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Everything I Forgot to Bring as an Overeager Freshman

As an eager incoming freshman, I began packing for college two months before I was set to leave. Yes, that did result in me running out of clothes and having nothing to wear, but I was just too excited. Despite my seeming over-preparedness, I realized in my first week that I had forgotten to bring many basic items. To help you not have to scramble to the ridiculously picked over Target, here is a comprehensive list of everything I forgot.

1. Trash bags.

I’ve been using the paper and plastic bags from stores as trash bags for the last month or so. While this is a temporary solution, I will soon run out. 

2. Rain boots.

I should have known better. I’ve heard all about Midwestern weather being prone to rain, but it simply did not occur to me that rain boots were a good idea until my shoes were sloshing around the muddy lawn outside Norris during the Club Fair. I now have my eye on a pair of Hunter boots.

3. Duffel bag.

I’ve been going to the gym with a tiny tote bag that can barely fit clothes and a towel, much less a water bottle. Plus, you can’t really go on weekend trips without something to store your clothes and necessities in.

4. Mugs.

I drink milk out of the carton now. Sorry, Mom. 

5. Hairdryer.

Thankfully, my roommate is kind enough to lend me hers so I don’t have to go to sleep with wet hair. 

6. Spoons.

For some reason, I only bought a fork and knife. Eating yogurt with a fork is not fun. 

7. Flash drive.

Printing is free with a USB. Printing is an absolute nightmare when the machine doesn’t read your Wildcard and your NetID password is a Google Chrome recommended password.

8. Laundry hamper.

Please don’t try to carry all your clothes between your arms to the laundry room. It doesn’t work. 

9. Noise-canceling headphones.

College is not as quiet as you might think during study times. 

10. Tissue paper.

For nights spent crying over midterms. 

I hope that this list will help you avoid that little bit of stress when it comes to packing for college. Take it from me, premature stress does not end well. 

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Ruby Chao

Northwestern '25

Ruby is a freshman majoring in Communication Studies. In her free time, she enjoys getting coffee, binging Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and going to the gym.
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