Money Matters

Moving Away: Tips for New College Students

Written by: Samantha Higgins

Attending college and living on your own are exciting steps to take in your life. While it may seem a little daunting to move away from family and friends this stage of life is full of opportunity. If you are unsure about what to take with you here are some tips for packing for college and moving out.

Check the College Dorm Rules

Before you head to the dorm, college, or university that you will be attending, take a look at your college’s list of do’s and don’ts. Almost every school has a list of things you have to bring in, what you can leave behind at home, and even what’s not allowed in your dorm. It’s important that you plan ahead of time so you don’t forget any of these rules. Give yourself some time to come up with a list of needs and to begin storing those things once the time arrives.

Most college dorms don’t accept pets, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Most major colleges do accept pets, so check with your college before you move in. Some other colleges may have rules about bringing in a pet as a student.

Only Pack What You Need

Most dorms don’t have a ton of space for everything that you own back home. While you may need to pack clothes and school supplies, you most likely will not need to bring your bed, as that will be provided by the dorm. If you are moving off campus then there may by more of a need for moving larger items.

College is a time of many changes, so do your best to embrace them and make the transition as smooth as possible. Once you have made it through college, you’ll be glad you took the time to prepare and move in.


As far as the actual moving process is concerned, there are three basic steps: packing your belongings, loading your car and transporting it to the new residence. First, make sure you leave everything in order. Once your moving boxes have been placed in their proper containers, load them into your car and drive to the new home. Make sure that all your personal belongings (breakable items included) are inside your car.

You can still drive your own cars in another state if you are moving to an out of state college. Most states do not require a special license to drive cars off-campus, but it’s strongly encouraged to check with your school for rules regarding car rentals on campus.

If you are not planning on driving your car to the college you can also have it shipped to your campus. You can look into the cost of car shipping in your area to see if this is a good option for you.


Once you’ve moved into your college room, it’s a good idea to think about where you’d like to put all your furniture. If you brought any extra decorations with you, you wil want to make sure that they fit nicely in your dorm. There are many ways that you can add to your living space even if it is small, such as adding a nice desk chair or adding pictures from home.

If you can, you may even want to decorate your new room with things that you already have, such as curtains, rugs, paint, or paintings, so that it matches your furniture. You may even decide to put a few decorations on the walls to help you blend in better with your new room.


While moving can be challenging and starting college can feel daunting, living away from home can be exciting and full of fun. Now that you are prepped to move away you can enjoy this time in your life to the fullest.


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