Five Tips for College Freshmen

college kit

college kit

Here are five tips for college freshman.  As many of our high school seniors graduate and embark on college, it is important to know what to pack.  Preparation will be key in getting the best start on college life.

Tip #1:  Bring your own bedding and mattress cover.  Many of you have had your tours of the colleges and universities that you have short listed.  As a part of these tours, you have had a chance to visit the freshmen dorms.  Therefore, you should have an idea of what type and size bedding you will need but do not forget pillows and mattress covers for hygiene.

Tip #2:  Toiletries are a staple for anyone, let alone a college freshmen.  What’s important to know is that this may be the first time you may have to share bathroom facilities with others.  Therefore, having a way to separate your things from others will help minimize confusion and conflict.  There are types of containers and bins that can be of help to you.  From Target to the Container Store, you will have many options that will best fit your needs.

Tip #3:  Food storage is going to be important for any college freshmen.  Some dorms may supply kitchenette facilities, while some may not.  If not, there are many options available to you that will help give you access to the late night snacks, coffee and meals-on the-go you will want when your dinning facilities are not available.  Plastic bins, small refrigerators, kettles and microwaves all offer a great way to prepare food.  Many colleges and universities are offering applications to connect with future roommates.  This may be a great opportunity to discuss splitting the costs of these appliances or off-setting purchases so that everything is covered and you can share.

Tip #4:  Robes and slippers.  Dorms are great but they are communal.  Therefore, you will want to have at least a robe and slippers so that you can make a dash in the middle of the night without unwanted attention.

Tip #5:  College Survival Kit.  I have been putting these  together for years for all of the high school grads who I know are going off to college.  It is super fun to put these together.  In this huge box, I include everything that a college freshmen may need and not think of packing.  These include:

  • Kettle – Great for anything that requires hot water
  • Portable Flash light – This is helpful if you are walking back to your dorm at night
  • First-Aid Kit – In case you have a small injury in the middle of the night that does not require medical attention, you can band-aid up
  • Aspirin – To recover from that hard night out with friends
  • Vitamin C – To fend off the impending cold
  • Special treats – Find out what’s their favorite treat or hometown favorite.  This will help give them a taste of home and happiness while away.
  • Stain remover – This is not on the radar until you need it.
  • Water bottle and coffee mug – Great for studying
  • Cash – It is important to give a cash reserve to your college freshmen for emergencies.  This way if they need to catch a cab in the middle of the night they can.

There is another topic that I suggest you speak to your college freshmen before they leave.  As uncomfortable as it may be, it will be helpful to revisit sexual health and illicit drugs with them.  Discuss expectations and realistic protection.  College is a time of independence, exploration and experimentation.  However, for many college freshmen some situations may present themselves for the first time, so having an open dialog will help their comfort level before they embark on the time of their life.

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