He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown: Packing & Unpacking

luggage stuffing

Hi there! I’m Seunglee Lee, a first year blogger for He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown. For nervous freshmen, including myself, nothing is more exiting yet intimidating than prospects of dorm life. As I navigate through all the fun, hectic and hilarious experiences dorm life at Brown has to offer, I hope to share them with you and hopefully convince you that Brown is the place to be.

The aftermath of the blizzard is still very apparent outside, but things are coming back to their place very quickly. The shopping period has come to an end, my first midterm is only days away, and the housing lottery is beginning to loom over everyone’s mind.

This semester I am taking five classes as opposed to four, but only because I like all of them a lot. I am taking Principles of Economics, Intermediate Calculus, Linear Algebra, Rise of China and Victorian Fiction. I am very happy that I have a nice balance between STEM and humanities classes as well as between large lectures and small seminars.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about something I learned over the winter: packing. Especially for international students who come from all parts of the world, packing and unpacking can be a real hassle. Although I didn’t travel abroad for the winter, only after hauling heavy suitcases around with my keys back home did I learn a lesson or two about traveling. Some tips for everyone, but especially for international students:

  • Book tickets way ahead in advance. The price you pay, quite literally, if you don’t can be very high.
  • Do not overpack on clothes. Chances are, you are not going to wear everything you bring. Bring absolute essentials and cut down on unnecessary ones you will wear only once or twice. Condense your stuff into maximum of two suitcases. Carrying bulky suitcases from and to your dorm is not very exciting.
  • Come few days before break ends. You definitely need time to unpack and make your room habitable again. Try not come on the first day of classes. Shopping period will stress you out enough.
  • Get your forms signed! If you hold a foreign passport and are traveling outside the U.S, make sure to have your I-20 forms signed at least three days in advance.
  • Do not forget essentials. Do not forget to bring your ID and room key and panic in the middle of the sky like I did. Make sure you bring back everything with you.

These may seem obvious, but when you are in a hurry the most obvious things can slip out of your mind. Better safe than sorry!

Until next week,


Do you have any questions or comments? Shoot me an email at seung_lee_lee@brown.edu and I’ll get back to you!


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