Don’t Forget These Essentials When Packing for College This Summer

By Jamie Porter, MA, health promotions analyst

Summer break is almost over, which means you may have already started gathering items you’ll need to bring with you in the fall.

Here at the University Health Center, we’ve got a few important items we suggest you add to (or remove from) your already extensive checklist:

An open mind

In college, you’ll meet people from all over the world and have the opportunity to try and learn things you’ve never experienced before. It can be scary, but bringing an open mind to campus will help you broaden your social circle and take advantage of the programs and activities that may not be available to you at any other time in your life. Whether it’s attending a speech from a nationally known entertainer, joining the rugby team, or learning a new language, if you have an interest, try it out!

A schedule or routine

After mapping out your classes for the first semester, your schedule probably looks pretty open. You might think that this means you get to sleep until noon every day and have time to binge watch your favorite Netflix show between classes. In reality, your schedule will fill up before you know it with studying and extracurricular activities. Before you get to school, sketch out what you think your days might look like, including when you plan to wake up, eat, exercise, study and relax each day. It should be flexible, but this tentative schedule will help get you through that tough first week away from home.


Sit in the front. Ask those tough questions in class. Introduce yourself to your instructors. Fully participating in both classes and extracurricular activities will help you build relationships with other students, faculty and staff, which will help when the time comes to find jobs or ask for recommendations.

Don’t forget to bring these with you to campus. Luckily, they won’t add any weight to your move. And now for one thing not to bring…

A “work hard, party hard” mindset

You might think you will attend parties Thursday through Saturday while holding leadership positions in five student organizations and maintaining a 4.0 GPA by staying up until 2 A.M. to study every night. Unfortunately, this is a sure-fire way to burn out and create physical and mental health issues. While there will be hard work and fun involved in college, creating a life with balance — not one of extremes — will help you succeed.

The University Health Center is here to help you succeed in college. To make an appointment with us, call 402.472.5000. Visit our website to learn more about our services:


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