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What to Pack: Freshman Year

EEEK!!! I head back to Hofstra in just under 3 weeks and I cannot believe how quickly summer has flown by! I feel like my trip to Korea was years ago, and the new semester is creeping up on me. I have friends who have already headed back to school, and I haven’t even thought about packing…Speaking of packing, I wanted to put together a little post about what to bring to college. This is mostly helpful for those starting freshman year, but even if you’re a senior who just can’t remember what you need, you may find this list helpful.

dorm
This was my dorm freshman year- can you tell I color-coordinated?
What to Bring
  • Bedding: this seems obvious, but you need more than just a set of sheets. Make sure to pack a mattress pad, a mattress topper/egg crate, and a blanket because dorms are COLD. Even when you can control the temperature in your own room, sometimes the school keeps the AC on until November…
  • Towels: whether you have your own bathroom or you’re sharing with the entire hallway, a few big, fluffy towels are a must.
  • Bathrobe: for running down the hall to catch the next open shower.
  • Shower shoes: I cannot stress this enough- if you are using a communal bathroom WEAR SHOWER SHOES. Don’t even try to think about what could be on that floor.
  • Books/DVDs: I know you think you’ll be out every night with your awesome new college friends, but sometimes you find yourself at home alone and need something to do besides homework. Don’t bring your entire movie collection, but a few favorites can really zap your homesickness.
  • Medicine: If you take any prescriptions or even just need an Advil every now and then, bring it. You never know when you’ll need them and you don’t want to be wandering through the school’s convenience store coughing up your lungs and paying $12 for some cough syrup.
  • A winter coat: If you are going to school anywhere above the Mason-Dixon line, you will need your coat. A lot of people recommend leaving your winter clothes at home and swapping them out at Thanksgiving break. These people are either a)crazy or b)did not go to school in New York. I needed coats, sweaters, and boots around October, and that was a mild winter. Don’t pack every sweater you own, but if you’re headed north you definitely won’t need that bikini.
  • Slippers: Tile floors are cold, and sometimes it’s just too much effort to put on real shoes to run down the hall to your friend’s room.

What to Leave at Home:

  • Your entire wardrobe: I was the worst packer ever my freshman year- 90% of what I brought was clothes, and I think I ended up wearing about 30%.  You will end up wearing a variation of the same few outfits all semester, whether you intend to or not.
  • T-shirts: Also a mistake I made- I brought 12020481204810 t-shirts, saying, “I’ll need these to lounge around my dorm!!” Much like my regular clothes, I ended up wearing the same 5 shirts all year. You will also accumulate shirts during the year from various clubs, sporting events, and giveaways, so keep your freshman year drama club shirt at home.
  • Formal wear: leave your prom dress at home; formal events are usually scheduled far enough in advance that you will be home on break to pick it up or will be able to buy another one (this is almost always true….). Take one or two nice outfits that you could wear to an event such as a dinner, initiation, presentation, or interview. This goes for heels- stick to one or two pairs that will go with your nice outfits.
  • Every accessory, beauty product, headband, pair of socks, etc. that you own: While you won’t be wearing sweatpants every day (at least I hope not!!), you most likely won’t get dressed up as often. And if you need something, you can always buy it! Unless you are going to college atop the Himalayas, you probably don’t need your massive collection of eyeshadow or 47 pairs of underwear. You’ll be fine.
lions
After the 2 day car ride from Texas- this is actually in front of the admissions office where I now work!

There is no way I could put into one list every single thing you need for college. It’s one of those “you’ll see when you get there” things. I know, it makes heading off for freshman year even more stressful, but you’ll get through it!

People aren’t lying when they say that college is waaaaayyy better than high school. College is AMAZING- you will meet so many new people that share your interests and come from all over the world. I had a blast my first semester, and I am not exaggerating when I say that each semester has become exponentially more awesome. I have made incredible friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime, become a part of amazing organizations, and done some pretty crazy things.

No matter where you’re going, you will love college. Just remember to get out there, meet people, go to class even at 8 am, call your mom, and study at least a little. But most importantly, have fun!

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