Things You Might Not Need For College

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some people, like myself, tend to overpack for everything.  When I packed for college I ended up bringing almost a full mini-van of things, half of which I didn't even end up using or needing.  So I figured I can put together a list of things that you might be able to get away without, especially your first or second year of college.

So here are some things you might not need for college...
  1. Car.  I can say from personal experience, you definitely don't need a car to survive college.  Without a car, you don't have to worry about money expenses that comes with owning a car: car insurance, parking permit and gas.  You also don't have to worry about giving rides to your friends, finding parking spots, and worrying about someone breaking into your car.  I will admit there are perks of having a car at your disposable, but you can get around by making friends who have cars.
  2. Printer.  I definitely love having my printer with me at school but once again, there are ways to get around without a printer.  At my alma mater, all the computer science and engineering students get free, unlimited printing from the department.  I'm pretty sure it is like that at most schools with certain degree.  If you happened to be the unlucky few that aren't privileged, you can make friends who are the chosen ones.  Also in some schools, the dorms provide a limited amount of free printing pages per semester for the students.  For my sister, her dorms provided her with about 200 pages of printing per semester and I always encouraged her to use those pages up before using our printer (partially so that I can keep our laserjet printer at home for a bit longer).
  3. Refrigerator.  Chances are high that if it's your first two years, you won't be doing much cooking.  Heck, you probably won't even have access to a kitchen so you won't have to worry about having groceries.  The only time you might need a refrigerator is when you have some leftovers but you can always temporarily store that in a friend's mini-fridge or in a communal fridge.  
  4. Microwave.  Microwaves are such a handy tool for college.  You can make a handful of meals using microwave, but you definitely can live without one.  My sister's school does not allow her to have a personal microwave in her room, so I know you can survive without one.  Instead the school provided a communal microwave to each dorm for the students to use.  It can be a bit inconvenient, but you will survive.
  5. Bookshelf.  I actually didn't realize how helpful bookshelves are until I didn't have one.  I found it really useful to have a place to store all my books and binders when I'm not using them, rather than transferring them from my desk to my chair to my bed.  Now even though it's useful, you don't need your own bookshelf.  Most schools would provide you one somewhere in the room; during my college years, I had a bookshelf in my room for my freshman and sophomore year.  I brought my own for my remaining years, but that might be because I lived in an on-campus apartment.  
  6. *Bonus* Textbooks.  This one is a bit controversial but I believe you don't need a textbook for every single one of your class.  There are some classes where you can get away without buying a textbook, but there are others where you will need one.  For instance, if you're taking a math class and your professor assigns homework problems from the textbook, it would be a great idea to get your own book.  You can most likely borrow a textbook from your school library for several hours but if you are going to be using it often, it is better to just have your own copy.  On the other hand, I had a Microbiology course where the professor would tell us what our required readings from the textbook was.  For each midterm, she would assign several pages of reading to do from the book and she will include some questions specific to the reading.  So for that class, I would go to the library to xerox those pages to read before a midterm and read it before a midterm.
So what are some things that you might have overpacked for college?

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