What Your Child Will Need on Campus

Are you wondering what your child will need to live comfortably on campus? Question rather, what they will not need, as the list of freshman essentials has grown to epic proportions.

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First and foremost, students need a computer or laptop. Though most schools have computer labs available to all students, which is already included in university fees, a paper written at inconvenient morning hours is much more effective and comfortable if done from a student’s room. Many manufacturers, including Apple and Dell, offer deep student discounts, making products more affordable. If your child chooses a laptop over a desktop, they have the option of bringing their computer to class and accessing the Wi-Fi network from anywhere on campus.

Freshman dorm rooms are far from palatial so have your child check with their prospective roommate when discussing who will bring common household items such as a television, stereo, microwave, fridge, storage, rugs, extra seating, etc. Once everything is divvied, stick to, and avoid, these following items:

Bring

  • A computer or laptop
  • Extra-long twin bedding (two sets) and pillows
  • A mattress pad
  • Flip flops, a shower caddy and toiletries, for the communal bathroom
  • Bed lifts for extra under-the-bed storage
  • A laundry bag/hamper, detergent and dryer sheets
  • Towels, at least three or four
  • Microfridge (some schools have rental programs)
  • A television
  • Surge protectors
  • Alarm clock
  • Seasonal clothing and footwear
  • Dress clothing and shoes for interviews and formal events
  • An iron
  • Hangers
  • Removable wall hooks
  • Family and friend photo albums
  • Ethernet cord
  • Ear plugs or headphones
  • A cell phone or phone card (for long-distance calls)
  • Fans, as not all dorms provide air conditioning
  • Duct tape
  • Flash drives
  • Storage crates to stack books or smaller items
  • Disinfectant wipes

Avoid

  • A printer, for ink can be costly and libraries provide access to printing
  • Extra furniture, for it takes up too much space
  • Pets are not permitted, other than small aquarium animals and the like
  • Odorous items
  • Items that are valuable and expensive that can easily be stolen
  • Lots of CDs or DVDs- we recommend Netflix or similar subscriptions

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Last Reviewed: December 2022