13 Things NOT to Bring to College

For those of you with college freshmen headed to school this Fall, packing for a dorm room is a daunting task. Your teen will likely have lots of ideas about what they want to bring, but dorm rooms are very small. Take these tips from current college upperclassmen on what your teen should NOT bring to college:

Your high school t-shirts. Colleges are notorious for handing out plenty of free t-shirts during the first week of school, so you will have plenty of t-shirt options. Additionally, you will be quickly developing a new identity, and while you might feel very nostalgic and attached to your high school now, those feelings will fade quickly as you begin your new college life.

Furniture. Space is at a premium in dorm rooms, and they are already full with furniture the college provides: bed, desk, chair, and dresser. While you might think you want some comfy chair or futon in your room, you will likely just feel cluttered and frustrated with the lack of space. Additionally, some students bring their own desk chairs thinking they can pull a switcheroo, but most residence halls don’t allow students to remove or replace standard-issue dorm room furniture.

Sports gear. Even if you’re a major athlete, don’t bring a bunch of sports gear. College athletic departments have every piece of equipment you could ever need or want, and you don’t need all that gear taking up precious space in your dorm.

More than two sheet and towel sets. You only need one extra set of sheets and a bath towel to rotate between when the other is being washed. Any more linens than that, and you will again be taking up valuable space.

Bulky luggage. Unless you want to bring a trunk that can double as seating or an end table, don’t bring hardside luggage that will take up space. Instead, use collapsible luggage that can easily be stored under your bed.

Appliances. Except for a mini fridge (which is handy for leftover meals and snacks), you do not need to bring kitchen appliances with you. Many colleges require you to get approval for appliances, so you should check to see what is allowed. As a freshman, you will likely be eating the majority of your meals and getting your coffee at a dining hall or on-campus food option, and every dorm has a community kitchen that offers a microwave and usually a toaster for anyone’s use.

Too many shoes. Due to limited space, it’s a really good idea to only bring shoes you wear often. Keep in mind that your transportation around campus is your feet, so those shoes should be comfortable for walking distances.

Printer. Most buildings on campus have printers. Since printers typically take up a lot of space, it’s a better idea to use the ones provided by your college.

Iron/ironing board. The likelihood that you will iron your clothes more than once a semester is pretty slim. An ironing board takes up quite a bit of space, even a compact one. Consider just borrowing an iron or steamer from someone else in the dorm who didn’t read this article.

Decorating accessories. Decorating a dorm room is on the top of most freshman’s to-do list, but bringing tons of unnecessary décor, throw pillows, and knickknacks will only take up space, create clutter, and collect dust. Instead pick one or two important statement pieces for your room that will make it stand out. Tapestries are particularly good ideas – they take up a lot of wall space, are visually appealing, and warm up cold concrete walls.

Prohibited items. Every college has a list of prohibited items for their residence halls. This list varies from school to school, so it’s important to research this topic before you pack to ensure you’re not bringing any of them. The most common things that tend to go against the rules are candles, string or rope lights, space heaters, microwaves, hot plates, and incense.

Items of value. Do not bring anything that is extremely valuable to you or that you would regret losing. It is so easy for items to get lost, misplaced, or stolen at college, so leave your most precious treasures at home.

Television. With today’s many streaming services and options that can be watched on your laptop or mobile phone, a television is not worth the effort. It will take up valuable space and cause disagreements between roommates when you can’t agree when or what to watch. Every residence hall offers a large TV in common rooms so that you can watch movies or shows with friends. But on a normal basis, watching something on your personal device with headphones is a better option.

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