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Although it’s only the beginning of summer, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you’re going to bring with you to college in the fall. After all, for many of you, this will be the first time you’re completely on your own. You’ll want to be as prepared as possible so you’re not scrambling the day before classes to buy shampoo, or some other necessity that completely slipped your mind as you were packing two hours before hitting the road with your parents.  Here are some suggestions for what you should (and more importantly, shouldn’t) do when preparing your carload of stuff to bring with you to school.

Do: Label everything with your name and dorm address!

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It’ll help you when you’re unpacking, and also ensures that you get your stuff back in case something ends up in the wrong room.

Don’t: Do not just throw things in boxes and hope for the best; make a packing list!

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Staying organized is key. Keeping track of what you already have will help you see what you still need to buy.

Do: Buy school supplies at home and bring them with you!!!

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You’ll be glad you did when you see how exorbitant campus store prices are. Plus, you’ll need something to take notes with on the first day.

Don’t: Do not bring all your clothes with you!

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The days of having a reasonable-sized closet are gone, so choose wisely. You probably won’t wear everything anyway, not to mention lugging everything all back at the end of the year can be quite a nuisance.

Do: Buy small containers for your desk.

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It’ll make organization so much easier and save you time in the morning when you’re trying to figure out where you put your keys before rushing out the door.

Don’t: If your mom offers to pack you food, don’t refuse her!!

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You’ll be glad you have something to cure those midnight hunger pangs and are too lazy (or broke) to go to the nearest café.

Do: PACK LIGHT! Don’t bring things you probably (definitely) won’t use in college.

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Your parents will not appreciate your stuff taking up all the space in the car and leaving them no room to sit, and whoever’s helping you move in will also not be thrilled at making ten trips to carry all your stuff to your room.

Don’t: Do not assume that your dorm will have everything! Check your school website so you know what’s in store for you.

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(Bringing a fan in case your dorm doesn’t have AC is a lifesaver. Trust me.)

Do: Bring a few throw pillows, blankets, or other knickknacks to brighten your room.

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It’ll make your room seem much cozier and help ease a bit of the homesickness that might hit at some point in your first semester.

Don’t: This should be a no-brainer, but don’t forget to thank everyone who helped you pack and/or move into your dorm! It’s no small feat, and it’s a nice gesture to show your gratitude by saying a simple “thank you” at the end of the day.

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June Xia

June is a junior at Cornell University studying biology. She attended public high school in the Philly suburbs, where she ate lots of water ice and hoagies. June enjoys watching TV, playing candy crush, and reading the New York Times. Writing poetry and knitting kept her sane during admissions season, plus a lot of chocolate and hugs; she made it out alive, and is all the more introspective and aware thanks to the experience.