Avoid packing unnecessary baggage for school


By Declan Harty

At the beginning of each semester, thousands of students arrive on campus, bringing with them heaps of clothes, treasured pictures of loved ones, and, although perhaps unknowingly, items that they will never use.

Unnecessary items brought to campus may range from school supplies to cars, according to Tricia Wolfe Anton, senior assistant director for residential life. Anton suggests that students move in with only the essentials and wait to see exactly what they will need once in Champaign-Urbana.

“I suggest that students wait for their first day of classes and see what the professor is requiring,” Anton said. “Typically, it is just easiest to bring your clothes — most students bring a computer or a tablet and some of your basic toiletries and things like that — and you can probably buy the rest of your things while you are here in Champaign-Urbana.”

To avoid filling one’s living space with unnecessary items, be mindful when packing school supplies and kitchen appliances, and decide early on what method of transportation you plan on using throughout the school year.

School supplies

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With the advance in technology, many students can take all of the notes using their laptop or tablet, making the need for school supplies obsolete.

“I had six notebooks that I brought in, but I really only needed one,” said Novin Pishevar, junior in AHS. “If you bring your laptop, I think you are pretty much set.”

Incoming freshmen might find that many items they used in high school are no longer needed.

“Typically parents help students pack for school, and I think parents often think about all the luxuries they have in their own home, or the things that students needed for high school, but aren’t really necessary here, like all the things you would put in your locker, or all the notebooks and three ring binders,” Anton said.

Bringing one’s own printer may also be unnecessary given that the University provides many black-and-white and color printers throughout campus. Anton said each residence hall has its own printing station, and many computer labs that are open for extended hours.

Kitchen appliances

For students who have meal plans in the dorms, the kitchen appliances they brought to campus may end up never being touched.

Pishevar and Andres Alcantara, junior in AHS, both lived in Oglesby Hall in the Florida Avenue Residence halls their first year. They both said they brought kitchen appliances, such a Brita filter, which they never used.

However, if students want to cook, Anton said that most residence halls have a kitchenette for students with kitchen equipment.


When preparing for the semester, students may wonder if they should bring any furniture with them to campus, and if the furniture will even fit in their living space.

Anton said that dorms are typically provided with a bed, a desk, a desk chair and a side table with drawers. Whether or not a student should bring furniture depends on the size of their dorm room.

“Our older halls are pretty modest in size for a typical double room, so unless you have your bed bunked, you probably aren’t going to be able to fit extra furniture, like a futon, in there,” Anton said. “But as we build newer residence halls, we are building more space for the actual living space.”

Before moving in, Anton suggested that students find out the dimensions of their room and talk to their roommates about the arrangement of the room. Room dimensions can be found on the University’s housing website.


With the University’s main campus covering an area of 2.8 square miles, getting to and from class may be a worry for students, especially when the weather gets cold.

Fortunately, the University offers public transportation through Champaign-Urbana MTD, which makes not having a car or bike on campus manageable.

Having a car on campus may end up becoming more of a headache than an advantage. Anton said fees include purchasing a parking space, paying for meters and paying for parking tickets.

Bringing expensive bikes to campus may also be unnecessary.

“I see a lot on move-in day, a lot of parents unpacking bicycles from home, and I would caution against bringing your $600 bike to campus,” Anton said. “For the most part, students will be leaving their bicycles outside, chained to bike racks all year long.”

For those wanting to buy bikes on campus, they can purchase through the Bike Project, which sells used and repaired bicycles to students. The campus bike shop is located at 608 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in Champaign, while the downtown Urbana Bike shop is at 202 S. Broadway Ave.

Declan can be reached at [email protected].