Photo of CWRU students on move-in day

New to CWRU Week 1: Build an expert packing list

The start of a new academic year is always a cause for celebration. For the newest Case Western Reserve University students, it is an exciting—albeit uncertain—time. As the members of the Class of 2027 make their way to campus this month, we’re sure they have plenty of questions as they begin their journeys.

To help the Class of 2027 and new transfer students start the year with confidence, we’re sharing advice from upperclass students, orientation leaders, and staff and faculty members throughout the month. And who knows? Even seasoned members of the CWRU community might learn something new.

New students! Are you ready for Discover Week? With your first official events on campus just a few weeks away, you will soon arrive on campus ready to start your next chapter.

Before you pack up your car or load your suitcases onto the plane, we have some suggestions for what to bring. With help from some of Case Western Reserve University’s orientation leaders and staff from University Housing, we’ve compiled a few must-have items to pack as you prepare for your college experience:

  • An umbrella: Cleveland weather can be unpredictable; you won’t want to get caught without rain gear should a storm start on your walk between classes.
  • Fans: First-year residence halls don’t have air conditioning; late August and September are still very warm in Cleveland.
  • A warm, thick coat and snow boots: On the flip side, Cleveland gets cold and snowy rapidly.
  • A refrigerator: Each roommate in a double is permitted their own small refrigerator (4.6 cubic feet or less).
  • Twin extra-long sheets: For beds measuring 36 inches by 80 inches.
  • Flip-flops: Remember, you’ll be sharing bathroom and shower facilities with other people.

Rafaela Oliveira, a sophomore orientation leader studying neuroscience, recalled the time she forgot to check the weather app prior to heading out for classes, only to be met with hail and rain while wearing impractical footwear for the situation. Oliveira, who is from Brazil, advised first-year students to pack “a strong umbrella, snow boots, big and warm jackets, and beanies and gloves.”

A tip for dealing with unpredictable weather? “Layering will be your best friend. The temperatures inside campus buildings vary just as much as the weather outside,” said Lindsey Petersen, a sophomore orientation leader from Illinois who is studying biochemistry.

There also are a few items you may be surprised you shouldn’t bring to campus. For example, leave your space heaters, microwaves (and many other small appliances), humidifiers, and extension cords at home.

Check out the University Hosting’s lists of what to bring—and not—to campus.

Forgot something? Shuttles will run from campus to Walmart and Target stores near campus throughout Discover Week. And worry not, shuttles continue to run through the semester so you can stock up on all of your essentials even if you don’t have access to a car.