Hey gals! My name is Abbie and I will be a junior this year at Milligan. When I moved in my freshman year, I brought A LOT of stuff. A lot of it was useful, but a lot sat in a tote under my bed all year. I had done a fair amount of Pinteresting and planning, but I was so nervous that nothing was in order in my brain. I can be the best planner and packer until I start thinking of everything as a life choice. I kept looking at every t-shirt I owned and wondering what message each would communicate to my new peers. I looked at every movie I owned and tried to imagine what a movie night with new friends would look like. In total, I overthought everything and ran out of space in my car. I’m not saying all of you are like me, but I think I have learned some things that may help you make better choices. Here is a bit of my best advice and suggestions.
Depending on how far away you live, it is better to bring less than more. It is really easy to overestimate how much stuff you need, but I promise you can live without half the stuff you are planning to pack. It is also really easy to borrow or share things with the dozens of new friends and acquaintances you are literally living with. As far as clothes go, bring as many undergarments and socks as you can. With everything else try to underestimate your need, especially t-shirts! You will more than likely get a lot of t-shirts from different school events and activities. Eventually, they will stock your whole supply, so just bring 5 or 10 to get you started. Learn to share as much as you can. If you’re willing to let someone use something, you will reap the rewards plentifully.
You already have plenty of college packing lists at your hands with all the typical, easy-to-overlook items, but here are some of my ‘Abbie’s life lessons’ things I found to be super needed/helpful:
- Simple snacks, like nuts or fruit cups, that you can snack on without encouraging any freshman mistakes (aka super freedom of the sweet tooth).
- Planner, pocket calendar, or agenda that you BRING TO CLASS.
- A husband pillow (you know, the ones that sit up and have the two arms coming forward). I found mine vital for reading and homework and just general comfort without a headboard.
- Daily shower cleaning spray.
- Some kind of plant – so much joy!
- A shelf, totes, or drawers for under your bed.
- Kinetic sand!!!!! Best stress reliever ever!
- Throw pillows or bean bag to make your friends feel welcome to hang.
- Something that smells good. Be careful to check what is allowed, but simple sitting air fresheners in both your room and bathroom make a difference.
- Something to remind you to be a child every now and then, like a coloring book, a stuffed animal, a simple toy or puzzle, a paint set, etc. It’s up to you.
Hopefully this will get some ideas flowing on what will be most needed for you. This part of the college transition is super dependent on who you are and how you like to live. Just make sure you realize the same is true for your roommate as well! Be sure to call, meet up, Skype, or something before you go out and buy all kinds of stuff. Share as much as possible and divvy up the common expenses. Also, just feed off each other’s excitement. I promise you’re going to love it!
-Written by Abbie Russell ’21