It’s that time of year again and college students are heading off to school. Especially for those packing up and moving for the first time, the amount of things to remember and keep straight might seem daunting. Here’s a list of some easily-forgotten things to remember as you make your packing lists and move in to the new dorm.
1. Good scissors that are within reach during the move-in process, and not packed away
During the move-in process, everything you’ve chosen to take with you to your new — and likely smaller — home will be packed and scattered throughout the room. Before any of those things can be put into their places, the boxes they’re in have to be opened. There’s nothing worse than standing in your new dorm and realizing the scissors are in one of the boxes or tucked in a cluttered tote.
2. A keurig or any other way to make coffee that doesn’t involve the overpriced coffee shop on campus
It’s easy to spend $5 or more on coffee every weekday, and even those who don’t consider themselves hooked on it will probably find that the temptation increases as the semester wears on. Instead of letting coffee costs add up or going without the boost entirely, avoid the problem by buying your own source.
3. A travel mug — one that won’t spill if left in a backpack all day
Of course, if a coffee maker is so important, somewhere to put the coffee is too. College students aren’t known for having leisurely mornings, so a to-go option is a must.
4. Storage bins or options that work within the room, and not just cardboard boxes
Dorm storage can be difficult, but there are thousands of options out there. Under-bed bins can be a lifesaver for items you don’t need constant access to but still need nearby.
5. Multiple kinds of tape are important — scotch tape for hanging pictures as well as more heavy-duty tape for anything you might need to fix or hold together in the room
Remember tape when you’re doing your packing; it’s a vital component of making a new dorm into a home, specifically by facilitating wall hangings without putting holes in the wall.
6. Extra loose sheets of paper for in-class assignments or making personal lists
Even if you prefer notebooks for personal note-taking, odds are, you’ll run into an in-class quiz or assignment that requires loose leaf paper. Tearing out individual sheets from the back of the notebook might seem like a good option, but the ragged edge won’t leave a good impression, and some professors are stricter than others on the kind of paper they accept.
7. Extra pencils or pens from the dollar store are essential in case you run out of ink during class
This goes along with the above point about loose sheets of paper. In both cases, an added benefit to being prepared is being able to help others who might not be — sometimes, being the person with an extra sheet of paper can even result in developing a friend later on.
8. Some way to carry laundry to and from the washing machines, especially if they’re shared by more than your floor
It’s not unheard of to find college students trudging to the campus laundry room carrying armfuls of Trader Joe’s bags of laundry, often teetering at precarious angles or threatening to rip at the side. Another option might be using a suitcase, but the best is usually to just remember a laundry net or basket.
9. Over-the-counter medication like Advil and NyQuil, along with first aid supplies
These are easy to forget, because generally, whatever household you’re coming from keeps them stocked, so you never have to think about it yourself. The first time you get a headache or a cold, though, and you’ll be wishing you didn’t have to make it to the store to buy these vital items.
10. An extra blanket or two for when it gets cold or you just want to curl up
At the beginning of the school year, it might not seem like the dorms will ever cool down, but they will. They will, and when they do, extra blankets will be paramount. Store them under the bed until needed, or throw them over the back of the desk chair for easy access and added comfort.
11. Paper clips to tuck in the smaller corners of your backpack in case you forget to staple an assignment together before class — which might happen more often than you expect
Most college students print their assignments at the library, and many do that just before turning the assignment in. Usually, the library will have a stapler, and everything will be just fine. However, it’s not unheard of for those staplers to be broken, go missing or for students to simply forget to staple things together in their haste. All too many students are stuck frantically trying to roll the corners of the paper together, and more often than not, it doesn’t work. That’s where paper clips come in. Put them in your backpack and forget about them, then thank yourself in a few weeks’ time.
12. A printed-out and easily accessible copy of your class schedule with all the room information
Online schedules and information are useful things to have, but in case something goes wrong, a hard copy can be just as vital. That goes double for school days so long that phone batteries might be prone to giving out before the end of the day.
13. Along with the last one, a copy of all your new professors’ contact information like office hour location and times, as well as their email addresses
Take a few minutes during the orientation and move-in process to collect every professor’s contact information. To excel, it’s likely at least a couple office hour visits will be in order, and the last thing anyone wants is to have a major question and not know how to ask.
If you can check these items off your college packing list, you’ll be that much closer to a smooth transition into college life. More important than any packing list, though, is to not worry too much through the process. Everything will come together, even if some things are left behind in the packing shuffle.