Housing

July 30, 2015

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Packing

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IMG_4709.jpgNow that you finally know where you’re living and, for some of you, who you’re living with, it’s time to start packing. Here, we’ve assembled a list of the things you definitely need, definitely don’t and might want just in case. Make sure you stay tuned over the next week for more information on each of the freshman dorms and final preparations for your first year on the Hilltop.

Definitely bring:

1. Bug spray — Washington, D.C., was built on a swamp and when you come there will be a lot of mosquitoes. Bring some bug spray and prepare to be a little itchy for a while. Related: bring sunscreen, as you’ll spend a lot of time outside during New Student Orientation.

2. Your high school yearbook — College will be great, but sometimes it will suck. In those moments, you might want to turn to this relic to remember simpler times. You also might just want to show your friends weird photos of things you did in high school.

3. Photos and posters — We know you’re going to worry a lot about having cool posters that perfectly illustrate who you are to all your new friends. You will not find said posters, but no one else will either. There’s nothing less welcoming and comforting than a bare room, however, so bring a few things  to throw up on the walls — movie posters, old snapshots, flags, maps, whatever. There’s usually a poster sale on campus during the first few weeks of school as well, so if you haven’t found the perfect “Seinfeld” poster to illustrate your superior taste in comedies as well as your ironic ’90s nostalgia, that might be the place where you will.

4. A backpack — Even if you expect to carry most of your books in a little Longchamp bag, there will be days where you’re carrying a dozen books to the library. For those days, at least, you’ll want to have something large enough to fit them all in. Don’t worry about looking nerdy — everyone else will too.

5. A flashlight — Between hurricanes, earthquakes, brownouts (that’s when the city cuts power in different parts of the city at different times in order to keep everyone from losing power) and the like, Washington has its fair share of interesting weather patterns. Bring a flashlight, at the very least to illuminate romantic walks by the canal late at night.

Maybe bring:

1. A vacuum — You can rent one of these for a $5 deposit from your RHO, but, speaking from experience, those don’t always work. In addition, you might need to clean something up when the RHO isn’t open, in which case you’re left at the whims of your friends. Bring your own vacuum and everyone will want to borrow yours.

2. A reusable water bottle — The only reason this is on the “maybe” list is because you might want to get one of the awesome ones that say “Georgetown” on them from the bookstore. Washington is hot, bottled water is expensive and water fountains are ubiquitous on campus. This is the cheapest, most environmentally sound way to stay cool and hydrated.

3. A television — This is a big maybe. If you love video games or hate watching movies on a laptop screen, bring one. Otherwise, you and your friends will likely make good use of the television in the common room — or just use a laptop — when you want to watch movies or television together.

4. A printer — If you’re in the MSB, you probably know that you pay a small fee at the beginning of the year to get 1,000 color prints on the printers in the Hariri Building, so you definitely don’t need one. The rest of us can print for 5 cents per side on any of the printers on campus (some dorms have them, as do Lauinger Library, the Blommer Science Library and the ICC). Paper and ink are expensive, so think about it before you invest. You won’t regret having one, but you don’t need one either (and if your roommate already has one, just agree to share the cost of ink and leave it at that).

5. An iron — If you don’t know how to iron, you’re not learning in September of your freshman year of college. Only bring one of these if you’re frequently ironing things now. I personally swear by Downey Wrinkle Releaser Spray, which you spray on your clothes the night before and, by morning, all the wrinkles are gone.

Don’t bring:

1. A mini-fridge — If you’re driving down, up or across the country, this will only take up crucial storage space in your car. The crew team conveniently rents these devices out during move-in; if you don’t score one of those, you can get buy one online. Every common room also has a fridge of its own, so you don’t necessarily need one of these anyway.

2. Every book you own — I get it! I’m a book nerd too. But books are heavy, take up valuable shelf space during the year and valuable storage space at the end of it. You’re probably not going to have time to read all of Game of Thrones, a few works of John Steinbeck, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and your favorite Harry Potter novel, so choose your books wisely.

3. Food or toiletries — There are a CVS and a Safeway within walking distance of campus. Unless you’re bringing food of cultural or personal significance or a product you’re positive you can’t get anywhere else, just buy it once you get here.

4. A small fan — An informal poll of my coworkers revealed that two-thirds of them brought small fans with them that proved themselves useless. So don’t bring those.

5. Your entire wardrobe — Yes, you live here full time now, but you probably don’t need every formal dress you own, more than one suit or blazer, a bathing suit, that shirt you don’t actually like, your entire shoe collection or dozens of ties. Think of this as a good time to get rid of some things, too. You don’t necessarily have to bring your winter clothes with you either — have your parents ship them to you when the temperature finally drops (it’ll take a while).

About the author: Victoria Edel is a member of the College Class of 2014. She’s glad she brought her David Wright poster with her freshman year, because it was only through a mutual love of all things New York Mets that she made one of her closest friends.

Photo: Alexander Brown/The Hoya

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