Just like clockwork, every year around this time, thousands of college students start packing to move back to their respective college towns. For freshman especially, this can be an extremely frustrating and difficult task. Most freshmen have never lived alone before, and simply do not know how to separate the necessary from the unnecessary. However, with a little guidance, moving is not as daunting as it seems.
So, as you prepare for the move and transition from home to college, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Do start early. It does not have to be super early, really just a couple weeks before the move. You do not want to be that person struggling to pack the night before and end up forgetting stuff in the process.
- Do narrow down the necessities. Do you really need eight pairs of sandals? Or the stuffed animal your boyfriend won you at the county fair three years ago? Some things simply are not worth bringing.
- Don’t go out and buy all new boxes to pack your stuff in. It is okay to have a few nice plastic tubs, but really try to limit yourself to what you can fit into your room. I tend to pack my clothes in tubs, and for the rest of the stuff I try packing it in things I was already planning on bringing. Or in boxes/bags I can throw away after I unpack.
- Don’t forget to check with your roommate(s) on what they are bringing. You do not want to end up with two microwaves.
- Do plan on trading things out as the year goes on. You really do not need your Ugg’s or winter coat in August.
- Don’t pack everything you have (for obvious reasons).
There are also some things that proved to be very valuable to me my freshman year that you may not have thought about bringing:
- Dish soap. You’re going to want to wash your dishes, and not all dorm laundry rooms may provide it.
- Business casual clothes. You never know when you may need these. Whether it is a career fair, an interview, or a presentation in class, there is a good chance you will need some nice professional clothes sometime throughout the school year.
- Formal attire. Even if you do not plan on going Greek, other organizations hold semi-formals and formals throughout the year. You never know.
- Command strips. These proved to be a lifesaver for me.
- Lots of quarters. This seems so cliché and obvious, but you will end up doing laundry more than you thought you would, and laundry will be more expensive than it needs to be.
- Fan. If you are going to be living in a dorm without air conditioning like I did, this is the most important thing to have. You are going to want a big box fan for the window, and possibly a personal fan for your desk/bed depending on how your room is set up.
However, like the things you did not know you should bring, there are also things that you may know about that you should not bring:
- Tons of t-shirts. Especially if they are all t-shits from your high school. No offense but this is college. No one really cares where you went to high school anymore. Plus you are going to get so many t-shirts in college that your t-shirt drawer will start overflowing.
- School supplies. Again, this is not high school. No binders, packs of looseleaf paper or markers. I basically just need a few pens and pencils and one five-subject notebook where I keep all the notes from all my classes in. My laptop pretty much does the rest.
- Printer. If you are thinking about putting a printer in your dorm you should know that you really do not need it. Dorm halls have printers, and so does the library where you get like 500 prints a semester. More than you could ever need.
- Bulky Furniture. If you plan on lofting your bed, then a futon can be great. Otherwise, your dorm room is so small pretty much no other furniture will fit in.
- Alarm Clock. Besides the fact that it is the 21st century and your phone doubles as a great alarm clock, this is just another thing that will take up space. Besides, what happens when you do not sleep in your room one night and your alarm buzzes for the entire morning, waking your roommate up? (Yikes)
When it comes down to it, moving to college really is just trial and error. You will learn with experience. You will probably bring things you do not need, or do not have room for. Similarly, you will probably forget things you actually need. Whatever the case may be, everyone around you is in the same boat. And more than likely, you will be just fine.