Additional contributors: Samantha Spoto, Michele Bacigalupo, Kenneth Miller
College marks a time in our lives for various experiences: learning in lecture halls, befriending fellow students, realizing mental strengths and weaknesses, experimenting with activities that are appropriate for that age (but often unacceptable for a “real adult”), and so forth.
What college is not the time for is designing a sophisticated domestic setting. Therefore, it’s best to be discerning of what not to pack for school.
Here is our advice on what to leave behind.
Printer – A printer takes up space and can be a burden to transport back and forth between semesters. Most schools have several facilities filled with technology where students can print syllabi and reading materials. Some schools even provide you with money each semester to do so. A personal printer also brings the added stress of having to pay for your own paper and ink.
Your entire bookshelf – I never learned this lesson, but in retrospect, packing most of the books on my bookshelf only took up what little dorm space I had. Between your course load, extra curricular activities, and all the naptime you will need, the last thing you have time for is leisurely reading. Bringing along one or two books to read throughout the semester won’t hurt, but ditch the other 98 and leave them at home.
Favorite books – Adding to what Samantha said about books, refrain from bringing a personal library. While I was tempted to bring my most beloved stories with me to college, the truth of the matter is that I never had time to reread them. College is a time of discovery. Don’t bring excessive pieces of the past along with you only to watch them gather dust. Allow yourself to be exposed to new authors, genres, and ideas!
Four-season wardrobe – You don’t need to bring every article of clothing from your childhood bedroom. Especially in early morning classes, you can expect most of your peers to be wearing sweatpants. It’s wise to only pack clothes that you see yourself wearing in the months before you’ll be returning home for the next holiday break (assuming that you’re attending a school close enough which permits you to travel home). Plus, if you’re a girl and get along well with your roommate or suitemates, chances are you’ll all be sharing clothes and shoes anyway.
Christmas tree – College kids like to be festive and show some holiday spirit once in a while. But, don’t do it. You’ll find yourself stepping on the miniature, but deadly Christmas symbol in the wee hours of the night, hurting yourself, waking up your roommate(s), and–worst of all–becoming a typical Ebenezer.
Rugs – You always think you’ll want some floor decor when moving into your beaten-down, colorless dorm. Truth is, you don’t. You’ll regret lugging that heavy, twilled Target mess up three flights of stairs more once you realize you must drag it out soaked in vomit after your first Saturday night.
Toaster – I remember my freshman year roommate’s mother insisted we take a toaster into our tiny dorm room. We used it never, seeing that we did not want our cramped dwelling to reek of burning bread. Plus, these appliances were available on demand in the nearby dining hall.
Throw pillows – Even if you have a nice, comfy couch or plush bed, don’t throw pointless pillows on it. Some drunk friend will probably pass out there at some point so it’s best to keep a simple surface.
Feature photo courtesy of Matt Nazario-Miller.