Next week I’ll be moving into my dorm for sophomore year. Although I’m still not going to experience a traditional move-in day (I had to move in early last year as an EcoRep), it is still very exciting. Sue B has been pretty nice for the summer, but I’m so glad to be moving back to the Res Quad. I figured this would be a great time to give some college packing tips.
Don’t over-pack. There just isn’t room; I promise.
Don’t bring many t-shirts. I think I acquired about fifteen t-shirts during my freshman year. Many of these were in just the first week on campus.
Don’t buy your textbooks in advance. I only bought one textbook last year even though many of my classes “required” a textbook. A couple of professors required textbooks and in class gave us a link to a free online version, which was beautiful, but not all of them will do that. Once you get to class, ask your TAs for suggestions in specific classes. No matter what, try to avoid buying new textbooks; it’s expensive and often just isn’t necessary. You can buy gently used textbooks from upperclassmen at a very low cost or just rent them from the library.
Discuss with your roommate(s). No, you do not need three mini fridges and three microwaves in your new “cozy” forced triple. Split up the purchases of things that you can all use. Maybe you’ll decide that you don’t need to get many things at all.
Check out green packing checklists like this one. Use them with caution, though. I’ve actually found that big checklists can lead to over-packing. Use them to remember things that you might otherwise forget, but don’t buy new things that you’ve never needed before just because it’s on a checklist. No, you probably don’t need an air filter, bug repellent, and toilet paper (contrary to what the checklist may tell you).
On that note, be sensible. Think about what you actually need and use and consider where you’re going and what the school provides. Things like fans are nice here for about a week, but then it gets cold and you won’t really need them; a better investment would be an area rug to make the room less institutional and a little bit warmer during the cold months.
Don’t buy new furniture… Or any furniture, for that matter. It weighs you down in the long run and you shouldn’t be spending all of your time in your room anyway. Also, see first tip.
Wait to make bigger purchases. Okay, if you must buy the mini fridge, wait until you’re on campus. There are many cool sales during the first couple weeks and many upperclassmen try to get rid of things that they no longer need. You can get a very inexpensive fridge that has only been used for a few years and is energy efficient. What a great way to reuse!
Hopefully this helps a bit. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. Good luck, freshmen!
Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018