Freshman year is scary and exciting in every way imaginable, and the same goes for packing and planning your new dorm. The first year is probably the year you overpack the most. Although this list might not save you, hopefully, it limits how much you bring.
With all the different streaming services (and student discounts) available, there's really no need for these. I personally brought a bunch but took them home after the first semester. If there's a couple you want to bring go ahead, but limit it to 2 or 3.
2. High School Memorabilia
Okay, I'm not saying "don't bring anything" because it was a very recent and big time of your life. For instance, bring some pictures of your friends and family, but don't go overboard, just your favorites. However, you don't need to bring your senior day posters, diploma, graduation cap, and yearbook. Trust me you don't want to be known as the kids who peaked in high school.
Personally, I brought a couple pictures and a (very comfortable) softball sweatshirt. You're going to share stories from home, but nobody's going to know those people or places so it's not the same. Also, you'll be making so many new memories anyways.
These are definitely something you can bring…but be REALISTIC. You have to know yourself. After you've done a ton of reading for classes and are exhausted, are you going to read a book?
Also, don't pull a "me" and leave the book you never finished on top of your dresser under your bed when you move out. (The book happened to be the one I asked for and got for Christmas…oops.)
4. Every T-shirt and Sweatshirt You Own
When it comes to clothes in college, you have to be realistic. There's a limited amount of space in your dorm, so if there are things you can leave at home you should.
First is the t-shirts, you're going to get a ton more at school. Also sweatshirts, you don't really need that many. They're bulky and take up space, so maybe limit it to your favorite two. Again you'll probably get a couple more at school anyways.
5. A Ton of Blankets
I brought two of my favorite throw blankets, but one stayed in my closet all year. The heating is on high all year (well, when it's cold at least) and my bedding with one extra blanket was fine enough for me. The other one just took up a bunch of space.
6. Knick Knacks/Desk Decorations
I'm all for the wall decorations. Honestly, bring as many as you can fit, but try to keep the decorations on the wall. Once you see the limited amount of space you have you'll understand. However, you might have room for one or two other things.
I had a picture holder in the shape of the letter A, a Syracuse orange stress ball and a little 'Cuse craft I made at camp on the shelf on my desk. I did collect a few other things over the course of the year, but the wall is where most of my decorations (posters, canvases, a calendar, pictures, etc.) were.
7. Nail Polish
As someone who tends to feel naked without a coat of nail polish on, this is hard to admit. Trust me, I'm not saying don't bring any, I'm saying don't bring as much as me. I brought about 20 bottles (and had just as much if not more at home) but used maybe half of them…and only occasionally.
For me, I found I was either too busy to paint them, too lazy to wait for them to dry, or would just forget. Also, there might have been some FOMO making skip the painting if I'm being honest. This year I'm limiting it to my favorite polishes only.
8. Clothes You're Never Going to Wear
Let's face it, if you haven't worn them in forever you're not going to start now.
9. Big Pieces of Furniture
The school is going to provide you with pretty much everything you need. Everything from the bed to the desk chair and a fridge (depending on your school) is already going to be there.
The only thing I brought with me was an ottoman, for more storage and seating, and a rolling cart with drawers, again for storage and to act as a bedside table. Most schools list online what is included in the dorm rooms, so make sure you do your research.
10. Kitchen Appliances
There's going to be cafes and coffee shops all around campus and beverages available in the dining hall, but the convenience of a coffee maker is a personal choice (or one you make with your roommate). Anyways, most dorms aren't going to allow things like waffle makers, mini grills, kettles etc. It's probably smarter to leave them at home, than risk an RA confiscating them. Again make sure to do your research because some schools provide certain things.
11. A Printer
Sure it might be convenient, but is it convenient enough to have to replace the ink and be the person everyone comes to when they need something printed? If you bring one, trust me your friends will find out and want to use it. Also not every home printer can print double-sided and who wants to waste paper?
12. A Full Length Mirror
Most dorms already have one and let's be honest where are you gonna put the second one? But again this is why it's important to figure out what the school provides.
13. An Oil Diffuser
This is something that you need to check with your roommate on first. Scented oils can really affect people differently, so it's safer to check than waste your money bringing one. Not to mention, depending on how strong it is, you need to keep it away from your dorm's fire alarm since those alarms tend to be extra sensitive.
I know I sound like a broken record, but when packing everything for college the main thing to remember is to be REALISTIC. You have a very limited amount of space and your year will be much better if you use the space efficiently. This list is a good place to start, but make sure you do research specific to your school and dorm for the most accurate information.