Skip to content

Think about what you bring to college

By Gabe Hewitt, iLander Student Editor

Many 2012 graduates will head off to college this fall. Some of them will be thrown into a dorm room that only has a bed and maybe a desk. So what do you bring to fill up that room and make sure your residential life feels complete? It might be only July, but it’s never too early to prepare for one of the biggest changes of your lives.

It seems natural to want to bring everything you have in your room at home to your dorm, but remember that you’ll have a roommate and only so much space. Before you buy anything, be sure to ask your college what it will supply for you in your dorm. Go a step further and go to the college to see it for yourself.

The first essential thing you’ll need, according to College Prep 101, is a dresser. Don’t go heaving your wooden dresser from your home up to the third floor of the residence hall because that won’t be necessary. Affordable portable dressers can be bought at numerous places. A rack organizer can even be used as a dresser. Beware, though: Your dorm room could already have a dresser, which is why it’s good to call ahead.

Another essential item is a teenage staple: a cell phone. Cell phones, especially smartphones, may actually have a few important things in app form. Things such as an alarm clock, calendar, reminders and forms of entertainment can all be held inside a little device. Cell phones are also a good way to stay in contact with friends and family.

Another thing that’ll help you keep in touch with the world is a laptop, which is the most important thing Shelly Wagner is bringing with her to Augsburg.

“I’m going to need it to take notes and study,” she said. “It’ll be better to have a personal computer rather than using one in the school’s computer lab(s) all the time.”

After spending a year at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2011 graduate Didi Okwyoo has gotten a good idea of what she wishes she would have brought to her dorm sooner.

“I wish I would have brought a printer,” she said. “The campus only allows me so many free prints. I wrote long papers a few times and needed to print a lot of paper.”

Another decision that some will have to make is whether or not to bring their car with them to college. If they bring it, they’ll have to pay a hefty price for a campus parking permit, but they’ll have the perks of having car. If they don’t bring it, they’ll save a few bucks but have to get used to walking places, using public transportation or carpooling.

Kestutis Ambrutis doesn’t have a car of his own, but is currently saving up for one to bring with him for when he attends the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

“Having a car gives me more freedom,” he said. “I might want to pick up something to eat off-campus before class and the car makes it easier.”

College Prep 101 encourages students to get into contact with their future roommates as soon as they can to discuss what each of them is bringing for their dorm rooms. Otherwise, they might experience the awkward moment where there isn’t enough room for both their fridges and televisions.

Other things to consider bringing include:

  • Hygienic items;
  • Digital camera;
  • MP3 player;
  • DVD/Blu-ray player with movies;
  • Extra bed sheets;
  • Microwave;
  • Fan; and
  • Items with sentimental value.

What you bring with you to college is up to you. Remember to think ahead and ask yourself what things you’ll really use and need. After all, you will only have so much space.

(Photo by Katrina Harper.)