Packing for college is not an easy task. When you are living at school, you have to squish hundreds of items into one tiny dorm room that you share with a roommate. There are certainly some things you may want to bring to school that may be better left behind, but here are our top ten picks that you should definitely not leave behind.
1. Your teddy bear.
Yes, we know - you are in college, and you don't need your teddy bear any more (but rock on if you do!). But what we are getting at here is that it is essential that you bring something special that makes you feel like you are at home. Living at school is exciting, but many college students get home sick. Having that special something at school with you, whether it's a stuffed animal you grew up with, your favorite pillow, or just a picture of your family, will help you battle the away-from-home blues.
2. Your IDs.
With all of the other things you need to remember to pack, don't forget these! Without them, you won't be able to register or find a campus job. So, while you are busy checking off shampoo and bedding on your packing list, don't forget to bring your license, a copy of your birth certificate, and your social security card.
3. Stinky breath doesn't make a good first impression.
How many times have you gone on vacation and arrived at your destination to realize you forgot your toothbrush? While this may be an easy thing to pick up at the local pharmacy if you forget it, it's a hassle you just don't want to have to deal with on your first day of college.
4. Ahem, your underthings.
While you are busy trying to figure out just the right thing to wear on your first day of school, don't forget the things that go under your clothes. It's a good idea to bring 2 weeks worth of undergarments. You'll find college life is busy and sometimes it's easy to procrastinate doing laundry. Having two weeks worth of undies will prevent days of having to walk around campus commando.
5. Prescription medications.
This is another small item that is easy to overlook but essential to have. If you take prescription medications, make sure you have enough for your first month of college - at least - and that you pack them the morning you leave for school instead of leaving them behind in the medicine cabinet.
6. Laundry bag
A basket works too but it does take up a lot more space. You don't want to be hauling loads of laundry down four flights of stairs in your arms. Think of all of the embarrassing things you could drop behind!
7. First aid kit
The first time your scrape your knee at school, you may want mom to kiss it better, but she won't be there to help. Make sure you have band-aids, ointment, painkillers, tissues, and cold medicine for those times when you hurt yourself or aren't feeling so great.
8. Rain gear
Like it or not, wherever you go to college you are probably going to be dealing with at least a little rain. At college, you do a lot of walking. So when there is a downpour and you have to make it to your 9am class, you will be glad that you brought a rain coat and umbrella so you don't have to suffer through lecture in cold wet clothes. Make sure your umbrella is a sturdy one that will hold up to the windiest of days.
9. Can opener
You are probably to be pulling some all-nighters at college. And when you need a second dinner at 3am, it's likely going to be coming from a can. Make sure you have a can opener with you so you aren't forced to suffer in hunger longingly starting at your can of yummy soup.
10. Formal wear
While it is tempting to walk around in sweatpants and t-shirts all of the time, campuses often hold formal dances and other events so it is best to come prepared. Also keep in mind you will need something professional for any job interviews you attend.
For a full list of what to bring to college, click here.
Still need some help figuring out how you are going to make your tuition payment? Make a free appointment with the College Planning Center of RI and we can help you sort out your options.