On the road to college, you’ve probably been bombarded with lists of what to bring and what to leave at home. From first aid kits and planners to your favorite stuffed animal, you may think you have everything you need to survive your freshman year off on your own. I’m here to tell you that you don’t. While preparing for this new adventure called “college,” I’ve decided to bring five meaningful things to put in my dorm room that I believe will aid me in one of the biggest transitions of my life. If you’re looking for comfort and memories while away from home, consider bringing these five “somethings.”
1. Something someone made for you
This is at the top of my list because I personally love art and am very lucky to have many artistic friends. Regardless, you should look into bringing something for your dorm that was made by someone you consider close to you. Whether it’s a pretty print of an original painting by a friend or your younger sister’s stick drawing of your family, it will play an important role in reminding you of all the people who love you back home while also working as a great display to show off to your new friends. Don’t think you can convince someone into making you something? Try setting up a deal with all your friends to create decorative collages for each other of your fun times in high school.
2. Something you made yourself
It doesn’t matter if you’re artistic or not, having something in your dorm that you put the effort into making yourself gives you a bit of pride for your adventure abroad. Plus there are tons of art projects that don’t require much talent or creativity that you can use to spice up your new room. A couple ideas include pillows out of old t-shirts, a tapestry using an old bed sheet with paint and a wooden block, or maybe just a spray-painted rack to hold your books on top of your desk. Check out Pinterest or Apartment Therapy for easy and cheap ideas when crafting.
3. Something that reminds you of friends
Ah, college, the time when you leave your lifelong friends behind to journey on to bigger and better things. For most of us, it’s scary leaving behind friends we’ve known for years, but it will all be okay (I promise). Bringing a thing (or two) to set in your room to remind you of times passed will provide a lot of comfort when homesickness sets in and reassure you that you’re good at making friends so get off your butt and go join a club. You can choose to frame some pictures or maybe make a trip to Build-A-Bear with all of your gal pals. Whatever it is, you’ll probably love that you did it.
4. Something that reminds you of home
For most of us, college is the first big move in our life to a new place with new faces. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure you have something connecting you to your roots where you were raised. It doesn’t matter if you’re going out of state or not, having something that you can look at and remind you of the family dog or the smell of Sunday breakfast will help you transition when it seems like you never will. This is probably the easiest project — just grab something from your house before heading out the door, though be careful with daddy’s credit card.
5. Something for the path ahead
Yes, we’re leaving a lot behind, but we’re also creating a life for ourselves that is going to define us as individuals. Don’t forget to bring something that can remind you of the road ahead, your goals and ambitions and your dreams. It can be a picture of a place you’d love to live, it can be a poster of things you’d like to have accomplished in 10 years or it can simply be your college’s pennant. Something to represent your future will provide the biggest reminder for your tough times away from home. You’ll remember again why you went to college and you’ll understand that moving on is a good thing because you have big dreams for the future and hard work can make them happen.
Lead Image Credit: Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Relativity Media