It is that time of the year again, when students bid farewells to their school life and hopefully look forward, with dreamy eyes, to a more independent life in college. As if going through these highly dramatic events – waiting for results, declaration of results, meeting the cut offs, applying for college, getting selected, getting admission in the college of your dreams – was not enough, another event, which tests your patience and your planning abilities awaits you – Packing! Yes, another farewell on your check list, to your comfy home. If you haven’t been away from home before, this could be a little unsettling. Your parents might have given you a long list of things you must pack and even you might be in a dilemma as to what should you take with you and what should you leave at home. But remember, the place you’ll be staying for the next few years is no bigger than your bedroom! And off course, you will come back home in vacation. So here is the list which will dissolve your dilemma, list of things you should carry when you leave for college!
10) The Documents:
You should certainly keep all your important documents such as mark sheets, passport, certificates, your medical prescriptions (if any), passport size photographs, debit and credit cards etc. with you. The college/ university authorities might ask for your certificates and mark sheets and you might need the passport size photos on various occasions (for identity cards, library cards etc.).
9) Kitchen ware:
The kitchen ware you intend to carry with you should depend on whether you will be provided food or you will have to cook for yourself. If you are going to have your meals in the mess, just taking a tumbler, maybe some spoons, a couple of plates, cleaning material and storage containers would suffice. If you are catering to yourself, you’ll have to carry cookware too (saucepans and stuff). Don’t forget to have a good supply of ready-to-eat snacks for those all night study plans. This stock can also have the things you can easily cook on your own (maggi is the all time saviour, provided you know how to cook it!)
8) Bedroom essentials:
You have to check whether your bedroom is fully furnished and you can plan accordingly. Some basic things that you will need are bed sheets, a pillow, curtains and a quilt. (Additional tip: Add all the colours you love to your room, because it will be your home for quite some time. After a tiring day you would want to come back to some place familiar, a place where you will feel happier. So, play with colours!)
7) First Aid Kit:
Having a first aid kit is very important, whether you are going camping for a few days or going to college for some few years. Also, when you are sharing rooms and living with so many people, you can easily fall prey to contagious diseases like common cold. Your first aid kit might have basic medicines like pain killers, vitamin pills, skin ointment, band-aids, antiseptic liquid, cotton and wound dressing material. If you have sensitive skin or have any kind of skin allergy, you can also keep calamine lotion. You can keep other medicines as per your need and prescription.
6) Bathroom basics:
The things under this category will probably be the easiest for you to decide because you are going to use them on daily basis. Towels, toiletries, flip flops, toothbrush, toilet roll etc. etc. And yes! If you are not very organised, your laundry is bound to pile up and this way your room will be in a mess! You surely won’t want your room to stink and repel your visitors. Solution? Laundry basket or a laundry bag! A laundry bag is the lazy student`s panacea (well, almost. But don’t forget to visit the laundrette soon!). In case you have decided to wash the laundry yourself, you will need cleaning material too.
5) The Wardrobe:
You might be looking forward to the experience of leaving behind the “bland and boring“ school uniform and wear whatever you like and you choose every day. For your wardrobe, you can take day to day wear clothes (for both summer and winter), going out clothes, and a couple for special occasions, footwear and hangers. And, apart from all the fancy wear, don`t forget to take with you a good stock of under garments. And yes, for the urgent repairs, keep a small sewing kit too (this may sound fancy, but all it means it a needle and a thread reel. You know how to sew, don`t you?).
The leisure tools are optional and you can actually survive without them. Yes, you can! Carry a television only if you are very anti-social, because given the variety and number of activities in college you really won`t get time for it. Other things that you can carry are your laptop, mp3 player, head phones and musical instruments. Most importantly, carry the chargers and an extension board too!
To add a personal touch to your room you can decorate it the way you like. Posters, photographs, wind chime, wall hangings, a little disco ball, flower vase, calendars etc. What is better, you can create the decoration yourself! You can make paintings and posters with inspirational quotes or craftwork using Origami. People will love to come to your well decorated (and clean) room! And that will help you to know more people and make friends!
In this entire hullabaloo you almost forgot about books, didn`t you? To take care of your academics you will have to carry your course books, old textbooks which you think will be relevant in college too, a dictionary, a backpack which can easily accommodate your laptop and notebooks, novels and books that you will like to read. You won`t have to bother about taking with you the stationary items in case there are shops nearby your college/ university.
1) Home comfort:
In your transition period or even in the later days of your stay at the college or your place away from home during your college days, you are going to miss your home. On some rough days you will want to go to your room and be with something familiar, something which will have the aroma of your house and will comfort you. So, you can take with you something, anything that will remind you of home and make you feel comfortable (no, not your pet dog!) like one of your old soft toys. Otherwise, you can always reach your family through phone! (I didn`t mention mobile phone, did I? But it is an absolute necessity! As it is always within your hand`s reach, you were not going to college without it, anyway!)
The list might have made it a bit easy for you to pack for your college, or maybe, might have done totally the opposite and made it all the more complicated for you! Packing for college can actually be tiring but all you need to keep in mind is, carry whatever you think you will need daily (remember the difference between need and want!) and will help you live your life away from home. Don’t clutter your room by shifting your whole bedroom there because the space will be limited, you might have to share it with other people (sometimes they can also help you when you are out of things you need) and you will come back home in vacation. Some other things like a torch, umbrella, mosquito repellents, table cloths etc. might not have found their place in the lists (Now because you know they are necessary, pack them too!). And come on! You are grown up now and you would love to do some of the planning and thinking work yourself! Wont you? So put on your thinking caps, pull up your socks and get going! Make your stay at college memorable!