Traveling from a Distance

Hi everyone! My name is Madie DeJong, and I am a sophomore Biomedical Engineering major. One of the most stressful parts of preparing for freshman year was packing. I am from Rochester, Minnesota which is just over 1000 miles and a three hour plane ride away from campus. Having to move all of your things to campus in a plane can be challenging, so it is important to pack as smartly as possible. There are two parts to packing: the things you bring from home and the things you buy once you arrive on campus.


The things that you want to pack and bring from home are all of the things that you can’t buy on campus. This includes any personal items, keepsakes, or pictures you’ll want throughout the year, and, of course, clothes and shoes. Clothing will make up the largest chunk of things to pack, so it is important to ask yourself this question: Can I imagine a scenario where I would wear this item more than once? If you answer no, then this item should be at the bottom of the packing list.

Once you’ve decided what to pack, figuring out how to get everything from your house to campus can be a little stressful. For me, it made the most sense to check multiple bags when I flew to campus. If you also find yourself checking bags remember that airlines have baggage weight restrictions. One way to keep each bag as light as possible is to spread out the weight by mixing heavier winter clothes with lighter summer clothes and by dividing shoes evenly because they weigh the most. Remember that if you bring a lot of large bags, you will probably not have room to keep them in your dorm, which means they have to be checked back home. You can cut the costs of this return trip by packing suitcases of different sizes. This way you can put the smaller ones inside of the bigger ones and then check less bags. Additionally, if you know that you will be going home before the seasons change too much, you could always leave some of your more winter-y clothes at home and wait to bring them to campus until later.

When you arrive on campus you will want to buy the rest of the things you will need which will include all of your toiletries (this category includes obvious things like shampoo and toothpaste, but also items like nail clippers and tweezers, so make sure to walk through your bathroom at home and make a list of everything you need), bedding and towels, school supplies, and snacks. You can buy all of these items in nearby Jersey City, where there is a Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, the Newport Mall, and many other stores. It is important to make a list of everything that you want to buy to make sure that you don’t forget anything.

When I moved out to New Jersey, both of my parents came with me, and we actually arrived a day and a half prior to move in. We stayed at a hotel in Jersey City and rented a car. This made it easy to get around and easy to do all of our shopping without feeling rushed. Another benefit of having a car was that move in day became much simpler because we could follow the same process as someone who moved from a closer place. I would highly recommend arriving a day early and having a car, but it is still very possible to move in straight from the airport; however, you won’t have very much time to shop. If you don’t want to rent a car, getting an Uber is a great option for transporting luggage. In general, Hoboken is a very walkable city, but for move in day having a car makes the process much easier.

After you’re officially moved in and going about your daily life, you will likely realize that you did forget something. If the forgotten item can be easily bought at a store, a quick Target run will fix the problem. There will be shuttles running between campus and Target during orientation which makes transportation easy. I have also walked to Target before, so that is also an option. If the forgotten item is something from home, don’t panic. All students have a mailbox on campus, and it is easy for your parents to send a forgotten item or a care package from home (Amazon Prime is a great investment). In general, packing can be stressful, but it is important to remember that it is always possible to get whatever you need or forgot. I hope you found this blog helpful, and can’t wait to meet you all this fall!

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