If you follow every single list you see, you'll end up packing your entire house. You don't have much room in the small box you're assigned, so you have to make sure you use your space well. Here's my advice from living in the residence halls for two years. Take it or leave it, here it is!
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I thought I'd go to the store and buy a bunch of healthy food. I was wrong.
Maybe if I had an apartment or one of those fancy shared spaces with a kitchenette I would have, but being in a regular dorm room, I definitely wasn't using extra bowls and plates. I used takeout boxes.
Nice shoes & clothes
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I brought way too many nice outfits. Here's a secret: you won't need to dress up often.
Bringing one or two outfits is smart just in case you have to do a presentation or an interview, but otherwise, you want to just be comfy for class.
My suggestion is to bring versatile clothing that could be casual or dressy.
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I'm not sure if anyone even has these anymore . . . but I brought a whole bunch of DVDs that I used maybe once.
Mooch off of someone's Netflix and take advantage of the free Hulu and Showtime that come with the $5 student Spotify.
Krisztina Papp on Unsplash
Yes, these are cute. They're also annoying.
Usually, these pillows end up on the floor or covered in the spaghetti you brought back from the dining center. They also end up getting in the way and are more frustrating than they are comfortable and cute.
High school tshirts
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Honestly, no one really cares about where you went to high school anymore.
You will also get plenty of free t-shirts after one week on campus. You won't know where to put all of the t-shirts you end up with.
Every single school supply you can find
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As you might've figured, college is quite different from anything you've ever known.
You might not want one binder for each class or even a pencil pouch. Bring the bare minimum and feel out the first week of classes to see what you actually need.
AllGo on Unsplash
These things get ruined so quickly.
Not many people use them because they're extremely uncomfortable. You're probably not going to have 20 people over at a time like you may anticipate (and if you do, that's just asking for a noise violation). There's not much space in your room - save what space you have for other things that are more important . . . like a mini-fridge!
At the end of the year, they suck to move, and most people end up throwing them away. Save yourself the trouble and money - don't get one of those nasty things that pose as a couch.
Keurig / coffee maker
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These might be good if you're absolutely addicted to coffee.
You'll probably end up going to Starbucks or the local coffee shop, anyway. And the dining center will have free coffee for you caffeine addicts whether you want it in the morning or for that late night study sesh.
Millions of sheet and towel sets
Mel Poole on Unsplash
Though I did appreciate having one extra set of each, there's no room to put so many sets of sheets and towels.
It's nice to have an extra to use while you're doing laundry or when you're too lazy to do laundry but need clean sheets and towels.
Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Being a book lover, it pains me to say this . . . but save your space.
You won't have much time to read, anyway. Bring the books you love the most, and the others will be waiting for you when you get home.
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Most dorm beds have an adjustable height.
Bed risers are practically useless because of the ingenuity of adjustable beds, so there's no need to bring any of these.
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I would recommend a small, handheld vacuum.
The big ones are difficult to store and end up just getting in the way. Bring something that'll do the job for the few years you have to live in the box they call a dorm room.
College is a new adventure that is in many ways great yet terrifying. You have to make so many decisions about where to live, who to hang out with, and what to bring with you. Whether these are the best years of your life, the worst, or somewhere in between; just like any experience, college is what you make of it.