Heading Off to College Tips

Figuring out what to take to college can be stressful, especially with those tiny dorm rooms. You may be wondering what your college student will need to feel more at home and how to keep in tough once they move away. College students Bonnie Shelton and Clarissa Benfield gave us tips on everything from deciding what to pack to saving money on textbooks.


Heading Off to College Tips


  • What should I bring when moving into my dorm?


    1. Check out your school’s website for a printable checklist
    2. Also, some schools will send you one in the mail before move-in day
    3. Contact your future roommate to decide who will bring the big ticket items i.e. the TV, the mini fridge to cut down on costs
    4. Talk with former Freshmen/undergrads to try and buy used items that they may not need anymore if they are no longer living in the dorms
    5. Make sure you are aware of what NOT to bring like microwaves and toasters so you can avoid fines while living in the residence halls
    6. Check out home improvements stores for sales and discounts when it comes to dorm room appliances
  • Dorm room decorations
    1. Many colleges and universities do not allow thumb tacks in their residence hall rooms, so be sure to stock up on double stick tape and sticky tack. Be sure to check that anything you use to put up posters and pictures will not take paint of the wall of make holes because that will cost you later
    2. Picture frames are great for desks and its fun to bring things from home like posters etc. to make your dorm room feel more like home.
  • Keeping in touch with your student once they move out
    1. Make sure your phone plan covers the area that your son/daughters school is in and try the connection when you visit campus
    2. Many colleges and universities have a parent newsletter that they produce each term or semester that lets parents know what is going on at their child’s school (ex. U of O has "habitats").
  • Other tips for college students regarding classes and buying books
  1. Check your school’s bookstore for used books and discounts on textbooks offered for students
  2. Amazon.com and buyusedtextbooks.com for great deals on used books that will dramatically decrease the cost of textbooks
  3. If you can, wait to buy your books until after the first day of the course so that if you decide to drop the class, you won’t be out 50 to 100 bucks.
  4. Know your school bookstore’s return policy so that you can avoid paying for a book for a class that you end up switching out of
  5. Check the area around your school for used bookstores that buy back student textbooks
  6. Also, check to see if the coursebook you need is on reserve at your school’s library
  7. If your school’s bookstore has a buyback program, sell back your used books after you are done with them for the term and receive some money back
  8. Utilize ratemyprofessors.com to see what other students at your school have to say about certain professors and courses
  9. Ask older undergrads at your school to tell you where to find good deals on books and what classes they enjoyed


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