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Jul 11

What Your Child Will Need on Campus

By Hattie Grace

So your child is heading to college.  So what exactly will your child need to live comfortably on campus? The question should be what WON’T they need, as the list of freshman essentials has grown to epic proportions.

First on the list is definitely a computer. Though most schools have computer labs available to all students (the cost of operation is often included in the university fees you’re already paying), typing a paper at 3 a.m. is much more comfortable if it’s done in the comfort of a student’s own room. Many manufacturers, including Apple and Dell, offer deep student discounts which make their products more affordable than ever before, and if your child chooses a laptop over a desktop, they have the option of bringing their computer to class and accessing the Wi-Fi network from anywhere on campus (to get their work done, of course).

Freshman dorm rooms are far from spacious so have your child check with their soon-to-be roommate about who’s bringing what in terms of common items (television, stereo, microwave, fridge, storage, rugs, extra seating, etc.). Once everything is divvied, stick to (and avoid) these items:

Bring

  • A computer
  • Extra-long twin bedding (two sets) and pillows
  • A mattress pad
  • Flip flops, a shower caddy and toiletries (for the communal bathroom)
  • Bed lifts (for extra under-the-bed storage)
  • A laundry bag/hamper, detergent and dryer sheets
  • Towels (three or four)
  • Microfridge (some schools have rental programs)
  • A television
  • Surge protectors
  • Alarm clock
  • Seasonal clothing and footwear
  • Dress clothing and shoes (for interviews)
  • An iron (even the nicest clothing looks terrible when it’s wrinkled)
  • Hangers
  • Removable wall hooks
  • A few photos of family and friends (to minimize homesickness)
  • Ethernet cord
  • Ear plugs (some roommates snore)
  • A cell phone or phone card (for those long-distance calls)
  • Fans (not all dorms have AC and move-in day always seems to be insanely hot)
  • Duct tape (it has a million different uses)
  • Flash drives (the keychain kind is always accessible)
  • Storage crates (stacking a few can make a bookshelf or small table)
  • Disinfectant wipes (extremely handy during cold and flu season)
  • Leave At Home
  • A printer (ink can get expensive; use the campus labs)
  • Extra furniture (there’s only so much space)
  • Pets (fish are often permitted but your child should check with their roommate first)
  • Odorous items (pleasant or not)
  • Anything that is or looks extremely expensive (college students aren’t saints)
  • Guests prone to overstaying their welcome (dorm rooms are small enough)
  • Lots of CDs or DVDs (have your child bring an MP3 player or sign up for Netflix instead)

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