As many of you know, I’ve just finished my freshman year at Gettysburg College. I’m only a few weeks away from the start of my sophomore year and I could not be more excited to get back! When I started thinking about what I needed to buy for my room for the upcoming year, I began considering when I packed up my dorm room at the end of last semester. As I was packing I found many things that I hadn’t touched all year. Yes, there were various things that I spent my graduation money and my parents money on that I never once used. Now don’t take this list as the bible because every person is different and some people might use these things even though I didn’t. However, in the end I hope to use the knowledge I’ve acquired to save you some time and money, if you’re an upcoming freshman, by helping you avoid things you probably won’t need.
1. Plates and Food Containers – I bought about three large plastic plates and an assortment of food containers before I went to school that I thought I would use when eating/saving food in my dorm. Well that was the issue, I rarely ever ate in my room. With my school providing a well-rounded meal plan I never really needed to make food while I was in my room. Now, my residence hall did have a kitchen for our use but it did not come equipped with cooking supplies and (obviously) food, so I didn’t really have the resources to make my own food unless I was heating something up in the microwave. If I did heat something in the microwave, such as leftover pork fried rice from me and my friend’s favorite Chinese restaurant in town (shout out to Pings), I ended up just eating it out of the container that it came in. The plates I bought may have been used once at best.
Side note: Something I did use more often was bowls and silverware so I’d suggest you bring those.
2. Paper Clips – This one is simple. I never had anything to paper clip, most times I just used my stapler.
3. Flash Drive – This was something I thought I’d need a lot because I used flash drives so often in high school. I bought a new one before I got to school and received a free one from my school’s library…..neither were ever opened. I’m going to attribute this to one thing….. email. Any project that had to be brought into class or presented was usually either opened by emailing it to myself, to my professor, or being uploaded onto my class’s Moodle page (which I assume most schools have a form of). I never needed to save anything on the flash drive and bring it to class or give it to a classmate because I emailed everything. Maybe everyone has already expected this but I didn’t and subsequently bought a flash drive for no purpose.
4. Clothes I never wore at home but thought I’d suddenly wear at school – THIS ONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. Do not bring that pair of jeans that you forgot you had but realized still fit and “think you might wear”. Do not bring every T-shirt you own, you will end up wearing the same ten ones you wore at home. Do not bring the sweaters, shirts, blouses, or whatever you have hanging in your closet that you know you haven’t worn in a year but that you think you should bring anyways “in case I have to go to a fancy dinner and need to wear that dress I wore on an interview one time”. Don’t bring shoes you never wore. DON’T DO IT. Everything will just take up closet space that you don’t have to spare! I could honestly write an entire blog just on this topic, but I won’t as long as everyone agrees to NOT DO THIS.
5. Floor Lamp – This was something I bought to make my room feel decorated and to provide more light. Turns out, my room had sufficient lighting and flicking the light switch as I walked into my room became much easier for my tired, lazy self than climbing behind my bed to turn on this lamp.
6. Desk Lamp– see Floor Lamp.
7. Books for fun reading – I read a blog that told me not to bring these with me because I wouldn’t need them and wouldn’t have time to read them. I didn’t listen. The blog was right, I barely touched them. There wasn’t much free time for pleasure reading, and even if there was I would spend that time with my friends, napping, or watching Netflix/Hulu. Save your reading for the summer, and don’t bring your favorite book that you’ve read ten times, you don’t need it.
8. Vitamins – I used to take vitamins a lot before I went to school, once I got there I barely used them because I always forgot or couldn’t be bothered.
9. Two bottles of Motrin – One would’ve sufficed for me. I’m including this mainly as an example for not buying more than you need of any one thing. You’ll use less then you expect and it’s better to run out and buy more than to buy something you’ll never use.
Side note: Things you might need multiple of include….. tooth brush (I forgot mine at home after Thanksgiving break and was happy to have a backup), NyQuil (sickness will happen, and it will happen a lot), extension cords (!!).
Well there’s a few of the items on my list of things I brought to college and never used. Maybe I’ll make a list of things I didn’t bring but really needed in a future post. Stay tuned!
From me for you,