The Problematic Over-Packer

Did summer just go by in the blink of an eye? With only a few days left of summer vacation, the excitement to be back in Happy Valley is setting in quickly. If there’s anything a Penn State veteran can tell you about heading back to school it’s this: you will over pack. There’s no getting around it, and it’s only going to make more work for yourself when you put it all away. In reality, you won’t wear everything you bring, so why take it in the first place? VALLEY is here to help you decide what is worth bringing, and what you should keep at home instead.

Do not bring every item of clothing you own in the fall. 

Seriously, don’t do it. You’ll regret it. We realize you want to be ready for every occasion, but the truth of the matter is that you won’t need it all there at one time. Only bring the items that you can’t last without until Thanksgiving break. You will begin to wear the same five shirts anyway, so try not to bring miscellaneous t-shirts.

“Although I brought plenty of different outfits, no one will ever know just how cute they were because I spent the entire school year wearing the same things because they were comfy,” says Sarah Richards, a Penn State junior. Similarly, it gets cold quicker than you think, so all your summer clothes are completely unnecessary. Give yourself some time to make a list, and figure out what you would really need once you get back to school.

Coordinate with roommates and friends.

If you’re both going to bring the same things, then someone’s going to have to change. Have a conversation with the people you will be living with or your BFFs to see what they are bringing to school. It will make everybody’s packing a bit lighter and more manageable.

Don’t get carried away with themes. 

What if he invites you to his frat’s Hawaiian-themed party one night and you’re completely unprepared unless you pack that one floral shirt? Or your black leather pants in case you decide you want to be Sandy from Grease for Halloween? Forget the items you will probably never wear. Do yourself a favor and don’t bring things for a potential one-time use.

Leave some shoes at home.

Don’t bring too many sandals because it will be cold before you know it. You are not going to be walking to class in heels, so bring less of your fancy shoes and more shoes for comfort. Everyone has a soft spot for heels, so take the ones that match with the most. Remember that black or nude pumps go with pretty much everything!

What are your over packing confessions? Tweet us @VALLEYmag.


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