As a college freshman, I know how overwhelming it can be to move onto campus. During the coronavirus pandemic, the process is even more complicated and frustrating.
I was initially going to live in a dorm this year, but I opted to live with my sister in her on-campus apartment instead. Not only did I save money and feel safer given the coronavirus pandemic, but I got way more space to decorate and fill with items from home.
In a normal year, I’d imagine I would probably have packed more — my living situation would’ve been entirely different. But this year, I packed light, anticipating I would have to leave at a moment's notice if IU's campus closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. That being said, there are some very important items every college freshman should consider bringing to school with them.
I didn’t bring many decorations. My sister already had the apartment well decorated, but there is lots of inspiration to be drawn from the items she has. In the living room, we have fairy lights hanging from the ceiling, movie and music posters in frames on the wall and a life-size cut-out of Jughead Jones from "Archie" comics to add some personal flair.
Furniture is a big component in any apartment. Since most apartments aren’t huge, you have to know how to use the space well. With that in mind, we have a futon, which can easily be used as a bed, and two small chairs flanking it on either side. We have a coffee table and a small side table. The room is illuminated by a large lamp. It all fills the space well.
Clothing is a big topic of discussion when it comes to moving into college. For me, I kept it simple — I only brought what I really needed. Since it was warm in the early months of school, I packed lots of track shorts and T-shirts. I packed a few more formal options, such as a couple blouses and tailored shorts.
Other than that, though, keep it simple – you’re ultimately here to learn, make friends and explore campus. You should be comfortable while you do those things. Lastly, you also don’t want to bring clothing that has to be washed in a special way, such as dry cleaning.
I know I struggled with deciding what school supplies to bring. Ultimately, I decided on a pencil pouch full of pencils, pens, highlighters and my calculator. I also brought some note cards, sticky notes and one notebook — since so much note taking takes place on computers, I didn’t want to bring unnecessary luggage.
Don’t forget to bring a student planner, too — it’s important to stay organized. What’s great about all these supplies is they can fit in my backpack, which obviously doesn’t take up too much space in the apartment.
Of course, you need some essentials, such as charging cords, easy-to-grab snacks such as granola bars and apples and hygiene products, which vary from person to person. Overall, the key is to not let the process overwhelm you. I initially let that happen, and my brain became foggy.
Really, this should be a fun and simple process. Think of it like packing for an extended summer camp. Eventually, you’ll be going home. Just ask yourself, “What will get me through a year away from home?”