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April 1, 2013

Packing Like the Responsible Adult That You Are

I snapped this at the airport when we were leaving Anchorage, as step one of the Great Migration

Hi friends! I hope this post finds you all well. It’s a crazy time over here at Clark; we had an admitted students open house last weekend (congratulations to all of you!), Urinetown opened and closed with mighty success this weekend, and International Gala is next weekend. Gala is Clark’s biggest, flashiest, most exciting event. It features students of all nationalities and backgrounds coming together and representing different countries through performances. I’ve never been, but it looks incredibly exciting.

I know you may think it seems a little bit early to be thinking about packing, but you’re wrong, especially if you live outside of New England. When I moved in to Clark, I was super jealous of all of my friends who were able to bring all their books and posters and knick knacks from home, and if they forgot something, they could have it within a matter of hours. For those of us who live across the country, or outside the country, it’s a lot harder than that. There’s only so much you can drag around with you. If you’re going to be coming all the way over here from all the way over there, you have to be ten steps ahead of the game. Trust me, if you plan ahead for your big move in August right now, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

1. Some students get the opportunity to move in early…take it.

If you’re from over 500 miles away, Clark lets you arrive to campus a day before everyone else, because they understand that moving far is rough. It’s nice to have that extra time so you can unpack, set up, and then go buy all of the things that you didn’t bring with you.

2. The Internet is definitely your friend here

If you need it, buy it online and have it shipped to Clark. Sometime during the summer, around the time you get your roommate assignment, you’ll get the Clark address (give it to all your friends so they can send you mail), which will come with your box number. Anything that’s big or heavy you’ll want to have delivered, like a comforter, pillows, a fan, books, and things like that. When I arrived at Clark, I had eleven boxes waiting for me in the mail room…oops.

3. But what about everything else?

Buy it when you get here. Do you really want to buy brand new things like a trash can, towels, toiletries, food, a water heater, a microwave, a desk lamp, and everything else, and then load it up in a box and bring it all the way over here? That sure does sound like a hassle. Have a monster list of things that you need, so you can make one big trip to the store when you get here to fill in all the blanks. Some stores even have a special seasonal program for college students where you tell your local store all of the stuff you want to bring to college with you, and they’ll box it up and have it ready for you at the store in your college town. It’s remarkably convenient.

4. Still bring your own stuff

You’ll want it. Buying all new things is weird and impersonal. For all the things you have at home that you want to bring to college with you, bring it, but don’t get crazy. The best way to get all your clothes and stuffed friends and personal decorations here is to pack them all up in a box and check it as a bag at the airport. Aha! That’s clever, huh? If your airline only allows one bag, paying for an additional bag (or in this case, box) is substantially less expensive then getting it mailed to you, and you’ll have it when you get there.

5. Stay focused

Try to finalize your list before you start your school-shopping adventure. There are a lot of tricky retail stores who tell you you need a lot more stuff for college than

This isn’t about packing, per se, but Urinetown was incredible, and I wanted to show everyone how cute we all are.

you actually do, or that you’re going to perform mediocrely in school because you didn’t buy a $200 mattress pad. Don’t let them exploit you, friends. You’re too good for that. Shop smart. Don’t cave in to temptation, you definitely don’t need that $75 bladeless fan.

There you have it. That’s a basic outline of the things that helped me during my big move. Keep calm. Pack smart.

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