Although it is my freshman year of college, I have an older sister that was in college a few years ago. Having a sister who already went through has really helped me learn to pack and what to expect out of some things in college. From our experiences of moving her in and out of her dorms and apartments, these are 20 things not to bring to college!
1. Too Many Clothes/Shoes
Make sure you are bringing only what you need, and not bringing duplicates, 100 t-shirts, 10 pairs of heels and tons of accessories. College will keep you busy, and bringing extra clothes that won’t get worn will create more stress that it’s worth.
Decorating a dorm room is on the top of everyone’s to-dos, but bringing tons of unnecessary decor and knickknacks that will only collect dust is just not needed. Pick and choose the most important statement pieces for your room that will make it stand out.
3. Items Of Value
Try to stay away from bringing family heirlooms like your grandma’s diamond necklace or your dad’s favorite 1850’s painting. Although dorms are secure, there is always a chance of things getting stolen. Keep them safe at home and opt for cheaper items that don’t mean as much to you or your family.
4. Pots And Pans/Dishes
Many first time college students think they will need tons of cutlery, dishware and cooking equipment, but in all reality you won’t have time to put them to use. Washing dirty dishes in a communal bathroom sink is just asking for you to get sick, so invest in paper plates and utensils for when you will eat in your room, because let’s face it, most of your eating will be done in the dining halls.
5. Kitchen Gadgets
Once again, cooking is a rarity in dorms, although you do have access to a small kitchen. Stay away from all kitchen gadgets to save space and save yourself from headaches when you bring something that isn’t allowed. A coffee maker is always a good bet, just make sure it is allowed by your college.
I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories when it comes to printing on campus, but bringing your own expensive printer is just an unnecessary waste of money and space. Not only will the cost of the printer set you back, but the upkeep that comes with owning one is a stressful situation in itself. Most colleges will supply you with printers dispersed all throughout campus, and many professors don’t have you print your work out to begin with!
7. Candles/Scent Warmers
Burning candles is prohibited in dorms, for obvious reasons, but you can still bring them to scent the room right? I would stay away from heavily scented candles and scent warmers because of how small your living space is. Scents can get super overpowering, and your roommate or even neighbors might have a problem with it. Getting a wall plug in is probably your best bet for keeping your room smelling pleasant.
8. Extra Bedding
It is always nice to have extras, but extra bedding will take up so much room and you probably won’t end up needing it. You have access to washer and driers, and if worst comes to worst you can take it home and have your mom wash it for you. Saving space is key in college, so stay away from bringing lots of extra comforters, sheets and blankets.
9. High School Memorabilia
For most of us, high school was a great time in our lives, and we want to remember it. Bringing one high school sweatshirt is fine, but don’t create your wardrobe based upon clothing with your high school name plastered all over it. Although you don’t want to act like high school never happened, you are in a new chapter in your life, and don’t want to be the one that is stuck in the past.
10. Throw pillows
Everyone loves a good throw pillow, not for their functionality, but for their aesthetic. I would say stick to one, but bringing 5 is just a bad idea. You will have nowhere to store them, and they will just take up precious space. You can always switch them out when you go home as well.
This may be a given, but don’t try to bring any living animals into a dorm room. Most colleges (if not all) don’t allow cats, dogs, or anything that walks. Some do allow fish, but I would say wait until you have a place of your own to have a pet. You won’t have time to give it the attention it needs, and it will probably be neglected, and none of us want that.
Avid readers will fight me on this, but don’t bring all your favorite novels and love stories to college. You have access to some of the greatest libraries in your state, full of books that you can check out and return. Don’t bother bringing your own books to college, you probably won’t have time to read anyways.
13. Full Sized Vacuum
Saving space is key, so keep your items compact. Full sized vacuums and other cleaning gadgets will take up space, and also won’t get the job done like a smaller model. Keeping your living space clean is super important, just invest in something that fits the small space.
14. Large Furniture
Once again, you are living in a cardboard box basically, and have no room to breathe. Don’t clog up your room with futons, chairs, tables, or other unnecessary pieces of furniture. Talk with your roommate and agree on one good item to bring, but other than that save the hassle of lugging heavy furniture up 10 flights of stairs and bring the minimum.
15. Duplicates Of What Your Roommate Is Bringing
Communication with your soon-to-be roommate is so important, especially when you want to avoid bringing duplicates of coffee makers, futons, and decor items.
16. Sports Gear
We all want to stay active in college, but colleges are set up to provide you with those items. Don’t bring basketballs, volleyballs, tennis rackets and baseball bats that will take up space and might not get used. Many campuses have these items for rent at the gym, which will save you a lot of space, time, and money.
17. Things Supplied By The College
Do your research! Make sure to check up on what your college supplies you with (mini fridge, lofted beds, dressers, desks etc.), before purchasing one of your own.
18. Prohibited Items
Piggybacking off #17, make sure to research items that you are not allowed to bring as well like toasters and crock pots. This will save you money and keep you out of trouble.
19. School Supplies
High school and college are not alike. You don’t need a notebook for every class, you don’t need a fully stocked binder, and you definitely don’t need 50 pencils to get you through the year. Technology is so important, so invest in a great computer, instead of wasting your money and space on a large quantity of school supplies. Read the syllabus, ask around, and see what will be needed for your classes BEFORE you buy.
Last but not least, alcohol. This one is definitely the most controversial because everyone wants to have fun in college, right? You are in college for a reason… to get a degree and become successful. There is nothing to be ashamed about for having fun in college, but make sure that school comes first. Don’t stock up your dorm room with bottles of liquor and cases of beer, because you probably will get caught. Leave the alcohol for the frat parties, and try to stay focused on your studies.