When you're packing to move out of the parental nest for the first time, you really don't appreciate all the things you take for granted. The first time I moved out of home wasn't for college (my university was ten minutes away from my parents house), but to move to London while I deferred study. It was pretty much the same thing, because I was 22 and oblivious to the things that were just sort of...there all the time. So when you're packing to go away to college, or if you're not going to college, when you're moving out of your parents' house for the first time, keep in mind that there are a lot of things you don't even notice that just kind of exist, and as a result you probably wont take them into consideration when packing.
I always forget my toothbrush when I'm packing for a vacation, and as many times as I forget it I never quite can remember to pack it first. When you're moving to college, I'm guessing you're going to be pretty thorough with your toiletries, given the semi-permanency of the move. I'm also assuming the first things to go in a bag are party clothes and your secret childhood teddy bear/blankie that you can't go anywhere without, but would never admit to. So when you're packing to go away to college, ask yourself, have you packed the following items?
1. A first aid kit
At your parents house there are always band aids, gauze, Detol; anything you need to fix a wound, big or small. But while mom and dad always had your boo-boos covered, it's likely that you wont even think of this stuff until you've cut yourself chopping onions and desperately need a band aid. You heard it here first: Think "survival" while packing.
2. Your social security card/passport/birth certificate/other official documents
Most people living in the family home have all their important documents in the same locked filing cabinet, and it's unlikely you've even thought about your social security card since you obtained it. Chances are, you'll need that card if you moving to another state in order to get a state ID or driver's license. You never know when an official document will be needed, so it's officially time for you to start being responsible for your own paperwork.
I'm a notorious forgetter of PJs. Amongst everything else that needs to be packed, somehow I never think about the thing you need to wear when you go to sleep. Mostly because I don't sleep wearing anything. But in situations where shared bathrooms are a reality, getting up to go pee in the night requires covering up. So please. Take your pajamas to college.
4. Recreation wear
One thing you always have at your parents' house is a pair of old sneakers, in case you're going somewhere muddy. Or a waterproof jacket, in case you're going somewhere wet. Or ski pants, incase you're going skiing. Chances are you don't have a lot of plans that require excess, special occasion recreation wear when you first go off to college, but as to make friends and start planning weekend adventures, you'll find that you probably need this kind of stuff.
5. Nail clippers
You will need nail clippers. But I bet you never imagined a world in which there were no nail clippers. This will be the world you're living in unless you remember to steal your parents' nail clippers when you're packing.
6. Better judgement
The number one thing you'll probably forget to pack when you're heading to college is your better judgement. Don't worry too much about it, you'll be able to pick it up later, albeit after a lot of mistakes that probably involve drinking too much and not studying enough.
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