Building study playlists, choosing classes, and enjoying the last days of summer can get in the way of packing as students get ready to begin a new semester. Here’s a list from Playbill to help you remember everything you need to pack for a successful year, whether you’re a freshman or a senior!
For a printable checklist, see below.
Whether you’ll be dancing in a group a la A Chorus Line or doing a monologue from Hamlet, it’s important to be comfortable but look memorable. Wear clothes that allow full body movement and make sure whatever you’re wearing is clean!
For those days when you have to carry more than a book or two, you’ll want something sturdy. Get a compact bookbag that fits everything you’ll need for the day to avoid taking multiple trips back to your dorm.
It’s easy to lose track of all the loose-leaf sheets a student gets over the course of a year. Have an organized system for each class, such as divided sections for notes, handouts, exams, etc, or separate it by week using tabbed divider sheets.
Keeping track of auditions, study sessions, friendly catch-ups, and project due dates is tricky, but it’s important to stay on top of appointments. Color-code items by category and set your priorities at the beginning of the year, so you know what’s flexible.
Dry erase board
College students are always busy running around, but it’s fun to leave notes! Put this on your door so you know when you’ve missed a friend or use it as an announcement board to share any news about a project you’re working on.
When students get a script, it can be hard to keep track of which lines are yours. An easy trick is to make copies of the pages (if you can’t mark up the book) and then highlight your parts for memorization.
Keep all your sheet music in digital form on whatever electronic device you have, so it’s portable. Don’t forget to keep paper or cloud-stored back-ups to ensure your favorite audition songs are never lost!
Personalize your dorm room with photos of friends and family, plus a few of your favorite Playbill programs, celebrity posters, and books. Minimize bulky or heavy items—keep them at home or in storage (dorms are small!).
Songbooks from any musical can form a mini-library in your room, in addition to whatever favorite reads you bring. Keep them stored in a visible place so they’re easily accessible and add decor to your room.
While Romy and Michele might not have actually invented Post-Its, we’re grateful to whomever did. These sticky slips of paper help keep track of important information while studying and make it easy to get to your favorite songs in music books.
Costumes get wrinkled—that’s a fact. Keep a steamer in your room so that you can easily smooth out any irregularities before you go on stage. It’ll come in handy for any last-minute fancy occasions, too!
Bring these metal-soled rhythm makers for any auditions or classes that may require the skill. Even if you haven’t taken tap before, bring a pair and sign up for a free class at your school or a trial at a nearby dance studio (usually at no cost or heavily discounted).
Theatrical make-up kit
Bring your own make-up to avoid having to borrow from others—a valuable theatrical hygiene tip! Spend time finding the right kit for you that covers all types of theatre and will last an entire show without breaking the bank.
You’ll definitely need your own, so be sure to check what size your bed will be before you buy these items. Add pizzazz to your room with a Playbill-themed throw pillow and get to know new neighbors by asking everyone their favorite musical on it!
With binders, notebooks, and who knows what else, you’ll likely need a backpack. But for those days when there’s a lighter load, a cute tote bag can make things easy and compact. Perfect for quiet days in the quad or at a cafe.
It seems obvious, but given how busy college student’s lives are it can be easy to forget to drink the recommended daily amount of H2O. Stay hydrated throughout the day with a Hamilton or Dear Evan Hansen-themed water bottle.
Looking for dorm room decorations? Theatre fans can find tons of options, from Playbill mirrors and frames to show posters and water bottles, at PlaybillStore.com. Get a special 10% discount during Back to School Week (through August 31) by using code Back2School at check out!