So you are ready to move in to the dorm and live on a college campus! This may be the first time you have lived away from home or with a roommate. Here are a few tips to help you pack up for college!
Where to begin? Check out the residence life webpage to see what you are allowed to bring and what is prohibited. Most colleges have rules against halogen lamps, candles, electric blankets, and other items. Many colleges will let students rent a microfridge, which is a small refrigerator and microwave combined. You may want to contact residence life and see if there is this option available to you before you purchase your own. Some colleges also allow bed risers to help you utilize storage space beneath your bed. If they do, they may require you to specific college sanctioned bed risers. Boosting your bed even a couple of inches can add valuable real estate to your room. Purchase bed sheets that specifically note they are "extra-long." Standard dorm room beds are extra-long and require special sheets. Try coordinating matching bedding with your roommate to make your room feel cozy and more like home.
If you can afford a computer in your budget for college, it will definitely be helpful to have one on hand. A laptop will enable you to leave your room and go and write papers elsewhere. Remember that there are also computers and printers on campus for you to use if you aren't able to purchase your own computer right away.
Shower taking is different in college. Oftentimes you must bring your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. back and forth to your room each time you shower. A shower caddy is convenient to help you tote all of your self-care products and styling needs through the hallways. And don't forget your shower sandals! You will most likely be sharing shower stalls with everyone in your hallway, suite or town house. While you will become fast friends and want to share almost everything with them, you may want to draw the line at the floor of the shower. It might not be pleasant to think about, but other people may have a foot fungus that you don't want to share; protect your feet from unwelcome bacteria!
Because the dining hall is not open at all hours, having some snacks and drinks on hand might be helpful. Constantly purchasing food from the vending machines gets expensive (and is unhealthy) and the cafeteria may not be located right next to your dorm (and will probably be closed when you may be looking for that late-night pick-me-up you need). Stock up on your favorites; pool your goodies collection with friends in your dorm. Not only will it help satisfy those late night cravings and give you the energy needed to complete your work, it will connect you with other students.
Since the school year begins during summer-like weather and many dormitories are not air conditioned, definitely bring a fan. Fans may also help you to tune out dorm noises that you may not be used to hearing. On the flipside, bring a blanket for cool weather. (A sleeping bag is useful for indoors or outdoors activities.) Most importantly, don't forget to bring a few items that remind you of home. It is natural to feel a little homesick in the first couple weeks of college, and you want your new room to make you comfortable and happy!
Go through your typical day and make a list of all the items you use from the time you get up until you go to bed. Blow dryers, seasonal medicine and cell phone chargers are items that are easily forgotten, but may be necessary. And don't worry if you do leave some important at home, it's a great reason for mom and dad to send a care package! Click here for a Sample Packing List.