You may know by now: It’s super easy to overpack when you’re heading to your freshman year of college. However, not all planning and packing skills are going to be known to you right away, especially if you’re the first person in your family who is going to college. Here are three unique and helpful tips that will help when it comes time to pack for college.
Keep Location in Mind
While many students go to school fairly close to their parents, others choose to go to a different part of the country. It’s important to research the area and the temperatures before heading out. Is it colder most of the year or warmer? Or is split down the middle? Is it a very different temperature than you’re used to? Are there activities you’re going to want to take part in like snowboarding, hiking, or swimming? If so, make sure you’re packing the correct clothes.
Even if you’re going locally, you don’t want to overpack when it comes to clothes. You’re probably coming home for a few weekends or for Thanksgiving. You don’t really need to bring your winter boots and coat your first week of school. Bring a jacket instead in case of cooler fall days and bring the colder weather items later in the semester.
Bring More Underwear Than You Think
Undergarments are magically going to be in short supply while you’re in college, even if you thought you brought plenty. You may not get the chance to do laundry as often as you would like and you could quickly run out. So make sure to bring underwear and socks, and then bring a bit more.
Think Outside the Box
Not every item you should bring to college is obvious during the summer before your first semester. Some of the things you should bring may not even be used in your home regularly or you may just not give the item a second thought. For example, in your home, you definitely have a shower curtain and you probably have a bathroom caddy for the shower, but do you have shower shoes? You’re going to be sharing the bathroom with others; it’s a good idea to never go barefoot. And for the bathroom caddy: Showers tend to be small in dorms. This can truly help you conserve space.
That is just one example of what you should consider bringing that you probably don’t use regularly. Other items you’ll want to consider that are “outside the box” include earplugs, mattress pads, and a formal outfit in case you have to go to an interview or attend a formal event.
While you absolutely don’t want to overpack for college, you definitely want to remember the things you’ll need, even the items that won’t be super obvious at first. One of the best steps you can take is to ask someone who has already been to college. They can let you know exactly what they used, what they didn’t need, what was super helpful, and what they wish they brought.