You’ve just graduated high school. You’ve been accepted to college, and you’re thinking about move-in day. How are you going to move your life from your hometown to your dorm room? You keep asking yourself, “What should you bring and what should you leave home?”
To answer these questions we asked some upperclassmen to tell us what they would tell their freshman selves to pack as they plan their return for the upcoming school year.
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What to bring to college
It doesn’t have to be anything ridiculous or crazy, but returning students suggest you bring things that are comfortable, remind you of home and give the room a personal touch.
“Christmas lights are a must for me, every year,” says Claire Leitzen, Advising and Transition Orientation Director and Senior at Hope College in Holland, Mich.
“I will be bringing back some hand-made pieces of art that I will be crafting over the summer,” says Michelle Harrington, a student at the University of Rochester in New York. “In addition, I look forward to bringing back many art supplies for making hall projects as an RA!”
Michaela Chan, a volleyball player for the University of Rochester, says she’ll be bringing back “knee pads, a hot water heater, lots of wool socks, frozen homemade soup from mom in lunch-sized portions and a poncho.”
Lastly, Meghan Connor, another student at University of Rochester, lists things like “an electric blanket, fuzzy socks, Dayquil and Nyquil and a yoga mat” to bring back with her when she returns for next semester.
You want things in your dorm room that you will use all year long, not just one time. If you know it’s going to sit behind your bed for the entire year, it isn’t worth packing.
“A coffee maker, that’s a necessity in college,” jokes Trevor McDonald, an RA at Otterbein University in Westerville, OH. McDonald adds that things like pictures and a blanket help you out when you “just want to go home but you can’t.”
What NOT to bring to college
Many times incoming freshman struggle with leaving things at home. Usually it is not a question of what to bring, but what not to bring.
Don’t expect to have too much time to read for fun. “That’s a mistake, you don’t have enough time,” says Molly Gertenbach, a student and worker at the Office of Marketing and Communications at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA.
“I learned my freshman mistake of trekking my whole life up to college and then trying to squeeze it into a dorm room,” says Nicolette Kober, a student at the University of Rochester. “Moving out was a huge process.”
Incoming freshman should keep this in mind when they’re packing for move-in day. Each student is a little bit different in their wants and needs, so before move-in day it’s important to really think about what you love to do and plan accordingly. Campus experts agree that you should only pack what you think you’ll need and cannot live without. And if you’re able to make a trip home mid-semester, that may help you keep next season’s wardrobe out of your dorm room.