Freshmen Four: The things you don't need to buy or pack for college
If you're an incoming college freshman, or the parents of one, you're probably making a list right about now of all the things you'll need for your first dorm room.
Here's a tip, from upperclassmen in the know: Your list is too long.
Take it from the veterans — sophomores and juniors attending college in the Carolinas — not every traditional dorm room item is essential to pack, whether you're heading to UNC, Duke or even farther from home. Some items an unnecessary expense, and they take up valuable space in your packed car or small room.
How to separate the don't bothers from the must haves? Listen to your fellow Charlotte students about what you can cross of your college packing list:
- Printer — Many assignments can be turned in digitally, and those that can’t may be printed in the library or computer labs, using an allotment on your student account. Skip this sometimes bulky item. "I just didn’t need it," said Will White, who begins his sophomore year at Appalachian State University in a couple of weeks. If you're in a pinch, stop by an area copy shop.
- Iron — Your mom may be a little disappointed, but the cold hard truth is that you’re not going to use the hot iron to press your clothes. "I might put things in the dryer for a few minutes, but I can't say I've missed the iron," says Annie McAlister, a rising junior at Furman University. When it's time to look pressed, you can always find a quality dry cleaning service.
- Mini-fridge — It's not that you don't need one, because you will want it, but your dorm room may already have one. Depending on where you live, you may have access to a larger refrigerator in an apartment, and some student housing these days even includes a refrigerator. Either way, the students say, don’t bother buying and packing one to take with you.
- Dishes — Even if they’re stylish, they’d have to be washed. It’s popular to think you’ll outfit your mini-kitchen with some matching plates and cups, but you’ll probably be happier with paper or plastic that can be thrown away, says Clemson University student Emily Hamilton.
So, what do you need? Here's a list of the 10 things each dorm room must have.