After studying for hours on end and stressing about final after final, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. You finish your last final and you feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. You can't wait to go home, see your friends and family, and celebrate the holidays with food not from a dining hall. The suffering is finally over!
Until you remember you still have to pack.
Packing is pretty much universally hated amongst the population. No one likes having to shove all their necessary belongings in a tiny suitcase, but packing for winter break is a WHOLE different type of packing. If you really think about it, it shouldn't be that difficult of a task, yet it's one of the biggest struggles that I still haven't mastered. Almost every time I pack to go home, I somehow end up sitting in the middle of my floor, surrounded my clothes, on the verge of a mental breakdown.
That being said, I've compiled a list of some of biggest the struggles of packing for winter break:
1. Deciding which clothes I want to bring home
You look in your closet and dresser, and you stare. You look at all of your T-shirts and pairs of jeans, trying to decide which ones you want to take home. No, you don't need to bring home a hundred different T-shirts...but somehow you seem to find yourself packing a hundred T-shirts. Even though you know you have a hundred T-shirts at home, but those T-shirts aren't THESE T-shirts. Next thing you know, your entire bag is just...T-shirts.
2. Speaking of clothes, WHY DO SWEATERS TAKE UP SO MUCH SPACE?!
After you've packed your T-shirts, you move on to your other clothes. You go to put in your jeans and your sweaters, but you only pack a few of those. Because even if you pack just one or two pairs of jeans... THEY TAKE UP YOUR WHOLE FREAKING SUITCASE! Sweatshirts, sweaters, jeans, they all take up so much dang space that there's never enough room for anything else. You try rolling them, folding them as neat and tight as possible, you even try putting other things inside the jeans to save space. But no matter how fancy you get with folding, you still don't have any space left.
3. To wash or to pack, that is the question
If you're like me, then you were studying for finals all week long. Studying took up all your free time and was the only thing you worried about for the last two weeks. So naturally, you forgot about your laundry.
Well, that pile of laundry has become a mountain, and you're going home tomorrow. You're faced with the decision of whether or not you should do your laundry here or take it all home. Then you weigh the pros and cons of each side. If you take your laundry home, then you don't have to wash it here, but then you have to pack more when you're coming back from break. If you do wash your clothes at school, then you have less to pack, but then you have to pay for laundry and put the clothes away. By the time you finally reach a decision, it's 1:00 a.m. and you find yourself in the laundry room shoving your clothes into those tiny washers.
4. Packing your makeup
I'm not going to lie, I surprisingly own a lot of makeup for someone who is not good at makeup. I have so much makeup that if I had to pack it all up, I would need a whole separate suitcase. That being said, deciding on which makeup to bring home with me is a whole separate struggle. You have to look at all the different palettes and decides which ones you think you'll ACTUALLY use. All the hypotheticals start to come to mind like, "What if I wanna be festive and use red eyeshadow? Then I'll need this eyeshadow palette," or "But what if I want to go for the more subtle look? Then I'll need this palette." The "what ifs" are never-ending when it comes to makeup.
5. Face wash and lotion and toothpaste, OH MY!
Packing lotions and liquids always stresses me out, because I'm always afraid things will explode and get all over my clothes. So I double bag literally EVERYTHING, but at the same time, I'm trying to remember what I already have at home. Then I finally get home, and I discover that all my lotions and face washes did explode and NOW I have to clean EVERYTHING. You'd think there would be a solution for this problem by now.
6. Shoes. I forgot shoes.
I am that person who doesn't own a large number of shoes, but the ones that I do own, I wear all the time! Basically, this is me saying that I need to bring home many pairs of shoes. Shoes take up a huge amount of space, and they are also dirty, so I hate putting them on my clothes. Therefore, I have to wrap them so they don't touch anything else. Even though that doesn't sound too complicated, I normally just end up shoving all my shoes in a trash bag.
7. How much underwear is too much underwear?
I'm just gonna say it, I PACK UNDERWEAR LIKE I'M GONNA CHANGE IT THREE TIMES A DAY. I don't know what it is about underwear but I always overpack it. I've talked to other people about this so I know I'm not alone, but I can't help it. You go through all your clothes and you get to your underwear and you throw in 20+ pairs. One pair of underwear doesn't take up that much space, but twenty do.
8. WAIT, did I pack socks?
Socks are the forgotten item when it comes to packing. Everything could be packed and ready to go, then ten minutes before I have to leave I remember socks. They are an essential part of an outfit (especially in the winter), but for some reason, I can never remember to pack them. On the rare occasion when I do remember to pack them, I place them in the strangest places. I place them in my shoes, legs of my jeans, literally anywhere they will fit.
9. HOW DO I PACK GIFTS IF I CAN'T EVEN PACK SWEATERS
Winter break also means holidays, and holidays means gifts. I normally do a majority of my shopping online or around my school area. When the time comes to go home, I have to bring gifts home too! The struggle of bringing gifts home is not acknowledged enough. If things are fragile, you can't just shove them in your suitcase. O the gift will be too large to fit in the bag.
10. *Finds another item after suitcase is packed and ready to go* CRAP where am I going to fit this?
After you have FINALLY gotten your life together and you packed everything, you needed to go home. All your shoes are ready to go, and your sweaters are nicely folded next to your twenty pairs of underwear. You sit down and wait for your bus to arrive or for your parents to pick you up.
Then in the corner of your eye, you see it. The thing. That one thing that you forgot to pack! Panic comes over your whole body. You have no clue where this item is going to fit in your bag. You quickly unzip your bag looking for a spot, but in the deepest part of your soul you know it's not happening. You try to move things around, but your ride will be here any minute. So what do you do? You carry it out in your hand with a face of annoyance, but at the same time relief, because you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Packing is a task sent from Satan himself. Maybe by senior year, I'll finally have this packing thing down... but probably not.