Firstly, you do not need to bring the dog.
Ask any student: packing for college is the WORST part of moving out. Meeting new people, making strides towards that dream career, and escaping your parents’ constant gaze: all fab, but packing for college brings stress and tears. Lots of tears.
With graduates’ having done it three years in a row, you would think they’d have the art mastered. The truth: no one ever gets packing for college entirely right. We’ve all made the mistake of taking too much; somehow, you get it into your head that you’re moving to a desert island, and not a town with shops or housemates to borrow from. Instead, others forget the essentials; so many of my housemates forgot kitchen basics, like a frying pan or cutlery.
This isn’t an expert guide, but rather some tips for packing for college that were learnt along the way. To make you feel better, freshers, second years, final years and even those training to be professors have made these mistakes.
You DO NOT Need Your Whole Wardrobe
Do your research and find out about the fashion dos and don’ts of your college beforehand. There is no full-proof guide to packing for college, despite various attempts. For example, Uni of Leeds students (UK): you’ll never, ever need a pair of heels. Just make sure you have a pair of black trainers that work for all occasions. Those of you studying at the University of Queensland (Australia): flip flops or ‘thongs’ aren’t just needed for the communal showers but are a necessary fashion accessory if you plan on fitting in. If you end up at Harvard (USA), don’t bother bringing any shirts – you’ll be wearing merchandise for the foreseeable future. Who wouldn’t want to share that they studied there?!
Your Flatmates Will Bring Nothing
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your new pals will bring the basics. EVERYONE makes this presumption, and then you’re all sharing two forks and using chairs to dry your clothes on because no one was successful at packing for college.
Limit the Home Furnishings
While you might want to make that new room homely with cushions, noticeboards, and metres of fairy lights, do not go OTT. Firstly, you’ll look incredibly keen. Secondly, you’ve got to bring all this rubbish home again. Moving back in after that final semester, I was stuffing fairy lights under beds and cushions in cupboards – mom wasn’t keen on our house looking like the homeware section of Target.
They DO Have Shops Where You’re Going
My best friend packed 10 bottles of shampoo during her first move, and don’t even get me started on the number of loo rolls she apparently needed. Yes, you will be low on cash, and getting the parents to buy your toiletries is super helpful, but you’re never going to have the space to store it all. I also guarantee you’ll end up bringing that shampoo home again; no student has the time or effort to constantly wash their hair!
I could go on and on…just like the packing
In all seriousness, this is only some of the mistakes made during the process of packing. At least if you follow these you won’t be trying to cram 15 suitcases worth of stuff into a room the size of a cupboard. The best thing to do: try and find someone in your flat beforehand – loads of college’s set up pages online where you can attempt to track down each other. You can discuss what you are and aren’t bringing, and maybe even buddy up. No flat needs 5 woks and 4 toasters. Or readers, leave your tips below!
Although, 6 sets of cutlery might come in handy. You’ll never keep hold of all those forks.