Tag Archives: Packing

Lesson VI: Packing the Essentials — Part Deux

In my last entry I discussed what you would need for the classroom while at college and back by popular demand I present “Packing the Essentials — Part Deux” which is the collaborative list of all of your dorm/housing needs.

We all need to wear clothing right? Well I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from students who forget to pack any socks or have packed their entire wardrobe and don’t have room for anything else. Keep in mind where your going to school when you pack, chances are if your going to a school in New England your going to need more cold weather clothing than if your going to a school in Hawaii. Another good rule of thumb when packing is if you haven’t worn something in 2 weeks then leave it at home. With that said don’t forget this stuff…

Underwear — undershirts, underwear, bras, socks, pajamas, a bathrobe.
Everyday Wear — jeans, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, belts, a light jacket, sweaters, sweatshirts, dresses, skirts, a cap/hat.
Cold/Warm Climate Wear — a raincoat, an umbrella, a pair of gloves, a pair of earmuffs, a scarf or two, a bathing suit, tank tops.
Formal Wear — This is in case you go to a job interview or formal event, you should probably only need one of each. A dress shirt, tie, slacks, a pair of dress socks, an evening dress, a pair of panty hose.
Shoes — You will need at least one pair of casual shoes, athletic shoes, dress shoes, flip-flops (for the shower), heels, flats.

I think a lot of students forget what they will need for bedding and linens when they leave for college because they go from living at home with a big comfortable bed and fresh sheets to a university issued mattress with some mysterious stains from the last person that used it. But with a few comforts of home the cheap college mattress can be livable.

a mattress pad/topper, a bedspread, blankets, pillows, sheets, pillowcases, towels, washcloths.

TIP #1: “Bed in a Bag” is a bag that contains a matching set of sheets, pillowcases and bedspread, its usually pretty affordable and something that you can find at most big-box stores (Walmart, K-Mart, Target) It usually saves a little money then if you buy each item separately.

TIP #2: Invest in a good mattress pad/topper, they can really make you a lot more comfortable. Although they range in price and quality its well worth it to shell out a bit more money for a good one and save yourself some future back pain and discomfort.

Try to remember to pack as many of theses things as you can but if you forget some of them its not really a big deal because most college campuses have some sort of grocery store, convenience store or pharmacy near by so you can pickup anything you forgot.

cologne/perfume, shampoo, conditioner, dental floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush/comb, hair spray/gel, tissues, nail clippers, q-tips, razors, shaving cream, soap/bodywash, lotion, makeup, nail polish, nail polish remover, mouthwash, a hairdryer, a shower caddy, feminine products.

First Aid
Having a first aid kit or at least a few medical supplies is always handy for those minor cuts and scrapes and that killer headache you get when your… studying… yeah studying late at night.

a few different size band-aids, aspirin/pain reliever, contraceptives (that’s right, no excuses for forgetting this one), cough drops, decongestant, hydrogen peroxide, sunscreen, a multi-purpose antacid (like maalox or pepto-bismol), thermometer.

School Supplies
In my last entry I mentioned what supplies you would need to bring to class. Needless to say you might need a few more supplies for projects or whatever that you might not feel the need to tote around with you from class to class.

an alarm clock, a calendar, highlighters, paper clips, a ruler, a pair of scissors, stamps, a stapler and staples, tape, a cork bulletin board/dry erase board, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a book of grammar, a book of quotations, desk lamp, sticky notes, a computer and printer.

Storage and Furniture
Lets face it living in a dorm room is like living in a matchbox and then having to share it with someone else so space can’t be wasted. Before you buy furniture find out what things you school includes in their rooms. Some dorms will have closets and some will include a dresser, most of now include a desk and chair. Its better to find out ahead of time and save yourself some money.

baskets, bookshelves, hangers, hooks, a trunk, a wastebasket, sliding storage boxes, a laundry basket, shelving, milk crates, lighting, a nightstand, an entertainment center/tv stand, lounge chairs, a desk and dresser (if they’re not provided.)

Electronics & Appliances
This is really hard list to come up with because every college has there own requirements for what electronics and appliances they allow because of the fire hazards. So be sure to go online or call the department of student housing to know what they allow before showing up at school with your hot plate, candles and halogen light bulbs. In general I will try to list only what most schools will allow in their housing.

a telephone/cellphone, a television, a small refrigerator, a stereo, a microwave, a fan, a coffee maker, a dvd player, a mini-vacuum.

Miscellaneous Items
This is all the stuff I couldn’t really find another category for but stuff that you will end up needing (its usually the most forgotten stuff too.)

duct tape, batteries, an extension cord, a surge protector, a small tool kit, headphones, a water filter pitcher, mugs/cups, utensils, plates, bowls, a water bottle, snacks, a flashlight, a camera, posters, picture frames, storage for CD/DVD’s, an area rug, an iPod/mp3 player.

TIP #3: If the windows in your room don’t have blinds or some form of window covering then consider getting some kind of window covering for your privacy (curtains or panels work best.)

TIP #4: If you are going to get a job while your in school or have some sort of medical situation you will probably need a few forms of identification like your social security card (or have the number memorized), driver’s license, bank account information and health insurance card.

After neglecting any homework I’ve had for the past few days to search and come up with this list I think I’ve found just about everything a person would need to pack for college, but if anyone has noticed that I’ve forgotten anything or has some other items to add feel free to comment and I will add them on.


Lesson V: Packing the Essentials — Part Uno

When its time to go back to school a lot of us have a hard time deciding what to pack . The problem is that most students find themselves either over packing and including tons of things they don’t need or under packing and being stuck with only one pair of underwear or only a mound of mismatched socks. But fear not fellow frosh and sophes (I’m assuming that by the time you’re a junior you have probably already figured out what you need and what you don’t, but if you don’t you can keep reading too.) I have made a list of stuff that you will need both for the classroom and the dorms.

In this entry I will cover the classroom needs, in the next entry I will cover the dorm/housing needs. Needless to say the next entry will probably be a bit longer.

Bare Basics
This is the absolute minimum you are going to need for your classes. I say with all the emphasis necessary: DON’T BUY THESE THINGS FROM YOUR CAMPUS BOOKSTORE. This is because 9 times out of 10 the bookstore is way more expensive than your local office supply store. The only exception to this are your textbooks which you can buy at the bookstore if you like but if you take a look back at my Buying Textbooks entry then you will see that most likely you can find textbooks for a better price than at the bookstore.

Pens/Pencils/Writing Utensils

I’m hoping that this point most of this stuff is pretty self explanatory, if it isn’t then perhaps now is a good time to ask yourself how you got into college.

Some Extras (In Most Cases)
In most classes these would be considered extra things but it all depends on what major your taking and where your taking it. If you’re some sort of math major at MIT then your more likely to need this stuff then a liberal arts major at your local community college. The best way to find out is to look up your course requirements at your school and ask around to find out what other students are using.

Calculator — It depends on what classes your taking and what your going to be using it for. In general, I always like having at least a basic calculator with me no matter what class I’m taking just in case I need it. But if your taking Advanced Calculus or Engineering or something then your probably going to need one of those TI graphing calculators that can like launch rockets and stuff. Just keep in mind that if your going to be getting one of those advanced calculators you might have to shell out anywhere from 100 – 150 bucks (but on the upside I hear now you can go online and pick out all these funky colors and stuff.)

Tape Recorder — This is in case you have trouble taking the notes as the professor is saying them or your likely to forget something they have said. I think having a tape recorder is a good idea (especially if your in a smaller class) so you can always go home and listen to parts of the lecture you might have missed (or maybe fell asleep during.) Just one bit of advice is that you always should ask the professor if they don’t mind being recorded (most will give you the ok on it) but if they say no you have to respect their right to not be recorded. On that note, I once had a professor that told me she didn’t mind being recorded or having me take notes on my computer but she copyrighted everything that she taught and so if any of her students ever tried to use what she said in a book (without her permission) or against her for some reason she did retain the right to sue them. Needless to say I was a little on edge from that point on. So be sure to ask first if you’re going to record a professor.

Laptop — Some students opt to use a laptop in place of the traditional pen and paper for taking notes. I have used both the pen and paper approach as a well as using a laptop computer. I found that I am able to type faster much faster than I write and I am more organized with my notes if I take them on the computer. Not to mention the fact that my computer is able to make clean-cut colorful charts, graphs and diagrams and I could never make trying to draw freehand. With all of the software out there, having a laptop can be especially helpful for students who have majors in art, education, medicine, music, science and technology. Like a tape recorder you have to ask the professor of the class your taking for their permission to use a computer to take notes during their class. Some professors find that laptops are a distraction during their lectures and prefer students not use them. I have found that most professors don’t mind me using my laptop as long as they don’t see me playing games while they are talking and that I don’t distract the other students. If you do decide to use your laptop be sure to mute the sound, charge the battery and try to sit in the back of the class if you can (it also helps keep the prying eyes of your peers off your screen.) If you want to find out more about how to choose a laptop for school be sure to check for a future entry.

Check back for “Packing the Essentials — Part Deux” in the next entry which will cover what you need to pack for your dorm/housing needs.