Friday, July 1, 2016

Getting Ready for College

Congratulations- you have submitted your SIR and are about to start as a freshman (or a transfer student) in college. Now what?


Dorm shopping is always the first dreaded task faced by most students. As a current junior at UCLA, I waited until the day of to finish packing and had to make a quick stop at Target to purchase last-minute items. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes to make move-in day an easy transition.

  1. Hangers- Though it seems like common knowledge, I forgot to pack enough hangers, and had to resort to stuffing neatly piling my clothes into the cabinets. Bring enough hangers for your clothes and bring extra because universities will always be handing out free gear.
  2. Power Strip- I never faced a problem with finding outlets at home. But in college (especially if you share a room with three other people), finding a free outlet may become an impossible task. Bring an extra power strip (or two!) to ensure your Iphone, laptop, and fridge have a place to charge.
  3. Business Professional Clothes- I never thought I would need to pack business clothing at school, but I was wrong. Within my first week at UCLA, I received two job offers and was SOL. With that said, pack business professional clothing for alumni networking nights, job opportunities, and social events.
  4. Room Sprays- Especially for those living in buildings with communal restrooms, it is inevitable that the restroom will stink. Bring a room spray to use in your own room and the restroom. Your floor mates will thank you for leaving the restroom smelling fresh and clean after going "number two".
  5. Brita Pitcher- College dorms have water fountains, but they may not have it on every floor. Brita Pitchers filters tap water into drinkable water. Plus, it's extremely convenient so you would not have to continuously leave your dorm room late at night for more water!
  6. Flip Flops- I'm talking about the $1 sandals from Old Navy. Communal restrooms are disgusting because you don't know what people do in the shower! Bring an extra pair of cheap flip flops to protect yourself from "athlete's foot" or other unknown bacteria. 
  7. Extra Sheets- Bring an extra fitted sheet to use when the other one is in the wash. Keep in mind that the dorm room beds are of a different size (TWIN XL), and any other size would be too large or too small for the mattress.
  8. Flash Drive- Having a flash drive to save all your files is extremely important to avoid the awful situation of having your laptop shut down before your work is saved. In addition, free printing is always available on campus, so saving all your work on a USB makes it convenient when we need to rush to the nearest printing center.
  9. Fans- It seems as if air conditioning was never an additional resource from UCLA housing. Bring an extra fan because the weather can get extremely hot. 
  10. The Obvious Items- Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Charger/Wallet. It seems obvious, but when you are stressed over last minute packing, you WILL forget one of these necessities. Write a list to ensure these objects are packed in your bag and DOUBLE CHECK before you leave. Due to all the commotion, I forgot my wallet at home, and had to make a second trip. 
In addition, here are my top three tips for saving money when going dorm shopping, With the extreme costs for housing, tuition, and books, paying for college has become a struggle for multiple college students. So, here is a gif that best summarizes my current relationship status with UCLA:

  1. Shop in the Dollar Store FIRST - You will be surprised at how much you can find at Dollar Tree. From an extra set of pens, to containers, to shower supplies, the Dollar Store seems to have every item possible. It is the perfect place to find dorm decoration supplies as well as school supplies. Shop at the Dollar Store first and I can guarantee that you will cross off at least 25% of your "Dorm Shopping" list! 
  2. Free and For Sale- There are always multiple free and for sale groups located on Facebook under your school name. Utilize these pages to purchase second hand items that graduates no longer need. Through these pages, you can find mini-fridges, mattresses, furniture, lamps, basically anything, for half off or even FOR FREE. Most of these items are not even a year-old and are in like new condition. PLUS, in most occasions, college students are looking for a quick way to make cash and thus resort to these Facebook sites. Make sure to join these group pages to find the best deals to score dorm items for a great price!
  3. Team up with your Roommate- Split the cost of necessities with your roommates. Items may include the refrigerator, printer, microwave, etc. By sharing the costs and items, you would not have to pay for all the items and can even have additional space in your rooms! Contact information is generally released a month in advance- which leaves ample time to shop as long as you contact your roommate as soon as possible. 

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