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 Post subject: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:10 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1114
High school graduation is upon us (or for some already over). What are some of the things you will need for college as a freshman (or for your son/daughter)? There’s really two lines of thought on this: A) Take the Minimum or B) Be Prepared.

A) Take the Minimum
Some would recommend moving in with minimal possessions until you (or your son/daughter) have a chance to see what roommates bring, what's needed for storage/organization/etc, especially if the parents are close enough that things left behind can be brought on the weekend. If possible, pack like you're (or your son/daughter) going on a long trip where you'll need school supplies.

B) Be Prepared.
See the sample list below. Keep in mind some may be wants while others may actually be needs. I have bolded what I believe are needs. You (or your parents) will have to determine/negotiate that. Your budget may have an impact on these as well.

1. For the Room

a. Comforter/bedspread

b. Pillow
c. Bed linens (ask what size bed you’ll have, bring extra)[/b]
d. Clothes hangers
e. Coffee mug (if you drink coffee)
f. Drinking cups, dishes and silverware for snacks
g. Poster putty (or 3M Command strips) for hanging up decorations/posters
h. Plastic containers with tight lids for storing snacks, detergent, etc.
i. Salt and pepper shakers
j. Headphones (so your music doesn’t bother your roommate or neighbors)
k. MP3 Player/iPod (or if you have a smart phone with decent storage disregard)
l. Cell phone/chargers
m. Power strip approved by the housing office
n. Desk lamp or bed lamp
o. HDTV/Bluray/DVD-Player (there’s usually a common area TV if you don’t bring one)
p. Stereo/IPod Docking Station
q. Fan (for noise & cooling things down)
r. Hair dryer
s. Alarm clock
t. Small refrigerator/microwave (check with college for restrictions)
u. Crates or stacking containers
v. Paper towels, glass cleaner
w. Sewing kit, scissors, safety pins
x. Posters/Wall Art
y. Shoes hanger
z. Ear plugs (In case your roommate snores)
aa. Message board for your door (very useful for communication with roommates)

2. Cleanliness

a. Bathrobe
b. Carrying case for toiletries
c. Shower shoes
d. Towels, washcloths
e. Soap
f. Shampoo
g. Shaving cream and razors
h. Small bucket for carrying shower things

i. Facial tissues
j. Toilet paper (some schools provide it if common bathrooms)
k. Laundry basket/bag
l. Laundry detergent

m. Dryer sheets
n. Dishwashing detergent (if you have a dishwasher)
o. Band-Aids
p. Cold/Flu medicine
q. Aspirin
r. First-aid kit
s. Vacuum Cleaner (Think a small one if your dorm doesn’t offer one if you have carpet)

3. School

a. Computer/laptop
b. Computer carrying case (or just put it in your backpack)
c. Printer (Keep in mind you can print for free in many school computer labs)
d. Ink
e. Printer Paper

f. USB/Thumb Drive (for transferring files)
g. Binders, folders, notebooks
h. Notebook Paper
i. Writing utensils

j. Desk supplies such as scissors, staplers, paper clips, markers, etc)
k. Dictionary (Or use Dictionary.com)
l. Thesaurus (Or use Dictionary.com)
m. Backpack
n. Calculator (Or use Smartphone/Ipod)
o. Day-planner (Or use Smartphone/IPod)
p. Index Cards
q. IPAD/Kindle (for buying books digitally)

4. Things also to consider

a. Access to money (i.e. bank account, bank card, credit card, etc. Might want to open an account with a bank that has many branches in your home state/college state. Bank of America, Chase, Compass Bank, Wells Fargo for example might be good options.)
b. Umbrella

c. Key ring (for dorm room/campus mailbox)
d. Flashlight
e. Vitamins (to keep you healthy and away from the doctor)
f. Batteries
g. Flashlight
h. Thank you notes
i. Stamps
j. Snacks for your room
k. Bicycle (save money on gas, car insurance and upkeep)
l. Buy books used on amazon or craiglist. Also, see if you can purchase books used from upper classmen.
m. With social media (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) consider contacting your potential roommate to discuss things in advance. Also, there are often times Facebook groups for incoming classes. Consider joining to get to know your classmates.
o. A tool kit and duct tape. Often needed in dorm room or apartment settings.

5. Things to talk to roommate about. Don't double up on these!

a. HDTV (unless you’d like 2 or 3 units – play video games while watching a movie? Lol)
b. Blu-ray/DVD player
c. Iron
d. An ironing board, if needed
e. Chair(s), bean bag(s)
f. Microwave
g. Mini-Fridge
h. Video game systems

Anything else to add to this list? Your thoughts on Wants Vs Needs?

Edited OP based on comments from ppl in the thread.

_________________
~ Eagle


Last edited by Eagle on Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1114
After review I was wondering if a Mod would move this topic to the "Tips, Tricks, Links, Pointers" forum? I believe I should've posted this there... My apologies.

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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:01 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Umbrella as a need? I thought that's what books were for, keeping the rain out of your face :lol: In fact, in heavy rainstorms we turned the grassy lawn into a slip'n'slide.

Storage in the dorm was so limited I only kept one set of sheets. In fact, I'd recommend moving in with minimal possessions until you have a chance to see what your roommates bring, what's needed for storage/organization/etc, especially if the parents are close enough that things left behind can be brought on the weekend. If possible, pack like you're going on a long trip where you'll need school supplies.

Many larger universities have credit unions associated with them and are generally a good option for banking.

I strongly recommend having your own printer, or at least one printer for the roommates in the dorm. Too often the computer labs have problems due to over use, lack of maintenance, pranks, etc. Doesn't have to be fancy photo printer, of course.

A bike can be a big help getting to class on a large and spread out campus. I also used it to go to the grocery store and run other errands around town.

I second a white board as a need! Of course, when I lived in the dorm most students didn't have cell phones and texting didn't exist...

A mini fridge and microwave are a big help, especially for late night study sessions when the meal halls are closed.

Before getting anything, read over the dorm guidelines thoroughly. Most schools provide a microwave but don't allow hotplates and other cooking appliances.


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:05 am 
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Posts: 1114
catchingup wrote:
Umbrella as a need? I thought that's what books were for, keeping the rain out of your face :lol: In fact, in heavy rainstorms we turned the grassy lawn into a slip'n'slide.


Or a good rain coat/boots depending on the weather. :)

catchingup wrote:
Storage in the dorm was so limited I only kept one set of sheets. In fact, I'd recommend moving in with minimal possessions until you have a chance to see what your roommates bring, what's needed for storage/organization/etc, especially if the parents are close enough that things left behind can be brought on the weekend. If possible, pack like you're going on a long trip where you'll need school supplies.


That may not be a bad idea. Ideally, it would be nice to have communication with your roomate before the semester begins. I requested a guy I knew and we were able to sort things out at the beggining of the summer. Another thing to consider is that if you're in a college town resources may be limited as the demand for certain items peeks at the beggining of the semester.

catchingup wrote:
Many larger universities have credit unions associated with them and are generally a good option for banking.


While I love credit unions having a local credit union that is not available back home (or vice-versa not available at college) can be inconvinient.

catchingup wrote:
I strongly recommend having your own printer, or at least one printer for the roommates in the dorm. Too often the computer labs have problems due to over use, lack of maintenance, pranks, etc. Doesn't have to be fancy photo printer, of course.


This is true. However there is a great difference between library computer labs and the labs in smaller departments. There is always usually a niche that works well. At my school it was the business computer lab.

catchingup wrote:
A bike can be a big help getting to class on a large and spread out campus. I also used it to go to the grocery store and run other errands around town.


This is so true. I got away with no car at college for the first couple of years. Upfront this saved a ton as I didn't have to pay for a car. Used roomates on occasion or just got rides. This saves on car insurance, gas, & upkeep too. A little counter cultural but... Every penny counts!

catchingup wrote:
I second a white board as a need! Of course, when I lived in the dorm most students didn't have cell phones and texting didn't exist...


Same. Texting can be fine as long as you have unlimited texting. Agreeing on rules for study time/sleep time can also reduce some stress.

catchingup wrote:
A mini fridge and microwave are a big help, especially for late night study sessions when the meal halls are closed.

Before getting anything, read over the dorm guidelines thoroughly. Most schools provide a microwave but don't allow hotplates and other cooking appliances.


Some schools may not allow hotplates but may allow a "boiling" device. Loved Raman Noodles... Or popcorn late at night. Also a good cofee maker for those who like that sort of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:36 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
You seemed to miss the suitcases full of money which are dropped off at the accounts receivable department.

It took me 2.5 yrs to figure out all the text books were available at the library and could be checked out for an entire semester. If on reference, I just went to the library if I needed it.

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"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:25 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1200
Bichon Frise wrote:
You seemed to miss the suitcases full of money which are dropped off at the accounts receivable department.

He forgot beer money too!


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Posts: 1114
Bichon Frise wrote:
You seemed to miss the suitcases full of money which are dropped off at the accounts receivable department.

It took me 2.5 yrs to figure out all the text books were available at the library and could be checked out for an entire semester. If on reference, I just went to the library if I needed it.


Amazon.com or Craigslist.com is a great resource for textbooks. My wife buys all of her school books there. Checking out books in the library is a good option too. The Public library is where we get our books and rent most of our DVD's.

Tightwad wrote:
Bichon Frise wrote:
You seemed to miss the suitcases full of money which are dropped off at the accounts receivable department.


He forgot beer money too!


Sorry didn't include beer money as I can honestly say I didn't drink at all in college. Still do not drink. To me drinking alcohol is equated with smoking cigarettes. It's not illegal just not the best thing for me. It's a personal choice and I realize other people enjoy having a "good time." To me there were other ways of having fun in college.

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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 531
This is just from my own college experience, but I wouldn't put laptop/computer down as a need. Oh, it's a very nice want...everyone hates walking to the computer lab at midnight to finish that paper you forgot about. But, at least at my university, there were 1/2-dozen or more computer labs on campus, many open 24/7, evenly split between Mac and PC. Plus, it seemed there was always someone in the dorm that didn't mind lending computer time if needed. That being said, I'd highly recommend a laptop for convenience, but if the budget is already stretched, there are ways around that.

(Of course, I wouldn't put cell phone down as a need, either, but maybe I'm just showing my age. :D )

Regarding the vacuum cleaner, if you stay in the dorms, they generally have a community / floor vacuum you can use.


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:52 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:39 am
Posts: 57
Eagle wrote:
Bichon Frise wrote:
You seemed to miss the suitcases full of money which are dropped off at the accounts receivable department.

It took me 2.5 yrs to figure out all the text books were available at the library and could be checked out for an entire semester. If on reference, I just went to the library if I needed it.


Amazon.com or Craigslist.com is a great resource for textbooks. My wife buys all of her school books there. Checking out books in the library is a good option too. The Public library is where we get our books and rent most of our DVD's.


I got a lot of my textbooks via "goob sales". goob = going out of business, students that for whatever reason were departing prior to graduation selling their stuff. If you have an idea of what class/instructor you were getting next semester, you could usually get the right textbooks in advance. That's not a way an incoming freshman will be able to get first-semester textbooks though, and YMMV depending on the specific school.


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:10 pm
Posts: 14
I graduated college just over a year ago, so I think I'm a little closer in age to some of the commentators. :-)

I would replace "poster putty" in the original list with 3M Command strips. They look nicer and leave far less residue on dorm walls (I know, I've used both). Also, get the 3M Command hooks for your wall if you want to hang anything. They come in different sizes that hold different weights, and you can remove them at the end of the year without damaging anything. (You usually have to pay a TON of money for any damages.)

Also, you probably will just be putting money on your student ID and swiping it through a credit-card-like machine to pay for laundry if you live in a dorm. None of my friends (going to a mix of big, little, public, private, expensive, cheap) schools used actual quarters for laundry while in a dorm.

Camera/memory card may be replaced by a smartphone (or iPod touch), if the student already has one. I would call some sort of cell phone -- could certainly be a cheap pre-paid one -- a necessity as many/most schools do not offer public telephones anymore or phone service for individual halls/rooms.

Agree that there is a good chance the dorm will have a vacuum cleaner you can borrow, so ask the school. If not, remember there is no need for a large size one to do your tiny dorm room.

Regarding printing and computer use, you probably want a laptop. Ask current students (not just the administration) about the printing system and computer labs and get their opinion. For example, in college I relied on free printing for anything for my own use and anything that didn't matter that much. For things that mattered, such as a final copy of a paper, I used my own printer so I could guarantee it wouldn't have random lines across it.

My freshman roommate and I lived across the country from each other and were strangers at first. We friended each other on Facebook to get to know each other some before school started and we used it to figure out who would bring what. I also joined the Facebook group for my incoming class, so I could connect with future classmates and get tips, and that was very helpful, as was knowing someone in the year above me at my university. Nothing substitutes for a current student at your institution in terms of figuring things out.


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:25 pm 

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Alice11 wrote:
My freshman roommate and I lived across the country from each other and were strangers at first. We friended each other on Facebook to get to know each other some before school started and we used it to figure out who would bring what.


I can't stress this enough; get in touch with the future roommate to talk about who is going to bring what. A lot of the more expensive items can be shared -- and it really doesn't make sense not to. Especially in an older dorm with small rooms, you really do not want to waste valuable space by having two microwaves, two tv's, two ironing boards, etc.

Think about what you are really going to need and consider packing light. Honestly, you do not need that much stuff (multiple sets of sheets, seriously?), and it is hard to describe just how exasperating it is when you move in, take over your half of the room, and then a roommate shows up with a truckload of stuff that could supply half your floor.


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:36 pm 
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oalohabear wrote:
This is just from my own college experience, but I wouldn't put laptop/computer down as a need. Oh, it's a very nice want...everyone hates walking to the computer lab at midnight to finish that paper you forgot about. But, at least at my university, there were 1/2-dozen or more computer labs on campus, many open 24/7, evenly split between Mac and PC.


I came from another country so having my own computer/laptop was exceptionally important to me. It was an easy way to communicate (Skype) with my family and friends from back home. I'm sorry but I believe in today's day and age laptops are a need for college students. Now you don't have to have a Mac. You can get a fairly decent PC laptop for $500-600 now.

oAlice11 wrote:
Also, you probably will just be putting money on your student ID and swiping it through a credit-card-like machine to pay for laundry if you live in a dorm. None of my friends (going to a mix of big, little, public, private, expensive, cheap) schools used actual quarters for laundry while in a dorm.


Good point. Actually we had this as well. I just compiled this list after talking to friends and family members and didn't add the student ID. Sorry that's why I put it on the forum ;) To make sure I didn't miss anything. My sister is going to college in the fall and wanted to help her out.

oAlice11 wrote:
Camera/memory card may be replaced by a smartphone (or iPod touch), if the student already has one. I would call some sort of cell phone -- could certainly be a cheap pre-paid one -- a necessity as many/most schools do not offer public telephones anymore or phone service for individual halls/rooms.


Well I assumed that not all college students could afford a $30-40 a month ($360-$400 a year) data plan. (Or get their parents to foot that bill on top of helping with college expenses.) But if you can afford it then yeah an iPhone say is a great replacement or an iPod touch is a good idea if you already have one. I had a basic plan and phone in college to save money.

oneluckyman wrote:
I can't stress this enough; get in touch with the future roommate to talk about who is going to bring what. A lot of the more expensive items can be shared -- and it really doesn't make sense not to. Especially in an older dorm with small rooms, you really do not want to waste valuable space by having two microwaves, two tv's, two ironing boards, etc.


I agree. I contacted my roomate in college in the summer before our freshman year too. It made things go a lot smoother. We divided up what each of us was to bring.

oneluckyman wrote:
Think about what you are really going to need and consider packing light. Honestly, you do not need that much stuff (multiple sets of sheets, seriously?), and it is hard to describe just how exasperating it is when you move in, take over your half of the room, and then a roommate shows up with a truckload of stuff that could supply half your floor.


Lol. Well I guess it depends on the person as to the amount of stuff they bring. I didn't bring a whole lot as my roomate had a lot of stuff. A computer, clothes, sheets, a comforter, and a pillow is what I had. Of course went to Walmart and got anything else we needed. Not that I endourse Walmart but it was one of the only major stores around. I found that having multiple sheet sets meant I had to do laundry less often. Maybe it's just me but I didn't like doing laundry every week or so. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:11 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:16 pm
Posts: 6
Tightwad wrote:
Bichon Frise wrote:
You seemed to miss the suitcases full of money which are dropped off at the accounts receivable department.

He forgot beer money too!

Ha ha That's really important. Good suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:02 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 88
basic tools. It sounds silly, but practically no one will bring them and they are quite useful. For instance, my dorm the beds could be made into bunk beds, single beds or lofted, but you had to do it yourself (instructions were provided). It required a flathead screwdriver, and in the case of our beds, alot of wd40 to get the screws to turn at first.

Duct tape, wd40, and both a flathead and phillips screwdrivers were my life saver. I also had a small carpenters hammer (only used twice) and gorilla glue. I was able to rent out my tools to other residents for an actual return on what I had paid for them, since our little city neighborhood didn't have a hardware store and practically no one had a car or money for a taxi to the big box place (bus didn't go there).


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 Post subject: Re: Items to Bring to College as a Freshman
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:22 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Texas
Eagle wrote:
oalohabear wrote:
This is just from my own college experience, but I wouldn't put laptop/computer down as a need. Oh, it's a very nice want...everyone hates walking to the computer lab at midnight to finish that paper you forgot about. But, at least at my university, there were 1/2-dozen or more computer labs on campus, many open 24/7, evenly split between Mac and PC.


I came from another country so having my own computer/laptop was exceptionally important to me. It was an easy way to communicate (Skype) with my family and friends from back home. I'm sorry but I believe in today's day and age laptops are a need for college students. Now you don't have to have a Mac. You can get a fairly decent PC laptop for $500-600 now.


That's right, I too think having your own laptop/pc is definitely a need. Even if you're university has a lot of computer units, the great thing with having your own is that you don't need to carry around a flash disk just to use the computer. Also, your data is more secure that way (lesser risk of losing files, virus getting into your flash disk and infecting your files, etc) as you control what sites you go to and who uses your unit. Also, aside from using it in the comfort of your own dorm room for school work, you can use it for recreation like playing computer games, watching movies, or tv series. Heck, you can even get an online job while in college if you have your own lappy.


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