Bring an umbrella and waterproof shoes at the very least, and consider a rain jacket (it might help keep your backpack dry, which is always a challenge). It WILL rain, and you WILL be very sad if you don’t have any of these things. Westmont is not built for rain, and all the paths instantly turn into rivers. Several of my friends have had to wear their water-soaked Converse for a week straight.
Small sewing kit
Unless you’re a master seamstress, don’t waste your money on enormous kits you’ll never use. According to my roommate, you only need a needle and some “average colored” thread—it took me a while to realize that she didn’t mean a beige color, but rather common colors like white and black.
Food is great. Free food is even better. But you know what takes the cake? Actually getting to TAKE the CAKE (or other food item) back to your dorm with you for a later snack. I follow the time-honored college tradition of stockpiling snacks whenever I can, and Tupperware and Ziploc bags help me in this noble endeavor.
Once you have a respectable Snack Stash in a drawer, you need a respectable way to eat it! I personally have two mugs, two plates, and one set of silverware. Having two mugs and two plates is useful when you have a guest, and the silverware helps me avoid trying to eat ice cream with my hands (eww).
Believe it or not, it sometimes gets cold at night! I actually have two throw blankets that I not only use at night, but also for watching movies with friends, blanket forts, and keeping warm while stargazing. At least one throw blanket may come in handy even for those people who seem to exist at a much higher body temperature than me.
No matter who you are, having two mirrors in the room will make life easier. Some dorms actually already have two, so you may want to see your room before you get a mirror. When you and your roommate are both getting ready in the morning, you’ll be grateful for the extra mirror. And when you’ve got six extra people in your room all getting ready for Spring Formal, you’ll be REALLY grateful.
Mission trip opportunities abound at Westmont! However, for us out-of-state students, these trips require some advance planning. I would suggest taking your passport to school with you if you have even the slightest inkling of going on a trip. It’ll save a lot of hassle later on. (Pro tip: DON’T LOSE IT like one of my friends did. You know who you are.)
Your dorm room needs a (big!) rug. I’m sorry, that’s just how it is. Aside from the rain gear, this is definitely the most important item on this list. College students like sitting/laying/talking/watching movies on the floor. If your room only has the hard grey dorm carpet, it is far less likely that people will want to hang out in your room. From my own experience, people seem almost irresistibly drawn to my rug. (Note: only one roommate needs to buy a rug, but I would suggest being the one who does.)