Nine things nobody told you to pack for college


With the looming presence of dorm life and college courses around the corner, the anticipation to start your first year of college seems to build as it draws closer and closer. And with the start of college comes the most dreaded, stressful aspect (other than those massive loans you will probably never be able to pay off) of the experience: packing.

What do I bring? How much do I bring? Do I need this? Do I need that? How much of that do I bring? Are my Spiderman and Sharknado posters too childish to bring?

You ask yourself these pressing questions, and stress over them for months and months– because, after all, this is your first time and how prepared you are the first day sets the tone for the rest of the year.

But no matter how much you stress, you will undoubtedly forget or not think to bring something. So, from slightly shameful personal experience, I have compiled a list of items that your family, friends and Pinterest may have forgotten to mention.

One: Rainboots/Umbrella

This one may seem obvious–and some may have told you to bring these two items–but on Butler’s campus, one cannot get away with forgetting them. For example, you could pull an Alexis, thinking that you can “get by” without rainboots for a while; then winter rolls around and spring is right around the corner and stores have hidden all of their rainboots. Once you realize this, you will find yourself trying to get by the whole year wearing any other type of boot you own (mostly destroying them in Butler’s trenches of rainwater).

Two: First-aid kit

Once again, this may be a tip parents or loved ones recommended. The safety of their college student is most important– which is why, as the student, it may or may not have been a forgotten purchase. After all, college marks the beginning of adulthood, and who needs their parents trying to take care of their boo-boos anymore?

However, when you accidentally drop and shatter your mirror, sweep up what you think are all the pieces, only to discover you left a small shard in your closet a few days later, you may regret not bringing those bandages and alcohol wipes when your foot is covered in blood. I know I did.

Three: Hats

Even if you are typically not a hat person, I would strongly recommend at least owning a ball cap or a beanie (or for the more adventurous types, a floppy hat). This is a suggestion for two reasons. First, high school typically forbids wearing hats during the school day. In college, that rule is tossed out the window. Show high school who the adult is now. Second, there will be days when you wake up late or did not have time to shower (or simply did not want to), and your hair may be a mess. Pack a hat for those possible bad hair days.

Four: Iron/Ironing board

An iron and an ironing board may seem like a hassle to lug up the stairs, but it will come in handy. Others on the floor will envy–and ask to borrow–this luxury (especially once homecoming rolls around). If the “iron bundle” seems difficult, Downy has a wrinkle releaser spray that personally came in handy more than I would have thought. (And here is another tip: the travel wrinkle releaser goes a long way. From experience, it has lasted more than one year already and costs roughly $3.)

Five: Lint roller

A lint roller may seem like a silly idea, but as a frequent sporter of black and dark grey clothing, it comes in handy. When washing clothes in the basement of your dorm, I cannot express the frustration of dropping freshly cleaned clothes into a lint pile on the laundry room floor.

Six: Quarters

While on the topic of laundry, I should mention quarters. This is more-so something everyone told you to bring that you do not need– not at Butler, anyway. All of our machines read cards only. So, keep the quarters at home; do not pull an Alexis’ roomie and bring what seems like a duffle bag of saved quarters. They do no good in Ross or Schwitzer Halls.

Seven: Printer

Now, while I applaud our campus for the many resources,–specifically computer labs–the printers are not always the most reliable. And the main printers always seem to have a line or get jammed at the most inconvenient times, such as when printing an essay last minute while in a pinch to get to class. Last year, my roommate spotted a deal on printers (at a student budget-friendly price) and snagged one. Ink lasts a while and paper is fairly cheap; printers also

last for a few years, so it is a reliable investment. Before purchasing one, however, make sure to check Butler’s rules on personal printers.

Eight: Leggings, yoga pants, sweatpants– anything but jeans and dresses

This one is a shoutout to my ladies. While I firmly believe that the expression of yourself through style is important, and wearing the best outfits the first couple of weeks is ideal, there will be a point when you look at all your jeans and dresses and say, “It’s 8 a.m. on a Monday and I want none of this.” Of course, bring some of your dressier or more appealing items for those days when you just want to flaunt it. But bring plenty of comfortable pants for those days when you just do not want to get out of bed and go in public– which will happen more than planned. But for those of you just now realizing you did forget to pack some, our local Glendale Target typically sells a variety of inexpensive leggings.

Nine: Photos

Most people do think of bringing photos to decorate their dorm. We search Pinterest and find clever set-ups like the Friends-themed collage, or stringing Instagram-style photos along your headboard. But what many do not think of is bringing extra frames, or leaving extra space for all of the photos you will take. In just the first year of college alone, there will be so many memories you will capture and want to display. So, make sure to leave extra room for those on your wall too.

However, no matter how much you stress, research and prepare, something will always be overlooked or forgotten. Whether you are in your first, second or even third year, there is no amount of preparation you can do that will cover you on every occasion– such as walking into your apartment in University Terrace to a dimly lit bedroom, because no one told you the rooms would be lacking ceiling lights.