LouiseSattler , Child Professional asks:

What are the essentials to take to college as a freshman?

I am seeking information on what is ESSENTIAL for an incoming college freshman to take with him/her.

Is there a preference with computers, depending on majors? And if so which ones (make and models)

Is there a need for an iPad, Kindle, etc?

Is there a need for a bike?

What about keeping your possessions safe?

Info from parents, students and educators would be wonderful so I can compare opinions.

And anything else you can think of would be appreciated...

In Topics: Getting ready for college
> 60 days ago

Jun 7, 2010

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hi Louise,

Here are some info centers and articles that seem particularly relevant to your questions...

Going to College: http://www.education.com/topic/college-transition/

Packing for College: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Packing_College/

Packing List for College: http://www.education.com/reference/article/packing-list-college/

College Preparation: http://www.education.com/topic/college-transition-packing/

You might also research your child's college in the Colleges directory, and reach out to the student association or student affairs office to learn what info and advice they share with incoming students. http://www.education.com/colleges/

Thanks for asking!

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Additional Answers (2)

Kimmee writes:
I'm not too sure about the computer preference, but I would recommend contacting the school or when you go for a visit stop by the computer lab and see if they use Mac or PC.  I would go with what they have in the labs so there will not be an issue with compatibility.

I don't know anyone who needed an iPad or Kindle for classes.

Bikes are great if its a larger campus and you don't want to drive or there is a parking issue.

Also check with the school and see if you need long bed sheets.  
Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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JanefromSou... writes:
Hi! I am so glad to help you, after your terrific answer about child acting.  Our oldest just graduated from Notre Dame in 2011, so she attended out of state from us (we are in Florida), and our 3rd daughter is only 3 1/2 hrs away in Orlando.  

Very good questions!  

First, they will take too many clothes, our oldest Shannon roomed on campus (rules said they had to and I preferred it), she had THREE other roommates, an old old building with very limited storage.  Hard to tell a female that they are taking too many clothes, they will realize it eventually.  

Electronics, take minimum you need.  A computer yes.  We sent ours with a Dell, nothing extravagant but something that had what she needed (Word/Power Point/Excel), and one that moved rather quickly, can you tell Mom is not computer literate?  Personally, that applies to all majors.  She did not take a printer, there were places on campus to print.  But if you can afford it, that would be great.  The iPad, Kindle, unless she uses these, she won't have the time for this, etc.  This is more personal I think, but education-wise, I don't think he/she needs.

Bike - we bought Shannon a bike, we bought at a Walmart near her school.  You can also purchase online, and do ship to site, and pick up out of state.  There were not a lot to pick from as you can imagine when we got there.  Also buy a GOOD lock, very important!  Her campus was considered small, only 10,000 students, so you don't drive from building to building; you walk or ride a bike.  Granted, when the weather gets bad you are back to walking (snow etc).  We assumed she would keep her bike in her room...no room!   So, the bikes all sat out all winter, completely covered in snow.  That is why we purchased a cheap one, once it rusted, we spent another $50 and bought another.  Keep it simple.  

Keeping possessions safe takes common sense.  If student is in on campus housing, everyone will have the same key - some students have housing where they each have a bedroom with a key. That is a perfect scenario but if like my daughter, there were two bunk beds and all "stuff" in the one room.  You have to be concerned that since you don't know your roommates (her school does not allow you to pick a buddy to room with, you have to accept random roommates the first year), so you don't know who you can trust, and furthermore, you don't know if their roommates will make bad decisions and invite someone over who is not honest, etc.

Whenever she left to go to a football game, or gone some place where she was NOT taking her computer, (which was the ONLY expensive piece of equipment she took with her to college, besides her phone/iPod), she HID the computer somewhere in her AREA.  She would set her things a certain way, so she would know if someone had been looking through her things.  She did that until she was sure she could trust everyone she was rooming with.  As fate would have it, she had incredible roommates who she still connects with today, so it all went well, but common sense is the key.  Since her dorm is an all female dorm, they tend to leave their doors open going in and out, across hallway, showering etc and many leave their doors unlocked when they are sleeping since you have to swipe to get in the main doors and there was usually a nun sitting at a table you had to get by.  It didn't stop some guy who found his way in, went into a room (while the girls were sleeping no less!) and stole their laptops.

Whew...sorry so long, but we applied so much of our first daughter's experience to our 3rd daughter.  It is a fabulous experience for kids to go away if they can, all will be ok, all will work out. Last bit of advice: we never told our daughters to call us every day nor did we call them everyday, as much as you want to.  We simply waited for them to call us.  Our oldest was a student athlete, so her life was grueling and any added pressure from us would only add to her daily stresses.  In the morning while I was making coffee I would text her to have a wonderful day and that I loved her.  Easy and at least she knew we were there when she needed us.  

I hope some of this helps, if you need anything further, let me know.
> 60 days ago

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