Good day everyone..
So I thought that this thread might be useful for all those May 2008 - and forward - IB graduates who are looking forward for a well-planned university life. "What? Where? How? When? Why?" and all those questions on every single detail are to be discussed in this thread.
Some of us might have already started with their studies, some have travelled and settled and some are still waiting for the doors to open. Hope you find this thread useful anywhere, anytime.
Feel free to post if you have tips or plans you would like to share when it comes to college time-management, dorm room essentials, lecture tips, gatherings.. etc to help others out.
So I guess I'll start...
One of the best articles I've read on what a student needs for a dorm room (as well as a few other tips) is quoted below. Although one might find it very sophisticated and many things included aren't necessary, it covers most (if not all) of what someone needs for a dorm room. You are the boss in the end, so choose what you like and what you don't. Hope it helps!
[quote][center][size=5]Dorm room essentials[/size]
[size=4]Don't leave home without these supplies.[/size][/center]
You are finally going off to college, and whether you are counting the days or reaching for the tissues, there are certain things to remember to ensure a successful year. Planning and preparation will be key. Follow the below suggestions for a smooth transition.
[b]First things first[/b]
If you are keeping a car at school (check with the school to find out if students are permitted to have cars on campus), make sure it is serviced before the trip. Fill the tank and check the glove box for insurance information, the owner's manual and a local map. A basic emergency kit should be in the trunk, and remember to take an extra set of keys to be left in your dorm room for safekeeping. Before the big departure, compile a list of local banks, ATMs, the post office, grocery store, pharmacy and gas stations.
As soon as possible, get the name and phone number of your roommate and call to introduce yourself. College roommates can become lifelong friends. But there's always the possibility that a roommate could become the worst problem you face in school. Most likely, you'll develop a casual relationship that will enhance your college life. Get off to a good start by opening up the line of communication with your new acquaintance. Ask what he/she plans to bring to school, so you won't bring duplicates (and be sure to adhere to your school's strict fire regulations). You only need one TV, one stereo, one phone, one answering machine, one mini fridge and one microwave per room.
[b]Pack everything you think you'll need, and put back half[/b]
The first order of business is clothing. Put out everything you think you’ll need, then put half of it away. Only take what you need for the current season. Take a 10-day supply of underwear and socks. (Mom isn't going to be there to do your laundry.) Pack your most comfortable clothing and at least two pairs of good walking shoes. Sweats, jeans, shorts and T-shirts are perfectly acceptable campus attire. Include two more "formal" outfits for special occasions. Cover all the bases -- take a swimsuit, a raincoat, an umbrella and a watch. For leisure time, take along some sports equipment.
To deal with your dirty clothes, you'll need a colorful laundry basket or bag with your name on it. Use the same brands of detergent and fabric softener that Mom uses at home. (Familiar smells are comforting.) A stain removal stick is great for spot-treating clothes. How about clothespins, a sewing kit, iron and lint remover tape? And don't forget the most important item of all -- rolls of quarters and a container for collecting more.
Sharing space with one or more total strangers can take a bit of adjustment. It's best to set some ground rules immediately. Respect each other's privacy and discuss boundaries. Talk about establishing designated times for sleeping and studying, and the use of headphones for TV or stereo. Agree to keep your stuff on your side of the room, not to go through someone else's bureau or closet, and not to make a mess for anyone to clean up. Don't borrow without permission and learn that a closed door should be respected. If you will be sharing a phone, work out a system for taking messages and dividing the bill. However, cell phones and pre-paid phone cards are making bill-splitting a thing of the past. (For more on roommate relations, see Avoiding roommate conflicts.)
Common courtesy and common sense go a long way to smooth out any bumps in the road to happy cohabitation. Sharing meals or other activities with your roommate is good at first, but remember, you'll feel more at ease when you circulate and make other new friends, too.
Colleges provide each student with a bed, desk, chair, closet and bureau. To make the most of your limited space, pack some of your clothes in under-the-bed storage containers and plastic stackable drawers on wheels. Take extra hangers and a few over-the-door hooks for more space saving. Stackable plastic cubes or plastic containers with snap-on lids are great for storing books, papers, tapes and CDs. Usually dollar stores carry these items. […]
[b]Hospital corners? Where is that?[/b]
You'll be spending a lot of time in and on your bed -- invest a chunk of your decorating dollars to make it inviting. Get a Bed-In-A-Bag set at Target, Wal-Mart or J.C. Penney for less than $60. The package contains twin-size sheets, pillowcases and a comforter. Designs include moons, flowers and animals. Before buying sheets, check to see if your school has extra-long mattresses. Standard fitted twin sheets don't fit these, but many stores usually offer extra-long sheets to accommodate college students. Add a warm blanket and two bed pillows. A mattress pad is a good idea -- how many hundreds of people have used the same bed? Determine how often you want to use a clean towel, and buy enough sets of bath towels and wash cloths to keep you happy until laundry day.
[b]There's no place like home[/b]
To give your standard-issue dorm room a little personality, bring some stuff from your bedroom. A desk lamp with spare bulbs, a clip-on light, a small fan, extension cords and a reliable alarm clock are all essentials. You can also pack some plants, photos and posters, but keep in mind that your roommate might have certain allergies and aversions. To make your environment a little cozier, bring rugs and floor pillows and remember a wastebasket -- even if you just plan to use it for a game of trashball. Don't forget a camera to take pictures of your new friends, and a dry-erase board for those friends to leave you messages if you're not in.
A tool kit will come in handy for hanging pictures or fixing a loose bed frame. In a small plastic toolbox collect the following: Hammer, several sizes of screwdrivers, pliers, measuring tape, duct tape, assortment of nails and screws, picture hangers and poster putty. Include candles and matches, a flashlight and batteries for a portable radio in case of emergency.
[b]Cleanliness is next to impossible[/b]
Knowing that you will be sharing a bathroom with many strangers might make you want to check out their medical records. Just keep in mind that no student ever died from dirt, and pack a tote or bucket with all your personal items.
Necessary toiletries may include: Shampoo and conditioner, liquid soap, a razor, deodorant, a comb and brush, dental floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail files, nail clippers, tweezers, hair dryer, extra contact lenses and solutions, spare glasses, earplugs, medicine, extra toilet paper and tissues. You'll also need a robe and shower shoes.
Assemble a first-aid kit with assorted Band-Aids, adhesive tape, gauze, antiseptic ointment, over-the-counter pain relievers, alcohol and a thermometer. Take an instant ice pack and a heating pad.
[b]The freshman 15[/b]
Much of your time will be spent eating and studying. Let's deal with the more important first. Students like to eat in their rooms. It gives them a chance to phone home, watch TV and avoid the mystery meat in the cafeteria. Depending on your cooking ability, the following list will fall into one of two categories -- "essentials" or "you've got to be kidding": Microwave, toaster, steamer, crockpot, can opener, bottle opener, microwave cookware, salt and pepper, sugar, ice cube trays and cutting boards.
If you mass-produced dirty dishes at home, turn over a new leaf at school. Buy a supply of paper plates, bowls, cups and plastic utensils. Take a few ceramic mugs for hot drinks and a large bowl for popcorn or salads. Or if desired, include two ceramic plates, two bowls, two glasses and several pieces of flatware. But then you'll need to pack dishwashing soap, sponges and dish towels, and a small drainer. Include a roll of paper towels and assorted plastic Ziplock bags. Food for the microwave could include popcorn, soup, coffee, tea, cocoa and single-serving meals. Pack favorite snacks, too, but be sure to do so in airtight plastic containers (you don't want to attract additional roommates like mice and ants). (For more on cooking in your room, see Dorm room recipes.)
[b]And you're here because ...[/b]
Almost as important as food are the school supplies. Remember a backpack or book bag, notebooks, paper, 3-ring binders (one for each subject), folders, three-hole punch, pens, pencils, highlighters, scissors, stapler and staples, paper clips, rubber bands, tape, glue, ruler, magnifying glass, calculator, writing paper, envelopes, stamps, address and phone numbers from home, calendars (wall, desk, day planner), dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, a cork bulletin board and colorful thumb tacks. If bringing your own computer and printer, don't forget printer paper, extra ink cartridges, cables and extension cords.
Good study habits can make the best use of your time, giving you extra hours each week for fun activities, and ensuring you of the best possible grades. Studying is more than showing up for class and taking notes. Concentrate on what you are studying. You'll be better able to remember it and apply it to other situations.
Time management is a skill that will benefit you every day for the rest of your life. Get into the habit of organizing and prioritizing. Make "to do" lists in the morning and evening. Prioritize everything on your list by numbering them in order of importance. Determine the amount of time needed to complete each item on the list. Decide how you are going to get started and how to go about accomplishing each task in an orderly manner. Ask yourself, if you can get only two things accomplished today, which ones should they be? Be on time for all classes and meetings.
Studying doesn't have to be depressing. Find a space where you feel relaxed (not so relaxed that you fall asleep) -- in your room, on your bed, at the library, in an empty classroom, at a cafe or outside. Minimize outside distractions like visiting friends and ringing phones and promise yourself a reward if you get your work done.
Try to always study in the same place -- it will become a habit more easily. Do the same type of task in the same place all the time. For example -- read assignments for classes in your room, but read over lecture notes at the library. If you chose the library, avoid the main study lounge, which can be distracting. If your room is where you feel most at home, use it for studying. Turn off the phone and keep the door closed. Set up a schedule with your roommate so that you can each have some quiet time in your room.
Get six to eight hours of sleep every night. Exercising regularly will help you sleep better. If you tend to fall asleep while studying, set an alarm clock. If you don't trust your alarm, arrange wake-up calls. While studying, take breathers, get up, stretch and walk around. If you have trouble paying attention, change your scenery -- go outside or to another location.
[b]You're not in Kansas anymore[/b]
This is probably the first time you've lived away from your family and friends, and you may experience sudden and major changes in your life. You're facing new challenges and making your own decisions. All this is part of the growing-up process. Your first few weeks at school will probably be nothing like you imagined. Keep an open mind, welcome the fresh start and seize the chance to make new friends and grow. And expect to feel homesick. Don't jump to the conclusion that you're not fitting in or that you don't belong.
Don't spend a lot of time alone. Stay active, exercise and remember that everyone else is going through the same thing. The more involved you become, the less homesick you'll feel. Stay in touch with old friends and call your family every week. Don't ignore your parents -- you need them and they will miss you.
If you do have a problem, seek help from friends, family, school guidance counselors or faculty members. The college counseling office or student affairs office provides non-medical assistance free of charge. These departments are staffed by psychologists or other trained professionals who are there to help you deal with a personal or school-related problem. Remember, you are not in this alone.
College life can be exciting and rewarding. Just remember that you are there to get a good education that will help you secure a good job so that you can have a good life. It's that simple.
By Diane Marquette | Special to SunSpot
August 29, 2002
Other useful websites on the same matter:
- College Life: Cheap Dorm Room Decorating Ideas: [url="http://www.iamnext.com/living/dormdeco.html"]http://www.iamnext.com/living/dormdeco.html[/url]
- The Basics, The college dorm-room checklist: [url="http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/CollegeandFamily/Cutcollegecosts/P126260.asp"]http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Colleg...sts/P126260.asp[/url]
Have a nice day everyone.