As summer is coming to an end and students are getting ready to head back to school, many for the first time. Packing up your childhood room and buying new items can be overwhelming, and you may have the urge to buy everything you could possibly think of. But you must remember, dorm rooms can be much smaller than you think, and you are sharing a space with someone new.
Our intern Morgan has some advice on everyday items students should avoid bringing during their first year on campus.
Your Room is Your Home
One thing that often gets overlooked is how much one small room can become your home away from home. It will be your safe place when the pressures of college become overwhelming. You must create a space that allows you to relax and unwind after a brutal test or a fight with a friend.
Taking care of this space will bring comfort and peace when the things around you feel out of your control. One way to help keep the stress and anxiety under control is to have a living space that is under control. There will be many things that people will say you should bring to college, but honestly, most of the things you think you will need will go untouched.
If you’re like me, then you’ve probably been scouring the internet for dorm packing advice. Packing for college is one of the most daunting parts of leaving home, especially during your first year. No matter how prepared you think you are, living on your own is not how you think it’ll be.
So don’t try and stuff your entire room into a suitcase. Instead, take a breath and check out these five things you don’t need to bring to your dorm.
Things to Leave at Home
- Excess Cutlery & Dishes
You are one person, and unless you plan on hosting dinner parties on your dorm floor, you will not need more than one or two forks, spoons, and a knife. Not only will additional plates and bowls take up space, but they will probably go unused for most of the year. I guarantee you’ll rotate between the same plate and fork for the entire year and regret spending money on a bunch of utensils and dishes.
- Too Many Shoes
To be honest with you, I thought it was stupid every time I saw someone talking about not bringing a lot of shoes. I wear a lot of my shoes, and I told myself that I would wear them all because you never know what types of shoes you’ll need and when. Turns out I was wrong and probably only needed a fourth of the shoes I stuffed into my closet. To keep it easy for you, bring a pair of everyday shoes, dress shoes, workout shoes, and a couple of shoes that you don’t care about (if you live in a colder climate, then snowshoes and if it’s warmer some sandals). If you need anything more, you can always borrow from a friend, get them from home, or treat yourself to a new pair of shoes.
This might be controversial because many people will tell you to buy and bring a vacuum. However, it takes up space, and your dorm will most likely already have a vacuum available for you to use. If you need to use a vacuum to clean your dorm–which you should be doing–you can ask the housing office or your RA, and they can help get you a vacuum. This not only allows you to save on space–and money–but also gives you an opportunity to get to know the people in your building!
Kind of on the same wavelength as the vacuum, while having your own printer might be a bit more convenient, it ends up just wasting space. There are plenty of places to print papers and projects across campus. Usually, printing can cost a few cents, but you can probably find free printing somewhere on campus if you do your research. Sometimes different majors or programs will offer free printing, so if you’re not able to access it, you can always ask a friend who can print something out for you. Also, you’re not going to be using a printer as much as you think you will.
- A Television
As much as you may want to stay up to date with your favorite tv shows on a screen bigger than your laptop, bringing a tv to your dorm will be a hassle when moving in and moving out. Not to mention you have limited desktop space, and a tv will take up a lot of that area. Instead, you can always invest in a small portable projector that you can connect to your computer or phone and use to make a DIY movie screen on your dorm wall. This way, you can still enjoy a big screen without having to set up a television.
When packing to move out, keep in mind that you will need to downsize, and it’s okay not to bring everything. You’ll get a lot of new stuff for your dorm and will learn what you actually need and what you never even use. So it’s better to start clutter-free than to get caught up in a mess early on. Bring the essentials and once you’ve had a chance to settle into your new home, take a step back to decide if it makes sense to add something new.
Life in college is tough for many reasons. Try to make sure that stress on your mental health due to an overwhelming living space isn’t one of them.
Joining the team for a second year, Morgan is a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School in Downtown Phoenix for ASU Barrett Honor College. She’s a native Arizonian, and taking after her dad, she loves writing and art of all mediums. Morgan is excited to gain new experiences through her second summer as an intern at GradGuard and form new relationships with the GradGuard team.