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College packing tips for freshmen

By Sarah Bermingham, RCHS intern writer; photos courtesy of the Mendus family

Photo of college freshman off to school

Pictured left to right: Sarah, Emily and Anna Mendus help Emily move into her college apartment. The Mendus family recommends having as many helpers on move-in day as your school allows. Often, it can take many trips from the car to the dorm room to get moved in, and be prepared for the possibility of many stairs. Bring snacks, drinks and any tools needed for assembly of items you are bringing.

As an incoming college freshman, I know how overwhelming it can be to choose what to take to school, especially when move-in day is so different this year. With time restraints and a lack of volunteers to personally help with move-in day, efficiency and smart packing are essential.

College housing departments are a valuable resource when it comes to figuring out what to bring. Different dorm rooms have different layouts, rules and available furniture. Find out as much specific information as you can about your dorm. You may not need to bring a mini-fridge, microwave or an extra chair. As far as personalizing your space, some schools provide cork boards to protect the walls so you will want push pins. Most schools only allow the types of hooks, picture-hangers, and fasteners that do not damage walls. Some schools provide a locking drawer for valuables but you need to purchase a lock.

Photo of Emily Mendus

Emily Mendus enjoys her newly moved-in dorm room. While what is considered a dorm essential will vary by person, plan ahead by learning as much as possible about your dorm.

Emily Mendus will be a senior at Colorado Mesa University this year. Her favorite items included a microwave, a power strip, a speaker, shower flip flops and tote, hanging closet storage, a hot water kettle, and storage bins that fit conveniently under the bed. Under-bed storage is valuable space; check with your college to see how many inches you have to work with and use drawers for easy access.

Fun things are important too, especially when many college activities this year will look very different. Sarah Mendus, who will be a sophomore at Colorado State University, said that she and her roommate found the perfect way to enjoy their dorm room with a mini projector. “We could plug it into a laptop and watch movies projected on the wall, which was really fun,” Sarah said.

Jack Barton, who is heading off to Texas Tech University is keeping it simple. Barton said, “I think my computer is going to be the most important thing I have to pack for college. Even though I’m going to be on campus, all of my classes are going to be on Zoom or something like that, so it’s crucial I have one.”

If you are traveling out of state for school, consider ordering dorm essentials and having them shipped to your school. Keep in mind that your dorm room doesn’t have to be perfect on move-in day, and it can evolve as you spend time there.



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