Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Do you really need to bring all that ‘stuff’ to College?

 Now that the long July 4th Holiday weekend has passed, many parents (not necessarily their student) are looking ahead to either a new or another school year and asking themselves ‘do they really need to bring all that stuff with them’?  Yes, and no.
Within this website you can find a section called ‘what to bring’ by starting at the Home Page,  clicking on Student Affairs, then Housing/Residential Life, FAQ’s. There are a lot of suggestions on what your student could bring to campus, whether the plan is to live in a Dorm or an Apartment. This is what we found to be most helpful…
Less is more. Bulk cleaning and food items may cost less yet there is simply not enough room to store it all. A rechargeable (gift) card for Walmart or Target will let your student purchase what is needed within your budget vs spending a lot of money buying bulk items that may never be used once they get there. Single serve microwaveable meals or servings actually save money by reducing waste as there is no room in the small fridge for leftovers.  Disposable plates, paper towels, silverware and cups may seem wasteful, yet as many of you already know, students don’t do dishes!! If your student is willing to wash their dishes, purchase your ‘treasures’ at the local Thrift store so there is no stress if they should get broken or lost.
Less is more with clothing as well…even though your student might think so, they do not need to bring 25 pairs of socks and underwear, 30 shirts, 20 pairs of pants and shoes, etc. The idea of doing laundry on Friday or Saturday night is not appealing nor is the huge pile of dirty, smelly laundry left  in their closet or on the floor of their room. As a matter of fact, they come to appreciate the idea that they can wear some of their items more than once before it goes in the wash.
What to bring then? For clothing, warm gear was a must (and they use it well into spring in Duluth). Extra batteries, surge protectors, extension cords or HDMI/connectors for the TV, cable, video system, computers, etc.  Extra light bulbs for the lamp, perhaps a small floor rug and a floor vac to keep it clean and tidy.  A First aid kit and basic over the counter and/or prescription medications that you know your student would need to keep on hand.
What to keep at home? A copy of all important documents that your student brought with such as their driver’s license, social security card, bank/debit card information, medical/other legal forms. Make and model/serial numbers of the equipment (laptop, TV, gaming system, phone, fridge, etc) and current online/other account information, ID’s and passwords. This information will be invaluable should anything be lost or stolen. Most importantly, keep in mind that if they feel they can’t live without it, better to leave it at home vs trying to replace it later.
Whereas this is not a complete list of what to bring or not to bring, we found that your student can be as comfortable at their home ‘away from home’ with as little, as with much.

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