College Tips

The Do’s and Don’ts of Packing for College

So here it is- you’re getting ready to take your first few big steps into adulthood-college; or adulthood with training wheels as I like to call it. Or you’re at least getting ready to take those steps.

So what do you need? You’ll want to be well prepared. Speaking from experience- this is what I wish somebody would’ve told me when going through my own packing list…

You do not need to pack all your clothes

I wish somebody would’ve slapped me for this and told  me about it. Yes, you’re moving out- but here’s the thing- like I said, you’ve still got your training wheels on and you’re more than likely going to be downsizing from your room, especially if you’re moving into a dorm room and you won’t have all the room in your closet or drawers that you’re used to. Do. Not. Pack. All. Of. Your. Closet. Just take the essentials for any season you might come across so that you’re prepared, plus a few favorite outfits. And when it comes to your shoes, with how much walking you’ll be doing- make sure you pack your sneakers, and a few pairs. You’ll be needing them.

Pack something “homey”

Don’t be afraid to pack that favorite stuffed animal or baby blanket of yours- its college, nobody cares, if they didn’t bring their own with them, I’m sure they’ll wish they had thought of it. With how stressful college can get, and how homesick you’re likely to become from time to time, you’ll want to be able to snuggle up against your childhood stuffie or blankie, or something that even just smells like home.

Pack plenty of toiletries

You run out faster than you think. When you had your parents restocking everything under your counter, or you could just put it on the list and have it show up after your parent(s) came back from running errands-you’re in for a shock. It becomes a whole different ball game when you have to go to the store yourself and spend your own money to buy something like tampons or body wash or deodorant, so stock up while you can and take  it with you so that you’re not caught off guard. In general, make sure you have enough shampoo and conditioner for a month or two, as well as body wash. Also in your toiletry bag, this is the list I would follow- toothpaste and toothbrush, mouthwash, floss, deodorant and a cologne or perfume, a few sets of body towels, face towels, washcloths, shower shoes, razors, shaving cream, face wash, a good moisturizer, acne cream (even if you have clean skin-that stress is bound to make a few zits pop up from time to time), and a caddy to carry it all efficiently. Also- don’t leave any of your soaps or stuff in the showers, everybody’s broke and somebody’s bound to take it-since they’re not as prepared as you.

Pack more than your clothes

Don’t forget this is more than just packing to spend the summer with grandma and grandpa- you’re more or less moving out and need to take stuff like kitchen supplies and bathroom tools and cleaning supplies with you. Just as I keep reinforcing, preparedness is essential. With how hectic it can get at times, and you’ll never know what you’ll be facing, you don’t want to have to take the time to get through college town traffic to the store to buy the one or two things you need (plus when I lived on campus it was a good 20 minute walk to the parking garage where my car was). So take a pot or pan with you, if your dorm has a community kitchen you could use, cause trust me you’ll lose track of time and there will be nights you miss out on the dining hall, and if you get stuck using that kitchen- you do not want to have to use the kitchenware in there. At least from my own experience, the other people in your dorm probably abuse those without any second thought of it, and they’ll end up looking like a health hazard- so just bring your own.

Don’t forget to pack the fun stuff

Without going too crazy- remember you’re moving out of your parents house, and you’ll be around lots of college kids, so as long as it’s not bugging those other students who are studying (and it’s not distracting you from your own studies) don’t forget to pack fun things like speakers or lights to decorate your room with! Even though you don’t want to over pack, you still want to take things to decorate your space with, whether that’s with string lights, or pictures, or a tapestry, it’ll be a lot more enjoyable if you actually enjoy the space you are living in. And don’t forget your parents won’t be there to complain about your music choice so as long as your roomies agree with it, make sure you bring a speaker with you to jam out form time to time!

Leave the pets at home

If you’re living in a dorm for your first year (which even if you don’t want to- I highly recommend you do it just for the experience. I didn’t want to do it either but I don’t regret one second of it!) leave the pets at home! Most dorms will allow to keep a small fish tank if you’d like, but really it’s going to become more of a hassle making sure you fed it with how busy you’ll be, and trust me when, again, I say you don’t need the added stress! Even if you do end up spending your first year in your own apartment, I do not recommend bringing your pet with you.  Bringing along such a big responsibility and commitment with you when you’ll already have so much going on in your life will only stress you out more and make it that much harder for you, so trust me when I say it’s not worth it- now matter how much you think it will be.

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