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Ten Things I'm Packing For College

I jet off for college in New Haven, Connecticut, USA on the 14th of August; I have barely a month to go. So what do I take with me?
BY Sonali Chauhan |   24-07-2013
Sonali Chauhan
I jet off for college in New Haven, Connecticut, USA on the 14th of August; I have barely a month to go. One really can’t expect me to be serious about my packing just yet, so I am going to imagine college as a desert island (since I live in New Delhi, the only thing New Haven has in common is the ‘new’ and it’s not even so). So, if I were transported to a desert island for the next four years, what would I take with me?

  1. 1.  Almost Famous DVD – Can one disregard Lester Bangs as an all-knowing philosopher of our time, and truly live with oneself? For you baffled ones, I would liken ‘Almost Famous’ to a bible in 122 minutes of run-time. You need to be under Harry Houdini at the Riot House ASAP because rock ‘n’ roll can save the world; and the chicks are great.

  2.  2.  Penguin Classic’s The Best of Hans Christian Andersen – These fairy tales take you on an introspective journey like no other. While you lament the doom of the Little Mermaid’s romance, you might be entranced by the evil Snow Queen. Watch as your empathy twists and turns around fantasy to form an outline of the person you are. This book is better than Disneyland!

  3. 3.  Photos of family and friends – Photographs are old memories kept on display to make you feel warm and tingly inside when everything gets a bit too much in a different time zone, kind of like fried ice cream on bad Thai food.

  4. Posters – I want to take some of the posters in my room and put them up in my dorm. Maybe then, I won’t miss my room so much.

  5. Herbal Tea – There is no greater joy in the world than a cup of authentic Darjeeling Tea after a meal, and I don’t intend to leave this joy behind.

  6. Indian Medicines – I know Advil and Aspirin look better and are easier to swallow. But, when I call up Dr. Mom and ask her what to do in times of sickness, she will tell me to stick to Zhandu balm, Immodium and Saridon.

  7. Journal – I don’t mean to document every day of my four years at college, but I think I will surely laugh (and cringe with embarrassment) when I look back at sporadic journal entries and enjoy the subsequent intoxicated introspection of a re-read.

  8. A Stellar Indian Outfit – No College has no Indians. We’re everywhere and wherever we go, our festivals follow. I will brave the cold, but I swear I will not spend Diwali in jeans.

  9. Polaroid Camera – Judging by the list above, this was to be expected. Yes, I would rather walk to the post office periodically and mail my parents postcards with Polaroid shots of my time at Yale; I refuse to do anything ‘insta’-ntly.

  10. Resistance Tube – Free weights are so mainstream and not to mention, tools that my future roommate can use to kill, or seriously maim, me easily. I would much rather keep a resistance tube safely tucked away under my bed for a bit of a workout (I hope my roommate to-be doesn’t see this!).

Sonali Chauhan graduated from Delhi Public School, RK Puram in 2013 and will be attending Yale University this fall. She spent the summer working with essai - a company that aims to inspire students to write creative and unique college essays using literature, film and discussion.



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Maqsood Ahmed
28 July 2013

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