While working as a youth leader this summer, I’ve gotten to know a lot of high school students who have recently graduated and are chomping at the bit, ready to go to college. A very common question I have been asked these past few months is, “What should I pack for college?!”. Even if you’ve been in college for several years, I hope these packing tips help you out as you get yourself ready for move-in day especially if you are an incoming college freshman. Without further ado, here are my top 5 must haves of packing for school:
1) If it stacks, it comes. This could be in the form of shoe boxes filled with school supplies, mini plastic drawers to hold makeup or writing implements, or (my personal favorite) plastic milk crates. Walmart and other stores are overflowing with these crates come back-to-school season. They are a great way to transport your stuff and store it once you get in the dorm.
2) Good food. I know when some of you read the word “good” you think of cookies, candy, and chips. Those junky food items are in good supply at the corner store and are easy to get your hands on if you have an unmanageable craving. The kind of “good” food I’m talking about, is stuff full of protein and vitamins that can keep you going and keep you from the freshmen…sophomore…or even senior 15. Eating well at snack time can keep your skin clear, energy level high, and immune system at it’s best.
3) You don’t need all your clothes at once. As a girl and renowned over-packer, I brought way too many clothes to college my freshman year. But, what I learned is that you only need enough clothing to last from move-in to fall break. This may seem obvious, but it’s crucial. You’re big, puffy winter coat can stay home until it’s absolutely needed (at Nyack, that time will come soon enough).
4) More than one way to stay organized. I began my freshman year with a big desk calendar under the assumption that it would be my choice tool of organization, only to find out that I never used it. throughout the year, hundreds of sticky notes came to my aid to help me remember what I had to do every week. I developed a system that kept me on top of all my work and free when most social activities were taking place. My point is, don’t count on one way of being organized because you never know what will end up working best for you.
5) Take a few pieces of home. At the end of my first year, it was a little bitter-sweet to leave my dorm room behind because it had come to feel like home. I encourage any new or returning student to bring posters, pictures, and knick-knacks from home to decorate the dorm with. At the end of a long day, it feels so refreshing to come back to a comfortable, homey place.
So, with that, let the school year begin!