What to pack, not to pack for your first year


For the incoming freshmen or transfer student, coming to K-State may seem overwhelming. Depending on how far you have traveled to come to Manhattan, the first trip to your residence hall or new home, and knowing what to bring with you, may seem like a lot to think about.

“I had no clue what I needed,” Kevin McKernan, freshman in economics, said. “I just had my mom give me ideas, and my brother, who is a junior at K-State, tell me that everything mom said was wrong.”

If you visit any local home goods store or shop online, lists of things to buy for school start to pop up the closer to August it gets. This can make it more difficult to decide what to actually bring and what to leave at home.

One of the most reliable sources is K-State’s online list of what to bring to college. A helpful thing about this list is that it has cumulative ideas of what older students brought or forgot to bring. On the K-State homepage, search for “What to bring to college” and click on the first link to see “What to bring to college?

K-State orientation leaders have tips for new students” by Beth Bohn.

“I gave my brother the list of stuff I needed and a list of the stuff I wish I never brought,” Matt McKernan, junior in industrial engineering, said. “He is definitely better-off than I was.”

One important thing to do before moving to Manhattan is getting in touch with your future roommate or roommates. Residence Hall rooms can get overcrowded quite fast. You don’t want to both bring large items like futons or microwaves.

“When I came from Texas, I bought everything and brought it with me freshman year,” Julie Boyer, junior in hospitality management, said. “I moved in and my roommate had already furnished two thirds of the room with the exact same stuff I had just gotten at Walmart.”

One helpful suggestion includes remembering to put money in your Cat Cash account. In the residence halls, the only way to pay for laundry is with a Wildcat ID card. Remember laundry detergent and dry sheets, as it isn’t offered in the residence halls.

Photos and decorations aren’t necessary, but can make your room feel more like home. A great way to keep in touch with other floor residents is to buy a small whiteboard to attach to the outside of the door, so others can leave notes.

Helpful things that might not occur to incoming students include a robe for when you have to walk to the showers, a collapsible laundry basket and desk supplies like lamps, staplers and paper clips. Don’t forget an extra long twin sheet set and a basket to bring toiletries to and from the bathroom.

Most importantly, don’t over pack if you can help it. Living in a packed room is worse than only having only one winter jacket and one bathing suit.

It can be a scary experience moving away to college, but if you can relax, bring what you have and purchase things you realize you need upon moving in, it can make the whole process run much more smoothly.

Kelsie Johnson is a junior in mass communications. She has successfully packed for, and lived in, the K-State residence halls and enjoyed the experience.