Before heading off to your first year of college, you will need to make a list of the key things that you'll want. Between moving away from home, finding new friends and meeting the rigors of a post-secondary academic schedule, you'll want to come to freshman year already prepared. Instead of waiting until you get to your school to start your shopping, take some time to prep prior to the big move.
Debit or Credit Card
While mom and dad are most likely more than weary when it comes to handing over the plastic to their 18-year-old, starting freshman year off with a debit or credit card can help to ease financial tensions. The independence that moving to a college dorm or apartment brings also means you'll need to take charge of your finances for the first time. Having your own bank account, debit card and credit card can help you to keep on track with your bills and learn how to spend like an adult. That said, parents of college kids should keep close tabs on bank accounts and credit card statements.
Without electronics, where would you be? Just like you relied on your high-tech gadgets during your high school years, entering college also means you'll need your fair share of electronics. You'll want electronics for your education such as a laptop, as well as technology to help you communicate and socialize such as a smartphone. Additionally, you may want to bring an MP3 player for your music needs and a tablet for portable Internet access or reading e-books.
Unlike your cozy, comfy bedroom at home, your college dorm room may seem somewhat sparse. Unless you have a pricey hotel-like spread, you'll need things to decorate your dorm. Include photos and picture collages of friends and family from home to help you feel less homesick as well as general decor items. When choosing bedding -- such as a comforter and throw pillows -- coordinate with your roommate beforehand. Talk to your future freshman dorm-mate and decide on a color scheme or discuss specific patterns to avoid an outlandish overly done-up look.
Don't discount the benefits that healthy, or at least homey and comforting, foods can bring during your first year of college. If you have worries about the dreaded freshman 15, stay on the safer side and bring your own mini-fridge and microwave -- if dorm rules allow. More often than not, college kids tend to eat on the unhealthy side of the food spectrum. That said, you can stock your fridge with tasty, yet nutritious snacks such as yogurt, fresh fruits and veggies.
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