Five things you shouldn’t bring to college

Considering your dorm room is probably no bigger than your bedroom closet at home, and the trunk of your parents’ minivan is even smaller, packing for college means thinking conservatively. If you’re tempted to cram everything you own into a few clear plastic bins, you’re in for a nasty surprise. So consider not packing the following when you’re making your college-prep list:
1. A TV: No matter how small your TV screen is, it’s going to take up a huge amount of room in your already-cramped dorm room. A TV also just increases the temptation to never leave your bed—and getting out, even when you don’t feel like socializing, is one of the most important things you can do to stay mentally well.
2. Furniture: The ground plan and dimensions your school provided may look large enough for a futon or butterfly chair at first glance. But once you move in and rearrange your desk, bed, dresser, and bookshelf, you’re not going to have any of the space you anticipated. If you plan on having regular guests in your room, make your bed couch-friendly; add some cozy throw pillows, wash your comforter regularly, and make it the centerpiece of your side of the room.
3. Stuffed animals: One is enough. Pick your favorite childhood toy, something to remind you of home, and leave the rest. Although it’s tempting to imagine a dorm room overflowing with cozy animals, it’s simply impractical. Besides, your nostalgic plushies will be the perfect welcome-home greeters.
4. High school memorabilia: You’re going to get plenty of T-shirts over the next four years, from fundraising events and freshmen orientation to Greek life and raffles. Wearing a shirt advertising what year you graduated from high school isn’t going to do you any favors, either. Pick one sweatshirt or oversized T that you’re particularly fond of, and leave the rest at home.
5. Any kitchen appliances other than a mini fridge and microwave: For your first year especially, you’re going to eat mostly at the cafeteria. Bringing along a toaster or hotplate is most likely against school rules, and it’s also just unnecessary. If you really miss cooking, ask about student-friendly on-campus kitchens you can use.
6. Too many clothes: Pack for one season at a time, along with a few transition items for when the weather is unpredictable. Make sure you have at least one professional outfit, one party outfit, one costume outfit, and a few gym-friendly options. Otherwise, try to keep your wardrobe to a minimum.
7. Books: Other than your required textbooks and a few favorites, you can leave these behind. Books are bulky and heavy, and, let’s face it, probably available electronically if you really need them. If you’re feeling book-deprived, sign up for a card at your new local library.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest