Archive | July, 2018

What Not to Bring to Purdue

30 Jul

As you have been preparing to come to Purdue, you have surely been doing much shopping and packing. Moving into a residence hall or apartment is new and exciting, and you of course have to be prepared! Do you feel as if you may be buying or packing too much, though? While there are college packing lists galore out there, there are not as many resources that tell you what not to bring. Read on for some items to reconsider and potentially not pack. You will save space in both your wallet and room!

A printer. If you have always been used to having a printer nearby or in your home, you will surely want that convenience again when you come to Purdue. However, there is no need to purchase your own printer. It will just take up space in your room you could use for other items! There are printers available everywhere on campus for your use, including inside the residence halls. There are many computer labs as well as stand-alone printing stations sprinkled throughout campus. The other major perk of using these stations: You as a student have a printing quota (that is rarely ever exceeded) each year, so there is no out-of-pocket cost for you (it was already part of your school fees). For more information on printing at Purdue, including a list of locations, click here. Most apartment complexes also have an office with a free computer lab and printing available as well, so being in an apartment does not put you at a disadvantage, as you will still be able to print for free if you are not on campus when you need to print.

Duplicate items. It may be addicting to keep piling in items to take to school, but be sure to coordinate with your roommate(s) to find out what they are bringing. Don’t bring two TVs to your room in the residence hall when you will only need one! If you have separate rooms from your roommates in an apartment, be sure you are still splitting up items for the living room and kitchen. With technology making communication faster and easier than ever, it’s no sweat to work this out with your roommate(s)! Some roommates even get super serious and start a Google doc for their packing.

Your entire wardrobe. When you move in, you will of course want to cover your bases and bring a variety of clothes. You’ll mostly need summer clothes at first, but always be prepared with a few sweaters and jackets as well. Exchange the bulk of your summer items for winter items if you return home for any of the breaks before it gets cold. Even if you are bringing clothes for the whole year, it is more important to bring items that work well with each other instead of bringing 50 separate outfits. Even though it may sound fun to bring 10 fancy dresses or a couple of suits just in case, chances are you will not have the chance to wear them. Bring the most of what you will wear the most.

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Sports gear. Purdue has an amazing co-rec with tons of machines and equipment to rent. Most apartment complexes also have a workout room and basketballs, tennis balls, etc. for any courts they may have. Do not jam your car with enough for a whole football team when you can find all of it here!

Appliances and grills. These items are unneeded and not allowed in most cases. In University Residences, you will be able to bring a small microwave, but skip the toasters and everything else. The dining courts are equipped with what you need! Grills are also not allowed at University Residences and in most apartment complexes as well. If you want to grill at your apartment, most places have grilling stations throughout the grounds that can accommodate you. Apartments near campus also usually have all major appliances there for you already.

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Big stereo systems. You may want to be the life of the party with a huge sound system, but chances are you can find better ways to utilize your space. If you still wish to enhance your music, look into a mini wireless speaker instead. They are often loud and powerful, without taking up the added cost or space.

Holiday decorations. You are probably excited to get that cute, little Christmas tree or Halloween decorations in your room this year, but it is probably best to get those items at home at a later date, closer to the holiday. Or, buy a few cheap, disposable decorations at a nearby store like a dollar store. Either way, you don’t want to be storing holiday items in your limited space when they will only be enjoyed once a year.

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Routers. At University Residences, wireless internet access is available through Purdue. Bringing your own router could actually interfere with Purdue’s system, so it is not recommended. Many apartment complexes also provide internet access included in your price. Unless you have to seek out internet on your own, the best rule of thumb is to go with what is provided and skip the router.

Excessive decorations. It is great to make your space your own, but try to do it without bringing too much clutter. Wall hangings, eye-catching bedding, and colorful organizational containers can be a way to add some function flare that does not take up too much space. It is usually better to come in with less and then if you find you need to fill up an empty space, look for the perfect item for it. Your room design will be much more intentional this way, and not look cluttered and thrown together.

Coins for laundry. Gone are the days when you had to bring a bag of quarters to do laundry! Now, most University Residences exclusively accept Boiler Express. You load money onto your account and swipe your ID card for payment when you do laundry. For laundry prices, click here. To add money to your Boiler Express account, click here.

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Happy packing! Remember that less is more and if you need anything, most major retailers are only a CityBus ride away.

Getting Your Pet Fix While Away at School

25 Jul

College brings new, exciting opportunities. Most students move away from home for the first time and have more freedom. They make friends, learn book and life lessons, and often travel to new places. There are still always certain things students miss from home, with animals topping the list. Whether you are leaving your dog or your turtle, it can be hard not to see your furry (or not so furry) friend on a daily basis. After all, research proves that animals help us live longer and escape life’s stress. How can you cope without shelling a bunch of money out on a new pet (and pet supplies) while you live in West Lafayette? Here are some ideas:

Volunteer. There are numerous volunteer opportunities in the Greater Lafayette area that will land you working with animals. Walk dogs for Natalie’s Second Chance or tend to kittens at Almost Home Humane Society. Not only will you get your puppy/kitten fix, but you will do work that makes a difference and can be added to your resume!

Foster. Maybe you do not want to commit to purchasing your own pet yet, but do still want one around. You can always foster. Most shelters open foster opportunities up to anyone able to care for the animals in need. They are often overcrowded at the shelter, or have animals with special medical needs that would do better in a home environment before finding their forever home. That’s where you come in! While you may want to look at your apartment complex’s pet fees, supplies for fosters is usually provided by the organization itself. All that is required is for you to open your heart, and again, do some rewarding work!

Join Purdue’s Pet-a-Puppy Club. You mean, a club just for petting puppies exists?! With nearly 1,000 student clubs and organizations, you had better believe it exists. This club provides connection to local shelters with the goal of increasing volunteerism. The club often brings dogs from local shelters to campus for students to pet in-between classes.

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Befriend pet owners. Most local apartment complexes have dog parks, and it really is rare to go a day without seeing a dog walk by on campus. Make it a point to strike up conversation with those people! If you have a good friend who is a pet owner, offer to be a sitter when he or she is gone.

Attend pet events. There are many 5Ks in Greater Lafayette involving animals, like Paws for a Cause and the Dog Jog. This year the Dog Jog, which is hosted by Purdue Veterinary Medicine, is collaborating with local shelters to have adoptable dogs come and run the race. You can get some exercise and some dog time! What could be better?

Adopt a caged pet. Maybe a cat or dog is not feasible right now, but you apartment dwellers can still adopt a smaller friend if you want the companionship. Think about animals like rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, bearded dragons, and even hedgehogs. We have seen them all in apartments! Sure, they may not officially be man’s best friend, but they cans still be your best friend. Don’t think owning a small animal is any fun? Check out these dressed-up bearded dragons, and it might change your mind. Or, you can always go the goldfish route.

Adopt a dog or cat! Maybe you are reaching the end of college or a point in life where you do feel ready to own your own dog or cat. Adopting is a great way to go, since adoption fees are extremely low compared to what you will see at a pet store or breeder. Before adoption, most shelter dogs and cats are already spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up to date on vaccines, so you do not have to worry about the costs associated with all of those procedures. You are gaining a best friend and saving a life!

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This lovely lady was adopted from Loving Heart Animal Shelter already spayed and microchipped.


Only you can tell when you are ready for your own pet. If so, good luck on your journey and have fun checking out all of the local shelters! If not, you can still have a blast interacting with animals, as there is certainly not a shortage around Purdue. On a campus with one of the best veterinary programs and a Pet-A-Puppy club, you are in safe, animal-loving hands.

Purchasing Textbooks

20 Jul

As you look forward to your upcoming classes for the fall semester, you may also be thinking of how you can get a deal on those textbooks you are required to have. Especially if you are new, take a look at our tips and see how much you can save!

Buy used. If you are in a bookstore or ordering online, take a look at the used book options. They will often be much cheaper, even having $100 differences! Sure, you may see some highlights and markings in the book, but it just adds character and may actually help you study.

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Rent instead of buy. Are you a Math Education major and never going to use your book for your Flower Arranging elective again? See if you can rent the book, as this will always be cheaper than purchasing it. As long as you bring it back in the same shape it was in, you will not incur any additional costs from renting.

Go with the e-book. Are you a Kindle fan, or spend lots of time reading e-books on your iPad? You can now purchase most textbooks as e-book versions! It is less expensive than a paper version, and you can quickly search for passages you need. With highlighting and making marginal notes still an option, you will not be missing too much that you could have done with a paperback or hardback edition.

Search online. If you have time to have your books shipped, do a deep search online! While it can be tempting and convenient to purchase all of your books in one place, scouring all of the discount websites will ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck. You can also still rent physical copies and order them online. The company will send you instructions and a label (and it is usually always available for you to print as well) for when you do need to return that rented book.

Ask friends. It is always surprising to see students pouring out money for books when their friends have those same books available! Especially if you have friends in your major, it will benefit you greatly to see if any of them will sell, or better yet – lend, you the textbook you need.

Share books. Do you have a close friend or roommate that is in the same class? If you are often in the same place, consider sharing the book. It will also make studying more fun if it ends up being a partner study session!

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Check Facebook. Most Purdue classes, majors, and clubs have a Facebook page. Lots of students will try to sell their old textbooks on that they couldn’t sell back to the bookstore. Get in touch and see if you can swap or buy those textbooks for a much lower price!

Good luck on your journey for the perfect textbook prices, and let us know what deals you come across!

What I Wish I Would Have Purchased

19 Jul

The fall semester is right around the corner, and we are excited to see the whole Boilermaker gang around campus. Whether you are new or returning, you probably have some sort of running packing list. Bedding, toiletries, kitchen supplies, clothes… Are you forgetting anything? We decided to ask some students what else they wish they would have brought to college had they known then what they know now. Read on to see if you need to remember or purchase any of these items.

Rain boots and a waterproof jacket. The consensus from just about all students we talked to is that an umbrella sometimes isn’t even enough. Definitely bring that umbrella, but think about even adding rain boots or a waterproof jacket to the mix. “I usually try to have some sort of bags somewhere in my backpack that I wrap my books in when it rains. I learned that one the hard way,” laughs Anna, a sophomore. You usually walk outside on campus in weather conditions you may have had to only drive in back home. Rain boots can be fashionable, and they are way better than the alternative of walking around with wet socks! Umbrellas, above all, will be your lifesaver. Not only should you have one in your backpack, but in your car and apartment or dorm. You may forget one in one location one day, but if you have them in multiple locations, hopefully you will never be caught wet in a surprise rain shower. The great thing about umbrellas is that many are free and handed about by apartment complexes, businesses, etc. Keep your eyes open for them!

Women's Original Refined Short Rain Boots | Official Hunter Boots Site


Comfortable shoes. “On my very first day of class, I was already nervous to begin with. I wore new Sperry’s on that day, and my feet were covered in blisters by the time classes were over. It was not the best first day,” says Robert, a senior. You may be excited about your new wardrobe, but remember to either buy shoes you know will be comfortable, or break them in well before your classes start.

Emergency supplies. Another first day horror story came from Deborah, who recounted receiving a gigantic paper cut as syllabi were being passed around the classroom. “I started bleeding and did not have a bandage. No one in the class did!” While it may seem like it was just always a silly reminder from your mother, remember to leave a few emergency items in bags you will be using often. You never know when you may need a bandage or when a stomachache will strike.

A coffee maker. Many students also explained their coffee struggles. It can surely be fun at first to pop into Starbucks daily, but it will quickly take a toll on your wallet. Instead, making an investment on a coffee maker to keep in your dorm or apartment can help offset those costs. Whether you prefer K-cups or plain, old-fashioned coffee, making it at home will save you a few bucks a day, as well as give you an appliance you can keep and use for years to come.

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Car items. Corrie chuckled as she recounted the day she broke down on the side of the road because she had no idea she had to get her oil changed. She said she wished she would have come prepared with more items for her car, and a plan if she needed service and repairs. While not something you necessarily have to purchase, check out where you may want to go if you need something for your car. Also, bring what you can do yourself. Windshield wiper fluid and coolant can be stored in your trunk or in a closet in your room, and you can grab it at a moment’s notice. Purchase (or bring from home) a flashlight, blanket, and non-perishable snacks to leave in your car in case of emergency.

A suitcase. Many of you will be travelling home at least a few times a year, so don’t forget a suitcase! Madi told us her fateful story of bringing everything so neatly packed in Rubbermaids to her dorm, sending them home with her parents and realizing later that she had to buy a suitcase in order to pack items to go back home for Thanksgiving. Bring your suitcase and a duffel bag from home so it is not an added expense later!

Delsey Hardside Chatlet Suitcase–The best carry-on you'll ever buy!

Layers. Remember, Purdue is in Indiana. Indiana weather is wildly unpredictable. While you may be coming in the summer and think all you will need is shorts and flip-flops before heading home for fall break, you should probably think again. Classrooms can be chilly and the weather can randomly be as well. There may be rain and cool temperatures in the morning, only to see an unbearably muggy afternoon. Layers will be your best friend. If you have a sweater or sweatshirt as well as basic items like jeans to change into or out of in the beginning of the year, you will be set. Remember to bring some close-toed shoes in addition to those flip-flops. The last thing you want to be is completely unprepared for the weather and having to spend all of your fun money on new clothes!


Some of these tips will help you remember what to bring so you do not need to spend money on it here, while others may help add to your shopping list or make you think of an investment to make that will benefit you in the long-run. Either way, we cannot wait for the return of some very bright and prepared Boilermakers!

What would make your list? Let us know your stories of what you wish you would have brought to college in the comments below!

How to Find a Job at Purdue

9 Jul

The beginning of the school year is approaching fast, and many of you are already moving in! Now that you have bought items for your new room and picked out your classes for the upcoming year, you may be starting to think about fitting a part-time job into your schedule. Read on for some answers to the questions that are most likely on your mind.

Will my grades suffer if I get a job? Good news! Research has shown that working 8-12 hours per week while in school actually leads to better academic achievement. While balancing school and a job, you are learning time-management skills, as well as other skills, that ultimately help you manage that workload. It is not recommended to work over 20 hours per week, as that it when grades can start to decline. As long as you keep it manageable, holding a job while in school is doable.

Will a part-time job benefit me besides just giving me a paycheck? Absolutely. Working while in school is about so much more than a paycheck. It is a great way to meet friends and professional contacts that may be able to help you later on in your career. You can always put your part-time job, as well as all the skills you gained while working (leadership, time-management, problem solving, etc.) on your resume. The experience will be appealing to future employers.

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I see Federal Work Study as part of my financial aid award. What is that? Federal Work Study (FWS) is one of the employment programs the Division of Financial Aid administers. This federally funded program helps students offset some of their education-related expenses with earnings from part-time employment. Federal Work Study is awarded based on demonstrated financial need and academic progress. Work Study jobs are mostly on campus, and there are also opportunities to work for local non-profits as part of FWS. Once students find and secure a FWS job, they will be paid biweekly based on their worked hours.

Can I still get a job even if I was not awarded Federal Work Study? Of course! The Division of Financial Aid also administers the Job Location and Development (JLD) program. This program locates employers and develops off-campus employment opportunities. Eligibility is not based on financial need or academic standing and is open to most students.

How do I find a job? Both Federal Work Study and non-FWS jobs are listed online at Simply peruse the listings (you can even filter for certain job types), and once you find one you like, follow the instructions to apply that are provided by the employer on the listing. You can also see a stream of job opportunities, as well as resume/interview tips, by following @HireABoiler on Twitter. If you ever have any questions about the process, do not hesitate to call Student Employment Services at 765-494-5056.

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Check often, as employers will be beginning to post openings that will start in the fall. Good luck on your search!

Maximizing Your Meal Plan

2 Jul

If you are not already on campus this summer, you have your sights set on arriving very soon. Time is flying by. Welcome to Purdue if you are a new student, and welcome back if you are returning! No matter who you are, you need to eat while you are on campus. What are your options and how can you maximize your meal plan? We can help you out with that!

What are the 18-19 Meal Plans and how much do they cost?

Boiler Flex-Unlimited 500: $5,398

-Boiler Flex-Unlimited 250: $5,172

-13-Meal Track: $4,554

-8-Meal Track: $2,998

-Boiler Block: $4,292

Costs are per academic year. You may increase your meal plan at any time, but cannot drop a plan while living in University Residences.

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What are the differences? Both of the Boiler Flex Plans are unlimited access plans, with 20+ meals per week, 16 guest meals, 8 Purdue Dining Quickly (PDQ) swipes per week, and a Dining Dollars allotment for the year (500 Flex: $500 Dining Dollars, 250 Flex: $250 Dining Dollars). These plans are for students who are likely to eat every meal in a dining hall or on campus and who may eat more frequent meals. There is no weekly limit with these plans.

The 13 and 8-Meal Track Plans give a certain allotment of swipes per week (13 and 8 swipes, respectively) that can be used as either dining hall swipes or PDQ swipes. The 13-Meal Track includes $450 Dining Dollars, while the 8-Meal Track does not include Dining Dollars. These plans are for students that know how often they will be eating in a dining hall each week, usually just for one or two meals per day.

The block plans are not weekly meal plans. The Boiler Block Plan gives students 246 meals per academic year to use when they wish, as well as $450 Dining Dollars. This is a plan for students whose weekly routines may change. One week the student may not eat at a dining hall at all, while the next he may eat there 10 times. It is all up to the student. There is also a Boiler Gold Plan available for residents of Hawkins Hall. It has no meal swipes since those units are equipped with kitchens, but $750 Dining Dollars per semester to compensate for grabbing something on campus while away for lunch, doing group projects, etc.

To read more about the meal plans, click here.

Utilize Purdue Dining Quickly swipes to mix it up and eat on-the-go. If you do not have time to sit down and eat, you do not have to sacrifice a meal swipe and buy from a gas station or fast food restaurant. Simply use a PDQ swipe! To recap, the Flex plans include eight PDQ swipes per week. For the other plans, PDQ is limited only to weekly meal allotments (8-Meal Track could use all eight swipes in that week for PDQ, but no more). There are locations in the Union that have specific combos ready for students using a PDQ swipe, dining courts with On-the-GO! locations (students grab one entrée and three sides), dining courts with take-out programs (fill a container to go) special restaurants in the residence halls, and a food truck where students can use their PDQ swipes. Sometimes there are even special pop up meal locations where students can use a PDQ swipe at a location they normally would not.

For specific PDQ locations, click here.

Spend your Dining Dollars. Dining Dollars can be used in dining courts and at retail operations throughout campus. Do not blow your cash to get your favorite hot Starbucks drink on a frigid day; simply use your Dining Dollars to buy it! Dining Dollars can also be used to pay for a meal at the dining hall if you have run out of swipes, or to pay for a guest at a dining hall. Present your Purdue ID card to use your dining dollars.

For more about Dining Dollars, click here.

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If you have saved some money of your own for retail restaurants, consider loading it onto BoilerExpress. Using money you have loaded onto your BoilerExpress account is the same as using Dining Dollars; just present your ID and you are good to go! The only difference is that with BoilerExpress, you will be loading your own money onto the account, as it is not built into a meal plan. While it is great to use all the perks of your plan, it is also wise to figure that sometimes you may be spending some of your own money on food. Putting that money from your debit or credit card to your BoilerExpress account can be a great budgeting tool if you have a certain threshold for personal money you would like to spend on food. It also eliminates figuring out which card you need to use, because your Purdue ID will be the ticket to all of your meals no matter how you decide to pay.

To load money onto a BoilerExpress account and see a list of locations, click here.

Swipe in your guests. If your parents are coming to visit and you plan on taking them to a dining hall, remember to use your guest swipes! If you do not have guest swipes, your guests can still eat at a discounted rate if you pay using Dining Dollars or BoilerExpress. For rate comparisons, click here.


There are many dining option on Purdue’s campus, so we know you will not go hungry this year, Boilermakers. Happy eating!

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