Pack Your Bags
Features, Seniors

Pack Your Bags

By Mia Torres

Suitcases on the floor, laundry baskets piled with new outfits, grocery bags filled with necessities. How much can you fit? How much do you need?

A common misconception for incoming college freshmen is that you need to bring everything you could imagine. 

“You will most likely be living in half the space you’re used to, and most of the time with other people,” says Purdue University freshman Hannah McDowell, a 2022 Delta graduate. “So there is just simply no room for you to bring everything you want to.”

McDowell is at Purdue to study film/video production and communications with a concentration in mass media.

Girl graduate
Hannah McDowell celebrates her acceptance into Purdue University. (Photo provided)

McDowell says that she didn’t need as many school supplies as she brought, but suggests investing in a good planner, a nice laptop, a quality fan, some shower shoes and medicine.  

She also says that bringing old items to college is much more efficient when done sparingly, so when you get home, it still feels like home.

“It’s easier to bring old items, but freshman year you will be going home a lot.” McDowell says. “So it’s also good to buy some new items so your room at home isn’t completely empty when you go back.”

Another Purdue student is sophomore Brady Samuels, who is majoring in sales management with a minor in real estate.

Swimmer with coach
Brady Samuels holds his first-place ribbon with Delta swim coach Laura Seibold-Caudill. He now swims at Purdue University. (Photo provided)

Samuels, a 2021 Delta graduate, suggests bringing nice clothes, a Nutribullet blender, backpack, raincoat and winter coats, and a Brita filter and coffee maker.

“It’s good to have clean water,” Samuels says, “and a busy schedule can make you tired, so a coffee maker is useful.”

Samuels also says the only reason he bought new things is because he’s the oldest child, and if you have older siblings to borrow theirs.

Another Delta graduate who agrees that bringing old items is better is Indiana University freshman Madelyn Haley. She is studying molecular biology with minors in chemistry and psychology.

Girl and dogs on campus
Madelyn Haley walks her dogs on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. (Photo provided)

“It is probably more efficient and cost-effective to bring old items.” Haley says, “But it was also fun and exciting to buy new decorations and design the room how I wanted.”

Haley also recommends minimizing the amount of clothes you bring, not taking your car, and bringing lots of room decor to make your dorm a more comfortable living space. She also says to bring a variety of clothes for the weather and an umbrella, an iPad or laptop, and shower shoes.

In addition to these items, Gwen Clark, a freshman at Miami (Ohio) University, recommends bringing a foam mattress, rainboots, a large umbrella, a daily planner, a computer and storage containers.

Girl plays piano
Gwen Clark plays the piano. (Photo provided)

“For me, it was more efficient to buy new items,” Clark says. “This way, I could start collecting household items that I can bring with me from house to house as I move through college.”

Clark is double majoring in political science and philosophy and wants to go to law school at Northwestern University.

One more high school graduate is Jacy Bradley, a Ball State sophomore, who is majoring in journalism with a concentration in photographic storytelling. 

Girl with camera
Ball State University sophomore Jacy Bradley shoots photos on the sidelines at a Ball State football game. (Photo provided)

Bradley’s main problem with packing for college was bringing and buying too many clothes.

“One of my favorite things to do with my friends is go thrifting,” Bradley says. “And by the end of the year, I had no room for any of the clothes I had bought.”

One of Bradley’s recommendations is to always keep one drawer open for new clothes. 

Bradley’s other recommendations are a Brita water filter, only a couple pairs of shoes, and one nice pair, an efficient laundry basket, and desk organizers.

Bradley has one more recommendation: bring yourself.

“Stay true to who you really are, Bradley says. “You will meet so many different types of people in your 2-4 years in college, and to find friends that will last you a lifetime, you have to remember who you are and what you value most.”

May 16, 2023

About Author

Mia Torres

miatorres Mia is the type of person who knows every lyric of every song, so much so that if you play something she absolutely adores, she will sing her ever loving heart out. Mia is energetic, warm, and passionate. She will never be seen without a book in hand, and a pair of headphones. In her free time, Mia watches Gilmore Girls, reads, listens to music, plans her future, and hangs out with her mom.


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