What to Bring & What to Leave Behind for Your First Year in the Dorms
If you’re starting your first semester of college this fall, you’re probably asking the question, What do I pack?” If you’re unsure about what to pack for dorm living, you’re not alone. I know when I was an incoming freshman I seriously struggled with what I should and shouldn’t take with me to my cozy little dorm room. So I’m sharing a few things you should definitely bring with you – and definitely leave behind – during your first semester of school.
DO bring your coffee maker/electric kettle
While your campus probably has numerous coffee shops or coffee stands located throughout campus, there are a couple reasons why making your coffee or tea at home is a much better option. First off, it’s faster. You can make your morning drink while you’re getting ready for class and it’ll add maybe three minutes to your morning prep routine. Standing in line at your on-campus Starbucks will add at least another 10 minutes, not to mention the fact that you had to walk five minute out of your way to get there. Second, you’ll save A TON of money. A 12 oz. container of ground coffee will cost you the same as one drink from the coffee shop, and it’ll last you anywhere from a couple weeks to more than a month depending on how much you drink daily. Bringing your own coffee machine or electric kettle will save you time and money, which is every college student’s dream.
DON’T bring your every single article of clothing you have
You may think you need options, but you don’t need THAT many options. As a student athlete, you’ll also get a bunch of new gear and you’ll most likely wear workout clothes to class most days. Plus, your style sense will go through a huge transformation in college. If you bring every single item of clothing you have, shoes included, you will probably end up wearing a third of it. Then you’ll buy all new stuff after that. Bring your favorite articles of clothing and your comfiest articles of clothing, and leave it at that. Bringing less clothing is also helpful when you’re moving out and you don’t have nearly as many boxes and suitcases to drag down the stairs of your dorm.
DO bring your hobby
Do you like photography? Bring that camera you got for Christmas. Do you enjoy collecting vinyl records? Pack the portable record player. Do you play music in your spare time? Then you can make room for your acoustic guitar. You’ll hear a lot of college students saying the words, “I don’t have time”. But if it’s something that makes you happy and that you enjoy, then it’s a stress reliever. And you’ll definitely need a few of those up your sleeve when the exams start rolling out. College can be very fast paced, so having a hobby that can give you a break from all the crazy while also giving you an opportunity to make time for yourself is something you should really take advantage of.
DON’T bring your car
That’s assuming you’ll be living in on campus housing, of course. This is also an opinion that I have, and it may not be the right choice for everyone. I didn’t bring my car my freshman year, no one in my class did. And though it may seem crazy not having total control over your transportation needs, it really isn’t as bad as you think. Teammates are awesome, and they’ll make sure their freshman are taken care of. Meaning they’ll make sure someone can pick up your freshman class for team bonding activities, grocery runs, and other essentials or mandatory events. Being without your car is a great experience to have, and you won’t really get this opportunity once you move out of the dorms. Not having to be responsible for a vehicle is awesome because it eliminates distractions and doesn’t add the unnecessary stress of being a car owner. When you have car issues, you’re responsible for taking it to the mechanic, buying the right parts, and paying for any repairs – and cars sure do get expensive. With all of the new experiences and inevitable stresses that come with your freshman year of school, removing one of those stresses can do wonders for your sanity.
DO bring your comfort object
We all have that one special object that we’ve had since we were little. Whether it’s a stuffed animal or an old blanky or a weird, dirty piece of fabric, it’s an object that brings us comfort and joy when need it most. Since you’re new to the whole college thing, you might think that college isn’t the place for silly childhood toys. But luckily, college is just the place for such things – according to me, at least… After a rough day at practice or a week of feeling homesick, something as simple as having my stuffed bunny with me provided me with comfort and familiarity, something that we often miss when we’re away from home. And maybe it’s not a stuffed animal for you, but it’s an old picture of your parents, or it’s that keychain your little brother made you 5 years ago at summer camp. Whatever it is, it’ll remind you of home, of family, of a happy time in your life. It’s comforting, and we all need a little comfort sometimes.
DON’T bring dishes/silverware
Washing dishes is the worst. And no, your dorm doesn’t have a dishwasher. There might be a kitchen area, but it’ll almost certainly be located on the first floor. And unless your room is also located on the first floor, you won’t be wanting to make that trip to wash one measly dish. Also, washing dishes in a community bathroom is always awkward, especially if the dish you’re washing has been dirty for three days and you’re trying to give it a serious scrub down without getting food all up in the drain. Yes, bringing your own dishware is more economically friendly, but do you really want to be washing dishes when you’re in a time crunch and need a cereal bowl or a coffee mug? Have your parents take you to Costco for disposable dishware and you’ll be set for the whole semester.
Shelby Edwards is a former gymnast from the University of Arizona, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything and everything, and is driven by her passion to encourage and inspire others through her expressive writing. Shelby currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, where she is constantly looking for new opportunities to learn, grow, and help others. Contact the writer: [email protected]