Move-In ✔ List (What NOT to Take to College)

All colleges and universities have a list of recommended items to bring during freshman or transfer move-in. A few of these are allowed appliances, classroom supplies, clothes and bedding items. It’s usually straightforward and easy to follow.  However, the list that is typically ignored is the ‘What NOT to Bring’ list. This list is important because it outlines what isn’t necessary to have the very best college experience and build the best character perception for classmates, professors and dorm mates. Below, in no specific order, is a description of four examples of what should not be taken to college with you.

What The College Does Not Allow

Most colleges have a list of items that are not allowed within the campus residence areas. These items are usually not allowed to prevent fire and electrical hazards, such as candles and  high-watt appliances respectively. Any student can do without these so they should not hinder the new living experience. Additionally, there are usually alternatives to what is not allowed. For example, a low-watt microwave is often acceptable, while plug-in air fresheners can substitute for candles. (That is what the candles are used for, right?)


In some cases, many students can transfer applicable credentials from high school to college. These range from (Advanced Placement) AP credits, testing out college classes, and Honors recognition based on their transferring GPA .  These are nice additions that boost a new college student’s new resumé and transcript.  However, previous achievements such as valedictorian, class president and other similar merits no longer matter and should not be used to pull rank. This includes that 4.0 high school GPA after it was applied to a scholarship or class placement. College is all about starting over fresh and getting involved within the campus is the key to building up a new resume–a resume that can be used to obtain future employment. This includes academics; a college students’s college GPA is way more relevant than their previous high school equivalent.

Fixed Expectations

The media displays and plays on a specific angle toward many archetypes–and college students are a main one. Expecting the ‘okay’ to skip class whenever (regardless of the attendance policy), disregard studying (regardless of minimum academic expectation) and drink underage and/or drugs use (regardless of the law) only sets students up to fail with short-term contentment and long-term frustration. Damaged transcripts and records never go away and only prevents employment, which defeats the purpose of attend college in the first place. Furthermore, fixed expectations on other college related categories also needed to be dispelled. For example, the fraternities and sororities at Grand Valley State University value service work and community development entirely, meaning if a student followed the media’s label of “sex, drugs and hazing” they could miss out on a great opportunity to get involved, build their resumé and support their community.

Fixed Values

Everyone has developed traits and character that defines them as individuals–that make us who we are. Personal quirks, habits, and knowledge also helps define us. This is how most make friends and maybe avoid others who clash or contradict with our standards. It is perfectly okay to define and develop our inner circle this way. However, without respect it is not. Diversity is a gift reminiscent to treasure–opened with the key we all have and should be valued like diamonds. With that said, it is okay to disagree with another point of view. It isnot okay to highlight that difference and discriminate in a malicious way. Be constructive, not destructive; build others up, don’t tear them down. College is a place where many different ideas come together, so respect and understanding are very important. Extreme cases aside, this could just mean being opening to trying something new, like sushi perhaps. (Spicy Salmon & Yellowtail Rolls)


What else shouldn’t you bring to college and why?


Mario Adkins is a senior at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). When not drawing or playing his favorite video games, he can be found on campus facilitating programs and events as both a resident assistant and vice president of membership for GVSU’s OΔK Circle–a national leadership honor society. Follow him on Twitter @zerolocked.


28 thoughts on “Move-In ✔ List (What NOT to Take to College)

  1. High School Varsity Jacket:
    1. It is WAY..WAY to hot to be wearing a big coat.
    2. You’d look like a complete idiot.

  2. A parrot:
    1. They aren’t allowed
    2. Your roommate would kill you
    3. They’re too damn loud all the time
    4. They are freaky
    5. No one wants to clean up after a bird..

  3. Cleaning supplies
    Two words: Janitor’s closet 😛 or that new friend down the hall who’s parents bought them everything they’ll ever need in large amounts because it was “on sale”

  4. What else to not bring to college is an air conditioner. Yes it does get warm but if everyone at college had one, we would have a power failure before you know it. Air conditioners are power hogs and chances are when you leave your room you aren’t going to turn it off. Thus creating a problem. Not using the electronic but leaving it on.

  5. Your parents shouldn’t be brought to college, it’s time to learn how to live on your own and deal with real world stresses!

  6. Do not bring nasty smelling cologne/perfume, because when that smell reaches the hallway the rest of us have to suffer!!!

  7. Definitely don’t bring a high school attitude. If you act like a high schooler, you should probably still be one.

  8. Throwing knives, your R.A. may not be happy if they catch you throwing knives in your room, and also it constitutes a weapon no matter how long the blade.

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