I’ve been a changer for three months now and it feels like the days and weeks go by faster and faster all the time. Just yesterday I said goodbye to my family at the airport?? Today I’m going to share some packing tips, because I completely failed in packing myself. These tips come directly from my own experiences! By following these, you might save a decent amount of money by not having to buy everything overnight when you arrive in your new home country. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the same situation I was in.
The most important tip comes here: find out about the dress code of your future High School!!! I didn’t realize to do this background research myself, so practically more than half of my clothes when I came here were unsuitable for school. My school does not allow mini shorts, spaghetti strap tops (the shoulder strap must be at least three fingers wide), hats, leggings or polo shirts. You must also not have visible piercings or tattoos. The hair color must be a natural color. I thought I would have some problems with my gray hair, but luckily the teachers understood me because I’m a changeling. Of course, every school has different rules, but take care of the dress code, we are very strict about it here!
Googlaa millainen sää osavaltiossa/maassa on ympäri vuoden. Texasissa on sen verran ärsyttävät säät, että tänään voi olla päivän ylin lämpötila +10, mutta huomenna se saattaa pompata +30 asteeseen. Ilmasto on myös hyvin kostea ympäri vuoden, mikä tekee pukeutumisen tosi haastavaksi.
Älä jätä pakkaamista Soft Landing Campin varaan. Itse tein tämän(kin) virheen, sillä luulin että ostan suurimman osan vaatteistani New Yorkista. Vaikka meillä oli runsaasti vapaa-aikaa siellä, ei me kuitenkaan haluttu “tuhlata” aikaa shoppailemiseen, vaan haluttiin kierrellä ympäri kaupunkia ottaen kuvia. Taisin ostaa vain yhdet kengät New Yorkista, joten käytännössä mulla ei ollut kuin muutamat hassut ryysyt mukanani kun Texasiin saavuin :D..
Make a list and update it according to what you pack in your bag. This greatly eases the feeling: ”Did I already pack those two shirts or not?” and you don’t have to unpack the whole bag to make sure you have everything you need at the fair!
Start packing early enough!! Don’t leave it until the last days, because you have a lot of other things to think about (friends, family, homework, etc.). Start thinking about what you want to take with you a month before your departure date. This way, you have enough time to make last-minute purchases if you run out of something. Even your mother will appreciate it if all the clothes don’t get washed at the same time on a weekday day when you’re at home.
Remember the weight restrictions. In the USA, you have to pay a lot for extra kilos, so make sure you weigh your bag when you leave home, and also at the hotel at Soft Landing Camp. I think the weight limit on my flights is 21 kg, which is a really big limit when you think that you practically pack your life into one suitcase for a year.
After the gap year, when you come home, there may be bigger problems about what to leave here and what to take with you to Finland, but that’s the trouble of that time!
Don’t forget the firecrackers! Find out what types of things your host family likes. Traditional treats are, of course, Marimekko textiles (sleeves, cotton gloves, etc.), Finnish candies, and books about Finland. Only the sky is the limit!