Stick a fork in July, kiddos.
I love August – best month of the year, hands down, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my birthday month. August is sweet and heavy and a little sad, but also filled with a few of my favorite things: office supplies, sales, tax-free weekends, family vacations, shopping. August is the month you savor.
As some of you prepare to head to college (or boarding school – been there, done that) for the first time, I challenge you to head to Bed, Bath & Beyond with one word in mind: minimal. I packed way too much my freshman year at Westover, and while this past fall was better, it still could’ve been improved.
While I could write a list of everything you SHOULD bring to college, I really think that those types of list miss the target on being minimal. So, if you stop reading this right now, I have one word of advice: if you find yourself staring at an object and asking yourself, “do I really need this?” you probably don’t.
Here are some of the things that I wish I hadn’t brought to college:
– High school apparel, including (but not limited to): t-shirts, boathouses, half-zips, etc. Nobody tells you how many t-shirts you’ll get your freshman year, especially if you join a Greek organization. You’ll buy them at events, your Big will give them to you, they’ll throw them to you out of bazookas at basketball games, they’ll force them upon you on random service days… Just don’t do it. Bring a maximum of 10. Trust me.
– Your baseball hat collection. One or two, tops. There are only SO many hats you can wear.
– Leave your novelty phone cases at home. Seriously.
– Think minimal when bringing office supplies. You’re not going to need four reams of computer paper. You’re not going to need paper clips of every size. You’re not going to need 8 packs of pens… because you’ll probably just use the same one that’s in a convenient place in your backpack.
– French press. What was I thinking? And seriously… be honest with yourself. Don’t buy a Keurig if you know that you’re just going to go out for coffee every single day. There’s at least $100 down the drain PLUS the amount you spend on coffee.
– Way, WAY too many shoes. You don’t need to bring your entire Jack Roger’s collection to school… especially because you’ll probably wear a variation of the same exact outfit to class every day.
– Your nicest, most beautiful family heirloom or Tiffany charm bracelet. I looked at mine every single morning and went, “oh, that’s pretty, I should wear that…” and then said, nope. Too jingly, too nice. Frankly, I wore the same set of minimal jewelry – I had one in silver, and one in gold – every day.
At the end of the day, be mindful that all your stuff has to go SOMEWHERE at the end of the school year. Honestly, look at the stuff you’re packing right now and multiply it by 1.5 – because that’s what it’s going to feel like when you have to pack it up in May and attempt to fit it into the family station wagon. It won’t fit. You’ll pay for storage. Mom and Dad will be angry and stressed out.
Do any readers have other things that you brought way too much of?