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Read This Before You Shop!
If you haven’t started shopping for what to bring for your incoming freshman yet, whether for things for their dorm or clothes; we are here to tell you that you probably shouldn’t bother. My daughter did a very thorough job of depleting me and her grandmother of our savored stack of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, only to find several items purchased were just a waste of time and money. Hint: Keep all of your receipts; oftentimes these stores will accept returns and exchanges. What we want to share is that there are a few things you really do not need to purchase for freshman move-in. Here, in our experience is what you do and don’t need to bring.
For instance, do not purchase a printer. The University of Miami has implemented UPrint. This is the student printing solution (included with your student’s fees) at the University of Miami. UPrint allows students to print, copy, and scan using the UPrint network of printers and multifunction devices around campus.
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, nobody’s happy. Some students also plan to add a curtain to cover the windows, but closing the jalousie blinds offers much more privacy and darkness.
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 ours, it just won’t fit. Chances are they will be home or you will visit at least once before the cooler winter months set in, so perhaps they can exchange a few tank tops and bathing suits for some sweaters then. There simply isn’t room no matter how many under-bed boxes you buy. The same holds true for shoes. My daughter brought about 20 pairs of shoes with her. Even with a shoe rack, there just was not enough space.
One of our daughter’s summer roommates showed up with a 24 piece pot and pan set. While it was lovely, we assure you most of it was rarely used. Remember freshman that live on campus have a mandatory minimum of 14 meal per week meal plan. There is very little cooking going on except for microwave popcorn and reheating pizza.
Toaster ovens or table-top grills or any cooking device with exposed heating coils are not permitted in freshman and sophomore housing.
Finally, we encourage you to have your students’ converse with their roommates before arriving at school. My daughter lived in one of the apartment-style dorms (junior year) with a full kitchen. She talked with all three of her new roommates and still, we ended up with a microwave, shower curtain, coffee maker and teapot to find that their apartment had several of each. With so many great deals out there on Overstock, Wayfair, Dormify, and Amazon in addition to the traditional big box stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, 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 buying items you will have to end up returning.
As for what to bring, we’ve got our Shopping Guide for New Students that breaks it down and has some great places to find what your student will need. Happy Shopping!
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