For Freshmen: How to pack for GW



Editor’s note: Today’s feature is the first in a four-part installment designed to help incoming freshmen prepare for life at GW. Take a look at some tips below on what items to bring and where to buy them, and be on the lookout for more advice every Thursday until school starts.

It’s almost August, which means it’s time for the most eager of freshmen to get a jump on deciding what to bring to GW in September. There are plenty of packing lists to peruse out there on the Internet, but read on to get some advice on what clothes and supplies you will and won’t need when you get to Foggy Bottom.

And because large mattresses or big-screen TVs don’t travel well via planes, trains or automobiles, check out the included map of the best places near campus to buy your amenities. Red dots signify places to buy groceries and toiletries, blue dots are your hotspots for electronics, and green dots have you covered on other necessary residence hall supplies.

Packing tips:

Clothing: Washington, D.C. is in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States with a humid climate and four distinct seasons. According to The Weather Channel’s Web site, the coldest month is January and annual snowfall is around 16.6 inches. Students at GW dress in everything from sweatpants to suits for class, depending on if they have an internship afterwards or are planning on going straight back to bed.

Besides the standard clothing, consider bringing a few items from this list:

  • Rainboots
  • Warm weather boots
  • Raincoat
  • Slippers for around the dorm
  • Heavy winter coat
  • Gloves, scarf, hat
  • Nice dress or suit for the occasional formal dinner/dance
  • Business clothes for the inevitable interview and/or internship

Remember that parents can bring warmer clothes if they are coming for Colonials Weekend, and clothes can be shuffled around on Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Don’t bring it all at once!

Don’t forget the basic list of prohibited items: candles, non-surge-protected extension cords, halogen lamps, cooking appliances in non-kitchen areas, and pets (including fish). These will be confiscated during health and safety inspections. More details on prohibited items is available on the GW Housing Programs’ Web site.

Basic freshman packing lists are available at the same Web site, but think about bringing a few of these items that will likely come in handy as well.

  • If you bring a printer, remember to bring or buy plenty of paper and ink cartridges. Keep in mind, however, that it is easy to print at libraries and in some residence halls, and many roommates share a single printer – so you may not need to bring your own.</li
  • Bring a first aid kit – you never know when you might need a spare Band-Aid or gauze.
  • Someone in your room should bring a shower caddy. You don’t want to crowd the shower.
  • If you’re feeling decorative, consider bringing your own shower curtain. GW provides one but bringing one adds a personalized touch to the bathroom.
  • Bring a passport or birth certificate if you want to get a job. Two forms of identification are required for many jobs in D.C.
  • Don’t worry about bringing quarters for the laundry. You can use your GWorld to pay.
  • It’s not a bad idea to bring a reading lamp to put by the bed so as not to bother roommates when they want to sleep.
  • Similarly, bring a flashlight. You never know when you’ll have to get up in the middle of the night – and you don’t want to trip over the pizza boxes on the floor.

If you want to bring these items, talk with your roommates beforehand to make sure you don’t double up.

  • Water Filter Pitcher
  • Rug</li
  • Curtains
  • Floor lamps
  • Ironing Board and iron</li
  • Drying Rack
  • Cleaning Supplies – GW provides housekeeping for first year rooms, but it is always convenient to have some of those cleaning wipes available for the accidental spill, as well as dishwashing soap and sponge for washing dishes.
  • TV with coaxial cable (6-10 feet)
  • DVD Player
  • Dishes and Utensils – make sure they are microwave safe!
  • Extra chairs and seating (beanbags, etc.)
  • Full-length mirror
  • Small toolkit
  • Small sewing kit
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    Matt Rist contributed to this report.

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