Time to Pack Your Bags: How to Prep, What to Bring

Micahrae Osteria, Features Editor

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   We’re so close, yet so far away, from the finish line, and while some of us are scheduling last minute plans with our friends or figuring out how we’re going to live without our family, others are wondering how to even start prepping for college. I know it may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, preparing for college won’t be that scary once you read about all the ways to do so. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even feel relieved!

   Dorming is something that lots of people tend to worry about when getting ready to enter their freshman year of college. Usually, colleges will send out their own guidelines for what they allow and don’t allow in dorm buildings. According to a website that preps students for college, you’ll definitely need to buy things for your bed, such as sheets, pillows, and blankets (ecampustours.com). These are definitely not all the things that you have to bring, but be sure that you’re only packing things that you absolutely need.

   Now that you know of some things that you need to bring while dorming in college, it’s time to talk about what you definitely don’t need. Colleges will let you know what they allow and don’t allow in the dorms, so you can base a lot of your decisions on those rules. You definitely will not need to bring any extra furniture, such as couches or extra chairs, as the dorm rooms are often really small. You also will not want to bring anything that can catch on fire, such as rice cookers and toasters.

   Finally, make sure you think carefully about dorm-mates. Most colleges require you to write a little bit about yourself and submit it to a type of forum that allows other prospective students to decide if they want to dorm with you. Let’s be real. You may not find the perfect roommate in the world, but keep in mind that you’ll only really be living with them for a year, so it won’t be a burden for forever. Just stay optimistic, and if it truly comes down to it, there’s always the option to switch out and get a new roommate.

   The most crucial part of prepping for college is making sure that you have some basic life skills down. For a number of students, this may not be the case, as they will be living at home with their parents. But for the students who plan on dorming, it’s time to buckle down and truly get ready for adulthood. So, what does that mean?

   According to a website dedicated to parents, some of the 12 basic skills you should know by the time that you leave for college should be cooking, laundry, cleaning, and understanding how to use public transportation (parenting.com). Over summer, start getting used to doing your own chores, such as laundry or cleaning, as it will help prep you for the upcoming year.

  The final thing that you should definitely learn how to master is public transportation. Many colleges don’t allow freshman to bring cars to campus, and even if they do, there may be a huge fee attached for parking, so you’re better off learning the ins and outs of public transportation. The first couple of days that you don’t have classes, or on your free days, try to understand the basic routes of the public transportation around you. This will be exceptionally helpful, as a trolley, subway, train or bus system can pretty much take you anywhere you need to go, as long as you have a general idea of where you want to go. Public transportation may not be the cheapest option for traveling short distances — there is also Lyft or Uber — but it is a general skill that will also benefit you in life.

Prepping for college may seem overwhelming, but hopefully these tips will help make things seem a little bit easier and doable. The most important thing to keep in mind is that other people around you will be just as busy getting ready for college as you are, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. And as you take the summer to start getting ready to leave and make a few more lasting memories with your friends and family, remember this: no matter what college you plan on going to, you’ll always be a Centurion.

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