Thursday, April 29, 2010

College 101: The Essentials

Spring is in the air and it's the time for...GRADUATION! A lot of students are getting ready to finish up their academic careers and start off on different adventures. So, I can imagine why in the world today's blog is about school?! Well, with graduation comes graduation gifts and it's a good idea to know what you're going to need so that people can cover those needs. Also, it's a good idea to take all summer and hit up a few sales here and there. See, there's a method to the madness here. It's important to note that if you're going off many miles from home on an academic adventure that you want to plan ahead, because any of the stores like Target and WalMart that are near the University are going to be packed and out of the things you need.

I speak from experience. The dorm and apartment that I lived in did not have air conditioning and when you start school at the end of August it is HOT. The WalMart ran out of fans and told me they would not be ordering more. I had to travel to another state to get a couple fans and I was desperate I paid almost $40 for a fan because it was the only one they had left.

But I digress. This is the first in a series of helpful hints for the college newbie. Today's list is the absolute essential items students need at college that they may be too excited to pack.

Campus Map - You can download one off of the University's website, ask the registrar to send you one, or make sure you pick one up your first day on campus to find out where the library is and where your classes will be.

Plates, cups, flatware - The best is to pick up cheap-o plastic sets on sale during the summer - durable, but it's okay if you lose them or throw them away like these

Pillows - A comfortable place to put your head will be nice after a long day of learning

Sheets - Find out from the school what size the beds are, but it's usually twin or long twin. Grab a couple cheap sets, especially since you won't want to do laundry all the time.

Blankets - Pack an extra, sometimes the heat doesn't work or your roommate will like to sleep with the window open, even in the dead of winter

Parking permit
- Check with your school, but if you're taking your car, odds are you'll need a place to park

Towels - A bathroom set and a kitchen set are important. You may want multiple sets because of the laundry issue.

A few pots/pans or plastic containers - To cook in, of course

Mini fridge - A nice place to store drinks or snacks

Microwave - Because you won't always want to eat in the dining hall

Coffee Pot - A nic
e pick-you-up and a cheaper alternative to buying fancy coffee on campus Like the Brew n' Go by Black and Decker

Fan - It will be hot

- For computing. Since space may be an issue, think about a laptop, netbook (may need to buy attachable optical drives), or mini desktop

Printer - No excuse for not having assignments printed

USB drive
- For the times when your printer doesn't work

Office supplies/school supplies
- You'd be surprised how many people forget these

TV/DVD player
- For entertainment during study breaks

Shower supplies/toiletries -
Always be prepared, don't forget Neosporin, asprin, and bandaids

Small sewing kit
- Saves your clothes and saves you money

Phone - Some schools require each dorm room have a phone. If getting a cordless, keep it under 5.8 ghz so that it doesn't interfere with your neighbors' phones

Garbage bags (small)
- Most dorms have garbage cans, but not liners. They even make scented ones, which are nice in small quarters

- Some dorms have more vertical space and it's important to utilize it

Cleaning supplies -
Small spaces get dirty fast, but the good news is that they get clean fast, too

Laundry soap - Essential in the cleaning of clothes

Laundry bag - The best way to get your dirty clothes clean. Bags are easier to haul up and down stairs

Food - It's important to have a tiny stock of food that's easy to cook because the kitchen may not be open or you may not feel like going down. Especially suggested? Boxed stuff like Ramen, Cup o Noodle, Easy Mac, soup, flavored rice