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Packing For College (Part 2 of 2): 25 Items NOT To Bring

August 06, 2008 By: Category: Best College Tips, Campus Life

Despite what many people will tell you, there is such a thing as being too prepared. Yes, it’s true – there are some things that you can (and probably should) just leave at home or give to a friend for safekeeping. 

kitty, kitty, kitty

(Photo by Ryan Forsythe.)

  1. Every single thing you own. Bring things you’ll actually be using. Don’t bother bringing all your childhood toys or clothes that don’t fit you. It’s just a waste of space. In fact, I recommend bringing only your fall clothes for the first semester. That way you can have more space and just pick up your winter clothes over the holiday break.
  2. * Pets. Most dorms don’t allow fish tanks, let alone cats and dogs.
  3. * Plants. Unless you live close to your dorm, the move to college would be traumatic for the plant. If you’d like to add some color to your dorm, buy a plant once you’re settled.
  4. Candles and incense. Unless you’re living in an apartment while attending college, you won’t be allowed to use candles in most dorms- they’re an obvious fire hazard.
  5. * Your ginormous sound system. That’s a noise complaint waiting to happen. Plus, moving it would be more effort than its worth.
  6. Precious heirlooms. I’m sure that Aunt Gertie’s ruby necklace is important to you- so why would you bring it to college and risk having it stolen?
  7. Photo albums. They take up precious space. Plus, college is about making new friends and memories. (You are, however, allowed to bring your yearbook.) Go on Facebook and look at photos if you’re feeling nostalgic.
  8. Your second place science fair medal from the fifth grade. The fact that you’re even thinking about bringing that is a little weird.
  9. More than one musical instrument. Again, space is precious. Choose the instrument you play the most and bring that one. (Just make sure your mom doesn’t sell your drum kit while you’re away at college!)
  10. Heavy perfumes and colognes. Like most high schools, colleges are usually scent-aware/scent-free. Your roommate having an allergic reaction can be a major distraction from academic pursuits.
  11. * Halogen lamps/lights. These can become dangerously hot if left on.
  12. * Hot plates. Most dorms with private kitchens don’t even allow hot plates, let alone dorms without cooking areas. Like halogen lamps, they can be dangerous if left on.
  13. Waterbed. What is this, 1970? Also leave the disco ball and the platform shoes with the fish in the heels.
  14. 10+ Pairs of Shoes. My best friend is a shoe-lover. She’s got over thirty pairs of shoes. The weird thing is, she actually wears all of them. However- 10+ pairs of shoes takes up too much room for a dorm closet, especially one that is shared. Your roomie will want some space too, y’know.
  15. * Holiday decorations. No tree, no lights, no candles. Again, it’s a matter of safety. (No, they’re not just being Grinch-like.)
  16. Your ten favorite books. Personally, I’m limiting myself to one or two fiction books and several non-fiction resources. You’re probably going to have a lot of reading to do in college- as in, your new textbooks, not The Da Vinci Code.
  17. Weapons. Ummm… duh? I mean, seriously. Do you really think bringing a weapon to college is a good idea? Didn’t think so.
  18. 70 Million Stuffed Animals. I’m actually going to have a tough time with this one. I know it’s a bit childish, but every animal has a different memory attached to it. Pick your favorite 3, leave the rest home. If you’re feeling charitable, donate the rest to good will.
  19. 70 Million Photos Of Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend. You’re in love with a person who doesn’t attend the same college. We get it. Just don’t push it.
  20. 70 Million Photos of Zac Efron. Grow up. Stop watching High School Musical. It’s time to watch Animal House and Old School.
  21. * Air conditioners. They use a lot of electricity. Like, a lot. So, chances are, they won’t be permitted in your dorm.
  22. More than enough silverware. When my older brother moved out, Mom gave him five plates and five spoons, forks and knives. Thus, he had to wash the dishes once in a while (or eat with his hands… which can sometimes be awkward).
  23. Prank University: The Ultimate Guide To College’s Greatest Tradition by John Austin. I would never, ever suggest that college students take part in an immature activity like pranks… Ever… Eh-hem. Buy this book.
  24. Bed, desk, desk chair. Unless you’re moving into an unfurnished apartment, these items will be there for you.
  25. Your mother. Do I really have to explain this one?

Items with an asterisk (*) are items you might want to call your school about, just in case. Colleges are different and so are their rules.

In case you missed it, you can check out Packing For College (Part 1 of 2): 25 Must-Haves  and Things You’ll Forget to Buy for Your Dorm.