Yep, it’s that time of year. You’ve been partying with the crew all summer, knew the day was coming, then BAM! You wake up and it’s time to head to college! Tomorrow, maybe next week, but it’s time. And you are not done shopping or packing!!
For an incoming freshman, that likely is not gonna happen because your parents have been doing most of the planning to get you packed. Almost like planning for when you were born. Thinking about what needs to go with mom, besides you, where to put the suitcase for when the time comes, planning the route to take to the hospital. But this time, Dad is figuring out how to get everything, and everyone, in the car to cart you off to school, and mom is thinking practical with the things you really need to take, not what looks the cutest, or the handsomest, for all the new singles you are going to meet.
Sophomores and up, you are probably on your own. Unless you need help carrying furniture and boxes of who-knows-what up the stairs to your dorm room or new off-campus apartment. Kind of like the birth of the second and third child, not as nerve-wracking a new adventure for the parents as was the first, but still needs to get done. They love you, just not the long drive after moving you back in to school.
By now you have most likely seen and read a lot of blog posts on what to bring to college, or what not to bring to college. Lots and lots of blog posts.
So, you ask, why another blog post? Because, we can, and we have been there, done that, in your shoes and as parents!
But this one may be a bit different. And it may sound like something your parents have been trying to tell you if only you would take the ear buds out….
For you incoming Freshmen girls, you have most likely been texting your new roomie back and forth about who is going to bring what, what color scheme you each want, who gets the top bunk bed (if there is one), and wondering how much closet space there really will be for each of you and all the clothes you think you need.
Guys, you want to know who’s bringing the tv, video game console, and refrigerator. The guy essentials for sustainable college life.
Hint - this is the point where you start taking notes….
The number one tip for moving into a college dorm is this: What you, or your parents, move in, has to be moved out. Ah ha! The first gem of college wisdom! Is that physics??
Lesson Number 1: Call it Harley’s Rule of Relativity! You are most likely going to have a RELATIVE help you move things in. A lot of things. Big things and little things. Up and down the stairs, or the one elevator that works. Cramming suitcases and boxes onto an already crowded elevator. And that’s day one!
Day two – You realize you brought WAY too much stuff…. Hmmm, isn’t that what mom said last week??
Lesson Number 2: If your MeeMaw gave it to you and you will be heartbroken if it is lost or stolen, don’t take it! Whatever it is. This is college, things will get broken, things will get lost. Not just your heart, your things too. If it really, really means a lot to you, don’t take it. Wait to see it at Thanksgiving or Christmas break. All you have to worry about then is your little brother or sister high-tailing off with it.
Lesson Number 3: (Guys can learn from this too…) Pictures of really cute beds are very inspiring, especially with a ton of pillows. Pillows on top of pillows. On top of your bed. Now, picture this. You getting into your bed, without all of those pillows piled high. Where did they go? On top of your desk? No, that’s where you left your laptop open to the unfinished paper that is due in the morning. Your closet? With all of those shoes, coats and dresses? Hmm, probably not. The floor! Yep, the floor. Waiting for you in the morning when you oversleep and need to get to class, but have to first clamber over all the stuff on the floor to make your marvelous bed with that awesome comforter. Maybe only bring a couple of throw pillows, instead. The other six can stay at home.
So, Professor Butler, what is the lesson to be learned with that? Time management will become your best friend in college. There will be days you are late for class, late with an assignment, late for dinner in the dorm or fraternity house. Avoid self-imposed obstacles like having to make the bed look like the ads, leaving clutter around the room that trips you up or slows you down. If you are not already an organized person, become one.
But this doesn’t sound like fun, you say. Remember, you are there to learn, not to have fun. No, wait. That applied to your parents. You DO want to have fun (and do well and graduate in four years!). And you do want to define your dorm room with your personality. It’s your home now, at least for the next four to nine months.
Start with what makes this home away from home your space. Gives it a touch of your personality. Comfort décor. Once you are settled in this space, and your roommate figures out where to put all of her clutter, then bring more, if you want, and are going to use it. Hold off on taking lots of really bulky things until you know you have room. Think under-the-bed storage, shoe racks or organizers that hang on the closet door, a nice looking trunk that doubles as a bench or seat for when you have a party in your room, such as the Flynn Storage Bench.
Essentially, figure out what it is you want to leave with at the end of the school year and take that. Especially if you are going to spend a bunch of cash on things that you may never really use. Or will have to load up and bring home all-by-your-self! You will need more to setup your off-campus apartment than a dorm room, but even then, be practical. If you really aren’t going to use it, don’t take it. Get situated with the basics first, then have your parents bring more when they come visit, because you know they will. You are most likely going to find that your tastes and style changes over the course of the year so there may be several things you no longer want or need.
And when it is time to add to your home décor and furnishings, remember Professor Butler is here to help guide you to make a smart purchase decision.