Social media image for NYU Welcome 2022 hosted by NYU LGBTQ+

You’ve applied to colleges and then made the decision where you’ll attend. The next thing to conquer is prepping to go there. Leading to the age-old question—what do I put on my college packing list?

Accordingly, your YouTube search history probably consists of “college packing list” or “college essentials.” Your FYP is “what to pack” and “what to forget” on your college packing list. Maybe you’ve already started a list. So, what should you bring?

A mattress topper? A Brita pitcher? Decorations?
Definitely yes to all three.

But one thing you might not have considered adding to your college packing list that could make a huge difference to your experience? Business cards.

Don’t worry! You’re not expected to have a business coming to NYU.

When I say “business cards,” I don’t mean the kind that promote a business. I mean taking all of your social media handles and putting them on a small card.

So, why would I give you this absurd reason to add business cards to your college packing list?

Two words: Welcome Week.

Drag Bingo

One of the biggest Welcome Week events and definitely one my favorites is Drag Bingo. Hundreds of students attend to watch a drag queen performance and play some bingo. The line wraps around the block. My first year, I made the mistake of not lining up early. While waiting, though, I was able to meet other NYU students.

It seemed like everywhere I turned there was another, “Hi, whats your name?”

Imagine how much easier making friends would be if we could introduce ourselves, get to know each other a bit, and then give each other a business card.

And bonus! Beyond all the practical items you’ll need to get on your college packing list, putting a personal spin on your business cards is fun!

Drag Queen standing with a microphone and a bingo game
credit: nyuwelcome on instagram
An image for Drag Bingo is projected on stage during the event
Audience sitting in the theater for Drag Bingo
An instagram post advertising the event has the tag line
Murder Mystery

One of the greatest core memories I have from my first Welcome Week is going to a murder mystery event… in the middle of a hurricane. My friends and I knew it was raining when we left for the event, but we did not anticipate having to get home through a full-scale storm.

We were able to walk back because our residence hall was fairly close. Some people we met, though, chose to stay in the building and let the storm pass for a bit. If we had each other’s business cards, we would have been able to contact them to make sure everyone was safe.

Hygiene and Health

The biggest reason to add business cards to your college packing list? Health and hygiene. In the age of Covid-19, I think we all strengthened those skills, from washing hands to staying home when we feel sick.

Now, as much as I would love to have everyone’s contact details, passing my phone to hundreds of people at the start of the semester doesn’t seem the most sanitary thing to do.

My phone used to be like hot potato the way I would pass it around for contact details. Business cards with contact information like my name and social media handles would have prevented that game, and are great to add to your college packing list.

spongebob cleaning multiple things at once
Plenty of Opportunities

While I only included two of them—trust me—there are hundreds of Welcome Week events where you will meet lots of people. You might meet long-term friends or people you simply pass through Washington Square Park, but it is still nice to have their social media and contact information. As easy as it is to give your phone to everyone you meet, it’s not the most sanitary.

Whether you are at an event in the middle of a hurricane or just don’t want your phone being passed around, business cards are the key. And not to worry, they won’t take up that much room in your suitcase. So, add them to that college packing list!

Group of NYU Welcome students standing in front of the arch with letters reading “NYU.”
My 2021 NYU Welcome team in front of the arch

Hi! I’m Oneida (oh-ney-da) but most know me as Onei (oh-neh/nay)! I’m a junior Nursing student at Rory Meyers, as well as a part of the LEAD honors program. As an extrovert, I love meeting and connecting with people. On campus, I am an Admissions Ambassador, on the Eboard for LATINOS (Latinos Aspiring to Imagine Nursing Opportunities), and community service chair for AAP (Academic Achievement Program). Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, moving to New York has been such a dream. So, when I’m not studying or working, I like to explore as much as I can and find new favorite spots in the city. P.S I get to see a lot of dogs while doing so 🙂