Preparing for the great adventure that is your college years can be both exciting and a little difficult. While you’re probably itching for the independence that you will finally get when you move out on your own, you might still be a little nervous to be leaving home for the first time. To make matters even more stressful, there are so many things that you need to remember to pack before you make the grand trek to your new dorm. Just as important as the things you need to pack, however, are the things you shouldn’t pack. Either because they’re inappropriate for you to bring or because you just won’t need them, here are some things that you should leave at home when you go off to college.
1. High School Gear – While you may have gotten used to wearing your letterman jacket or your cheerleading t-shirt all the time in high school, you won’t want to advertise these things in college. Heading off to the world of higher education is a chance to start over and redefine yourself. You don’t want to hinder this ability by making it seem like you’re pining for the “good old days” at Central High.
2. Important Paperwork – You may need access to your birth certificate or social security card when you first start school or get a new job, but you shouldn’t keep these items lying around your dorm. If any of your original documents get lost, it can be a real pain to replace them. Find out what you will need, and have your parents send you the documents when they’re necessary. Once you’re done with them, then you should send them back home where they can stay safe.
3. Candles – While you may be a big fan of the aromatherapy your candles provide when you’re at home, chances are that open flames are off limits at your residence hall. Rather than risk getting in trouble with your new R.A., you should just leave your candle collection at home.
4. Drugs and Alcohol – There is no surer way to make a bad first impression when you first move into your dorm than bringing alcohol or illegal drugs along with you. Whether you offend your new roommate or alert the R.A. that you are going to be a partier, showing up with these items will put up major red flags. If you do choose to partake somewhere down the line, that will be your decision, but don’t mess up your chances at succeeding in college right off the bat by breaking a major rule before you’ve even moved in.
5. Expensive Jewelry, Electronics, etc. – Remember that you’re going to be moving to a new place and be surrounded by strangers for the first few weeks of school. Dorms are never the most secure of locations—people leave their doors open all the time—so don’t make yourself an easy target for thieves by displaying all your expensive possessions. You will be able to survive at school without several pairs of diamond earrings.
6. School Supplies – Of course you will need things like notebooks, pencils, and other supplies to get through your classes, but it can be hard to know exactly what you’ll need until you’ve actually started school. Only bring the most basic school supplies with you until you receive your syllabi from your professors and know what you will actually need for each class.
7. Pets – While you may be heartbroken to leave your lizard, ferret, or fish tank at home, the dorms are no place for a pet. Most colleges prohibit animals at residence halls, and you are very unlikely to find a roommate who appreciates your birdcage taking up a good portion of your precious shared space. The separation may be tough, but your pet will be much better off at home.
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