What to Bring




What should I bring?

Incoming freshmen, you are about to embark on a journey-- a journey that is wonderful and totally awesome, yet one that can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with it. We've made this guide in the hopes that the beginning of this journey goes as smoothly as possible for you. Trust us the last thing you want is to get here and realize you've forgotten such necessities as bedsheets, good shower supplies, or a kickbutt stereo system.

First off, a few general tips:

  • Don't wait until the last minute. It's never too early to start shopping for any of the necessities listed below. Also, the earlier you start, the less stress you'll have when you start making your way over here, and the less time it will take to settle in once you get down here. Also, you're less likely to forget things if you're trying to shop for everything the day before you get down here.
  • You don't need to get everything before coming down here. There are a number of stores in the South Bend-Mishawaka area that have anything you might have missed. Or, even better, you could talk to your folks and decide to only get some things before coming down, and getting the rest in town after you've arrived. Just make sure you let your folks know of any cunning plans you come up with along these lines, so they don't get mad at you.
    • There might also be some store chains that allow you to place an order in your hometown, and then pick it up in our neck of the woods when you get down here. Look for deals along those lines-- they save a LOT of hassle when you're dealing with big things. One store that I know does this is Bed, Bath, & Beyond-- if you have one in your hometown, try making use of that service.

Alright, now that that's out of the way, we'll get to the core of this guide-- a fairly complete list of what you might need to bring to help make the transition as smooth as possible. First, we'll describe what you can find in each room; after that, we'll list off what we recommend bringing to add to that.

What you start with:

  • Beds: You are supplied with bed frame and a mattress.  Manorites frequently loft beds.  This will clear up space for a couch or futon if you have one.
    • The sheets you need to buy for the bed are extra-long twin.
    • You might want to bring a couple sets of sheets in case you don't do laundry for a while.
  • Closet: You and your roommate each get an open closet with two dresser drawers just above ground level, and there is a small dresser with four drawers that is shared between the two of you.
  • Desks: Each of you also gets a desk and a chair to put in your room.
    • You may bring a nicer chair if you want, but know in advance that storage is very limited in the Manor.

What might help you out this year at ND:

  • Rug: The bare tile floors in Morrissey can get old pretty fast.
    • Some will be available for sale over in Stepan, and there are a host of stores that sell a size rug that will fit in your room with ease (one of the perks of having the smallest living space on campus).
  • Couch/Futon: Purchase for your common room. Highly recommended because you probably will have visitors who want a place to sit, and you may even have people who want to sleep over. This is the best way to accommodate them, hands down.
  • Television
    • All Notre Dame dorms have basic cable through Comcast, and there are options for more. You might be watching a lot of TV, especially such popular channels as ESPN.
  • DVD Player and/or Game System
    • Movies: Rudy is a necessity for any Notre Dame student.
    • Video Games: From Mario Kart to Call of Duty, some games become a way of life. All in all, a good way to waste studying time.
  • Stereo: Great for setting a mood for the room, or just to listen to music. Also great for attracting attention from girls wandering the halls.
    • Label your CDs so you and your roommate don't scuffle over who has what.
    • Also, be sure to bring head phones for quiet hour listening.
  • Printer: OIT maintains a printer in the basement study room, but it is very often out of paper or toner, or else not working for reasons best left unknown. A cheap printer can be very useful.
  • Extension Cords/Surge Protectors
    • Bring at least one of each, and maybe bring one more if you're top bunk and want to have a bedside light or anything like that.
  • Computer: Desktop or laptop. Both work-- use whatever fits your style and needs.
    • Check out OIT's recommendations for more information.
    • Actually, you might as well just check out this page for all the info you'll ever need for using IT at Notre Dame.
  • Connection Cables: Be sure to get cales to connect your TV, computer, and/or stereo so you can really rock out the tunes and have good sound.
    • This seems like a little thing, but it makes a big different in sound and playing music.
    • Also, depending on how you set up your room, one or both roommates may need a long Ethernet cable to reach the port. It's good to be ready in advance, but OIT does sell long Ethernet cables in their on-campus store.
  • Refrigerator: The 3.7 cubic foot fridges are the most common. The smaller ones hold next to nothing.
    • It may be easiest to get a fridge once you arrive at ND. There is a place on campus, and there are many stores in the area as well.
  • Cell Phones: Cell phones do come in handy, especially for calling people while on the go.
    • Verizon and AT&T (formerly Cingular) have recently upgraded their service on campus, so they work really well even within the building (the webmaster can get two bars in the basement with Verizon). Nextel also seems to work pretty well.
    • You can easily get both the phone and the service either at home or here at ND.
  • Alarm Clock: This needs to be ridiculously loud. If the alarm clock doesn't wake you, your angry roommate might.
  • Laundry things
    • Liquid detergent
    • Dryer sheets
    • Fabric softener, if you're sensitive
    • You might also want to either stockpile some quarters for the machines, or consider putting some money into a Domer Dollars account. You need one or the other of those to be able to use the machine.
  • Window Fan: Lack of AC + August heat = IT'S REALLY HOT. Ward off the heat with good circulation. Get yourself a big fan. The windowsill is a good place for it, if you have the right type. Oscillating standing fans may also be worth your while.
  • Dry-Erase Board: Great for having messages left on your door. It's a lot better for your budget than if people write on your door instead. (Not that you or anyone should even consider doing that)
  • Desk Lamp: Good if your roommate needs to sleep and you need to work.
  • Tape: All kinds come in handy. Bring at least one roll of each (Scotch, Duct, Masking).
  • Stapler: They don't have them in the print stations. You'll want a good one.
  • Raincoat and Umbrella: Rain does visit South Bend on occasion. Nothing beats going to class and not feeling waterlogged on those days.
  • Dress Shirt(s) and Tie(s): There will be a few dances throughout the year that are semi-formal and require shirt and tie and dress shoes/socks.
    • There's nothing like having a good number of each of these, and maybe a blazer or sportscoat if you feel like it. But it's by no means necessary. It can be good to know that you have a lot of choices, though. And there's never anything wrong with being versatile in your good(?) looks.
  • Bathing Suit: There is a swim test.
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Cleaning Spray
  • Febreze
  • Cool Posters
  • Shower Sandals: Cheap flip-flops will work, and they will be a necessity when taking showers.
    • Incidentally, showers are also a necessity.
  • Shower Caddy: A small bucket with holes in the bottom for you to carry your shower stuff to and from the bathroom. Very convenient.
  • Towels: Large, and bring extra. Also bring a hand towel and a washrag for your face.
  • Drugs: Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil, Pepto-Bismol, Tums, and Vicks are all good to have on hand when you're feeling down and don't want to subject yourself to whatever the heck they have in the infirmary.
  • Q-tips, Band-aids
  • Decongestants, Cough Drops: It's always good to have a stash of these when you're sick.
  • Towel/Coat Rack: Holds your towels, jackets, etc. and hangs over the top of your door. Get one with lots of prongs/hooks.
  • Stamps/Letters: Better than going to the post office to write letters to people.
  • Tools: A hammer, a range of screwdrivers, and a good Swiss Army knife are always good to have for building or opening things.
  • Laundry Basket or Bag
  • Sleeping Bag: Good for friends or siblings crashing if you lack a futon. Better than the floor, at any rate.
  • Storage Stuff: You can store things under your bed (e.g. winter clothes), so get nice little boxes if you need to. You can also get plastic shelves and put them in the bottom of your closet space if you like.

Final Thoughts:

  • Before you go out and buy up this whole list, think of what you'll actually use. For example, you might get the laundry service, so you won't need your own laundry stuff.
  • Also, when you get your room and roommate assignments, call your roommate up. It's never too early to get to know the guy with whom you'll be spending far more of your life than you ever wanted to. Also, you can then try to split up some of the big things, for example you could get a TV and he could pay for the carpet or whatnot. It's always nice when you don't have two of everything. And while you're at it, you might as well figure out each other's interests so you can figure out how best to make fun of each other in the coming year.