I should clarify. My grades are fine, I am responsible with alcohol and I maximize my undergraduate experience every day (after all, I did just go to the last Second Year Series Dinner). I keep things in perspective and develop healthy attachments ... with the sole exception of Gmail and Alderman Café. My area of fault lies not in the gauge of my character or my intellectual tenacity, but that I, like many women before me, am a terrible packer. In this time of modesty and utility required of the university student, I feel this is an unacceptable trait that must be amended.
I understand excessive packing is one of the largest unofficial components of our genetic makeup, along with bad driving and an obsessive compulsion for handbags. Ever since we've been wearing clothes, women have demanded an extraordinary quantity of them. After all, one of Mount Vernon's favorite Martha Washington displays are the numerous replications of her coach trunks filled with frilly things that look about as useful as a broken umbrella in a torrential downpour.
Ignoring genetic and historical precedence, I believe I am also a victim of circumstances. I am fortunate enough to live alone in a dorm room built for two. While we may complain about the space paradigm in our first year, I assure you dorm rooms are quite nice when you don't have a roommate to monopolize logistical concerns. With the entire wall of closets provided to me by Alderman dorms, how am I supposed to resist filling them up and giving them the chance to stretch their legs? I feel it is an insult to my residents, who spend countless hours folding and micromanaging their things just so their rooms don't overflow, to exist with empty drawers and have succumbed to the pressure ever since.
Both history and my room situation may justify my excessive closet and wasteful use of space. As I begin to gather my belongings for the first of several trips of toting stuff to my house, though, the annoyance at my stupidity in what I brought along to college and acquired like a pack rat throughout the year shroud any sentimental nostalgia or pining to stay in Charlottesville.
First of all, if I have not worn an item of clothing in four years, chances are I probably won't wear it here at school. If it still has fold creases and a thin layer of dust from remaining sedentary for so long, it doesn't need to come with me. It's time to say goodbye to those old high school band T-shirts, "what were you thinking" tops that make you question your judgment of right and wrong, jeans covered with holes, and ancient, unravelling sweatshirts that probably belonged to a parent or older brother. This is the stuff I've put in opaque trash bags just so no one can see I actually own such monstrosities.
Another major problem is my excessive pillow use. While they look wonderful, the pillows are only tossed off my bed each night and put back on when I (sometimes) make my bed in the morning. If I could take back all of the time I spent this year fluffing and arranging these damned decorative items, then I would easily have earned enough time to watch an episode of "The Office" or take a leisurely shower. Shame.
This may sound ironic, but one of my biggest self-annoyances comes from my storage containers, which don't actually have anything of importance in them or are completely empty. I literally brought these boxes, bags and everything in-between to school just to counter the junk I knew I'd acquire while at school. In one of my boxes of generous proportions I found nothing except CIO cups, Frisbees and other propaganda amid a year of old magazines. At least these items are light.
Other items of irrelevance found: two wall fans, three coolers, four bottles of laundry detergent, a broom, a dozen pairs of shoes in an unopened box (meaning I never wore them), a drawer full of hideous socks to complement the unworn shoes, a fold-up chair I never used, all of the previous year's notes and exams, an entire shopping bag devoted to postage material, four throw blankets, returns I forgot to make at Fashion Square, Jimmy Hoffa and more.
My advice? Please throw useless stuff out (preferably in an environmentally sound manner) so you don't have to waste additional gas money to take it home in vain. Also, if your parents are anything like mine they might just love you a little bit less when they hear they'll have to face traffic twice because you'll also be going to beach week.
Bailee's column ran biweekly Fridays. She can be reached at email@example.com.