Packing Advice From A Mom Friend

Olivia Dimond, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor

I am the Mom Friend, always looking out for everyone and ridiculously prepared for any situation. When my friends or hallmates need something, they often come to my door and walk away with their prize. If we’re all going to be much more acquainted with our own dorm room this year than we would be any other year, we want it to be a place that feels comfortable, inviting, clean, and self-sufficient. I’ve compiled a list of twelve items that may not have seemed obvious at first, but I think will help you make the most out of a COVID-19 Bates.

  1. An ID holder. This can be your wallet, something attached to a lanyard or key fob, or a sticker on the back of your phone. You’ll want something that will keep your Bates ID on your person and close at hand, as you’ll be using it quite often. I personally use a phone sticker from the college store for both my ID and my laundry card.
  2. Personal items from home. This doesn’t have to be extensive. Just a few knick-knacks or pictures from home can help make your space feel more comforting. If you’re putting anything on the walls, Command hooks and strips are the way to go. Extra blankets and pillows make your bed much comfier, too.
  3. Safety pins. They’re the type of thing you never expect to need until you do, so I suggest bringing a few, just in case.
  4. Snacks, silverware, and Tupperware. Dining at Bates will look completely different this year, so stock up on chips, crackers, cookies, granola bars, and anything else you can keep in your room, especially for your first few hours of quarantine. If you’re planning on having a fridge, microwave, and/or electric kettle, that widens your options, but small, portable, filling treats are important, too. Just check with your roommate about any food allergies first. And if you have a microwave, make sure your Tupperware is microwave-safe.
  5. Paper towels. They’re ridiculously handy to have on hand, especially if you live in Chu or Kalperis, which have hand dryers instead of paper towels in most of the bathrooms.
  6. Games. This can be anything from a deck of cards to board games to a Frisbee you can throw outside. It’s a great way to connect with your roommate if you’re in need of a distraction, or feeling…board.
  7. Tools. Like the ID holder, this can come in a variety of different forms. If you have a pocket knife that includes things like screwdrivers or scissors on it, then bring that. If you wear glasses, remember that a normal screwdriver will be too big if your frames’ arms get loose. The small size is good for other things, too, like Apple products.
  8. First Aid kit. Band-Aids, allergy medicine, cold and flu medicine, cough drops, hand sanitizer, cloth and/or disposable masks, tissues, ointment, thermometer, gloves, whatever you need. Bates will be giving us two washable cloth masks, but this year, there’ll be no such thing as too much hand sanitizer or too many extra masks.
  9. Batteries. Check what type your major electronics need in advance, and that includes things like your car key fob if you’re bringing your car. If you have a rechargeable battery, it’s a great thing to have on hand; just make sure you have all the right cords.
  10. Something to sit outside with. In Module A, the weather will be its nicest, and you’re going to want to hang out outside with friends. Hammocks are a common sight along Alumni Walk and Historic Quad, but a beach towel or blanket works, too.
  11. A boot tray. It snows in Lewiston from approximately Halloween to Easter, with some give and take on either side. While your coats, hats, gloves, and scarves are important, I think the boot tray actually reigns supreme. Having a dedicated spot in your room for wet or sandy shoes helps prevent tracking water, dirt, and sand across the rest of your room. If you don’t want to buy one, you can reach out to your building’s custodian and see if they have any up for grabs!
  12. Some sort of personal light. Whether it’s a string of them or a desk lamp, a small light is important if you and your roommate are on different sleep schedules. Word of warning, though: You may think a string or two of fairy lights will suffice but test their brightness at home first. While you don’t want it so bright your roommate can’t sleep, it needs to actually help you see, too!

This list is not exhaustive, nor is it all mandatory. However, make sure you pack with your opening quarantine in mind – essentials you might normally save for a Walmart run or trip to the campus store will have to wait. At the end of the day, bring what you deem as most important and part with what you don’t expect to need; everyone is different!

Stay tuned for our Orientation Issue coming soon. . .