Yep, this is
When I was an incoming freshman, I had no clue what to get for my dorm. Because of this, I watched a lot of YouTube dorm hauls and read a lot of blog posts claiming they had come up with the perfect list of things to bring.
What I didn't realize until recently when watching these types of videos or reading these lists is that a lot of the people creating them also don't really know what you need because they are also freshmen, or they are sponsored posts aimed at clueless freshmen. I definitely bought into these types of lists and probably bought items I otherwise never would have needed.
Below you will find a series of things you will find on college packing lists that aren't truly necessary.
1. A Brita water filter
Don't get me wrong, the concept of this item is great, but the truth is that it will probably only get filled up a few times before you get tired of the extremely annoying amount of time it takes to fill one of these water filters up. Mine ended up sitting on the top of our fridge most of the year completely empty while taking up valuable space.
Instead, I ended up purchasing a filtered water bottle that does the exact same thing on a smaller scale and was much faster.
2. An iron and iron board
So many freshmen make the mistake of buying an iron for college. These two items end up being more expensive and taking up way more valuable space than they're worth. Instead, I recommend buying a mini steamer. This is probably one of the best things I ended up buying. While a lot of college students may not be worried about a few wrinkles, when sorority rush rolled around I sure was glad I had this nifty little gadget.
3. A lanyard
Nothing screams freshman quite like wearing a lanyard with your ID attached to it. While it might seem like a good idea at first, it's a lot more convenient to just keep your ID in your wallet or phone case instead.
4. Your entire closet
I definitely learned this the hard way. The first semester I brought too many clothes and yet not enough clothes at the same time. I ended up bringing too many cute summery clothes and not enough practical transition pieces for when the weather started to get colder. Before you leave, it's a good idea to figure out when the next time you'll be home is. If you'll be home fairly frequently, it's not a bad idea to try and swap out clothes as the seasons change. That way you save space but also have all the clothes you need.
5. Furniture that the college already supplies
I know it may be hard to resist buying a super cute desk chair to replace the one that comes with the room, but it's not necessary and in most cases not allowed. A lot of schools don't allow you to remove any furniture from your room. So buying a cuter version of something the school already provides really just means you'll be spending money you could be spending on more important things.
6. All of your favorite books and movies
Not to sound like a broken record, but dorm rooms are small. As far as books go, you'll probably be too busy to read books for pleasure anyway. This was a heartbreaking realization as an English literature major, but I quickly realized that if I really wanted to read for fun, I could just check out any book I wanted to read from the library instead. This way my books from home weren't taking up space and not getting read. The same applies to movies; you really don't need to bring physical copies of any DVDs when you have Netflix and Hulu at your fingertips.
7. Every coffee mug you own
Washing your dishes may not be fun, but it's something you have to get used to doing in college. Because you are able to wash your dishes, you really don't need a plethora of coffee mugs. Bringing one or two mugs is a good idea, but you really won't use your entire collection no matter how cute they all are.
8. Excessive kitchen appliances
Don't go overboard on appliances. Other than coffee makers, most are banned by colleges anyway. You really don't need a George Foreman grill, hot plate, toaster or whatever other small appliances you seem to find yourself thinking you might use.
9. A trash can
So many of the dorm haul videos I've seen feature trash cans. Do your research beforehand on what your school provides. The majority of schools will provide them, making the extra trash can unnecessary and a waste of money. It really doesn't matter how cute or ugly your trash can is because, well, it's a trash can.
10. Entire dining sets
I see a lot of freshmen buying these, and it's really unnecessary. Entire sets take up so much space, and you will probably end up using the same single set anyway. Stores like Target and Walmart sells cheap single pieces that are a much better alternative.
Packing for college is hard enough. By leaving the above items behind, you'll be able to save space and your wallet.
Dear future big person,
Speaking from experience, the world is a crazy place. It's sad, yet exciting to know what the future holds for you. The world has been taken over by devices and electronics most never thought were possible.
If you're wondering why I'm writing to you, it's because I care a lot more now than I did back when I was you. I'm your Marty McFly, here to tell you how to prepare for the future. (Don't ask me what that reference is –you figure it out!).
For starters, let's talk about this technology thing. Gameboys, Nintendo DS', Wiis, Xboxes –don't mess with them. Television is fine –if the people from the Cold War survived it, we can, too. I want you to spend time enjoying the real world, not the electronic, fake one.
I want you to go outside and sit in the grass, pick those dandelions and mash them up into "paint." Paint mom something nice and maybe go for a bike ride with dad. Catch lightning bugs at dusk and bottle them all up in a mason jar. Eventually, let them free, all together.
Your brother is gross and weird, but he actually turns out to be a pretty cool kid. You don't have to be all mushy with him, but be sure he knows you love him. After all, he is family.
Make friends in the neighborhood, even if they are boys. So what? Challenge them. Race them on your bike with awesome purple and white streamers drifting from the handlebars. Push hard, through the soles of your Sketchers covered feet.
Pick up a piece of chalk and create a world of your own world with 3,000 Toys R Us stores, one police station, and only a few stop signs. Create and color your own flowers, whether they actually exist or not. Let your imagination run wild!
Turn on the radio and dance like crazy! Scream the lyrics to Smashmouth's "All Star" and Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape." Change the station every now and then to hear something new; it's always interesting to see your reactions to these interesting creations.
I want you to wear what you feel like and don't care what the others say about you. If you want to wear your purple dress-up shoes with your matching purse and hat, then do it. If you want to wear a Hula skirt in the dead of winter, do it (but please bring some leggings so mom doesn't flip out). If you want to wear those bedazzled jeans, then rock 'em.
If you're wondering why I'm telling you to do these silly things, it's only because we lost these traits along the way. I don't want you to miss the experiences that only come from the natural world because you had your head stuck in a tablet; it will all pass you in the blink of an eye.
I don't want you to ever feel trapped inside your house, no matter the weather. There is always a way out.
Don't let other people stop you from getting something you want. Don't let them intimidate you or talk you out of something you are passionate about.
Your friends will be the people you escape to when the house seems inescapable. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.
Your imagination is one of the greatest gifts you'll ever have. It drives you –your hopes and dreams, your wishes in the fountain and your kisses to the dandelions. Don't ever stop chasing them.
Always, always do what you want to do. You sing karaoke to that super catchy song because you know you'll kill it. Wear what you want however you want because you know that you look good in some strange way. (As long as you're not naked, that is). Stubbornness is good.
Your family will always be your family. What they do affects you, and vice versa. Bring them good, positive news. They don't need any more trouble.
Stand up for yourself, for your friends and family, for your beliefs and wishes. Be proud of the work you do and the life you live. Many people around you wish they could have lived like you did.
Most importantly, do not let your past define your future. A lot of things will happen, some of which may or may not go horribly wrong. There is nothing you can do to stop these things, except hope. You can always change for the better as long as you don't look back. Be proud of your past, but be known for your future –whatever you want that to be.
Please, promise me these things. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to never lose these traits –hold them tightly and never release them. I can't tell you how this life is going to go, because that simply isn't the way this world works. Just breathe through it and listen to your gut –that's the future guiding you.
I, and many others, love you –your character, your curls, your studded jeans,your pink Power Ranger costume, your Hello Kitty backpack, and your goofy smile.
Don't ever forget that.
The Girl Who Is Lost And Trying To Turn Back Time.