With college move-in day rapidly approaching, most freshman students are scrambling about at home trying to pull together what to bring to college. Some questions that might be rattling around your brain might be: “What clothes do I pack?” “Do I need to every pillow on my bed?” “Can I bring the dog?”
(I wish I could bring my dog.)
Put it this way: you want to bring everything—I know I did, too. To be honest, however, there are just certain things you can deal without at college or flat-out do not need. Moreover, your dorm room is going to obscenely small and, yes, you will be angry about it. Avoid the stress ahead of time and pack light.
1. 700 Of Your Favorite Books.
Yes, I understand (because I am an English major) that a person might have a giant selection of favorite books. However, I am here to tell you that, yes, you can bring one or two of them. But all of them? Do you intend on reading these books on top of the massive reading assignments you’ll have? Absolutely not—the written word will make you want to jump into a pit of tar after completing your nightly reading. Bring your utmost favorites for a source of comfort (trust me, the first week of freshman year is a doozy,) but leave the entire series of Harry Potter at home.
Instead, you can get a Kindle, iPad, etc and download the eBooks to your device and save precious dorm room space.
2. Your Stereo.
I don’t care how much you love music and how much you adore your CD collection. You do not need the metallic beast that is your stereo. I’m sure the bass is fantastic and the sound quality is far superior to anything your headphones could provide and, man, CDs just sound better than mp3s. (Queue the following statement of vinyl sounds so much better.)
You’re going to become the bane of your floor’s existence. No one wants to hear Pitbull when he or she is trying to go to bed. Why the hell do you even own a Pitbull CD, anyway?
Bring a small iPhone speaker—they work just as well. In fact, you can even get a speaker for your shower to jam out to. Isn’t technology wonderful?
3. The Record Collection.
In the same vein, you do not need to bring your entire chest of vinyl records. Trust me, you will not be playing them all day like you do at home. You have class to go to and you have a roommate who may not share your music taste. Be respectful.
Besides, in transport, you put them at risk for damage. Do you want to have even more nerves on move-in day? Didn’t think so.
If you cannot live without your precious, special-release, not-available-as-a-download vinyl records, there are some record players that allow you to create an mp3. And you know, Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes are options, too.
4. That f*ckin’ Bob Marley Poster.
Weed is not edgy anymore, kids. No one cares if you “smoke weed e’rreday; 420 blaze it.” You’re just a nuisance and extremely aggravating. No one will think you’re interesting and cool with a poster of Bob Marley smoking weed—everyone and their mother owns that f*ckin’ poster.
Instead, why don’t you hang up a poster of something you’re actually interested in? It definitely creates more conversation than this poster that is likely to be in everyone’s room.
5. A printer.
During the winter, a printer is an easy way to avoid the arctic tundra to the library. However, when that printer runs out of ink (and you see the price of printer ink), you will never use it again. It takes up a giant chunk of space and printers are ugly. I want to throw a blanket on it and never look at it again.
Likely, your college or university will have a fairly decent printing plan where you can print your heart’s desire out (until the program tells you how many trees you killed).
You’re going to have people over in your room, fair. Where are you going to put them, the floor sitting criss-cross applesauce? Walking through Bed, Bath & Beyond, you can consider stocking up on chairs, but is it worth the investment? No. You absolutely do not need the set of six chairs. I cannot stress enough how limited the dorm room space is. Where do you intend on placing these chairs? In the wardrobe? Arrivederci clothes, I suppose.
A good alternative to the lack of comfy furniture is bringing pillows to adorn your bed with. When people come over, you can line the wall your bed is leaning against and turn it into a couch of sorts. Problem solved.
7. The giant winter coat.
The fall semester is called the fall semester for a reason, I understand that. However, in the sweltering first couple of weeks of September, you will not need your oversized winter parka. With global warming on the rise, you can get away with wearing a sweater around campus and still be comfortable.
When Thanksgiving break rolls around, you can pick up your winter coat.
8. A pantry of food.
It is nice to have food at the ready in your dorm room. You don’t have to move and you can privately drop food crumbs on your chest and stomach. However, you don’t need food to feed a family of seven people. This is not home where you have a pantry to store food in—you’re going to have to get creative if you want to bring a boat-load of food to college. (I tend to store food on top of my wardrobe, but then panic when I realize I can’t reach my snacks because I am short. RIP my Cool Ranch Doritos.)
Instead, bring small snacks such as granola bars or a couple of soup cans for snacks or quick meals. Your parents are paying for your food plan for a reason—use it.
9. Thousands of desk decorations.
In the beginning, they’ll look absolutely lovely, but that’s only because Mom set up your desk perfectly and it’s actually clean. Come next week, there’s going to be water bottles, books and writing utensils scattered about. You’ll be shoving those same desk decorations to the floor because there is simply no room for them. Now, your roommate is angry with you because she or he has stepped on these f*ckin’ desk decorations for the umpteenth time today.
Don’t cross out desk decorations entirely. Whether that be photo frames, snow globes, little figurines, you can bring some of them, but find other ways to display your decos. Hang them on the wall, ceiling, etc. Get creative.
10. High school regalia.
Alas, it is time to put away the athletic sweat suit from the high school team past. No one in college cares nor knows who the “[Your Town] [Stereotypical Mascot Animal]” is. They won’t ask questions and they’ll be impressed of your athletic prowess for maybe three seconds (or, if you’re like me, you have to explain that the Trojans are from the city Troy and do not represent the condom brand…).
The high school clothes are good memories, but no one will care who you were in high school. College is a place to discover who you are (as corny as it is) and reinvent yourself. Take that advantage and put the varsity jacket away.
11. Duplicate Items.
You may be wondering how you could accidentally end up with two mini fridges or two body mirrors on move-in day. This is what we call a “lack of communication.” Talk to your roommate and decide what you will bring and what he or she will bring. You’ll be reveling in all the extra floor space you have.