Packing for college can be a stressful endeavor, especially if you are a freshman. What will you need? What if you forget something? What if you bring more than will fit in your dorm?
Fortunately, packing for college does not have to be so traumatic. In the few weeks leading up to college, try to pay attention to what things you use on a daily basis. Visit the dorms ahead of time, if possible, or call to find out what will be supplied in your room for you. What you need to bring will depend on what’s available to you, such as if your dorm has a kitchen or not.
1) Clothing. Keep in mind the weather of your school’s city and what life is like on campus. Will jeans and t-shirts be okay for classes or will you need business attire? Remember to bring clothes for going out, clothes for lounging around the dorm, and for working out and participating in spots.
2) Toiletries. You will probably purchase most toiletries while away at college, but it is helpful to have your necessities like toothpaste and face wash while you are settling in. Also, bring some sort of shower caddy or bathroom organizer to easily transport your products to and from the bathroom and keep it separate if you share a bathroom with others.
3) School Supplies. Pens, papers, binders, a bag, and maybe even a laptop are all things that are easier to bring with you. Sure, most colleges have supplies that you can purchase on campus however they are often much more expensive. If you want to have objects with the school emblem, consider a sweatshirt or something that lasts longer than a pencil.
4) Dorm Furnishings. Even if your school supplies things like sheets, you may find that you are more comfortable if you bring your own bedding, pillows and other furnishings from home. Remember to bring lamps, bulletin boards, picture frames and other mementos that will make you feel at home to help keep homesickness at bay. Consider bringing a fan to keep you cool if there is no air conditioning and to create noise to block out the sounds of communal living.
5) Entertainment. Video games, DVDs, magazines and even board games will help provide fun between and after classes. You will also save money by bringing your own entertainment rather than going out to party every night.
5) Calling Plan. Whether you have a long distance plan on your cell phone, calling cards or a Skype account, you will need a way to contact your friends and family as often as possible.
6) Mementos from Home. Whether it’s a picture of your family or a blanket that your grandma made, bringing objects that remind you of home will help you feel at ease in your dorm. Bring whatever you are able to that will help you transform your dorm into your own retreat.
7) Household Supplies. You may want to bring your own cleaning, cooking and living supplies from home to assist you while you get settled. Things like aspirin, safety pins, tape, band aids and scissors are often overlooked but useful to have around.
8) MP3 Player or iPod. Few people leave home without them, but personal music players are even more useful when it comes to campus living. iPods can provide entertainment between classes or noise to block out your roommate.
9) Recipes. If you have a kitchen in your dorm, you’ll be able to save a lot of money by making your own food. No one is expecting gourmet meals, but ask your parents for some of their recipes that would be easy to make while away.
10) Willingness to Learn. Not only will college teach you academics, but it will also teach you about time management, responsibility, and how to have fun. Be open-minded and you’ll discover many new ways of looking at life and become more tolerant of ideas that oppose your own.
Getting ready for college is an exciting time; so don’t let something like packing upset you. After packing your personal items, see if you can get a hold of your roommate-to-be and try to coordinate objects that you don’t mind sharing, such as a video game console. This will also give you a chance to find out about your roommate and ease your nerves about college.