From an upperclassman’s point of view, there’s something very distinct about freshmen. You can almost spot them from a mile away.
Maybe it’s their general look of displacement. Maybe it’s the University-provided lanyard that every newbie seems to carry or adorn around their neck. Whatever it is, freshmen tend to stick out like sore thumbs to sophomores and upperclassmen.
Worse yet, if an upperclassman visits your dorm room, he or she may look around and say, “That’s a bingo!” when it comes to first-year identification.
Here are 10 high school items to leave at home:
1. Yearbook – Sure, it’s fun to look back at memories and people, but that was then—this is now. You’re going to want to distance yourself a little bit from that part of your life until you get adjusted. Plus, unless you go to a college filled with people from high school, who is really going to want to share in looking at the yearbook with you?
2. Letterman jacket – If you’re not playing a sport in college, it just looks sad when you wear your high school letterman jacket. In fact, you’re in college now—it just looks sad. Period.
3. HS girlfriend/boyfriend – You are going to meet a lot of new people in college, just as your high school girlfriend or boyfriend will. You don’t want to hold yourself back if new friends and acquaintances want to hang out and expose you to new experiences.
4. A bunch of books you want to read – You will have PLENTY to read in college, so leave the Hunger Games trilogy at home. Save it for the summer. Or even after graduation.
5. Stuffed animals – If you have one stuffed animal that’s lucky or holds sentimental value, then OK. But the whole collection of stuffed animals from your childhood bedroom—leave them at home.
6. High school senior T-shirts – If you want to blend in as a college coed, wearing these is one way not to. Before they leave after dropping you off, talk your parents into getting you a T-shirt with your school’s name on it (if you don’t have one already).
7. Your autographed Derek Jeter baseball – Or anything of value that you would be afraid of losing. This is college—students are scavengers. When they’ll dive in dumpsters for stuff, you know they’ll just as easily swipe something from your dresser.
8. Notebooks from HS – All of the notes you’ll need for exams will generally be covered in class, so there’s no need to look back at what Mrs. McGillicuddy taught you.
9. Anything your grandmother bought you to sleep in – Especially if it looks like a hospital gown.
10. Your beloved family pet fish/hamster/gerbil – One, dorms generally don’t allow any kind of pet beyond a goldfish. Two, you’re going to be pretty overwhelmed your first semester. Wouldn’t you hate if Sparky died on your neglectful watch?
On the other hand, just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you have to forget where you came from. You can still talk to high school friends and reminisce about past adventures—these experiences are a part of your journey. However, you want to be able to start college on a fresh slate, without who you were inhibiting who you will become.