Congratulations on graduating from high school! As a new member of Class of 2020, you’ll probably spend your summer feeling nostalgic for the past four years while also getting ready to start college. Emotionally, this new era will be one of the most significant in your lifetime, so it can be hard to think of the practical stuff – specifically figuring out what you should bring and leave behind.
To minimize the chaos and stress of the next couple of months, here are five handy tips to help your move to college a great success.
1) Be Realistic
As my wife is happy to point out, I have a habit of believing my car is a TARDIS – larger on the inside than on the outside. This has led to some real moving stress.
College moves are unique in that they are usually temporary, as the dorms kick you out at the end of the school year. More important to remember – you also have a room to fill, not a house. Thus, It’s unlikely that you can show up with a truckload. Make sure you compare the size of your moving vehicle (whether it be your car, a parent’s pickup, or something else entirely) with that of your actual dorm room with a strong sense of realism. You don’t want a last minute panic of what to ship home because you decided to bring too much.
Trust me – I speak from experience.
2) Plan Ahead
Organization is your friend! It will save you from showing up with no underwear or all casual cloths with nothing to wear at a formal event. I definitely recommend making a detailed list that covers lots of contingencies, but do what works for you to make sure you know ahead of time what you NEED. And be prepared to accept that some “wants” may have to be left behind at home.
3) Listen to Your Resources
Your college will send information about what you will need. Read it! Bring what they tell you to bring – they help students like you every single year, so they know what they’re talking about with their suggestions. Also, talk to friends who’ve already made the move, ask what they found most useful and what things that they regret leaving behind.
4) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Remember: you aren’t moving to a remote part of the Arctic Circle (well, unless you actually are for a research opportunity), so there will be stores where you are going. You can buy toiletries, school supplies, and other basics almost anywhere, so if you need the space when packing your car, leave that stuff behind and buy it when you arrive.
5) Know Your New Home
Moving to Texas in August? Don’t pack the snowboard and your entire winter wardrobe. Besides, you are very likely to go home and bring extra seasonal clothing back with you when you return from your first trip home.
Also, don’t pack for every situation. Instead, pack for the most likely situations. Besides, if you bought it once, you can buy it again … or you can ask for a care package from home if you get desperate!
We hope these tips help you prepare for your move to college so you can still enjoy your summer break and get ready for your next adventure in the fall!