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Dos and Don'ts to Bring to College

Updated on November 20, 2011

As a freshman in college, it can be a very stressful time, especially when dorming. You're finally living on your own. You have to feed yourself, keep proper hygiene, do your own laundry, and actually have responsibility! And you haven't even moved in yet! You probably don't even want to think about all this right now, but it's time. You need to start to gather the things you will need, and leave behind the things you don't!

Things to Bring

Some schools may send you their own little checklist, but this should cover the essentials. Take it from someone who has already been there and forgotten that ;)

1. Bed supplies: Pillows, sheets, blankets, mattress pad, and I can't stress this last one enough - some sort of memory foam pad! Trust me, those mattresses are not very comfortable. I went from sleeping on two mattresses at home, one with a pillow top for extra comfort, to a blue, plastic little piece of mattress. Even bring extra pillows for padding - trust me, you'll be glad you did!

2. Hygiene supplies: You will need the obvious - toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, shampoo/conditioner, hairbrush and accessories, razors, shaver, lotions, towels, and whatever else you normally use in the shower. You will also need some sort of container to keep all these things in. Something plastic works well in case it gets wet. Something maybe not as obvious - flip flops that can get wet. There wasn't one day when I stepped into those showers barefoot. It's not your shower at home - you share it with every other girl in the dorm. And let's be honest, you don't know what people do in there. The point of a shower is to be clean - even your feet. Flip flops are good and sanitary! And don't forget pads and tampons! You will definitely need those!

3. Clothes: Seems like an obvious item here, but you won't be able to bring your whole wardrobe. I had a dresser with five drawers and half of a hanging wardrobe - the other half was my roommate's. Everything had to fit in this limited amount of space. So, narrow it done to the essentials! In September, it will still be warm, so bring shorts for bed and for day wear. Bring a few pairs of jeans for when fall comes along. Some shirts and sweaters. Socks, shoes, flip flops or slippers for hanging around the dorm. Bring a light jacket and a heavy coat for those unexpected snowstorms. And don't forget to bring these home over winter break!

4. Educational supplies: Laptop, notebooks, pens, pencils, binders, note cards, calculator...ou get the idea. Don't be afraid to bring too much. Each teacher will give you a list of items needed for the class, as well, so anything you might miss you can always run and get at a nearby Wal-Mart or Staples.

5. Dishes: Some people prefer to eat their own food, though it is included when you dorm. Even for a late night snack or an activity involving food and snacks, it's good to have at least one place setting.

6. Cleaning supplies: Windex, duster, paper towels. These are good to have when you first move in and when you move out at the end of the year, and for little incidents in between.

7. Medicine: Cough drops, cough syrup, allergy medicine, birth control, Tylenol, bandages, and other things you usually use. It's very easy to get sick when you live with hundreds of other people - be prepared!

8. Mini fridge: Good for when you have leftovers or some beverages to keep cold. Can even be used for film if you're a photographer.

9. Books: You will usually get a list of books you need before school begins and instructions on how to order them. For me, the books were sent right to the school, so if that's the case, don't forget to pick them up!

Things NOT to Bring

The exclusion of these items may vary depending on the college.

1. Knives, weapons, drugs, alcohol, etc. All the common sense things. Butter knives are allowed, but no pocket knives. Use common sense.

2. Appliances: Don't bring a coffee maker, microwave, toaster, etc. There is usually a kitchen in the dorms, as well as the dining hall. Use the items provided. It helps limit electricity used and there is no fire hazard in your room. Plus, there just isn't enough room in your dorm room for a mini kitchen. Fridges are the only thing acceptable.

3. Furniture: All furniture necessary will be included. Don't fill up your room with extra chairs, tables, etc. You don't need them. You may be on your own and it will feel like living in an apartment, but you're not! Remember, space is limited.

4. Pets: Some colleges allow small animals that are caged or kept in bowls, such as fish, rabbits, etc. Just because it is allowed, doesn't mean you have to have one. Having an animal is another separate responsibility added on to your school responsibilities, work, etc. It needs to be fed, cleaned, and given attention daily. You're not at home anymore. You can't forget and expect Mom or Dad to do it. If you forget, it could result in a dead pet. Don't add this extra stress your first year of college.

5. Bad attitude: Come to college with an open mind and a good attitude. You will meet a lot of different people and have a ton of new experiences! Be ready to start the school year off right! And good luck!


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