College Freshman Survival Guide (Part 1 – What to Bring?) – Don’t Forget The Saran Wrap!

17 Jul

This is part one of a multipart series on getting ready for freshman year of college.

So you graduated High School. Attended the countless Grad Parties. Explained where you are going to school for the umpteenth time. And now it sets in, you have to pack up your life and move it to school. How will you ever decide what necessities you should bring and should leave home; the must have’s and what are the big no no’s?

Necessities and Must Have’s

http://www.mykindofcollege.com/ article-images/laundry.png

  • Bedsheets, pillow(cases) and blankets/comforter Depending on the climate. Check if your school has “extra long” twins or regular.
  • Mattress pad Many, many students have slept in that bed before, you want as much between you as possible.
  • Under bed storage bins, preferably plastic, and/or risers to lift the bed if need be. You will have zero room in your dorm, you will need to create as much storage space as possible.
  • Clothes are obvious, but make sure you bring a variety of seasonalwear, temperatures can change quick and you don’t want to be without a pair of shorts or a warm jacket. If you go to a school that has a wide swing of seasons, think of Thanksgiving and Spring break as your “clothes swap” points. Don’t forget some interview outfits  for impromptu job offers or career fairs.
  • Hangers! I totally forgot and then Walmart was sold out, slight problem.
  • Laundry will most likely be in your basement or on a random floor, so you must lug your dirty laundry (no pun intended) past many  fellow dormmates so make sure you have a sturdy basket, along with detergent, dryer sheets and quarters (or other payment method, depending on your school)

  • A variety of batteries will be essential as well for your TV remote, alarm clock, calculator and more. Not much is worse than getting ready to take an exam and your calculator dies
  • Bath Towels and a Robe to walk to and from the floor shared bathroom.
  • Shower Caddy will be your savior walking to and from the bathroom. Try carrying shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash and a razor down the hall without dropping them…its impossible. Oh and don’t forget your other toiletries: toothbrush and paste, deodorant, perfume/cologne and those other items sitting in your bathroom.
  • Shower Flip Flops kind of go with the mattress pad reasoning. You don’t know what’s been there…and you don’t want to.
  • Laptop (further explanation in a following post, stay tuned)
  • Printer with respective cords, ink and paper, some schools give you printing pages to use in the labs, but when you have a couple of end of semester papers or have to make copies of something for the whole class, you will wish you had your own printer.
  • TV for your room will be important, talk to you roommate about who will bring one.
  • Flash Drives– Many professors prefer this for presentations so there are no “Ooops the file wont open” excuses. Also, with group projects this is the easiest way to share information that is too big for email.
  • Extension Cords and Outlet Expanders– You won’t have enough outlets for your stuff in, believe me.
  • Headphones and MP3 device As mentioned in my previous post about Pandora, music is a necessity to get work done at school.
  • Ethernet Cable– not all dorms have WiFi, get a really long one at least 25 ft because you never know where the jack may be in your room.

Get Organized

  • Desk chair– Sometimes you are given a painfully hard wooden chair, sometimes not, so check your housing website.
  • A window fan if your campus is in a warm area, it is very unlikely to have A/C, and a fan is a great way to get airflow in a stuffy dorm room.
  • Lamp for your desk or floor lamp, you will want your own personal light source since dorms usually just have an overhead light on the switch.
  • Super Glue and Duct Tape will be your best friends, they fix just about everything. Oh and duct tape is great for those ABC parties.
  • Ruler, Scissors, Highlighters, Pens/Pencils, Stapler, 3-hole punch and PostIts notes. Self explanatory.
  • Alarm Clock because odds are you will end up having at least one class that is “early”. Also, come the end of the semester, you will be tired and even your 10am class will seem rough to get up for.
  • Bulletin Board– Whether it’s pictures, syllabi, a calendar or general reminders, it will help you keep organized. Don’t forget the push pins.

Food

– Everyone has their preferences but a general list would be cereal, ramen, granola bars, peanut butter/jelly, popcorn, soup and bottled water/Brita pitcher.

  • Can/Bottle opener, solely for opening soup and root beer.
  • Paper plates and plastic silverware are definite for the food items listed above.
  • Backpack– Maybe they were a no no in High School, but in college it’s a no brainer. Walking all across campus for 3-4 classes with books, binders, folders and your laptop is just not going to work.
  • Index cards work better than you think. I will admit I didn’t really study in High School, let alone spend the time to make flash cards, but in college, they really help and can easily be studies in between classes or on a bus.
  • First Aid Kit, complete with Antibiotic Cream, Band Aids (I revert to my childhood and buy Disney Princess or Toy Story ones), Cough Drops, Decongestants, Pain Relievers and any prescriptions you have.

Don’t forget your Clipboard+ for your on the go working needs.

clipboard-plus.com

Don’t forget to check with your roommate(s) and see what they are bringing too so you wont have duplicates.

And girls, find some cute boy neighbors to help you move in, they will be happy to oblige…your dad however, not so much.

 Things to Leave at Home

  • Expensive jewelery or other pricey accessories.
  • Important documents (birth cert, SS card, passport, etc) if for some reason you need them, have them sent to you or your parents bring them on a visit (yes you will have them visit you, they miss you).
  • Most of your t-shirts, there will be many events with freebies. After my freshman year I think I had about 10 new T’s. If you end up with waaaay too many check this out!
  • Your stuffed animals, if you must bring one, pack it in a bag/box/bin no one can see in and see if it’s safe to let him/her out and hang on your bed. Tigger came with me freshman year, thankfully my roommate loved Tinkerbell and we bonded over Disney movies, since I got Tigger at Disney World.
  • More than 10 pairs of shoes, yes I know boys, you don’t own that many to begin with, but girls, you will probably never wear them all, just bring a variety and you should be set.
  • Too many pictures or posters-That is a good thing to buy at school or with the roommate. First bonding activity?
  • The dorky lanyard, it screams freshman, and not in a good way at all.

Still wondering where the Saran Wrap is involved…? Most schools give you hotel luggage carts or big industrial size laundry bins to move in and out of your dorm. If you get one of those hotel racks, how can you stack your items 4 feet high to the crossbar and still make turns without losing everything? Wrap Saran Wrap around the whole rack and then cut it off when you get to your room. You’re welcome.

Have any questions about specific items to bring or not to bring? Feel free to comment and I will get back to you ASAP. Or follow me on Twitter at SamSepanak1 and I will answer you there, as well.

Keep a lookout for the second installment about how to live with a random person and how to get along with your roommate!

2 Responses to “College Freshman Survival Guide (Part 1 – What to Bring?) – Don’t Forget The Saran Wrap!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. College Freshman Survival Guide (Part 2 – How To Get Along With Your Roommate) – So about that whole sharing a room the size of a jail cell thing… « Changing the Way You Work - July 25, 2012

    […] If you are a night owl and your roommate is not, invest in a good desk light as mentioned in my first blog so you can both do what you need to. Or go to a study lounge or common area and work and come back […]

  2. “If the job sounds too good to be true, it is.” and “If they are vague on the position, they will be vague on the pay.”- How to find a great job and create an awesome resume to land the interview « Changing the Way You Work - October 24, 2012

    […] that we have covered surviving the first few months of freshman year, let’s focus on the opposite end of the college spectrum: finding a job. Although, this post is […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: