Back to School Packing: 6 Things to Bring - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life College Preparation
August 14, 2020

Back to School Packing: 6 Things to Bring

As we approach another transition back to college, packing is on the minds of students everywhere. What should I bring? How much should I bring? What will I need now that I haven’t needed in previous semesters or school years?

If questions like these have been haunting you, don’t worry. Everyone is stumped by this post pandemic packing dilemma. There is so much to think about and not much time in which to do that thinking.

Across the board, COVID-19 has thrown us for a loop regarding items we need to own or bring to college, and it can be hard to think of everything. In an effort to assist you in this matter, I have configured a practical packing list, keeping in mind our current pandemic necessities. Hopefully it helps you out!

#1. Don’t forget the Masks!

Not surprisingly, masks are the first thing that show up on our back to college packing list. While this is most likely something that everyone was already planning on bringing, I think it is important to point out that one mask may not be enough to pack. In our current circumstances, masks are the only thing providing a way for all of us to gather onto one campus and to be able to experience the in-person classroom setting that we all know and love. That being said, as students, we will all be wearing masks quite a bit, thus forcing us to consider the possibility of needing at least 2-3 masks to bring on campus. When your packing for a long trip, you wouldn’t bring only one shirt to wear… that might be a little gross. If you need to where a mask everyday while at college, then don’t plan on only bringing one mask! Having a spare is always a good idea.

#2. Hand Sanitizer and Lotion:

Growing up, I think we all can remember a time when our parents would constantly remind l us to wash our hands before we ate, touched our faces or touched other people. Turns out, that advice still rings true when you’re an adult. Washing your hands is important. During college activities, getting to a sink may not be convenient or possible at times so we have to make some kind of substitution… hand sanitizer!!! Now, hand sanitizer supposedly says that it kills 99.99% of germs so it’s a pretty reliable germ repellant. While hand sanitizer is a fantastic invention, the high levels of alcohol can dry out the hands really quickly, especially if you are an avid user. Dry hands can actually be really painful if not taken care of ASAP. That is why it’s a good idea to pair the use of hand sanitizer with some kind of lotion. Making sure your hands are clean is important, but it is also important to moisturize them.

#3. Thermometer:

As a precautionary action against COVID-19, Geneva has decided to ask all of the students to take their temperature and log it every morning before they set foot in class or in other meeting areas. Now in order to take an accurate temperature, students must have a reliable thermometer. So, to make it short and sweet, please, please, please bring a thermometer! Not a typical thing you bring to college but necessary none the less.

#4. Immune Boosting Vitamins and Snacks

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Proverbs like these and more have been constantly used throughout history. The unfortunate thing is they aren’t a full proof battle plan to get through life illness free. Will the consumption of either vitamins or fruits and vegetables stop you from getting sick at all? Well, as much as I would like to have 100% faith in the wisdom of those old proverbs, I cannot. Eating an apple a day does not mean you won’t get sick from time to time and even if you only ate foods that had enormous benefits to your bodily health, sickness is inevitable in life.

Before you throw up your hands with disappointment at the seemingly inevitable nature of illness, I do have to say there is some truth in these proverbs. Eating an apple a day may not keep you from getting sick but by making sure you consume the right amounts of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs, you can defiantly decrease your chances. In fact, a good proverb to keep in mind is, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By taking some steps now to maintain a healthy immune system, you are lessoning the likelihood of you getting sick later.

#5. Important Cards or Documents:

With any trip away from home, there is always the possibility of getting a sniffle or sore throat here or there. That being said, just in case you need some kind of medical assistance, insurance cards and any personal information or documents are good things to have with you. As much as we hope there will never be any need for medical attention, the semester is unpredictable, and you never know if you will have to visit a doctor’s office. So, just to be safe, bring those important items.

#6. Tissues and Umbrella:

Have you ever been in class trying to pay attention but all of a sudden your nose started running? You may have tried keeping everything in by sniffling or maybe you used your sleeve as a temporary tissue, successfully getting everything under control. Then the dreaded moment comes… you have to sneeze. I think we have all had that dreadful moment when a little drippy nose turns into a full blown out sneeze. I am proud to say I have learned from former mistakes and I try to make it a consistent practice to have a packet of tissues with me at all times. Just to be safe, bring those tissues, because being prepared is always worth it.


Now on rainy and dreary days, keeping more than just my nose dry is the goal. Cold and wet days seem to inevitably bring colds and wet noses so staying nice and dry during the semester is probably best. My advice to you, don’t get wet. Bring an umbrella to college! It is always a good thing to have when you need it.

The start of the semester is almost here, and a rigorous packing session awaits many of us. Obviously, this packing list is not all that you will need for college, but it definitely will get you started off on the right foot. Happy packing!

-Abigail Forton ‘22

Geneva College is coming back to campus for fall 2020. If you’d like a college environment that encourages honoring God and others with academic excellent across over 145 majors and programs, contact our Admissions team – 800-847-8255 or


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