Looking ahead to the end of the school year
This post is for college students who read this blog. Or those of you who are parents, co-workers, or mentors of college students. THE END IS NEAR! OK, for those of you who are already getting overwhelmed about everything you still have to do between now and the end of the school year, pause. Breathe deeply. Exhale. Don’t panic. You still have some time.
But now IS the time to start thinking about the end of the year. Since September, you have accumulated a lot of stuff. And September was a long time ago. You might not even remember what the trunk of your parent’s car looks like. You remember, the car that was completely filled moving you in. Before you bought all that extra stuff.
With spring break and midterms looming, I’m hesitant to dump any more math on you, but bear with me. That car you are likely using to pack up your stuff measures its cargo space in tens of cubic yards. If you’re talking about a minivan, you are looking at about 60-70 cubic feet of cargo space. With a sport wagon or hatchback, you are looking at 25-35 cubic feet of cargo space. And if you are flying home, you don’t even want to think about how much less room you have in your carry-on or checked baggage.
Now, take a look at your stuff. Chances are, the math doesn’t add up. Let’s say your dorm room is a fairly average sized 10 ft x 15 ft room with standard 8 ft ceilings. That’s about 1,200 cubic feet of stuff. Now, let’s say you have filled only about 20% of that space, and because it’s a double, only ½ of that stuff is yours. That’s still about 120 cubic feet of stuff you have to store or get home at the end of the year.
If you don’t start planning now, something’s not going to fit. What is it going to be? Your clothes? Your furniture? Your computer? At every residential school I have ever worked with, the trash nearly doubles in May when the students move out. Way too much of that is perfectly nice stuff that is not deliberately left behind. It is left behind because it didn’t fit. When your ride home is triple-parked, and the residence life staff is pounding on your door telling you that you should have been out of the room 20 minutes ago, it’s tough to think. Stuff gets left behind that you really wanted to keep. Plan now so you don’t find yourself in that position.
Start reserving a storage place for your stuff over the summer. Start making multiple trips home with a little stuff each time. If you’re going home or stopping at home for spring break, think about bringing home a load of the stuff that you won’t need between now and the end of the year.
The end is coming. When you leave for the summer, what will you leave behind? If you don’t start planning now, it might be more than you think.