What it’s really like to pack for college

Trying to get ready for college is an overwhelming process, and packing can feel *way* too difficult on top of everything else. But packing is actually the most fun part! It can definitely be stressful (and boring), but this is the perfect chance to reinvent yourself! 


Pinterest is my favorite social media, so naturally I started a "dream dorm" board. I started it back in January, so it's been an ongoing process through the year. My original vision for the room was an all pink room; my roommate and I obviously share a favorite color. But that was March, and it's safe to say that EVERYTHING changed. 

Like every other college student, I waited anxiously to see my school's decision on returning. Sure enough, the freshmen for American University were going back! My roommate, Maggie,  and I could no longer live together, because everyone would be living in single dorms. We had gotten so close and were excited to live together, but we found out that we would live next door to each other instead. 

A single dorm is a huge decorating opportunity! Double the furniture, double the space and it would truly be my own space. I decided to start my dorm plan fresh, but stayed close to the original idea. I still wanted hot pink from ceiling to floor, but I also wanted to incorporate neon and black. The theme I was going for was pink and plush like this:


How would you describe your dream room? 💫

A post shared by Dorm (@dorm) on

I learned quickly that being decisive is really helpful. Not dwelling on decisions makes the experience so much more enjoyable! There are a lot of decisions and details, so it's understandable to be overwhelmed. Staying calm and consulting with the people who know you best is the easiest way to stay on track! 

As move in day got closer, my nerves increased. I wasn't convinced that I would, in fact, be leaving August 16th but I still had to buy furniture in case. This TikTok shows *exactly* how it felt



♬ Dedicated to the One I Love - The Mamas & The Papas

Shopping for my dream room was a blast; I have been waiting to redo my room! My parents are amazing and very supportive during the shopping process. Im sure they didn't love the huge hot pink shoe trunk, but it was worth it! To compliment it, I got pink silk pillows and a matching pink throw blanket. If that wasn't enough pink, half of my closet is!

Other than those specific items, I really didn't care what I got as long as it  was reasonably priced. I followed the packing list that my school provided, sat down and got to work. I went straight through the list (plus my dad's margin note suggestions) and added items to the cart.

I sped through the boring stuff like trash can and hangers, and spent extra time deciding between various mirrors and makeup organizers. Lighting in dorms is scary bad, so I made sure to get a makeup mirror with lights, a charging lamp, and a floor lamp. I made sure that everything was practical and and the perfect choice, college is expensive and I don't want to waste money! *foreshadowing*

By the time everything from laundry hamper to shower caddy had been ordered, the chances of going to school looked slim. Schools nearby started to go fully remote, and eventually so did American. My hard and intense interior design work had been for nothing. I'm reminded daily that I'm not actually going back everytime an amazon package arrives. These dorm items won't go to waste though, instead of decorating a dorm I'll be decorating an apartment! Not the original plan, but still excited for what the future brings!


by Laura Frantz | 8/12/2020