Well, it’s here! T-minus one week until orientation and I’m here thinking about this moment just about three years ago. I was anxious, having not packed, and was sitting amongst piles of JHU lists and Buzzfeed lists and older-sister-generated-lists, hoping that I had all the necessities for dorm life. I didn’t feel bad about piling on items because my family had decided to make the drive across the country, but let me tell you, when I got to campus turns out I was still missing some essentials. I’m not talking underwear essentials; rather, the littlest things I hadn’t given a second thought. As college years piled on, I got better at picking out what I needed each year and in smaller amounts, because luggage has a limit. So without further ado, here’s my official packing list for freshman year, or otherwise:
- TAPE—This list is in no particular order with the exception of this item being number one. YOU WILL NEED TAPE. Duct, masking, blue-painters, scotch, double-sided, packing. You name it, you will need it. **Important: some of these are NSFW (Not Safe for Walls…I’m laughing at this joke even if you aren’t).
- Dryer Sheets—I had never used dryer sheets before Freshman year, in fact, even though I’d done laundry almost my entire life I didn’t know what a dryer sheet was. One load through the industrial static-heaven that is a dorm dryer however, and it was a top item on my shopping list. Get some extra too because bets are, someone in your building will need some.
- Rain gear—if you frequent Hopkins Interactive, you definitely have seen this item under students’ must haves. I’m from the Midwest so I’m used to strange and extreme weather, but I was not prepared for rain at JHU. If you were to ask me if there was anything I would change about campus, I would say the drainage system because campus can turn into a bit of a swamp. Invest in quality rain gear, and I mean quality. Don’t be like me and slip down the steps of the Breezeway during the first rain of freshman year.
- Towels/Robe—This one might seem like a no-brainer to you, but you should have multiple towels. There’s inevitably going to be a time when you toss your foul-smelling towel in the laundry and then forget to actually do your laundry. If you have to walk a ways to get to the bathroom one of those towels that closes with Velcro is a good investment, as is a bathrobe.
- Toolkit—It might not be used often but it can be a lifesaver: you never know when you might need to pry something open or tighten a screw. I’m also just a big believer in the power of the Allen wrench.
- Flash Drive—I really didn’t think this would come in handy, but luckily one of my friends had given one to me as a graduation present. You might need this when you have to give a presentation or print something when your computer won’t connect to the Internet. I was the only one in my friend group that had one, so my Spiderman USB was (and still is!) passed around quite a bit.
- Stamps/Stationary—this one is for the old souls, like me. I love sending and receiving mail, and it’s a fun way to keep in touch with friends across the country. Also, one of my mottos is to never underestimate the power of a handwritten thank-you note.
There’s my take! I won’t lie, it’s a bit of a strange assortment but these items definitely fall under the things I took for granted at home. Make sure you pack what you need and want, and have fun with it. Good luck, class of 2020, and see you soon!