It was the day before I was to leave for my freshman year of college to live on campus and I had nothing packed. What was I going to do? Pack everything is the answer, or is it? I packed an entire suitcase that had enough room for a family of four on a week's vacation. I packed every piece of clothing that was in my room. I had everything from shorts to winter coats. I packed sneakers, fancy shoes, slippers, and socks. I even packed a variety of purses. The result of waiting last minute to pack was the first of my problems. I put no thought into what I was packing, other than making sure I had everything I could ever want or need.
Here is some advice on how to pack accordingly and efficiently:
Do not wait until the last minute to pack. The more time you give yourself to pack, the easier it will be. You are moving out, it is a big change. So give yourself time to really think about what you can't live without over the things you will never even use once. Toothbrush, yes. Every Playstation game ever made that you own ... no. Just bring a few.
Pack according to the season that you are in. If it is fall, then you do not need your winter jacket and chunky sweaters. You can make use of space if you pack according to the season that you are in. When winter break comes around, you can then switch out your clothes. You can bring the summer clothes home and bring in the warm and cozy clothing.
For shoes, less is more. You will think you need a variety until you realize that you wore the same moccasins to class consistently every week. You may want to bring sneakers to work out in or for campus events and walks. So bring a pair of sneakers, but you will not need an abundance of them. You will have casual/dressy events on campus and class presentations that will require a nice outfit. For this situation, bring a nice pair of neutral shoes that can go with everything. This will help to avoid over packing too many choices of shoes.
Also, remember to bring comfortable clothing. There will be nights that you are up late studying, movie nights, sleepovers, and lazy days. You will want your favorite sweatpants and favorite sweatshirt. You will be grateful that you have them for those long days when you just want to relax.
Bring high school apparel. Anything from hats, shirts, and hoodies, but keep it minimal. This may seem strange, but bring something with your high school logo or name. This can help to make friends and find friends. Your high school attire can be a great use of conversation starters. For example, one of my professors has a daughter that went to my high school. We both figured this out because I was wearing my high school attire. This is a great conversation starter that lead to a new and exciting discovery.
Aside from clothing, you will be packing food. This is something that I would suggest to bring more of than less. The more food you have handy, the less money you will spend on going out to eat. Also, if you are someone who likes to eat healthy, bring healthy choices, such as rice cakes, oatmeal, and cereal—all things that can be stored and will last long on the shelf. By bringing healthy choices, it will be easier to grab a healthy meal instead of buying an unhealthy one.
These are just a few tips and tricks to help you pack for college that I wish someone told me. Ultimately, less is more and pack according to the current season. Good luck and happy packing!