Here’s a quick list of items that are either essential or commonly found for freshman, as well as our recommendations and advice. If you don’t have something on this list, you have plenty of time to get it, and with high school graduation approaching, these would be good things to request as graduation presents.
Things you need:
Laptop. This is a necessity for every college student, and you literally cannot survive college in today’s world without one. When it comes to laptops, there’s two choices, either a Mac or a PC. Macbook’s are the most popular college laptop, mainly because they connect with the creative needs of college students, and also look the best. You know the Mac vs PC debate; Mac’s work and look better, while PC’s are cheaper and are used by the business world. Either one will get the job done, but personally we’d recommend you go with a Macbook. Note that every summer Apple has a deal of $200 off a Macbook plus a free i-touch, so look for that. Also, check with your campus bookstore, which will often offer huge discounts for students on laptops.
I-Pod. For most of us, the day’s of having sports practice everyday after school is over, and because of that you know you SHOULD be working out in college. I-pods make working out that much easier, and anything from a Shuffle to an I-touch works fine. In our honest opinion the best deal is to get the Macbook and free I-touch combo this summer, which I personally did and haven’t regretted once.
Printer. This isn’t an absolute necessity, but you will be having to print a lot of materials out. Either get your own printer or share one with your roommate(s). Libraries do have printers, but they usually charge, and besides it gets annoying to have to always walk to the library. No one printer really stands out, just find something cheap that will get the job done.
Computer software. This one depends on your major, but its always a good idea to fully stock your laptop. Your campus bookstore offers great deals on all sorts of programs, from Microsoft word to Adobe Photoshop to Final Cut Pro, and it’s also a good idea to become proficient at many programs throughout your college years.
Cell Phone. This one is given. But I-phones and other smart phones offer good sources of entertainment when bored between classes or just chilling in the dorms. If you can upgrade to an I-phone for cheap, do it, but if not don’t waste $500 on it, any phone that can text and call will be fine.
Things that you might want:
Speakers. What’s a dorm room without speakers?! Some people go with the fancy $100 set that lets the entire dorm hear, but $20 speakers are just fine too.
Alarm Clock. If your cell phone alarm clock can wake you up, then use it, but if not you will have to wake up somehow.
DVD’s. On one hand DVD’s take up space and movies can simply be watched online, but on the other hand DVD’s are great for plane/train/car trips back home.
Ethernet Cord. All schools have wi-fi, but a cable is faster and more secure. Your call.
TV/Video Games. Adds a lot to your dorm room, and if set up right you can turn your room into the floor hangout spot. On the other hand it can be bad to always have a TV/video games right there, and it’s amazing how much free time you have when you ditch watching TV.
Things that you don’t need:
Radio. Anything a radio can do, you can do online as well. Radio stations are online, you have I-Tunes instead of CD’s, and it’s bulky and takes up valuable space in your room.
Computer Video games. College is all about meeting new people, and these are anti-social. Xbox and PS3 are different because they’re multi-player and involve everyone in the room, but computer games involve you looking at your screen by yourself which turns people away.
Got anything else to add to any of the 3 categories? Post it in the comments section!