Packing for Your First Semester of College

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Students moving into the residence halls

Your first year at BJU is just around the corner. Now to decide what to pack. First-year Experience has put together this helpful packing list, but it still leaves some questions. Which coat should you pack, the parka or the wool peacoat? Should you bring your game console? What about curtains?

Take a deep breath. We’re here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. If we didn’t answer yours, your admission counselor and your First-year advisor are available to answer any lingering questions.

✔ Clothing

Don’t forget to pack a winter coat. While Greenville winters are milder than up north, they do still get cold, and it occasionally snows (ices may be the more accurate term). You won’t need a parka designed for sub-zero temperatures, but a lighter coat such as a wool peacoat will do when the weather turns cold.

The student handbook labels class dress as “conservative business casual.” This means dress slacks, chinos and khakis (and skirts should touch the knee or below for the ladies). Save your jeans, leggings and hoodies for when casual dress is appropriate (after 5 p.m. and on weekends). Casual dress includes athletic pants and jeans without rips or holes. See pp. 34–36 of the student handbook for more details on dress guidelines.

✔ Appliances

The two most versatile food prep appliances are the coffee pot and the hot pot, and they happen to be the two appliances allowed to be used in the residence hall rooms. Any other small food prep appliances may be used in the snack room of your residence hall. Microwaves are available in the snack rooms, as well, and you may bring a minifridge that is under 4.5 cubic feet to use in your room.

TVs and game consoles are also allowed in the residence halls, but games must meet the guidelines stated on p. 32 of the student handbook. Also, keep in mind you are sharing your space with one or two other people, so don’t bring your 42-inch LED TV.

✔ Decorations

Think of your residence hall room’s white walls as a blank slate. You have an opportunity to make your space your own. Each bed has two shelves you can use for photos and knickknacks. You’re also allowed to hang stuff on the walls using white sticky tack. So be creative!

Though you and your roommates each have your own unique styles, the head of BJU’s department of design Laurilyn Hall said that “Color is a great unifier. If roommates can agree on a similar color scheme, even if the styles are different, the similar colors will help the room feel more cohesive than otherwise.

“Another approach is to choose bed and window curtains that pull a color or use a complementary pattern to the different bedding roommates bring with them.”

As you shop for curtains, keep in mind the windows for BJU’s residence hall rooms are oddly sized: 43 inches wide by 68 1/4 inches tall.

Hall mentioned bed curtains. Many BJU students hang a curtain over their bunk to block the light from the room. After all, not much is worse than having an extra hour to sleep only to be awakened by your roommate turning on the light because he or she forgot. Whether the curtain is simply tucking a blanket into the mattress of the bunk above or hanging a curtain on a tension rod across the top of their bunk — Hall recommends hem tape for curtains that are too long — students have come up with some creative solutions. If you want to create your own solution, the dimensions are 74 inches wide by 28 (triple bunk)–32 (double bunk) inches high.

“Finding a way to make the place you live feel like your own is very important,” Hall said. “College is hard work and sharing space can be challenging. Everyone needs a comfortable place to rest and recharge. I would suggest taking time to make one’s sleeping space a personal retreat with bedding, photos and accessories they love.” She suggested visiting Amazon, Target and Hobby Lobby for ideas and products to organize and decorate your space.

✔ Water bottle or travel coffee mug

A large majority of college students live on coffee. Even if you’re not a habitual coffee drinker, hydrating keeps you healthy. Said Melanie Schell, School of Health Professions faculty who teaches nutrition classes: “Hydration status can help or hinder the transportation through the bloodstream of key immunity components to the various parts of the body. A well-hydrated body is also able to clear out waste products and detoxify the cells much more efficiently.”

Not only does drinking enough water keep your immune system strong, but it also keeps your brain functioning properly. “Several studies on young adults have shown that even mild dehydration can alter one’s mood, memory, focus and even the speed at which information is processed,” Schell said.

Investing in a good water bottle or travel mug is an investment in your health. And maybe that of your roommates.