Am I bringing too much stuff with me? What if my roommate has way more things than I thought? What if we don’t have room for it all?

One of the biggest concerns is how small residence hall closets actually are and deciding which clothing items are most importance to have bring. Much of the amount depends on where each student is coming from.

It’s a lot easier to drive home for an hour or two to grab a winter jacket than it is to hop on a plane and fly across the country. So if your home is close to Ames, bring things that work for the first two or three months of school such as jeans, shorts, long- and short-sleeved tops, several shoe styles and a sturdy backpack.

If you are far away and won’t be heading back until Thanksgiving or Christmas, bring less in quantity of items but more in quality. Rather than a half-dozen long-sleeved tops, bring a few less and a nice durable winter coat.

Another tip, especially if you're not from Iowa: Our state has a broad range of seasons. When classes begin mid-August, it will be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees and incredibly humid. A few months down the road in October and November, the temperature can drop well below freezing. In order to cope with these weather mood swings, having options is important. Being able to grab a pair of shorts and sandals rather than jeans can mean all the difference in the world if you're walking to class.

Starting college is exciting, just as it should be. Being prepared no matter what Mother Nature throws your way can make the difference between smooth sailing and stressing out.

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