Packing for College: Getting Ready to Move to Campus

It is time for back to school for college students. With classes starting very soon at universities, first-timers and experienced college students will be heading to campus. Check out our list of great tips to ...

Print Email

College is an exciting time for many young people, particularly those who will be living on campus. Transitioning from home life to campus life can be difficult, so being prepared before you go can help the transition.

There are many elements of the campus that students have to keep in mind when living on campus:

  • Meal Plan: Do you live in a cooking dorm or does your dorm require you have a meal plan? This is an expense that many students forget to think about.
  • Laundry: Does the campus offer coin operated machines or do you use a preloaded card? Some students may opt for their laundry to be cleaned through a service that can be provided by the campus or off campus at an extra cost.
  • Transportation: Don't assume that all resident students can have a car on campus. Some colleges only allow upperclassman to have cars or only commuters. Be sure to check with your college before packing up your car. Also, learn about public transportation in the area.

After keeping the above in mind, check out these great tips for packing an preparing to move back to campus this fall!

  • Don't Bring Everything: Living on campus is only temporary, so you do not need to bring everything with you. Expensive jewelry and electronic items should stay at home as well as to avoid being stolen.
  • Avoid Spending a lot on Bedding: Generally, you will need to purchase twin extra long bed sheets. Your sheets are important, but spending a couple of hundred dollars on bed sheets can turn into a waste. Mattresses may not be in the best conditions, so invest in a mattress cover, foam mattress cover and a couple of cheap pillows. Because they are hard to clean, the cover, foam, and pillows can be thrown out at the end of each year.
  • Desk and Other Furniture: Double check with your school to see if they will have a desk and other furniture in your room. Do not buy furniture without finding out what you need. Also, when you are unpacking in your dorm, do not remove school property from the room because you may feel you do not need it. For example, if you bring your own desk chair and remove it from your room, you may get charges at the end of the year.
  • Forget Luggage, Use Garbage Bags (If traveling by car): Dorms are small, imagine having the store luggage all year and taking up space in your already cramped dorm room. Pro-tip: if you want to travel with luggage, consider unpacking your luggage and then having your parents take it home to bring back at the end of the year.
  • Tumble Dry Low/High Is Your Friend: If you have a lot of clothes that require to hang dry, you might have a difficult time properly doing your laundry. Be sure to pack clothes that not only look great, but are easy to clean.
  • Have a Hamper for Laundry: Clothes get dirty, have a place for them. When that hamper fills, it is time to clean the clothes. You don't want to, but you have to. Be sure to get two foldable ones in two different colors: one for dirty and one for clean.
  • Pack an Umbrella and Rain Boots: Something that is often forgotten is that bad weather happens on campus, so be prepared with the proper attire.
  • Pack Everything in Milk Carts: Not only do they stack well, they can be made into makeshift bookcases and storage.

Experienced college travelers, what packing tips do you have? Tell us in the comments below!