Going Away to College: A Fashionista's Guide and Tips for Packing Clothes

Going away to college? An overstuffed bag is not fashionable! Here are some packing tips, courtesy of the Girl in the Check Scarf

I’m both terrified and thrilled about leaving for college in just two weeks. This is the first time I’ll live on my own for longer than a week, and I’m starting to get super appreciative of the little things that I’m going to miss: Mom’s cooking, my dog greeting me when I come home, my sister’s funny stories, casually hanging out with friends — and more than anything — having my own bathroom.

I’m in the process of pre-packing (translation: deciding what to bring and what not to bring prior to actually packing), and I’ve learned a few things along the way. If you’re also leaving for college soon and you’re not sure how to approach packing, here are a few tips to help you out!

Know the area: If you haven’t yet visited campus, do as much research as you can about the typical climate of the area and bring clothing that accommodate that climate. I’m going to Utah for school, and the weather there is just about as bipolar as my Aunt Suzy. One day it’ll be in the 30s, and the next it’s 90 degrees outside. Once, in mid-June, there was a terrible blizzard. I’m bringing shorts and T-shirts in addition to my heaviest sweatshirts just in case of a random snowstorm.

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Know your season: If you’re going for the summer semester, leave your parka and snow boots at home, and don’t forget your bathing suit. If you’re going for fall, remember to bring lots of cardigans, boots, and snow gear just in case.

Be realistic: If you have a shared dorm room that’s 10-by-15-feet (like mine), don’t pack four suitcases of clothes; you simply won‘t have enough room for them! Understand the space you’re living in, and work with it. This also applies to dorm décor — you cannot even begin to understand how heartbroken I am because I can’t bring my favorite bean bag chair with me.

Talk to people: Ask family and friends for packing dos and don’ts, especially if they’ve attended your school. They’ve been in your situation, and they’re able to tell you what it’s really like. (They’ll also tell you that, no, you really don’t need that bean bag chair.)

Bring a bathrobe: If you’re sharing a bathroom with your entire floor (like me!), this is essential. Also, don’t forget a shower caddy.

Leave extra space in that suitcase: As hard as it may be to resist the urge to overpack, be sure to leave some room in you luggage for the clothes that you’ll inevitably end up buying during the course of the semester.

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Don’t bring any clothes that you don’t absolutely love: If you’re not wearing them now, you won’t wear them at college.

Check out Collegepackinglist.com, which has some great tips and checklists to make sure that you’ll be prepared for your first semester!

About The Girl in the Check Scarf:
Sarah Justine is a 17-year-old student/fashion blogger with nothing to wear, who reads The New Yorker, and schemes of going to Paris. She’s been blogging daily for three years at www.thegirlinthecheckscarf.com, and in March of 2012 she was named “One Of The Top 10 Bloggers Under 18” by guestofaguest.com. She is a TED attendee, fashion and technology geek, aspiring trend forecaster, and constant wearer of black clothing. She is currently a senior in high school and resides in Poughkeepsie, NY.

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