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.