• Emily Cavuto

A Freshman's Guide to Packing for College

Calling all my high school seniors! I know this time is pretty stressful thinking about all that next year brings. There’s a lot of uncertainty since we’re all entering into a completely new stage in our lives. In an attempt to make it a bit easier, here’s some tips from my sister, Ashley Cavuto, who is a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame!

College Essentials:

1. Shower Shoes

While these may be overlooked, shower shoes are a definite necessity for college wherever you go! Obviously, you are no longer sharing a shower just with your family and instead with a bunch of people, so be sure to pack these when you head out to college in the fall! These could be a backup pair of flip flops, crocs, or really any pair of shoes that can get wet.

2. Organizer for Toiletries

It’s really important to stay organized once you begin living in a dorm room. Since the rooms are typically pretty small, it’s really easy for everything to get cluttered. That’s why having something to hold all of your toiletries is really important in order to maximize cleanliness. Common options are hanging dopp kits as they can fit pretty much anywhere.

3. Command Strips and Hooks

In order to make your dorm room feel as much like home as possible, it’s a great idea to bring things to hang up on the walls. These could be things from home or just decorations that make it feel like your own room rather than a dorm room. The best way to hang them up is with command strips and hooks; they’re super simple to use and even easier to take down at the end of the year. Most dorms have a fee at the end of the year for if the room is damaged, including if paint is chipped. Therefore, it’s great to use command strips since they don’t damage anything.

4. Extra Storage

When you get to college, there will most likely be provided a dresser and/or closet space. However, this is usually not enough to hold all of your belongings! It’s really smart to buy extra storage containers (Bed Bath & Beyond has good ones) to place throughout your room to hold extra things!

Things You Don’t Actually Need:

1. Too Many Clothes

Going into college, it’s natural to over-pack. It’s scary thinking of running out of clothes, and you obviously have no idea what you are or are not going to wear. However, you really don’t need that many clothes. First of all, most kids dress pretty casually to class—leggings, sweats, sweatshirts, etc.—so you won’t actually go through as many clothes as you think. Second, there are washing machines and you usually end up wearing the same clothes anyways since those end up being your favorites.

2. Too Many Shoes

The same thing with clothes goes for shoes! You pretty much only wear one or two pairs of shoes the entire year. Plus, shoes take up a BUNCH of space! I would strongly encourage you to take as few pairs of shoes as possible.

3. Excessive Decor

While in the beginning, it’s really fun to buy a ton of decor for your dorm room, you don’t want to overdo it. It’s a really big pain to take down at the end of the year, and it’s also pretty difficult to store/transport back home if you don’t live close to campus.

4. Small Things

I know this may seem like an arbitrary category, but it’s pretty important. Like I said before, your dorm room is going to be pretty tiny and throughout the year it’s most likely going to get pretty messy, as well. That means that it is super easy to misplace things and super difficult to find them!

One More Tip:

Depending on where you go to college, the water will be different. For example, in the midwest the water is a lot harder than on the East Coast, meaning there’s a lot more minerals in the water. If you use things like a steamer to unwrinkle your clothes,a facial steamer as part of your skincare routine, etc. you need to use distilled water. Otherwise, the minerals from the water will stain your clothes and it could have negative effects on your skin!

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