Well, it’s that time of year again. Whether you’re in high school, undergraduate school, or graduate school, you know of the back-to-school nerves, excitement, and jitters all too well. You’ve spent the last 3-4 months of summer doing everything you could to ignore the looming and fast-approaching school year, and now you can’t ignore it anymore. While I could sit here and tell you about how it is okay to be nervous, how you shouldn’t worry too much about school that you make yourself sick, or the likes, I think it would be more practical to give you some insight on the big elephant in the room when it comes to college: packing for move-in day.
If you are anything like me, you’ve had your fair share of confusion, of switching out clothes upon clothes before throwing everything into a huge pile and giving up, of losing sleep at night thinking you are over-packing, and of once you’ve gotten all of your personal items moved in, wondering what you could send home. For many people, this can take all of the joy out of the first day back at school, starting new classes, seeing your old friends, meeting new ones, and settling into your home for the next nine months. Here’s a few little things you should remember to help you knock out those questioning thoughts and packing woes.
1) Say 'yes' to that last shirt.
This may seem like the simplest action in the world but seriously, just say ‘yes.’ Even if you’ve gotten everything packed into your car and have just managed to get it shut without bursting, and you take one last look around your room and see one of your favorite shirts that you forgot to grab, take it. Who cares if you’ve got crates and boxes galore jam-packed to the brim? If that shirt, or those jeans, or these pair of shoes are going to make you happy, don’t question it. If people give you some strange looks for unpacking to the likes of Elle Woods, just smile, flip your hair, “bend and snap.”
2) If you question it more than a handful of times, leave it home.
I know this sounds contradictory to #1, but my point here is that when I was a freshman, everything that initially came to mind, I packed, even if I questioned it ten million times after the fact. Lo and behold, not even a week after moving in, I realized I did not need said item(s), such as a photo album from a past concert or a speaker cube that didn’t connect to either of my devices. Sometimes, as hard as it is to believe, your gut instinct might just be correct when it comes to items like these. So as a rule of thumb, if you question it more than five times and can’t talk yourself into a reason you need it anymore, ditch it.
3) Don't be embarrassed.
Hey, this is your new home away from home, and it should feel like it. If you want to bring twenty stuffed animals but are afraid your roommate or your friends or that boy who sleeps over the first time will judge you for it, then who needs them? From experience, lots of guys find it cute, so don’t worry about that. In fact, I’m sure they, as well as your friends have something a little embarrassing from their childhood that they brought to remind them of home, whether it be an animal, a baby blanket, a Rugrats shirt ten sizes too small, or anything along those lines. Bring them! Plus, they can be great conversation starters.
4) Food is ALWAYS a yes.
This is a given. Always, always, always say yes to food. You never know when you’ll need a bag of chips, a Nutella fix, or a microwaveable chicken alfredo dinner. The dining hall food could suck. You could miss your meal plan and not want to spend that extra money. It could be midnight and you’ve got the munchies. You could even just want something familiar or specific. If you see something in your cabinet and think about how much you want it, chances are you’ll want it again a few weeks from now and you’ll be glad you tossed it into your pile.
Don’t stress. Decorating your room and deciding what you want to bring with you is one of the best parts of the college experience, so don’t let it become something you hate by stressing out about every little decision. It may seem like a lot or not enough now, but by the time you get your room all set up, you’ll know you made the right choices. Good luck!