College life is probably the most exciting time in a young person’s life. New experiences are around every corner, and there is a wealth of knowledge to be found in and out of the classroom. It is also an incredibly unfamiliar experience, which can create confusion and uncertainty. Moving into a dorm room is among the first of these new daunting experiences, but it does not need to be something to worry about if you know what you need. The packing list for a new student is relatively simple, and knowing what to bring from home, what to coordinate with your roommate, and what to buy when you get there makes the experience even simpler.
There are several things that you can rest assured you will need to bring from home. These items are things that you use on a daily basis in your parents’ home, so get ready to pack them now.
Clothing is obvious when it comes to moving to a new place. When moving to college you will need plenty of clothes, especially as you may get bogged down with school, work and your social life and not really have time for (or feel like!) doing laundry at any given point. Remember that unless you are going to school in a northern climate, the temperature will still be fairly hot, so shorts, T-shirts and other summer clothes should be included in your move. Sun dresses are a popular style with many college girls, and both men and women around many campuses can be found wearing khaki shorts, thin and loose “fishing shirts”, and Sperry Topsiders or similar shoes. Bring plenty of jeans, long-sleeved shirts (which can be rolled up in the summer, too), sweatshirts, and your coat as well, especially if you are moving far from home and do not intend to make many trips back home to pick up other things when it gets colder.
You will probably want to go ahead and pack a few slightly more formal articles of clothing as well, as your fraternity, sorority or other club may hold several semi-formal or formal events throughout the year. Trousers, button-up shirts and dress shoes are essentials for guys wanting to go to such events, and skirts, blouses and the occasional dress will certainly come in handy for new ladies on campus. Guys should strongly consider bringing a suit that doubles as something that can be worn in both business and social settings, and girls should think about grabbing a couple of dresses that they wore for proms and homecoming dances.
You should remember that working out and participating in sports is not only healthy, but an incredibly popular pastime in college. Pack workout clothes accordingly. The great thing about college is that it is perfectly acceptable to wear your running attire to class and then be able to go straight to the gym. The same clothing also works great when you are just hanging around in the dorm studying, so bring plenty of shorts, old T-shirts and a few pairs of sweatpants. Good running shoes are also a must.
When you went to orientation you should have had the chance to see what kind of room setup you would have. This gave you the chance to pick out just what kind of bedding you will need. Did they specify that the mattresses in the dorms need extra long sheets? Get them. Does the A/C blow colder than you would like? Get a nice thick comforter. Does the A/C not work well enough for your liking? Then get something a little thinner. Was the mattress not comfortable enough? Think about getting a mattress pad. And of course, you will need pillows. Don’t forget that you will need to change those sheets, so pack a few sets.
College dorms are never really big enough to store everything you would like with what they provide. That means you will need a good chest, tough box, foot locker, or equivalent means of storing things. Plan on something that you can use to store away extra sheets, movies, games, books, and anything else that you might need room for. These also make great makeshift coffee tables, a premium when you need a place to put your books, drinks and snacks while you study. Girls, you might want to invest in a shoe rack, either one that you can put under your bed or one that hangs on your closet door.
You can expect to have quite a bit of free time between class, studying, football games, and your social life. Sometimes you will want to use that time to just sit back and relax. Bringing your collection of DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, video games, and favorite board games is a great plan. Bring a football, soccer ball or any other sports equipment you think other people might want to join you in using out in the grass by your dorm.
If you know who you will be living with, then you should coordinate with them as to who has certain items already. Things like refrigerators, microwaves, television sets, and video game systems are great to have, but you do not need two of the same thing. Find out who has a bigger television, who has a PS3/XBOX 360/Wii, and if either of you have a DVD player and go from there. Try to split the remaining costs of things like a microwave and refrigerator between you evenly and based on the value of what shared iteams you are already bringing. It will help you both feel like the room is equally yours and will keep arguments over who wants to use what in what amounts to a minimum.
There are other things that you will want to wait on buying until you get to campus and have your things moved in. You may find that you do not like the chairs that the school provides, so you might want to buy a reasonably-priced office chair. You might also want to invest in a futon for one of you so you can use it as a couch and bed, letting you dismantle one bed and loft the other above the futon. That will make the room much more spacious. You will need a desk lamp for late night studying. But wait to get one as your desk that the school provides may very well come with one built in. There is no need to have two. A rug might be a good idea for some of the open space in your room, but it can be bulky to try and pack in a vehicle, so wait on it. School supplies are something you should wait on getting, as most retailers in town will have special bargains for ‘Back to School’ and they will not take up space in your vehicle on the way to town.
By following these general guidelines, you can rest assured that you will have just about everything you will need to start the school year right. Enjoy your new home, personalize it, and have fun in the new semester.