What to bring: A guide to your campus inventory

It happens to the best of us -- no matter how much you pour over the Housing and Residence Life website with their many do’s and don’ts for packing or ask college returners on what to pack, there’s a good chance that you’ll be in line to check into your residence hall when you’ll realize, to your horror, that you forgot to pack something important—or worse, have brought something on the “don’t” list.  

In the midst of the frenzy that is campus move-ins, it’s not uncommon to find that you may have dropped the ball when packing. If you can though, try and keep these things in mind when deciding what should make the journey to campus versus what should stay at home.

Things to Bring to Campus:

1. A Box Fan
A majority of the residence halls on EMU’s campus lack air conditioning, something that you’ll definitely notice after lugging boxes up to your new place. Bring a fan and take advantage of the cool breeze. Plus it’s a cheap alternative to a white noise machine to drown out a roommate’s snores.

2. Command Hooks
Whether you plan on hanging lights for the holidays or if you just want a spot by the door to keep your keys, command hooks come in handy year-round -- with little to no damage on the walls after -- which will be important come end of the year room checks.

3. A Lamp (floor or desk lamp)
There will be those nights where you need to pull an all-nighter but your roommate will need their sleep. Instead of keeping them up or relocating to the study lounge, just bring a lamp along for your side of the room that you can keep focused on your work.

4. A Lap-Desk
From chilling out on your bed with Netflix or just shaking up the homework routine by sitting in your comfy chair instead of at your desk, a lap-desk comes in handy. Providing a flat surface for homework while letting your laptop’s fan do its thing, it is well worth the investment with the amount of use you’ll get from it.

5. White Board
A literal blank slate, a white board is a multipurpose item that completes a dorm room. From notes to the roommate to reminders of test dates and study sessions to fun doodles, you can liven up your space and keep yourself on track for a good year.

Things To Leave Home:

1. Your own furniture
An extra chair or a side table is one thing, but don’t bring a whole desk and chair set. Unless otherwise noted, your room is already furnished, so save yourself the time and trouble and leave your favorite desk at home.

2. A complete cooking set
Having a set of plates and silverware is definitely recommended when leaving home, but you don’t have to bring pots and pans if you want to cook a big meal at the dorm. At the front desk of every residence hall, there is a variety of cooking supplies that you can rent out for free—all you have to do is clean up when you’re done!

3. Space Heaters
In a few short weeks, temperatures will drop just enough that your room may be too chilly for your comfort. Before you bring out the space heater, just know that the dorms are notorious come mid-October for cranking the heat up too high and remaining that way until you move out in the spring. 

4. Candles/Wax Warmers
Even if you just want to freshen your room up with your favorite scent, look for options that involve air fresheners and not candles or wax warmers, which pose a fire hazard and are banned in the residence halls.

5. Holiday Lights*
This one is a bit of a special case since holiday lights are technically allowed—but only around the holidays. Between the first Monday after Thanksgiving and the first Sunday after the first week back from Winter Break, you can have holiday lights decorating any aspect of your room. Before and after those points? Just leave them home.

Anticipating your every need for the year while packing can be a challenge -- especially if certain “must-have” items on your list are on EMU’s “leave at home” list. However, part of the beauty of college living is figuring things out as you go along. 

No matter what, just consider it a part of the college experience here at EMU.

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