Howard University- What do I need to bring

4 07 2008

So you are basically so close to moving in its not even funny. You have all your paperwork, payments, and everything else on lock. Your arms has been filled with what seems like a thousand immunizations because Howard keeps asking for more. Your parents are pissing you off to no extent and your friends just don’t know how much their school sucks compared to Howard. This means its time to start packing. LOL

It is imperative that your plan ahead just because of the state of the economy. Its not your fault but its your issue. 

Find out how you are traveling because that coincides with how much you can pack (and how much it will cost you). Plane tickets are cheaper earlier. Check to see if your airline offers a college discount or a cheaper rate for a different time or date. I usually try to work out deals with my luggage all the time because I have a lot of stuff and I can’t just throw it away. However, if it is something that can be bought in Washington D.C, don’t try and pack it. Save some money. 

Some hotels offer a discount to Howard University. Save money, whatever way possible. Join the hotel chain’s discount club because most time they offer free perks, discounts, or room upgrades. Click here for list of hotels offering Howard University discount as well as surrounding hotels.

Reserve your rental car early. Washington D.C is a tourist attraction especially in the summer time. Universities usually let in at the same time and the District is home to many universities such as Catholic U, American U, Georgetown, Gallaudet, University of the District of Columbia, George Washington U, and Maryland as well as George Mason are a short distance away. 

Now you will need to bring: 

  • Clothes/Shoes/Accesories for Summer/Fall- Winter clothes are usually bulky and you should bring these back with you when you go home for Thanksgiving or Winter. Trust me, you will be buying clothes here so don’t think you won’t have anything. I barely packed any clothes and ended up with a closet full by Thanksgiving. I learned about Winter clothes from people who are from the area. I am from the South so I knew nothing about a good Winter coat. Save your money on luggage fees!
  • Pictures/ must have items but not your whole room. 
  • Make sure that you have at least one basic business suit!
What you can get here:
 Don’t act like home is the only place with a shopping mall or stores that you are used to. Washington D.C is a very diverse city and has a lot of the national chains that you are used to in a close vicinity. Also this gives you an opportunity to get all of the deals the stores are offering for close-outs. You will also have the opportunity to see your room layout for what your actually need. 
  • Toiletries – this should be self explanatory but don’t try to be Bath and Body Works. One of my rules is that I do not share my toiletries so bring your own. 
  • Bedding:Pillows,  Twin XL sheets and Comforter will usually do the trick. Don’t try to outdo the bank for some exquisite bedding ensemble because most likely you won’t use it every year. 
  • Hangers- They are your friend
  • Towels
  • Lamps- Floor lamps usually take up a space and you won’t have that much space to offer. I had a desk lamp and a clip lamp for my bed. 
  • Storage boxes- these are your friend especially for food. You want to put any food in an airtight container so it won’t attract bugs. 
  • A fan- If you are in a dorm without AC a box fan will be your best friend. Its not that bad once you get that fan in the window. 
  • Shower shoes- If you are living in a communal bathroom, you do NOT want your bare feet in the shower. Not everybody is as clean as you are.
  • Shower caddy- Even if you share a bathroom, you should not have all your bath supplies just strewn everywhere. The shower caddy is quick and simple. 
  • Cleaning Supplies- I am a neat freak so my room was deep-cleaned every Friday but you do want to take time to clean up your bare room before you put your stuff in there. 
  • Laundry Supplies- Washing Detergent and Shout should suffice. You will also need to buy a laundry card to work the machines.
  • School Supplies- This is a given but sometimes common sense is not that common. You will need the usual- paper, pens, stapler, tape, etc. Your desk is your little office. 
  • Wastebasket- Some are provided but if you don’t have one, you will need one. 
  • Surge Protectors- Extension cords are NOT allowed and sometimes plugs are not readily available especially in the Quad. You only have a two pronged outlet. Not only do surge protectors give you extra outlets, but they also protect your equipment during power outages.
  • Alarm Clock- Make sure it gets loud if you can’t wake your butt up! 
  • Landline phone- You have your own phone number and you can make local calls. This saves on cell phone minutes. The front desk can also use this number to contact you. 
For those with their own bathroom:
You need to work out something with your roommates/suitemates about Bathroom items such as rugs and shower curtain. 
Stuff that makes life easier but if not mandatory:
  • Refrigerator- You have the option of bringing your own but it must be no larger than 3.6 cu ft. I got a really nicel one from Target for under a 100 bucks. However, these go really fast.
  • Renting a micro-fridge- Each semester you will be charged $140.00 for the rental and will have to return it by the end of the year. There are microwaves in most dorm lounges though. 
  • Computer : Desktops take up a lot of space but if you have to go this route, be my guest. Laptops are very convenient but if you don’t have the funds to get one as of yet- there are plenty of computer labs for you to use. A simple processing unit with a word processor and internet access is all you basically need. I however have a Macbook because I love it! Make sure that you do have your own cables and invest in some type of protection software. 
  • Printer- This will come in handy when you are up all night working on a paper but again, if you don’t have the means..don’t sweat it. (This also means printer paper, ink, etc).
  • Television
  • Stereo
  • Gaming Console
  • DVD

***Keep in mind that if someone steals your stuff, you will just be SOL. Don’t bring irreplaceable items. 

Residence Hall Handbook -For your questions about your dorm, visitation, maintenance, etc.
Options for getting your stuff:
If you find a good deal at home, by all means go ahead and get it. Call Residence Life and see if you can ship your stuff early. 
Call your hotel to see if you can get stuff shipped there. (I however am not too keen on other people handling my stuff)
If the store is a national chain, see if the have the same item at the Washington D.C Store. Ask if it may be put on hold. 
Buy online and use the ship to store option
Take time to think about what is your daily routine. These are the items that you need and make sure you don’t confuse wants with necessities. 
Keep in mind:
  • Space is limited. Bring your whole room if you want to but you will be packing that up by yourself when you go home!
  • Elevators do go out. So get ready to do some heavy lifting. 
  • Don’t flaunt your belonging, everybody isn’t your friend. 



3 responses

4 07 2008
Eric Lee

Where did you get your blog layout from? I’d like to get one like it for my blog.

4 07 2008

its on wordpress in the design section

25 07 2008
victoria draper

Thank you for writing this!It was very insightful. I am an entering freshman at Howard University. I am just wondering…should I bring Kitchen utensils?? (pots,pans,spatula). Is there a kitchen in the main womens’ dorm?? Thank you. You can contact me at : or I am in dire need of advice 🙂

–Victoria Draper

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