Pack neatly for the summer, prepare for the fall

Packing carefully for the summer can save you a lot of trouble in the fall. Photo illustration by Brittany Tankersley

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

As many freshmen begin to pack for the summer and prepare to move to an apartment in the fall, knowing what they should keep, buy and throw away could be very helpful. Students from other classifications share what they did back in their first summer of college.

Houston junior Ella Hext said in her freshman year, she began to pack and clean her dorm room at Collins Hall two weeks before she planned on moving out.

“Our dorm was so tiny,” Hext said. “I think I packed what I didn’t use, that I knew that I wouldn’t need, just because I could pack it and wouldn’t need it in those two weeks.”

One of the things Hext did while packing was place all of the things she did not use throughout the year together; later, she went through them to see what she would take with her for her off-campus apartment. She said she donated anything she didn’t find a use for anymore.

Hext said most of the items she did not bring back were clothes and school supplies.

Additionally, Hext said packing and getting ready to move out while living in Collins was chaotic.

Hext said something she found helpful was having her dad and brother bring their truck to take all of her larger items home. She said she only had to take her bedding and clothes in her car.

Now that Hext lives off campus, she said one of the most helpful items she and her roommate bought was a mini toolbox. She said it was useful leaving storage areas throughout the apartment in order to have space for blankets and other stuff.

“I would say lots of storage for your closet,” Hext said. “If you have a small closet, like a shoe rack that you can hang over the door and a plastic dresser organizer thing.”

Hext said she loves living off campus because of the independence she has. She said she likes to be able to differentiate between her high school life, being on campus and being in her home off campus.

Houston junior Casey Sadler said when she had to pack her freshman dorm, it was the beginning of COVID-19. She said she used a lot of boxes and trash bags to protect her clothes, and she went back and forth from home to her dorm as she needed things.

Sadler said when she moved into her apartment for her sophomore year, she used tools like Wayfair to find items like a bed frame and a mattress. Additionally, she said she used Facebook’s marketplace to find a lot of things for her apartment.

Sadler said one of her must-have items in her apartment is her desk.

“I love using my desk; it’s such a functional place for me,” Sadler said. “So that’s where I have things like my laptop and books, and it’s got really great drawers, and I’m spending a lot of time there.”

For incoming freshmen and students who plan to live on campus this fall, Campus Living & Learning provides a packing list with recommended items to bring. “We encourage students to bring various reminders of home and items that express their personalities and make them feel more comfortable,” the website reads.