College Declassified: The Initial Packing/ Preparation Chapter

*cues Summertime (Fantasia version)*

From graduations to graduations parties, the real preparation for college begins now. It’s crazy to think that three years ago, the Durr household along extended family was preparing to send me off to college. Now, I feel that it’s my turn to share my knowledge with upcoming college freshmen and sophomores to make this journey a little bit easier.

So, everyone and their momma will be sending out coupons, ads, and promotions about preparing for college.

What is the first thing you should do?

Make sure you know what your room looks like.

There are different types of dorm rooms:

  1. Traditional (share a room with one person, have community bathrooms)
  2. Suite Style (share a room with 1 person, share a bath between 1-2 rooms)
  3. Apartment Style (have your own room, may or may not share a bathroom with one other person)

A lot of people get caught up in the cute Pinterest posts (especially girls) on how dorm rooms look. FIGHT THE URGE. Go to your school or their housing website and get a look at what the room looks like beforehand. This will help you figure out 1) what size bed you have 2) how large your space will be 3) what you really need

The second thing you should do is talk to your roommate! My roommate shared basically a box (but I still loved Creswell), so it got a little tight in the room. Here are the important things to talk about

  • When you plan on moving in
    • Move in at separate times so that your families aren’t piled on top of each other.
    • This also allows you to bond with your family one last time before drop off
  • What type of environment you want in the room
    • Futon vs separate chairs? In general, a futon can give people the idea that they can stay. My roommate and I decided against a futon and we still had plenty of friends. The separate chairs also allowed us to still have our own space within our space (makes sense?).
  • Color coordinated or not?
    • Girls coordinate more than guys. But it is still a good idea (especially if you’re sharing one space) to have this conversation.
  • Time Management and Boundaries
    • If you go to sleep early, your roommate needs to know. If you study in the room, your roommate needs to know. This conversation is crucial because it will keep you from fighting your roommate.
      • Sidenote: my good friend DT says that he never studied in his room because he always fell asleep. Figure this out early, so your GPA doesn’t suffer.

Now we’re on to buying everything you need!

**Tip: if anyone asks what do you want as a graduation gift, the best gift is MONEY and next part is the reason why.

So, this is the fun part (for me. It wasn’t for my mom.)  This is where you get to decide what you want everything to look like. This is the one time you can view a Pinterest board BUT make sure you know your 1) color scheme 2) allocated space 3) and dorm rules.

Disclaimer: I have lived in both traditional and apartment style dorm room.

Here is your foolproof dorm purchases guide.

  1. Make a registry/ potential list in the following places. The registry most times will have similar items, but you could possibly catch a deal to be on the lookout for the promos and ads that I mentioned. (Target always has college sales on rotation, but JCPenny often has the great steals on items like bedding.)
    1. Target
    2. Kohl’s
    3. JCPenny
    4. Wal-Mart
  2. Breakdown your focus areas and its needs
    1. Bath
    2. Bedding
    3. Kitchen
    4. Personal
    5. Laundry
    6. Other
  3. Set a day aside and go buy!
    1. I suggest going to Sam’s, Costco’s or BJ’s for the things that a repeat purchases (i.e. toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.). You get larger sizes and more in a pack. Put the extra in a storage bin at home so that way you don’t have to pay for them again later on!

(click here for PDF version of everything you should buy initially)

**Tip: Label boxes or tag bags so you know exactly what is in there.

Sometime soon, I’ll do a guide for Apartment style and moving off campus students.

But our next topic will discuss what you REALLY need for classes.We’ll go over everything from laptops to organization materials and textbooks.

Comment below if you have questions or would like anything else discussed!

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