New to campus? What do you really need?

14 Jul

Hannah Stewart, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Rental TruckAs incoming freshmen, there are lists of things we need to remember to bring and inevitably, something will be forgotten. Luckily, there is a Wal-Mart nearby saving the day and your wallet! On the other hand, sometimes we think we need some item that our college peers have, when the item is actually not necessary to our college survival. Here is a list of top five items that incoming freshmen think they need, and ways to save money with an effective switch.

Photo by: Theif12 Permission by: Creative Commons

Photo by: Theif12
Permission by: Creative Commons

The Futon: Futons are a wonderful and awesome place to catch some zzz’s or watch a movie. But, they can also be really expensive, not to mention bulky! The university does offer the option to rent a futon, but that’s just it – you have to rent every year. But you have options; find fun chairs in varying shapes and designs. There is also the very retro, but very comfy bean bag chair. Check out Where to Find Cheap or Free Stuff for your Apartment for more ideas on furniture options.

Textbooks: Here’s a secret for my fellow college students – sometimes you don’t need all the textbooks listed on the syllabus! In high school, we all had to read every chapter and actually use all the textbooks assigned, but you’d be surprised by which textbooks you many actually need. My advice is to wait until classes start and ask your professors if you will need the textbook for the class. Some professors provide the material online, some professors allow you to use older additions, and some professors want you to read all the material presented in each textbook assigned. For more textbook options read “Lower the Cost of College by Spending Less on Books.”

Storage: When students pack the car or moving van full and then start to unload it into the “seems smaller in person” dorm room, the matter of storage becomes a HUGE issue. Some students spend tons of money with storage such as boxes, chests, ottomans, and in some cases, even storage units. But let’s be real – do you really need all that stuff down at school with you? You can always exchange summer clothes for winter clothes at home. Not to mention, if you haven’t worn it in over a year, you’re probably not going to wear it now. Cutting back on the amount of items can really help you save on both spending, and on space, which are in limited supply for most college students.

Microwave/mini fridge: So, it’s really awesome that you have a microwave for popcorn and a fridge for drinks, but do you need two? Talk to your roommate! This is a prime example of the multiple things that only one roommate should bring. For rugs, lamps, microwaves, fridges, and cleaning items, one is plenty.  Also, there is a group on Facebook where you can buy items at a discounted price

Dorm Frig

Photo by: BrittanyJ

from current Purdue students.

Electronics: Do you really need a laptop and a tablet? Chances are one is plenty, and my advice is to go for the computer. But even then, there are campus computer labs; some are even in the dorms. Printers also are all around the campus. Part of your tuition fees is a printing quota, so use it! Because printers and more importantly INK are expensive to purchase and replace, double-check before you buy that electronic item. The same question can be asked again and again: do you really need it?

What items are you going to leave at home when moving to college?

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