What can I say except… you’re welcome!
So every college has a basic packing list with stuff that you’ll need like sheets, blankets, and towels. But what about the stuff they don’t tell you to bring? Stuff that’s not absolutely necessary, but it’ll make your life a little easier? Or what about the stuff that nobody ever needs in their first year of college?
Well, I’ve made these lists for you. Here are a few things that I’ve found very, very, very helpful in my freshman year here at Riddle… and things I want to ship home. Please keep in mind that this list is subjective, and it’s just advice from me, someone who has way too much stuff in her dorm.
#1: An umbrella AND raincoat.
You’re going to school in Florida. It rains a lot. And in addition to that, there are plenty of popup showers. These storms can get pretty bad- I walked from my dorm to class during part of tropical storm Eta. (Disclaimer: it wasn’t bad, just windy and rainy. It was completely safe to walk.) It sucked, but my top half stayed dry due to the raincoat and umbrella. If you want, you can only bring one, but I highly suggest both unless you enjoy impromptu free baths.
#2: A bedside caddy/shelf, especially for lofted beds.
THIS IS A MUST!!! Without it, you’ll be getting out of bed to plug your phone in or reaching over the side of the bed. With mine, I’m also able to plop my laptop in there on the very few days I have to get up early. It’s very nice; when I register for my classes, all I have to do is pick up my umbrella.
#3: A vacuum cleaner.
I assume you’ll have at least one snack in your dorm, and your roommate will, too. People- all people- are messy. Don’t attract bugs.
#4: A super-long phone charger. And by super-long, I mean 10+ feet long.
You can always coil it up if it’s too long. A cord that’s too short won’t reach. Especially if you choose not to get a bedside caddy, get a long phone charger so it’ll reach from the outlet under/beside your bed into your bed.
#5: A back pillow.
Okay, so apparently studying in bed is bad for you, but you’ll probably do it anyways. Or you’ll want to
Food is good. That’s all that needs to be said.
#7. A storage container that also works as a seat.
THESE THINGS ARE TO DIE FOR! I can store a bunch of my textbooks in it, throw the lid back on, and it’ll be a seat for my suitemate(s) if they want to come and sit in my half of the suite.
#1: A mini-blender (or similar)
I used to make smoothies in it… and now I’m too lazy to use/clean it out. Unless you’re sure that you’re going to use it, don’t bother.
#2: More than, like, 7 pairs of shoes.
Fifteen was too many. During break, I threw a bunch in my suitcase, and by “a bunch,” I mean half of my stash. Only bring 1-3 pairs of dress shoes, and only one of those should be heels.
#3: That shirt you haven’t worn in, like, six months.
I brought waaaaaay too many clothes. As a general guideline for casual clothes, if you can see yourself wearing it at least once every 2-3 weeks, then wear it. If it’s something formal (like a blazer), take at least one.
#4: A popcorn maker.
Bagged popcorn is good.
In the end, whatever you want to bring is completely up to you. Some people bring small TVs and regret it; other people bring full-on couches for their dorms and are very happy with it. Whatever you bring, it’s a good idea to check your specific dorm’s schematics and size, which is found on the ERAU housing websites.
After your first semester, you’ll learn what you do and don’t use. If you can send some things home, that’s great! If you can’t, you can always take it home at the end of the year, sell it during the year, or repurpose it to do something else. This school does have several engineers; chances are that you’ll be or know one!
Good luck, and I’ll see you in the next post!