Planning your move into a college dorm environment can be a bit confusing, especially at Penn where rooming situations vary dramatically from building to building (and sometimes within a building). Here are some hopefully helpful suggestions for what you'll want to have at Gregory:
- Fan. This one is an absolute; for all our many facilities perks, we don't have AC (and nope, can't bring your own). While for most of the year the temperature is manageble, the first few weeks and the last few weeks can be rough. A big one is good.
- Humidifier. This is more optional, to be sure, but many students find that a small humidifer can come in handy. While we don't have AC, we do have centralized heat through the winter months, and that heat can be pretty dry and, for some, uncomfortable.
- Posters. This is key, of course. You will have one accent-colored wall, which could be anything from a light pleasing pastel to a bold bright green; the other walls are white and a bit bland. Decoration is key. The Penn bookstore usually has a big outdoor sale the first week or so of the term if you don't get around to picking some of these out beforehand. Use ONLY sticky tack or poster putty when hanging items on room or apartment walls -- no nails, tacks, pushpins, command strips, or other devices or hardware.
- At least one set of silverware, a couple plates, all purpose glasses or mugs. Don't go overboard on the drinking vessels; you'll probably find your way to some free mugs during the year, including our annual Gregory BYOM mug.
- Extra lamp. The rooms have limited built-in lighting, but not enough to study or really live by. At least one strong desk or floor lamp is a pressing need, and remember that candles are not allowed in our residence halls!
- Bag or basket for storing and transporting dirty laundry. The laundry rooms are on the first floor of Van Pelt and the basement of C'25, so you need something to transport your clothes throughout the buildings. See some laundry room pointers.
- Headphones. At least one, possibly some back-ups. These are essential for roommate sanity, listening to your media on the go, etc.
- Tupperware. All your edible snacks and foodstuffs should be stored in containers. Do not leave any food in bags, flimsy boxes, etc, for pest control purposes.
- A cloth or two for cleaning.
- Sheets (twin extra long), covers and pillows. Extra pillows and blankets often really come in handy.
- Your suite should pool together for cleaning supplies, including a toilet brush, as well as toilet paper and paper towels.
- Storage cubes, etc, for your stuff. Don't go overboard, but some can come in handy depending how much you are bringing.
- Cooking supplies. But really, only if you're going to cook; all freshman are on the meal plan, for instance, though you may or may not find it to your liking. If you bring cooking supplies, you might want to bring some sort of caddy to transport it all to and from the four public kitchens in the buildings. See more cooking and kitchen info.
- Umbrella. Pretty essential, and be careful heading through the wind tunnel (on Locust walk between the three high rises); many umbrellas meet their sad end there.
- Winter clothes. If you don't live nearby, you'll want to be ready with winter clothes. Philly weather is not always predictable (it can conceivably be in the 70s in December and the 40s in late April), but you can safely assume there will be stretches when a heavy winter coat and sweaters will be necessary for almost anyone.
Note that almost everything on this list can be bought on campus between CVS and Freshgrocer (both very close to us on 40th and Walnut); there's also a fairly expansive household supply store within a couple of blocks, plus the Penn bookstore... and plenty of places a bit farther afield downtown. Note we also always do a free IKEA trip within the first week or two of the year so that you can add some color, accessories etc to your room once you get a feel for it.
What CAN'T you bring? See the full list of items prohibited in the college houses.
Feel free to ask more questions of students on our facebook page!