College Dorm Ahead? What To Take, What To Leave Behind
Whether it’s you or your college-bound daughter, if there’s life in the dorms awaiting you, it’s going to require some big adjustments. From the choice of how much and which “stuff” to bring along to the attendant emotions, it can be challenging. So, first, take a deep breath and remind yourself to keep your eye on the bigger goals. And that this is just part of the passing into adult life. Then, take a look at these tips to help make getting ready a little more pleasant.
Yes, Dorm Life IS Different
The average college dorm room is about 225 square feet. That’s bigger than the average bedroom. But it’s usually going to be shared with at least one other student. So all that stuff that’s been collecting over the years isn’t going to fit, and probably wouldn’t be appreciated by your new roommates anyway.
A good solution is to leave most of those treasures at home. They’ll be safe there, and will make those trips back home for breaks much more pleasant. Find some decor and new things to personalize your dorm space and make it your home away from home.
What To Take
- Bedding. Most dorms don’t furnish anything beyond the mattress. So you’ll need sheets, pillows, and a bed cover. My choice is a quilt, because it doubles as a warm coverup and a tidy bed dressing.
- Desk supplies. All those things you used to rob from your parents desk? Take a small supply of what you’ll be using most often, like index cards, highlighters, and sticky notes.
- Important paperwork. While much of the documents you might need can be in digital form, there are still some requirements for originals. Check with your college to find out.
- Warm Fuzzy reminders. What’s a warm fuzzy reminder? It could be anything. It’s that little thing you look at and it makes you smile, or maybe even get a tear in your eye. It’s a reminder of the love that’s at home. Yes, there’s going to be days when you need to embrace those feelings and memories.
What To Leave Behind
- Clothes you don’t need. Think of going off to the dorm like an extended trip. Yes, you’ll want more than just a suitcase. But you don’t need to bring your whole closet.
- Appliances. You and your new roommates can decide what exactly you want in your room. Then, get to know them by going on a shopping excursion to local thrift shops.
- Bulky items. Sporting gear? If it’s small enough to be stored under your bed and you’re sure you’ll use it, go for it. Otherwise nix it. Same for things like printers. Opt for the network printers that are available on campus.
- Space-hogging luggage. Choose bags that collapse to take up as little space as possible when stored. Better yet, use duffel bags that can be squeezed away in almost any corner.
Now, take another deep breath. Getting ready for that new life in the college dorm doesn’t have to be stressful. Use these tips and a dose of common sense planning, and it’s just part of the adventure!