Lindley at convocation

Things Not to Bring to College

Written by Morgen Bessmer

Moving at any point in your life is stressful, but moving from home to college is possibly the most daunting experience. I believe this is because no one really knows exactly what one may, or may not, need. Being a senior at Hillsdale College, and having moved nearly every semester, I now find myself a master of moving. For the new freshman on campus, here are some brings and do-not-brings.

This is part two of the series, “Things to Bring (and NOT to Bring) to College.” Read part one of Things to Bring to College here.

*  *  *

  1. Desk lamp
    Almost all desks for the dorm rooms come with desk lights. A lamp may be unnecessary, and you’ll often find that there is more room on your desk for homework, books, and a cup of coffee or tea without it (I recommend checking with your dorm director or resident assistants to illuminate the subject).
  2. Curtain for your closet
    Unless you are bringing your super secret Halloween costume, which sadly should also be left at home, there is really no need to shelter your clothes from the elements of your dorm room.
  3. Candles
    There is nothing quite more tempting than an unlit candle. Please don’t burn down the dorm.
  4. Space heaters
    We Hillsdalians like to embrace the cold. However, the dorms are actually heated very well and space heaters simply end up being a waste of space. Also, see the point above about fire hazards.
  5. Decorations
    Decorate your room by all means; after all, you will be spending a lot of time in it. However, do so in moderation. After three years, I can tell you that I never boxed up my decorations to grace the walls of another dorm room – I usually threw them out in the process of moving.
  6. Printer
    Very few people use personal printers at Hillsdale. The library is full of printers, as is the Dow Science Building and Lane Hall. You can’t fling a snowball without hitting a printer. Moreover, it’s free to print from the library! I’d say that the money saved on paper and ink is worth the effort of walking up the Hill.
  7. Personal library
    Don’t get me wrong, I love books and I love reading. However, when school is in session, it is extremely difficult to read a plethora of books on top of the books assigned by professors. Bring a few, for emergencies, but I wouldn’t recommend renting a moving truck for your library.
  8. TV
    Space is at a premium in the residence halls, so I recommend leaving your 40-inch flatscreen TV at home. There are plenty of TVs for reservation in the student union for organizing a movie night or a LAN party. Besides, you’ll have so many opportunities to met new people and do fun new things – do you really want to be holed up in your room sitting in front of a TV?
  9. Extra storage bins
    It is sad to see parents reloading bookshelves and boxes back into the car because there was no space or need for them in the dorm. For storage, I personally recommend waiting until you have the chance to evaluate your living space in person with your roommate before purchasing anything.
  10. School supplies
    A Hillsdale class doesn’t always require a notebook, binder, folder, pencil-case, and planner. Over the years I have found that loose-leaf paper and a small binder is the way to go while up the hill and a system of binders back in my room works well for maximum organization. This is the system that works for me, but everyone is different. Don’t go overboard with the school supplies, especially since there are plenty of ways to stock up at the College bookstore.
  11. Bonus tip – if you have an ant farm, do us all a favor . . . Please don’t bring the ant farm to college.

Morgen Bessmer, ’16, is a Latin major and works as an assistant in the Admissions Department.