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  Packing For College
By Darra Clark
Article provided by iHigh.com

Unless you happen to plan on going to State U in your town AND living with your parents, college is going to involve a nasty amount shopping and packing and shopping. Particularly if, like myself, you plan on moving from say, a temperate climate (jeans 24/7, sweaters as often as possible) to a desert like Arizona. But not all college shopping is shoes and clothes (darn it). It also includes things like linens, shower caddies, towels, washcloths and study lamps. Here, a brief summary of my personal adventures with dorm shopping:

  • Linens: I actually spent no money on linens, mine were handed down from a cousin who recently married.
  • Towels/washcloths: washcloths were in a package of 18 for $1.96 at Wal-Mart, towels were $2.00 a piece at Kmart.
  • Alarm clock: the "loudest digital alarm clock" was a gift from my mom, sold for $12.95 at Kmart.
  • Shower caddy: a wonder from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, my bright orange shower caddy was a mere $6.
  • Telephone: haven't quite yet purchased my phone, will be buying a cell phone with one of those happy, no roaming charges plans in Arizona.
  • Computer: Many colleges will have deals through them (with Arizona State University, where I'll be a freshman, it's through the bookstore, for example) where you can get a computer (say, a lovely iMac with a power strip and zip drive and that sort thing ...) for a discounted price. Mine, $1,178.
  • Clothing. We'll just say this: I've had two jobs for most of the summer and am still broke...
Well, I'm certain that your needs will vary some, but I wish you much fun in doing your college shopping. Try taking a fun friend, and picking things in fun colors and happy patterns. Whatever you do, don't freak out about it. Just make sure to get everything on your list of needs.

Still fretting about what to pack? Sarah Nikirk, an expert in residence hall living and assistant director of auxiliary services at the University of Kentucky, recommends trying to contact your roommate over the summer to coordinate what to bring since most dorm rooms aren't exactly spacious. For those of you who will have community bathrooms, flip flops, a bathrobe and a little basket for toiletries are a must, she says. Other essentials are towels, linens and sheets.

Naturally, you'll want to personalize your space, but don't overdo it. Translation: Leave the figurines at home! "Depending on how far you are from home, I wouldn't bring a lot," she says. "I would come and bring what you need. Everybody is moving in at the same time; the less stuff you have when you move in, the less hectic that first move-in weekend is."

So what about clothes? High school may sometimes seem like a big fashion parade, but college students are all about comfort. "In college, expect to be yourself, have your own personality and be comfortable," she says. "If you feel good, you look good."

And, if none of this does the trick, there are plenty of books you can crack to help you prepare for your transition to college. We'd highly recommend doing so from your hammock. Here's a sampling:

  • "Real Freshman Handbook: An Irreverant & Totally Honest Guide to Life on Campus," by Jennifer Hanson.
  • "Been There Should've Done That: 505 Tips for Making the Most of College," by Suzette Tyler.
  • "52 Ways to Get along with Your College Roommate," by Catherine E. Rollins
  • "101 Things a College Girl Should Know from a Big Sister Who's Been There," By Stephanie Edwards.
  • "101 Things a College Guy Should Know," by Steven Edwards.

Article provided by iHigh.com

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