What Not To Take To School

As summer begins, it won’t be long now before a whole new incoming freshman class head off to college. For those leaving home to stay in a dorm the first time, it can seem a bit overwhelming trying to pack and decide what you need to bring to school. Well, you can find tons of lists out there about what you should bring to college. Instead, here is a list of what not to bring to college.

Pets. Nearly all schools have rules restricting furry friends, reptiles, birds, etc., but there are some schools that do allow students to keep fish in their dorm rooms. Check with your university about their specific policies, but this usually is not a good idea. It’s pretty tough to keep Flipper fed when you are away for Winter or Spring Break, taking a weekend road trip to catch your school’s big game, or hitting the road for one of those crazy adventures you will be talking about for years that only seem to happen in college. So, just leave the fish at home.

Nails, Screws, and Paint. Nearly all schools have rules against permanently altering a dorm room in any way. Failure to follow those rules can result in some pretty hefty bills from your school. Instead look for other options to spruce up your dorm room. Vinyl decals or removable glue dots for posters, for example.

Large Furniture. Almost every freshman move-in day I have been to I have seen at least one person who brings some piece of furniture that as soon as you see it, you know there is no way it is getting into a dorm room. I realize you may think your bed is the most comfortable bed in the world. It’s not fitting in a dorm room. Neither is that sofa. At best, with a loft, you might be able to squeeze in a futon. Check out the dimensions of the dorm room before move-in day. Divide that space up among how many roommates you will have, and that little bit of space is all you get. Most colleges provide a bed, desk, and closet. You’re in college. That’s all you need.

Duplicates. Even if they are a total stranger, do not be afraid to reach out to your new future roommate(s) and figure out a plan of who is bringing what. Two televisions in a 10’ x 15’ room is probably too many. You are not going to need two microwaves. Every roommate bringing a mini fridge, toaster, and a blender, is just going to waste a lot of the little space you already have.

Extension Cords. It may seem logical to bring extension cords to school, but many colleges actually prohibit them. They can overwhelm a dorm’s electrical system and put you at risk for electrical failure or worse. Instead, bring a surge protector or two.

Sources of Open Flame. Most dorms no longer allow incense or scented candles. Leave them at home. If your roommate smells that bad, freshen up the room with some plug-in air freshners.