{Back To School} Packing for the Big Day

The big day is finally here: it’s time to pack up the car and head off to college. While it might be difficult for parents to come to terms with this, it is also hard on the student. Most freshmen are required to live in the dorms during their first year and it might be the first time they are sharing a room with another person. With all of the excitement and nerves leading up to the big day, it’s easy to forget something before the big move. You can write a list and check it every day and you will still realize you forgot something after you move in. Here are the three things that are essential to have for your first day in the dorms:

1. Shower kit- After moving all day, especially in the summer heat, you are going to want to take a shower. It is important to have your shower kit prepared so you don’t have to run around sweaty and smelling for the rest of the day. There are several different types of college dorm shower caddies and they should be stocked with soap and shampoo. It’s also vitally important to have a pair of shower shoes. After seeing the dormitory showers compared to the nice clean one at home, you will be grateful you have them. You might not step into the shower without them. The last part of the kit that is nice to have is a robe. Since you have to walk to the showers and back, it’s nicer to have a robe instead of just a towel.

2. Bedding for an EXTRA LONG TWIN- From speaking with several of my friends who attended colleges all over the world, this appears to be the standard size in dorms. I can’t tell you how many people purchase the wrong size all the time and the local stores usually sell out quickly. You don’t want to sleep on the old mattress without sheets the first night, so make sure you have the right size bedding! Also, a mattress cover or padding provides an added layer of comfort and I highly recommend it.

3. Mini fridge and/or microwave- It’s a good idea to get in contact with your roommate before you move in to the dorm to discuss who will bring a mini fridge and a microwave. Having the dorm cafeteria and meal plan might seem great at first, but you get sick of it sooner than you think. It’s also nice to set up your refrigerator first so you can put water in it for later in the day.

These are the three things you will kick yourself over if you forget on the first day. There is plenty more to pack for the dorms. A trip out to Target or the local store to pick up a thing or two you forgot to get ahead of time is inevitable. The stores are usually well prepared and stock up in advance; just be prepared to wait in line during the first few days after move-in. If you want to avoid the lines, here is a brief list of things that you should pack before leaving for college:
* Toothbrush and toothpaste
* Pillow
* Medicines
* Clothing for ALL seasons
* Paperwork (you won’t believe how many people forget this!)
* Books and Magazines
* sunglasses and sunscreen
* Water and soda
* Snacks and home cooked food
* Flashlight
* Umbrella
* Good walking shoes
* Tool kit (in case you need to assemble anything)

This list is definitely not a complete list. Rather, these are important things that can come in handy on the first day. When I moved into the dorms, these were the things my friends and fellow dorm mates forgot. Even I was guilty of forgetting to bring a pillow and my roommate forgot his move in paperwork. Don’t let this happen to you! You want to have time to enjoy all of the freshman activities and events the university sponsors instead of running to Target and waiting in line!

Bio: Adam Bruk is a recent college graduate and now works as an online marketing specialist in Indianapolis. When he isn’t creating marketing plans and researching retail trends in socks for diabetics, you can find him on the golf course or visiting his alma mater.
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