What Not to Bring to College

What Not to Bring to College

If you haven’t started shopping for your incoming freshman yet, whether for things for their dorm or clothes; well, then, we are here to tell you that you probably shouldn’t bother. You see, my daughters have cleaned out just about every store and depleted us of our savored stack of Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons only to find out that many of the things we purchased were just a waste of money. I have had three daughters go off to college over the past few years, what I want to share is that there are a few things you really do not need to purchase for freshman move in.

Do not buy a printer. There are quite a few places across campus to print wirelessly and it’s by far cheaper to load money on their Owl Card than purchasing ink refills.

Curtains. I know it says that students can bring curtains to cover up their closets because they have no doors but trust us; the curtains will spend more time on the floor or pushed to the side. And when they crash to the floor in the middle of the night, no one is happy.

All of FAU’s Dorms are equipped with high-speed Internet; however, they recommend bringing along an Ethernet Cable. Buy the cable, but save the receipt, you may not even need to open the package. Leave Alexa and/or Echo home. While FAU does allow these devices on their network, not sure their roommate would appreciate your student’s commands.
Of course, if they are living in an apartment-style or a single dorm room, perhaps their roommates would not mind having these devices.

It is tempting to want to simply pack by taking everything out of the drawers and closet, but truth be told, if your student’s wardrobe is as ridiculously large as my daughters are, it just won’t fit. In sunny Boca Raton, the temperature is pretty consistent year round. The typical outfit consists of tank tops and flip-flops.  A jacket or two is more than enough to get your student through the “winter” months.

There simply isn’t room no matter how many under-bed boxes you buy. The same holds true for shoes. My daughter brought every shoe she owned with her. Even with a shoe rack, there just was not enough space and I had to take a box home with me.

One of my daughter’s roommates showed up with a 24-piece pot and pan set. While it was lovely, we assure you most of it was rarely used. As a matter of fact, when we packed up at the end of the semester, there was an array of kitchen items strewn all over the counter and the girls weren’t even sure which belonged to whom.

As for their pets, there are not too many allowed into dorms. For the off-campus living, there are some apartments that allow for pets.

Finally, we encourage you to have your student speak with their roommates before arriving at school. My daughter lived in one of the Apartment Style Dorms with a full kitchen. She talked, texted, snapchatted and so on with her new roommates but still, we ended up with two coffee makers and about three toasters. Google drive is a great tool for creating a spreadsheet of who is bringing what.


With so many great deals out there on  Overstock, Wayfair, Dormify and Amazon in addition to the traditional big box stores like Kohl’s,  Walmart and Target, if you plan in advance, you may be able to save some money too and not end up running around trying to find items that could possibly be sold out.

Happy shopping.  For more great tips, read our other blogs, follow us on Facebook and Instagram at haveuheard.com and share with other parents you know.



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