- Set up a bank account. Bank of America has a nice student package that you can get at the age of 16 in some states. It's free for four years and comes with checking and savings accounts.
- Make sure to have a savings account as well.
- Set up DIRECT DEPOSIT with your work. You'll need a routing number [usually in the form of a check]. Make sure you have one for BOTH accounts.
- When setting up Direct Deposit, make at least 25% of your paycheck goes directly into your savings account.
- DO NOT TOUCH your savings account EXCEPT for college related expenses like application fees, down payments, and, hopefully tuition.
Ever have a deep seated desire to give kick boxing or fencing a try but was never given the opportunity nor did it seem to fit your persona in high school? This is the time to do those things!
If you think it’s hard now to put yourself into new situations then thing about how hard it would be when you’re a Sophomore? A Junior? A Senior, even? These will be the times when you have probably established a name for yourself amongst at least a few people and it’ll be even harder to break apart and do your own thing. Just think about that the next time you utter the phrase “but I’m a Freshman.”
I’m not saying that you should reinvent your entire self image if you liked the way you were in high school but this is a time to expand, to grow, to experience the world around you before you have a job, mortgage, kids, responsibilities. Do it before it’s too late.
There are also some people who completely and utterly dislike the Greek Life. It seems stupid, dumb, a waste of time. This is where I say stop on that one. Not all Greek societies are created equal. They’re not all just Barbie Dolls with a high IQ or some muscle headed Neanderthals. And for the ones that aren’t, it isn’t a society filled with “dogs” or the “geeks.” I say you don’t bash on something, no matter the view point, until you try it yourself.
And I know, a lot of people believe that they’re not cut out to be in a sister/brotherhood. Trust me, been there, done all that. This is the cool thing about college when you actually go: it’s not like the movies. These societies no longer just play to a certain playing type but a variety of them. They seem to be striving more for a sisterly or brotherly bond amongst virtually strangers. Also, some societies are based off majors or interest, such as business, so it’s a good way to meet people with common interest and network in your future profession, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. So before you shoot the Greeks or yourself down, give it a shot.
And for those who believe that you could not afford to join one, I come bearing good news. You can! Some Greek societies are not outrageously overpriced with fees being as reasonable as fifty dollars a month or lower. Now, for these lower priced ones, it usually just means that they don’t have a house, on or off campus, and so do not need to have high prices but still have all the fun activities like dinners, formals, semi-formals, etc. And even more so, some societies are willing to cut the fees down for people who get in but can’t afford it to that extent. So don’t let something like money stop you from doing something.
What I’m trying to say to you, my readers, is that while you’re in college, I would highly recommend sampling life. Go out and get interest, hobbies, viewpoints, whatever, that are different than your friends and families, that help you become your own person. Try out things you’d never do before and don’t worry about what others will think. In the long run, it wont matter.
I hope you all have good gun and adventure in college. Questions and comments are always welcomed.
Here’s where the hard part comes in. If you still have lots of stuff that still doesn’t have a place to go, it’s time to weed out the things that you don’t need as much and save them for home. Just make a list of everything you’re taking, and I do mean everything. Once that is completed, go
2: Will I really need this?
3: Is this pertaining to my education in an important way?
Green and Blue Bedding.
Red and Crème Bedroom.
Pink Bed Spread.
Dorm Floor Plans.
This, contrary to popular belief, is the easiest of all parts. Getting down the basics. As with most of my articles that include basics, this is different for everyone but is something that is easy to solve.
Not quite, darlings. Because unless you plan on staying in the room studying all the time, you’re missing the “fun” times. But also you need to think about another time.
The relaxing times.
So here are some items you may want to include into your U-Haul or moving vehicle of choice before you ship off to college so as to have that relaxing dorm.
1: If you live two buildings and nine floors up from the nearest mess hall . . .
You’re going to want to buy a mini fridge. This can stock drinks, fruit, left overs, cold foods in general, and make a nice shelf for that microwave you’re going to want to bring to heat said left overs in. Also, grab some dishes from mom’s cabinet to add to your collection. Don’t forget the essentials!
- Bowls (for those seven cent Ramen Noodles and off-brand cereal)
- Spoon (to eat soup, cereal, and ice cream with)
- Fork (Leftovers need some lovin’.)
- Knife (because sometimes you need something to spread the peanut butter and take the plastic wrap off that CD)
- A Cup (To put fluids that you would want to drink in unless you drink strictly from cans)
- A Plate (to put food on to heat it up)
- A Can-opener (Spaghetti-Os aren’t going to open themselves)
Some Things To Consider:
- Napkins or Paper Towels (To wipe up messes)
- Coffee Cup (if you like to drink it and have a coffee maker in your room)
- A Water Pitcher (If you actually like water and don’t want to buy a water bottle every time)
- Dry Food Storage (This can actually be just that storage place you’re putting everything else in your room)
- A Reusable Water Bottle (Once again, so you don’t have to buy a new one every time. And you can put more than just water in it, if that’s what you prefer. Good for when you’re going to class.)
Remember, you can add or take away from this list as you please. I didn’t need half of this stuff and think I’m going to be okay. Just look at your daily life now and it’ll show you what you’re going to want the most. And for those dishes that you wish to use in the microwave, make sure they’re microwave-safe.
Also, remember to utilize your resources. For everything that I am bring with me to my dorm, the mini fridge was the only thing that was actually purchased ($79.99 at Walmart, baby!) and that was because I feared that the mini someone was giving me might crap out (it was as old as me!).
2: For Entertainment purposes only.
So you’re a huge gamer. Maybe you like to read to relax. Or you just might need to watch the newest episode of “Project Runway” in order to be happy. That’s okay. We all come in different shapes and sizes so here are some tips for some of you out there.
First off, bring a TV. It could come in handy for all those boring old days and could even entice fellow hall mates into your room. Just make sure that for those times you aren’t in class, you don’t spend it all the time alone, in front of the TV. College is probably the only time in your life where you’re in close proximity of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people your own age, going through what you’re going through. Take advantage of that opportunity and meet people. It could be as simple as going to the dining hall and sitting at someone’s table.
Now if you’re a gamer, go a head. Bring your PS2 (or 3), Xbox360, Wii, or even a Gamecube or an old school Nintendo64.
But only one. That’s right, one.
I’m suggesting limiting yourself to one gaming console (one per roommate, at least.). This is for two reasons:
One: You bring more than one and you’ve increased the chance of never coming out of your room.
Two: You really don’t have that much space.
So bring one game console, a couple of your favorite games, and that’s it. Don’t get too fancy or complicated.
Movies are a good way to keep entertained and to invite people but opt for a DVD player over a VHS (unless you get a VHS/DVD player combo). Or if you happen to bring a gaming console that’s compatible for DVDs, skip the DVD player all together. If you bring DVDs from home, don’t bring the whole set. That way, if they get lost or, heaven forbid, stolen, you’ll still have some. And make sure to keep them in a disc holder, not their original casing. Once again, you don’t have that much room. And do not bring VHS’s no matter what. You can wait until your first apartment for that.
If you read for pleasure, get a library card. Maybe even look into stories online or eBooks. Do not tote around your library collection. Maybe bring one book that you love to read over and over again but that’s pushing it. And I feel you pain. I have a book case in my room that is stuffed with books but I know I can’t bring them all. It makes me sad, too.
So maybe your entertainment is based more in outdoorsy things. That’s cool but from what I’ve heard, most sports’ equipment can actually be borrowed from the school so don’t bring too many sport related items with you. Maybe a tennis racket and a Frisbee. (This, of course, is up to you. Just look at the room and see what you have room for! Also, considering leaving some equipment in your car instead of putting it in your room.)
Music is fun and lovely and if you have room, talk with your roommate about bringing a boom box to your dorm. That’s right, a boom box. Don’t bring the entire system from home, including the detached speakers and the woofer that could blow the walls down. For Cds, once again, put them in a disc holder and don’t bring them all.
Don’t forget to bring your portable CD player or iPod (depending on which you prefer. I’m actually a CD player fan myself) to have for yourself, along with some decent and sturdy headphones. These are also good for watching movies on a laptop while your Roomie is sleeping.
And remember, bring what you like to do already and what you already have! Move-in day is not the time to discover “new hobbies” that you’ll no longer like two weeks in.
3: Communication is key.
In this day, a phone is key. But not just a good cellular phone with a long distance plan. A dorm should also be equipped with a “landline.” It’s great for calling take out, other rooms, and various other numbers! And it wont waste your minutes on your cell phone.
Plus, if you look at your student bill, you’ll see that you’re already paying for it so why not take advantage of it? So go out and get a land line.
In most cases, you wont even have to go buy one. Ask your mom if you have a spare phone in the house or various relatives. Somebody’s bound to have one in a random box upstairs in the attic.
To keep in touch with the roommate during the day, get a white board or a pack of sticky notes! I got my white board for ninety-nine cents! Write a note and leave it somewhere they’ll see it.
4: And something comfy to enjoy it all on . . .
This may not be the most important thing to you but when I watch TV, play games, watch a movie, read, and even eat, I like to do it in a comfortable place that isn’t my bed. So this is what I suggest:
Get a futon. Doesn’t have to be new but it does need to be comfortable (and situated right across from the TV.). You can even get cozy with some throw pillows and a blanket over the top.
If you don’t have the money (or the space) then just get a comfortable chair or add chair pads to your desk chair. Whatever makes the room a little bit more comfortable for you.
5: Final Word.
Once again, these are not rules, just advice. Feel free to add or delete to your heart’s content. I am here merely to help along as much as I can.
All photos are by me done in my room, bathroom, and garage with stuff I have.
Questions or comments, as always, are more than welcomed.
An extra large towel, a towel wrap, or even a standard bathroom is something that all of us walking to the shower should consider investing in. Trust me, the last thing you want is to walk out of the bathroom to go to your room, and your towel slips right in front of a member of the opposite sex.
3: One More Important Thing: Towels!
First off, see what kind of laundry detergent your mother uses. It could just be the thing that helps you in a foreign environment if you Jammies smell like home. Once that is done, buy a small bottle of it. Also, get a box of dryer sheets. They’re not just for the dryer. Stick them in your drawers to help your clothes smelling fresh and not like wood or in your closet. They can even be used to pace amongst your folded pair of sheets to keep them smelling fresh.
As a college kid, you’re going to be spending a fair amount of time in your dorm room and, more than likely, on your dorm standard, extra long twin bed. So shouldn’t that be the most comfortable place in the room? I’d like to think so. Today I want to tackle the thought that’s on most college kids’ minds when moving in: What to bring for the bed?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve already been through countless lists but all your thinking is “Do I really need ALL of that?!” My answer is simply no, you don’t. See, most “list” are there to included anything and everything under the sun that you may want, not necessarily need. Some of the craftier kids out there know that all you have to do is pick out the things you think you’ll need. But for those who still don’t know, I’ve complied my own list which is based off my own personal experience and from those around me.
1: Two sets of sheets.
This is a definite. I know what you’re thinking. There’s only one bed, why have two sets? I’ve always grown up with the thought that for every bed in the house, you should have two sets of sheets.
One bed: Two sheets. Five beds: Ten sheets.
That way, if something happens to the first set (say, you get sick, spill juice on them, or they’re just plain nasty), there will always be that second set so you don’t have to sleep on just the mattress.
Two sets for a dorm student is especially needed. With the hectic life of classes, homework, work, and having a social life while living away from home, the last thing you want to do is spend a whole day washing one set of sheets, especially if you don’t have time to. So buy two sets, either in the same color or not, that way you’ll always have something fresh and waiting for you.
Also keep in mind that most college’s have extended beds so make sure you have the extra long sheets to outfit your bed in. The other wont work because they’re too short. And please try to change your sheets every two to four weeks. It’s just hygienic.
This one’s a little tricky but a good rule of thumb is to take the SAME AMOUNT of pillows that you use at home, meaning that you actually sleep with, to your dorm. Most sites say two but that may not be what you’re used to or even need.
I personally am bringing two standard pillows and a body pillow, just because that’s what I have on my twin at home. I find it easier to “lounge” in my bed and use my laptop if I have that many. But do as you prefer.
I also recommend buying new standard pillows if that’s all you’re taking. What a lot of people don’t think about is that if you take everything off your bed from home, then when you come back on the weekends, you’ll have to cart around your bedding. You can get some nice standard pillows from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for as low as seven dollars and Walmart has something just as good for about three.
3: Covers, quilts, comforters, blankets, and/or duvets.
Just as the pillows, this is one of those things that is really a personal preference. Look at your bed at home. Do you like real blankets or the ones that I like to call “fashion covers,” meaning that they feel scratchy but look good? How about a down or down alternative blanket? It’s really up to you but you’ll need something instead of just sheets.
Remember, though, some dorms get insanely cold while others feel like a sauna. Prepare for both. I suggest just bringing one large comforter or blanket for your bed, plus a thermal-like blanket to put underneath that for added warmth (they tend to be pretty cheap), and maybe one or two extra smaller blankets for those colder months.
It’s always good to get a more plain fabric for the blanket that covers your bed. That way as the months go by, you may not get tired of it as quickly as you will with a more “fashionable” blanket.
4: Mattress pad of some sort.
This one was a big one for me. Having slept on twins all my life, I know they’re not exactly built for long lasting quality. Now add the fact that that it’s a cheap mattress, and you have instant back problems. Luckily, I have a solution.
Buy a mattress pad. I have one for my bed at home and they’re great. I do suggest buying the actually pad over the egg crates just because they’re the same price at most stores and the pad doesn’t bunch up or loose it’s padding as quickly. If you can get access to them both, the better. More padding.
Also, for about ten dollars, you can get a fitted sheet with a small pad on it that’ll help keep the other pad in place better.
As with the sheets, make sure you get the right size or you’ll have about five inches of unpadded space. Not fun.
5: Mostly random but important.
You’ll need an alarm clock. Don’t go with out one and don’t always rely on your cell phone. Buy one that is battery operated so you don’t have the dreaded “the power went off and it knocked my clock off so now I’m two hours late for my first class” morning.
If you’re going to loft you bed, and I recommend that you do so as to maximize space, you might want to invest in a bedside caddy or table. They’re easily attachable to the top bunk and don’t leave marks (or at least aren’t supposed to). This comes in handy to hold your alarm clock, books (assuming you read in bed), glasses, retainers (I know I’m not the only one), and an assortment of other things.
6: Final Word.
So that’s my list of bedding. I want to leave this list by saying that a lot of people hype up the dorm room needs and then panic because they don’t know what to bring. Just think about your bed at home and what you like to have there, what you may need to have, and then modify it to a smaller space.
You want your stuffed animal from Kindergarten to go with you? Then add it.
Like hard mattresses? Then omit the padding.
Need lots of covers in order to sleep? Then bring them (but please, for your roommate’s sake, keep them on your bed and not in the floor).
It’s all about you and your needs now. This is going to be about the one space in the entire room that is totally and completely yours so make it your own.
Any ideas or suggestions, leave some feedback. It’s always more than welcomed.
Thank you for your time and happy sleeping in your new room!