Blog’s Declassified Frosh Survival Guide: Packing

Ah, the joys of moving into college. The awkward car ride with your parents, the anxiety about orientation, and, of course, the sudden realization that you forgot to bring your toothbrush. Fear not — BlogDH is here to help you remember to bring the necessities and leave behind the inessentials. And no, not all of them are as obvious as you’d think.

Things you (almost) forgot to pack

1. A fan: One of the less-talked-about disadvantages of going to a school in New England is that your room will always be sweltering during the first and last three weeks of school. If you’re a first year who’s just now learning that Brown dorms lack air conditioning (and, for that matter, adequate central heating), sorry. If you’re starting to get a little nervous, don’t worry too much. This certainly won’t be the last time you’ll be getting this feeling (you know, the I-think-my-conniving-tour-guide-intentionally-screwed-me-over one). We promise we’ll make it up to you.  

2. Orthodontic equipment: Random, we know. But if you only wear your equipment one night a week (or once a month for the lucky ones among us!), it’s pretty easy to forget.  And yes, you’ll probably still need that dorky-looking retainer at school. Contrary to popular belief, a continuous intake of coffee and beer doesn’t prevent your teeth from moving (although it may do other things…ask your dentist what “college gums” are).

3.  Full rain gear:  Brown is a fantastic school with one fantastically terrible problem: the weather.  While the Main Green on a beautiful spring day is the definition of a picturesque New England college campus, most of the time you will be making jokes with your friends about building an ark.   Bring boots and a lightweight rain jacket — you’ll be sorry you thought an umbrella was a good idea when you pass through the Sci Li wind tunnel on Thayer.

4.  Band-Aids: You may laugh, but when you get a gash from poorly shotgunning a Natty Light paper cut from your Chem0330 textbook, you’ll thank us.

5. Sriracha sauce: Brown University Dining Services (otherwise known as BUDS) seems to have a taken to heart one less-than-perfect mantra: what you lack in flavor you can make up for in variety. Unfortunately, this motto doesn’t make for a great dining experience, and you’ll likely get tired of tasteless food after the first few weeks of school. Spice up your life by carrying around in your backpack (or, if you’re feeling hip, your tote bag) a bottle of Sriracha sauce. Often referred to as “Thai ketchup,” the distinctive sauce can now be found at most major supermarkets. It goes well on just about everything – from tacos to burgers to fish. This might seem like a strange item to bring with you, but trust us on this one.

6. Chargers: Of course you’re going to make sure that you bring your laptop and your phone. But it’s very easy to forget to bring the cords that will keep your electronics alive past day one. Don’t be a strug –remember your chargers.

Things you will be tempted to pack but shouldn’t

1. Books: Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, hear us out. Bringing a couple of novels for light reading isn’t a bad idea. It starts to get out of control when you decide to pack your 20-tome Emerson collection because you envision that, unlike last year, you’ll finally embark on your long-put-off journey into transcendentalism and the aesthetic of the 19th century novella. Or, perhaps you think that, because you reread the seventh Harry Potter book over the summer, you’ve discovered a voracious appetite for fiction. Ergo it makes sense to bring every book you own that’s on Time Mag’s “100 Best Novels” list. Never mind the crushing weight of the assignments for your other classes; you’ll make time for your own reading. Puh-leeze.

2. Your stuffed animal collection: It might be comforting, but Brown dorms aren’t exactly spacious. It’s time to let the little critters stay at home, as you’ll regret bringing them almost as soon as you move in. Use your (and your roommate’s) limited real estate on something more useful, like this.  Besides, beanie babies are so 1999.

3. Your musical instrument: This one comes with a few caveats. You can (and should!) bring your instrument if: 1. It can double as a beer bong (vuvuzela anyone?!), 2. You’re planning on taking lessons, 3. You’re going to try out for a music group or 4. You live in Perkins (near Steinert Practice Center).  If you don’t fall into one of these categories, you probably played an instrument in high school and are planning on breaking it out every so often just for lolz. Trust us: it’s not going to happen. That cello you’re planning to lug 700 miles to Providence is going to remain under your bed for the entire year. And no, it won’t come in use as firewood (no chimneys).

4. High school yearbook:  “OMG SHE WAS LIKE SOOOO HEINOUS AND LIKE TOTALLY HIT ON MY PROM DATE AND I HATE HER.”  Stop.  No one’s interested.  No one cares how hot that chick you made out with at that party was.  You’re in college — time to move on.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve got your sriracha covered. Retail dining hearts you all. -A

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