You consult every online packing list imaginable. You watch YouTube tip videos. You interrogate your older cousins. What do I bring to college? You form a complex list that you hope will strike the balance between over-packing and under-packing. And yet, despite your efforts, you only figure out just how to pack for college once you’ve lived a year in a dorm and learned exactly what you need. During that year, you will see a variety of packing styles that transcends under- and over-packing.
1. The Minimalist
You know you’re the Minimalist when a new friend stops by your dorm to say hello and instead blurts, “Where’s all your stuff?” I know from experience, and tended to reply with, “It’s just well-organized.” Minimalists focus on the essentials, not the extras, and still think they over-packed. Every other dorm room they enter has too much clothes, too many decorations, too much desk clutter, but the Minimalists just have the bare necessities.
Motto: That cactus on your desk is cute, but do you really need it?
2. The Hungry (Wo)Men
The meal plan fails to satisfy the Hungry (Wo)Men. These vacuum-like beings are prone to late night or lazy afternoon munchies: a plethora of different microwavables and non-perishables make up a good third of their packing. From granola bars to Pop-Tarts to cereal to mac ‘n cheese, the meal plan has nothing on their stockpiles.
Motto: Anyone up for mac ‘n cheese back at my place?
3. The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons tend to forget about the beauty of winter break. That is, being able to return home and switch out winter clothes for spring clothes. This forgetfulness causes preparation overload: they bring every type of clothing from day one, from winter jackets for braving snowstorms to bathing suits for tanning on the lawn. Fitting a year’s worth of clothes in a dorm simply doesn’t fly.
Motto: I’ll need my prom dress. I might use it for some sort of formal.
4. The Boy/Girl Scouts
The Scouts live life in survival mode. These well-prepared individuals go above and beyond the Four Seasons state of mind: not only do they pack clothes for every weather from blizzards to scorchers, they also bring everything necessary for any type of emergency. Flashlights and batteries for blackouts? Check. A fully stocked first aid kit with Neosporin and wrap bandages? Got it. An emergency case of water? Yep. At least you know where to look when a zombie apocalypse hits.
Motto: It’s supposed to rain tomorrow so it’s a good thing I stocked up on PB&J.
5. The Martha Stewarts
The Martha Stewarts enter college with only two fears: missing home and white space on the walls. They scoured Pinterest for frame-refurbishing ideas and can’t study at their desks because of said frame clutter and yearbooks in plain sight. To take care of white space, they hang clotheslines of Polaroids and framed picture collages printed at CVS. On their beds you’ll find pillows screenprinted with prom or graduation photos.
Motto: I miss my besties so much!
For more on packing for College, check out our list of 65 Things to Pack for Moving into College
6. The Fashionistas
No shoe left behind. That’s the motto of the Fashionistas. While packing, they fail to estimate the amount of hangers necessary to hold their vast wardrobes and must make another trip to Target. No need for the gym; simply retrieving a shirt from an overstuffed closet works out those biceps. Although fabric overwhelms their rooms, they will always happily lend out outfits for any occasion. Statistically only about half of Fashionistas actually wear a majority of the clothes they bring.
Motto: I can’t wait to move out. I need a bigger closet.
Photo by Michelle Rattinger, College Magazine
7. The “Wait, I’m here for school?”s
Pencils, pens, staplers, notebooks? Boooooring. The “Wait, I’m here for school?” (WIHFS) packers, well, forget the reason they plan to attend college in the first place. Classes don’t exist in these packer’s minds; Solo cups, pong balls and shot glasses take the place of school supplies on their packing lists. They always ask a neighbor for a pencil on exam day and “forget” to staple their essays together.
Motto: Got a pencil?
8. The Jetsetters
Jetsetters come from too far away to pack their lives in boxes. They must leave behind belongings and buy new things when they arrive at school. They often go hand in hand with Minimalists; better to buy only the essentials for more convenience. Whereas some dorms look like representations of bedrooms at home, Jetsetter dorms emulate a regurgitation of a Target dorm aisle.
Motto: Does anyone want to buy this storage box? I can’t take it back with me.
9. The Stoners
A lack of space means nothing to Stoners. The solution to having too much drug paraphernalia to fit in an average dorm room? Make space. You can find a greater variety of bowls and bongs at the bottom of their closets than actual clothing. They own an impressive selection of different-sized Mason jars for storing.
Motto: I might run to the smoke shop in between class, want to come?
10. The Hobby Lobby
No one stays more true to passion than the Hobby Lobby packers. Whether you’re a soccer fanatic, makeup guru or Shakespeare enthusiast, the hobby of choice becomes immediately evident upon entering the dorm room. Prepare for ten different types of cameras and test strips taped to the wall, an entire drawer dedicated to red lipsticks or under-bed storage with guitars, amps and microphones supplemented by a wall of obscure band posters.
Motto: I don’t have much space but you can sit on that amp if you want.
(Photo by Soccerloco.com)