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What Not to Bring to College

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Dorm life is an important first step toward, but not the same step as, getting your own place. There are many more restrictions in a dormitory than in your average apartment building, not to mention the probable lack of space that these living conditions are famous for. So, once you know what you need to bring, it's important to consider what you shouldn't bring. This will make both your packing and your move a whole lot easier and your new dorm seem a lot roomier.

Excess Books

College is going to require a good amount of reading, no matter what your major is. The likelihood that you'll get around to needing everything you have on your bookshelf now is very slim. Don't bring books you've already read or don't plan to read very soon; just be honest with yourself about what you'll actually use and not use. Besides, college libraries aren't usually lacking in the book department. Having stacks of books all over the place is one of the many dorm clichés. Try to minimize it with good preparation!

Excess Movies

These, like books, are going to take up a lot of room, and you probably won't use them anyway. Take a few movies that you really like, but if you have an extensive DVD collection, it's probably best to leave it at home. There's no reason to devote a whole section of your probably quite-tiny dorm room to a bookshelf if you don't have to.

All of Your Clothes

This might depend on how closely your dorm will be to where your stuff is being kept. If your parents--or whomever is nice enough to let you leave your stuff at their house--live close by, then you might be able to leave most of your winter clothes alone until you need them. If your clothes are going to be far away, you might even consider just waiting until winter break to get those things, if you plan on going back home. Only take what you need.

Restricted Items

Each school is going to have its own policies concerning restricted items in the dormitories, and this can even vary from building to building on a single campus. Following is a list of commonly prohibited items:

  • Toasters or toaster ovens
  • Small appliances with a hotplate (i.e., a coffee maker)
  • Candles/incense
  • Ashtrays/smoking paraphernalia (if smoking is prohibited)
  • Microwaves of over a certain wattage
  • Halogen lamps

Living at school is sometimes just about simplicity. It can even be refreshing to start this new period of your life without all the excess stuff you've accumulated. Of course, once you've spent a semester or two in the dorm, you'll know exactly what you do and don't want for next year.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on June 29, 2010

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