Avoid the stress that comes with a mile-long college packing list, and still be sure you’re ready for your freshman year by focusing on these must-do tasks and things to pack.
Every year, cars crammed with furniture, clothes, and cute dorm décor fill the highways headed to colleges around the country. A report shows that more than 3 million people will enroll in college for the first time this year, where a great deal are recent high school graduates.
Those who spent the last few years prepping for this moment want to make sure they have everything they need for their first year far from home, but a college packing list may only list the things to bring, not the tasks to accomplish before they unlock their dorm room doors.
Yet, to help clear this fog, the stress, and the overstuffed car, we put together a less painless college packing list full of must-dos and must-haves for your upcoming freshman year.
Set up a bank account near campus
If you don’t have your own bank account, now’s the time to sign for one. Preferably, you should choose a bank with the branch as near as possible to your campus (or even on campus) to ensure you always have access to cash and a live person to consult with in case of problems. Take time to assess your budgeting, basic vs unnecessary expenses, pay bills, and learn how to balance your checkbook. Also, building your credit card can help you build a credit history, but you will still have to understand the many risks and pitfalls of credit ill-usage and the long-term consequences of a bad credit rating. By working to build a budget at the start of your semester, you will better understand the consequences of your financial decisions. Also, taking weekend trips to visit friends at other schools sounds fun, but it could cost a lot more and make it more difficult to pay your rent later in the semester.
Book a doctor’s appointment
Most universities and colleges in the U.S expect students to be fully immunized before attending. It’s common for universities to follow state-provided vaccine commitments. If you’re heading out-of-state school, contact the state’s department of health or the university or college to determine what vaccines they require and ask for an appointment with your health department or family physician to have them administered.
You should also schedule appointments for a physical exam before school starts and make sure you know where the school’s mental and medical health facilities are located and that you’re familiar with and comfortable with making appointments.
What are the biggest priorities to pack?
Many college freshmen complain about crushing symptoms of anxiety linked to their transition to college life. What’s more, research has shown that sleep disruption seriously impacts stress hormones and neurotransmitters, which lead to the inability to regulate emotions and impaired thinking -two of the most common symptoms of mental disorders. Nearly every person who passed through college can attest sleep usually happens by the wayside in front of new routines, increased workload, higher academic expectations, and new and exciting social opportunities.
However, a restful night of sleep and a steady sleep routine are some of the most important aspects of maintaining your health. That said, to ensure you get the sleep you need, quality bedding, the coziest men’s loungewear, a white noise machine, a mattress topper, and a black-out curtain should be on top of your college packing list.
Most college dorms are equipped with a microwave and an oven, but sometimes you just feel like staying in your room. Having a small microwave around can be a life-saver – especially when you want to avoid the busy communal kitchen. You should also have access to your own cookware – at least one small pot, one small pan, a small measuring cup, a mixing bowl, and necessary cutlery. But don’t forget coffee, the lifeblood that will keep you up and ready in your toughest college years.
A first-aid kit
You may not be used to fending for yourself when it comes to the many pains and aches of life. Having a cabinet at home always stocked for headaches might leave you off-guard in front of numerous little health issues and physical discomforts on your own. However, packing an OTC medication or first aid kit will give you peace of mind and comfort in taking care of yourself. You may consider including antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, ibuprofen, antihistamines, antacid tablets, a pair of tweezers, eye drops, a thermometer, and cough drops.
Smart storage solutions
There is no news – dorms are really small. But placing along a few space-saving storage solutions can help you stay organized and have more of what you need.
- Consider the under-bed bin options to store shoes, clothes, towels, and more.
- A hanging closet rod may work wonder if need to double the amount of closet that can fit in a closet snag
- Try using the space under your bed by incorporating bed risers.
What to leave at home
College year will only mean one thing – it’s going to be you or a family member – not licensed movers – carrying the boxes and everything you pack. No matter how close the parking lot may look, a short block can feel like a marathon when you move those heavy boxes.
Remember, you don’t need to fill every box – instead, each box or luggage you take weighs in at a manageable weight for you and your family to easily carry. Pack what you only need, or else you will come to regret it. A great rule of thumb is if you can buy an item after you’ve moved in. Preferably something that you don’t need to load up and drive across the country with. Also, if it hasn’t been used in over a year, it’s probably safe to leave it at home.
Featured Photo by David Kennedy on Unsplash