Monday, July 25, 2005

Everything you need for college: the deluxe supply list

I know most of you aren't college-bound, so consider this is my PSA for the year.

The following is a rather fabulous list of what any soon-to-be freshman in college needs. It is a work in process and a family heirloom of sorts. My cousin, Mara, created the first draft for a clueless soon-to-be-na├»ve-freshman. Me. Since then, I’ve modified the list every summer for every friend, cousin, little sister and complete stranger who is going to college.

If I’ve forgotten anything essential, you best be pointing out the error.

2 sets of sheets (check to see if your dorm has extra-long twin beds)
Some sort of really posh mattress cover that helps you forget that 74 other people have slept on your bed (I prefer egg-crate style)
Fleece throw
2 sets of towels

Desk lamp
Reading lamp (for next to your bed)
A couple of light bulbs for your reading lamp
Alarm clock (it will save your life)
Stereo (talk to your roommate and decide who will bring one; you don’t need two!)
*A quick note about your music. If you’re bringing CDs, put them in a book; don’t clutter your room with jewel cases. If you can fit all of your music onto your iPod, that’s better yet)
Mini-fridge (again, just one)
Cordless phone (believe me, there will be times when the hallway will be the only place where you can find some privacy)
Computer (don’t forget discs, printer paper, ink cartridges, CDs)
*If you’re bringing a laptop you must buy a laptop lock. The same thing that makes a laptop convenient makes it exceptionally easy to steal.)
Extension cord and power strip

Food stuff:
Microwaveable plates
Plastic bowls
Coffee mug (even if you don’t drink coffee now, come October, you will)
Travel mug (see above)
Can opener
Tupperware (really good for microwaving Lipton Rice and Sauce, a personal favorite)
Measuring cup
Dish rag
Washer thingydoo (sponge scrubber with the handle you can fill with dishwashing liquid)

Bathroom stuff:
2 pairs of flip-flops/sandals (one pair to wear in the shower, one to wear to the dining hall)
Plastic shower caddy (resist temptation to buy a huge one that can hold 11 bottles of shampoo and a year’s supply of razors. You don’t need to (and won’t want to) bring an entire salon to the bathroom with you.
Hair dryer
Over the counter medicines (Advil, Sudafed, vitamins, whatever it is that you fancy when you feel shitty)
First aid necessities (Neosporin, Band-Aids, etc.)

School stuff:
School bag/backpack
Small stapler and staples
Scotch tape
Double-sided tape (the thick, foamy kind to hang posters, mirrors, dry-erase board)
Sticky tack
Rubber band ball
Paper clips
Bulletin board
Dry-erase board and markers for your door

Organization stuff:
Self-adhesive hooks (for purses, towels, etc.)
Plastic chest of drawers (3-4 drawers, with wheels, great for storing junk and it doubles as a nightstand)
Cinder blocks (put one under each foot on your bed and you instantly gain a ton of storage space, as well as a fun game called “run and vault myself into bed”)
Under-bed boxes for storage
Laundry bag (hampers are a colossal waste of valuable space)
Over-the-door multi-hooks for coats, towels, robes, etc.
Plastic storage unit for desk stuff
Hangers, hangers, hangers (get the skinniest plastic ones that you can find – they save a ton of space; consider pants hangers for your jeans, too)
*A quick note about clothes: don’t bring them all with you in August. If you live close enough to home that you’ll be going home a couple of times per semester, you’re lucky. Bring your summer and early-fall clothes with you when you first go to school. Leave the Uggs and the J Crew sweaters at home. You won’t need anything made of wool in September. Trust me.

Full-length mirror (because how your ass looks like is important, too)
Dust rag
Small umbrella
Flashlight (because you will lose an earring under your bed)
A modest amount of cleaning supplies (all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant wipes, etc.)
An area rug or huge square of remnant carpet (if your floor is bare or if the carpet is too disgusting to live with. Buy it at home if you have the dimensions of your room and the means to transport it, because going to Target in a college town during move-in sucks like Gigli.)

Keep in mind that this is a list of everything that came to my mind. Use your judgment and buy whatever you think you’ll need to feel comfortable. The transition to college life won’t be any fun if you feel out of place in your own dorm room. I'm not lying, yo.


Sarah said...

I read this, then popped out for my lunch. When I came back in I got collared by our receptionist asking me if I could write her out a list of 'essential' university things for her son - what are the chances!

We hardly have any shared dorms in England, tis all individual campus rooms.

ropedncr said...

you forgot the gin!

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