9 Things College Packing Lists Need To Be More Realistic About
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Student Life

9 Things College Packing Lists Need To Be More Realistic About

Dear college packing lists, please step up your game.

9 Things College Packing Lists Need To Be More Realistic About

Going into my freshman year of college, I was completely lost at what to pack. I’m not the most organized person in the first place, so this task basically felt equivalent to getting my life together – a daunting mission I am not focused enough to complete. Where did I look to? The Internet (duh). I feel like I searched the entire world wide web for a good packing list, and yes, I did find a ton. However, they were lacking a few items (which some even said not to bring), or they didn’t make them seem important, so I didn’t take these items seriously, and now I’m facing the consequences only about a month in. Thank God for my mom who has come to my rescue. Here are a few things that packing lists need to get a little more real about...


The dining hall is not the epitome of convenience as I thought it was going to be. It closes at 9 pm and it is a pretty good hike from my room. Needless to say, I ate through the few bags of chips I brought with me within the first week. I recommend popcorn, chips, granola bars, oatmeal, microwavable burritos, whatever floats your boat. You do you.

2. Mattress. Topper.

I have NO idea how I went three full weeks without a mattress topper. I didn’t know what I was missing. This is not to get confused with a mattress pad--believe me, it’s 100% different and 100% life changing. With the stress of college weighing on your shoulders (and the rest of your body), you deserve a comfortable bed. This topper makes it feel like you are sleeping on a cloud and not a creaky dorm bed. Yay Amazon!

3. A backrest pillow

I always called these “bed buddies” but that’s beside the point. If you like to do homework/watch Netflix in your bed (guilty!) then this will be your best friend. You can sit up comfortably without bending your neck in wild ways.

4. Chairs/ottoman/futon/whatever suits your furniture fancy

I love having visitors in my dorm… it makes me feel like a little hostess who’s the life of the party. It’s nice to be able to offer people a place to sit instead of the ground. Plus, these options give me the ability to mix up my study spot. I’ve realized lately that when I lay down in my bed to do homework I end up falling asleep in like five minutes.

5. Airborne

Sickness. It’s everywhere. Protect yourself at all costs.

6. Utensils and dishes

Yes, the other night I did cut and eat Applebee's takeout (which was chicken) with a child-sized reusable plastic spoon. No, I am not ashamed. Nevertheless, I am definitely grabbing some silverware and dishes next time I’m home.

7. Some sort of light fixture

I don’t know about your dorm room but mine is D.I.M. dim. With an emphasis on the dim. The one tiny light on the ceiling was not sufficient, and the extra lighting fixtures (including Christmas lights, fairy lights, and a floor lamp) certainly help.

8. An easily portable laundry basket

I quickly realized that my giant cloth sack without decent handles was not going to suffice as a laundry basket. I have to carry it up and down the elevator multiple times in a row, so you better believe I switched that puppy out for a durable plastic one.

9. Will, determination, mental strength, etc.

This needs to be on every packing list. Self-explanatory. Case closed.

I hope everyone can learn from my mistakes.

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