Rule #1: Pack Light
Now I don’t want to sound like your grandpa, but when I marched across Europe in Patton’s Third Army, I was allowed to carry nothing but a canteen and a rifle. The ability to pack light is not only an excellent life skill (just ask anyone except Chris McCandless), but is also indispensable when moving to college. For one thing, you won’t make a stellar first impression on your roommate if you show up on the first day with 200 books and 35 hoodies. Additionally, it’s important to note that your dorm rooms are not especially large. And when I say “not especially large,” what I mean is “atrociously small.” Unless you live in Rogers House, in which case you have numerous other concerns.
Rule #2: Some Clothes Are More Important Than Others
In the same vein of “don’t bring every fucking piece of clothing you own,” it should be noted that by properly adjusting the ratio of different types of clothes you bring, you can make a small amount of clothing go a long way. For example, if you bring 8 pairs of jean and 12 pairs of boxers, you can probably make it about three weeks without doing laundry. However, if you bring 3 pairs of jeans and 40 pairs of boxers, you can probably make it the whole quarter. Is it heinous? Yes, but such is life. Moreover, don’t pack a hefty winter wardrobe; between the months of December and March, everyone’s generally too busy being depressed to judge you on what you’re wearing. Rule #3: Think Before Ruling Something Out
Admittedly, this guideline conflicts slightly with my earlier suggestion to pack light. However, for those of us who didn’t go to Lyons Township High School, leaving something at home means that you are unable to have it at college. Therefore, while I advise you to be selective in what you bring, I also advise you to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of each item you might bring, because you may be surprised at what you can and can’t make use of in college. For example, I brought my graphing calculator to college, thinking it would be imperative, and the only time I used it was to figure out the cost-per-ounce of CVS-brand grape soda. Conversely, I chose not to bring a pair of overalls – a decision I regretted deeply upon every invitation I received to a white trash party.
Rule #4: Ignore What You’re Told Not To Bring
Before moving out to Evanston, you’ll receive an infuriatingly lengthy list of items prohibited in your dorm room, such as microwaves, coffeemakers, flags, banners, Christmas lights, and knives. This list should be treated like the constitution of a developing sub-Saharan nation – a mere technicality. CAs rarely attempt to bust their residents for making popcorn in their room or hanging up a Latvian flag next to their bed. So bring your appliances, bring your hanging decorations, and most importantly, bring your knives.