The Muddraker’s Annotated version of The “What to Bring” List

Taken from the Harvey Mudd College Website Verbatim

Muddraker Annotations

The following is a suggested list of items to bring. A (*) denotes optional items, while a (#) denotes things you should contact your roommate about before arrival.

Bed sheets, extra long twin (regular twin sheets will not fit on the mattresses

Blankets and/or comforter (machine washable is recommended)


All of these items are highly recommended, but if you want a really good night’s sleep, we would recommend getting a mattress pad — they can be pretty pricey but it is a four-year investment and you deserve a good night’s sleep. In addition, you may be able to snag one on 5C For Sale/For Free (5c Facebook sell/buy group) during the beginning of the year.

In addition, we recommend that you get some sort of bedside caddy especially if your bed is lofted. It’s a good place to put a water bottle, phone, or anything else you need by your bedside so that you don’t have to get out of bed after climbing in.


You’ll be in Southern California, so there will be many nice days where you’ll want to hang out and do homework outside with friends. Bring an extra beach towel for trips to the beach or days where you’ll want to lie on the grass outside. Extra blankets will also do the trick.


Make sure you bring deodorant and all your other toiletries. In addition, a shower caddy and shower shoes are very useful — you don’t know what’s been on the shower floors. Also, if you have long hair or hair that gets oily easily, dry shampoo may be a good idea for those late nights where you just want to sleep (Disclaimer: The Muddraker does not condone not showering and recommends that you shower often.)

Bathrobes are also highly recommended, especially in winter! (Which does exist in Southern California).

Trash can (metal ones won’t burn if something catches fire in it)

Most rooms are equipped with a trash can so this really isn’t necessary. However, some bathrooms do not come with a trash can so you may want to talk to your suitemates about that. In addition, metal trash cans can also be used for extra seating if you get desperate.

Alarm clock (battery powered and electric)



A smartphone will probably do for all of these things if you have one. Although if you’re one of those people who has a million alarms go off in the morning you should warn your roommate. No one on the Muddraker has used a flashlight besides the one on their phone. In addition, you can access Wolfram Alpha on your phone so that doubles up as a pretty good calculator. However, most students at Mudd do have some form of calculator and sometimes these are necessary on exams. You can probably ask around to borrow someone’s or get one on the aforementioned 5C for Sale/For Free. What we do recommend is a portable phone charger especially if you’re going to do a lot of this stuff on your phone.

Backpack/book bag

It’s recommended you bring a smaller bag/purse for weekend excursions so you’re not lugging your school bags around.

Laundry basket

Some people put their laundry in their luggage so they can roll their stuff down.

Laundry detergent

ProTip: Because of the Honor Code, we all leave our laundry detergent in the laundry room. Save yourself the effort of lugging your detergent to the laundry room and leave yours down there with your name on it.

Also, bring dryer sheets they make your clothes soft and smell nice.

ProTip part 2: Set a timer for your laundry because if you leave it in there for too long people will get annoyed and they WILL move it. Also, check out to see what laundry machines are open.

ProTip part 3: Bring hangers — your clothes will not just magically float from your closet.  Also, you can use them to dry your clothes if you hang them up far enough. WARNING: Do NOT hang things from the fire sprinklers. They WILL turn on and they will destroy your belongings. Don’t be that person.

Quarters (for laundry: 1 dollar per wash, 50 cents for 45 minutes of drying)

Claremont Cash is also accepted FYI.

Duct tape (it fixes everything, but don’t use it on walls, ceilings or carpet or it will damage them)

Packing tape is also useful. Also, if you plan on decorating your room with posters use command strips/hooks or just tape. Some rooms have corkboards so thumbtacks may also be useful. (Warning: I know a bunch of people from other colleges who have had bad experiences with removing command strips and have damaged their walls so be extra careful). Also ProTip: some students have painted their rooms with Murals. If this is something you’re interested in check out the guidelines/policies and be sure to check in with Facilities and Maintenance (F&M). (

Phone (not a cordless one, since it will not be functional in a power outage) #

We haven’t met a single person who has one of these. Take that however you want.

(That’s actually a lie one of our staff members brought one and was too lazy to plug it in so she just sent it home with her family. It was not missed.)

Speakers *#

If you want loud music just go near a speaker suite — designated music suites in most dorms, where you are guaranteed to find loud music 24/7 (that’s a lie quiet hours do exist but you’ll usually hear music starting in the afternoon and lasting to around 10 or 11 pm.

Toaster/Coffee Machine/Water Heater *#

The Hoch (our dining hall) has free hot water, tea, and coffee throughout the day, so most people find that they don’t need a coffee maker. However, if you are obsessed with your morning Joe, feel free to bring your own.

Most dorms have a water dispenser somewhere, but it’s really nice to have a water heater in your room for some late night ramen, tea, or anything.

Also, some people have had some good luck with rice cookers if you’re interested in making something in your room that isn’t just ramen.

Small refrigerator/Microwave*#

Most roommates usually split these two items. You may be able to find some during dorm auction which happens the second week of school. Dorm auction is where each dorm auctions off stuff that previous residents have left behind — you can find some pretty cool stuff here!

Pro Tip: If you live close by to your friends and have access to their room, it is also possible to share some of these small kitchen appliances between more than two people.

Small fan (besides increasing air flow, fans provide “white noise” for sleep) *#

Most (if not all) rooms will have air conditioning/heating so this probably is not necessary. If you really need one you can probably get one from 5c For Sale/For Free

Iron/ironing board (our advice: befriend someone in ROTC instead) *#

No one on The Muddraker staff has needed an ironing board or iron for anything, but if you are really desperate you can always ask someone for a hair straightener — it’ll basically get the job done.

Also, no one on The Muddraker has befriended anyone in ROTC, but I guess that’s a route you could go in.

Silverware and a couple unbreakable dishes

If you are going to bring anything, make sure it is microwaveable so that you can use it to make all your ramen and mac n cheese. Also, most people just “borrow” plastic utensils from the dining hall so feel free to narrow it down to one or two heat resistant bowls or plates.

Computer (see Computing and Information System for help)

Laptops are usually the way to go here and most people have one. There is a pretty even split between Macs/PCs so go with whatever your heart’s desire — reach out to upperclassmen too who are in majors you are interested in pursuing. They’ll have a better idea of which one is better equipped for the programs you need. Laptops really make life easier because then you can work wherever, but if you don’t have one (they’re really expensive — so that’s totally understandable) there are desktop Mac/PCs loaded with software in various buildings on Campus (Sprague and the LAC to name a few) and you can usually borrow some from CIS (see above link) for short term purposes.  

If you’re really into Tech, which would make sense given that you go to a STEM school, feel free to bring extra monitors or whatever cool computer gadgets your heart desires. But most people keep it pretty simple.


Again phones will do the trick. But, if you are interested in photography and do bring a DSLR camera shoot us an email — we’d love some more photographers on our team. (#shameless plug)

Power strip

This is very important. Bring a power strip in case your roommate steals the side of the room with all the plugs.

Pro Tip: It’s actually illegal in the state of California to use extension cords, as long as they don’t have an on/off switch, so really long power strips are very useful.


Note that this is not optional!!! All kidding aside, Google and the Internet will probably suffice here.

Decor for the room

If you live in Drinkward you may want to bring a rug since the floors are concrete.

Bring something that makes you happy and shows who you are. Many members on The Muddraker staff have family photos or art that’s meaningful to them, but it’s really all about what kind of room you want to live in.

Pro Tip: Talk to your roommate if you have anything unusual. You don’t want your first meeting with them to be while you’re hanging up a poster with a bloody ax on it.

Shelves, milk crates and so forth

You’re going to have a lot of cardboard boxes moving in. We would suggest for you to repurpose those to make extra shelves or even extra seating (trust us — it works). This makes it easier at the end of the year to store things so that you don’t take up too much room with just shelving. On the plus side, you’ll have boxes to put things in!

We suggest you bring a few storage containers with you, just so you can start out being organized. Pro Tip: a folding or collapsible containers are the easiest to store if you have too many or at the end of the year.

Desk light (fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights are more energy efficient)

This is good especially if you’re still studying or doing homework when your roommate is asleep.

Sports/hobby equipment

Lol hobbies are for losers #Homework 24/7

But in all honesty, if you manage your time wisely, you should have plenty of time for whatever you want to do in your free time. If you do something super cool that you’re really passionate about, I’m sure your new classmates would love to learn more, and that’s a great way to make friends!


If you are interested in buying freelines, you should definitely wait because Dorm Auctions will sometimes sell them and there’s usually some kind of bulk buy that occurs during the beginning of the school year.

Also if you’re buying a new bike for college, some people have gotten bikes off Amazon that are shipped right to them so that you don’t have to deal with it moving in.

Many people travel around on wheeled vehicles, including items from the list above, but if you prefer going by foot, don’t feel pressured into getting anything. Maneuvering across campus (and even between different campuses) is totally manageable to do by foot, although it may take a few extra minutes.

If you know you will be going down to Pomona a lot, whether for their berry brunches on Sunday, language classes, or on your way to the village, you may want to consider looking in the 5C For Sale/For Free site to see if you can find something cheap that may help you get to your destination faster.

The Muddraker’s Additional Recommendations:

Bring a raincoat or an Umbrella. You may think that since you’re in Southern California it will not rain but you will be sad when it does. Do yourself a favor and bring an umbrella — you won’t regret it. Even if it doesn’t rain you can still use the umbrella to block the hot summer sun when working outside.

If you decide to work you will need official identification. Most students use a state photo ID and their Social Security card or a valid passport. Some other forms of ID may be accepted, as well.

There is a post office in the village (a short 30 minute walk away) if you ever need to renew your passport. Besides that however, most of your mail needs (shipping, receiving, etc) can be taken care of at the Harvey Mudd Mailroom.

We think that’s about it! But don’t worry if you forget something. During Orientation, there will be time set aside for trips to Walmart, Target and Staples.

If you forget something, you’re probably better off getting something from Amazon if it isn’t something you need urgently. Amazon gives students 6 months of Prime free with an @edu email address. Also, you get a package in the mailroom which is always exciting! (This also makes secret Santa fun and convenient with friends)

Also, there will not be any time set aside for trips to store during Orientation. Amazon is your best friend. Orientation is often time a hectic time in which you are realizing that you will miss your family, trying to make new friends (besides Amazon), and settling into your new life. Because of this, there is not much free time during Orientation and when there is, you often spend it doing other things. Therefore, we suggest coming as prepared as possible and using Amazon for the rest. We are not sponsored by Amazon but if Amazon is reading this we are interested!!!!!!!

Also Protip — if you really need something befriend upperclassmen. They usually have cars and are willing to drive you places. This is what OA leaders are great for!  And if you wanna know more about OA, please read our other article titled, “What ‘s an Orientation Adventure”

Protip Part 2: Have a group of friends refer each other on Uber and Lyft then you get free rides so you don’t have to walk all the way down to the village!

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