name given to Freshmen Orientation, or Freshmen tabs on dorm websites. Feel free to email room questions to any of the Frosh-O staff or post questions in your hall’s Facebook page. Honestly, students love to help and share their advice. 

Should I bring stuff from Home or Buy at School?

This is entirely up to you. My mom drives a huge Chevy Astro Van, so I was able to bring everything from home. This way I was able to shop for sales and not buy everything at peak Back-to-College prices. But if you are flying or just want to buy everything out at Notre Dame, you will still be able to find everything you need to stock your dorm. It turns out Mishawaka is a thriving metropolis! (not really).

Learn how to pronounce Mishawaka, the town where all the stores are:

But seriously, Mishawaka is a mere 5 minute drive from campus with Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart, and the entire University Park Mall. I would pass on the campus-run Fall Mall in the Stepan Center, which usually just has overpriced furniture and storage items although they do have a collection of reasonably priced posters.

List of General Essentials:

There are zillions of item by item lists for college available by googling. Everyone, myself included, overpacks their first year. I cannot tell you what you specifically are going to need, but my best advice would be to write down everything you use for a day or 2. It will help you to see what you really need and use on a daily basis. Here are some things that everyone should have:

  1. A fan!!!! (If your dorm does not have air conditioning, I cannot emphasis enough the importance of bringing a fan. Believe it or not, Notre Dame is quite hot in the summer).
  2. Extension cords and power strips.
  3. Notre Dame does not discriminate against any type of precipitation. You need clothes for snow and rain.
    • Snow: Winter jacket, boots, hats, gloves (consider ones with touch screen fingertips).
    • Rain: Waterproof jacket with hood, rain boots.
  4. A backpack. (May be obvious but it becomes an extension of your body).

If you are a girl and in Lewis Hall, congratulations on being in the Best Dorm on Campus! See picture of my freshman dorm room and sophomore dorm room.