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College Packing List: 10 Things You Can Live Without

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Going off to college this fall? Then you’re probably already asking yourself, “What do I need to pack for college?” There are a few weeks to go, but it’s a good idea to start mentally creating a dorm checklist.

Stores can make you believe that you need everything under the sun (admit it, you’ve stopped to admire those beds-in-a-bag with color-coordinating lamps and chairs!) so a lot of college freshmen overdo it. To help you out, here’s a list of 10 things you don’t need to pack for college:

1. TV.

Some colleges offer free cable in residence halls, but you can stream Netflix or Hulu on your computer or watch TV in common areas without lugging a television from home.

2. Your entire wardrobe.

If you tend to over pack for weekend getaways and family vacations, you’ll probably make the same mistake when writing your college packing list. Sorry to disappoint, but you won’t need fifteen pairs of shoes, every sweater you own and your prom dress. You’ll be lucky to fit everyday essentials into your dorm room closet, anyway. (You’ll also wind up with a lot of free T-shirts from campus events.)

3. Laptop and desktop computers.

Laptops seem to be the computer of choice among college students. Considering that laptops are easy to tote around and today’s college campuses are home to impressive computer labs, you most likely do not need to bring a desktop computer as well a laptop. Check with your college or university to see if there are any computer requirements, such as a specific operating system or software, before making any major purchases.

4. Printer.

Those impressive campus computer labs also include impressive printers. You might even be paying a computer lab fee that includes printing services. If you write papers in your room, store them on a thumb drive and take it to a lab for printing. Just make sure you keep tabs on your thumb drives—they are small enough that you can misplace them easily.

5. Landline phone.

Due to the popularity of cell phones, more and more people are getting rid of their landlines. Some colleges still offer landlines in dorm rooms, but chances are you won’t use it. Keep in touch with others just as easily by cell phone, text message or Skype.

6. A car.

Underclassmen aren’t even allowed to have cars on campus at many colleges and universities. It might sound like a pain at first, but bringing a car with you to college has its drawbacks. Not only will you have to pay for a parking permit and hope your car remains safe wherever it’s parked, you will spend more on gas and insurance than you will on a bus pas or the occasional taxi ride.

7. Old textbooks and notes.

It might be tempting to bring some of your high school notes and assignments with you, but it’s highly likely that all they will do is take up space. Even if you have already chosen your major, it’s doubtful that you’ll use old homework as a reference.

8. Pricey jewelry or other valuables.

Unless you own jewelry that you wear 24/7, leave your gold at home. It’s easy to lose and things unfortunately have a tendency to disappear when you’re living with roommates.

9. Photo albums and yearbooks.

A couple of framed photos will make a bright addition to your desk or bookshelves but skip the photo albums and high school yearbooks. If you want your new friends to see what your old friends look like, use Facebook.

10. Your dog or cat.

Stephens College in Colombia, MO has been letting students bring pets to campus since Fall 2004 and there are other pet friendly colleges. Unless you have a service dog to help you with a disability, do you really need Fido or Fluffy all semester?

If you wind up forgetting to pack basics or toiletries, don’t despair. Most college campuses are near stores and you always have the option of ordering things online. If you forget something absolutely crucial from home, you can always have it shipped to you.

Related Posts:

Dorm Essentials: What to Pack and What to Leave at Home

Packing for College: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Unnecessary


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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