Listen to the Podcast.
So, my son is heading back to college, this will be his second year. Of course, tuition and housing all increased. Housing went up by about 3.7%, and it was a nightmare because he was not able to get into the housing that was specific for his major – another story about that. Anyhow, so I wanted to share a few things, at least when it comes to Universities in California, recommendations on dorms, and other things your college student may need when they move-in.
A few things for the dorm, now they allow microwave/Refrigerator combo, but it needs to come from a specific vendor. It seems what they provide has a fire hazard integration or something or other, so it is safe for the dorms. The thing is that UC’s do not allow microwaves or stoves inside the dorms. So, the UCI website recommends a company that provided these combos in the dorms and are safe. I got my son one from Collegiate Concepts in his Freshmen year. The thing is that he told me he barely used the microwave and the things made a lot of noise at night, so this year he asked me to get him a minifridge, which I happen to find on Amazon – minifridges are allowed in dorms. They do have microwaves in the kitchen area, just so you are aware. I also recommend getting curtains for the room, the blinds in the dorms do not block out the light and if you have been on campus the areas are usually very lit. You can put them up without damaging the walls. Also, I would recommend a door draft for the main door of the dorm room, because the hallways are also very lit and the light shines through the bottom of the doors. Make sure you get a shower caddy, and a robe, because they will need it when they go takes showers, and use the restroom – oh don’t forget to get shower shoes.
The dorms have a kitchen, which is small considering the number of students, but your student would do well if they had some pots and pans to use, and of course the cooking utensils. The dorm he was at had lockers in the kitchen for a student to store their stuff – my son did like to cook and mom taught him well. Don’t forget to get spices such as salt, pepper, paprika, etc. They will need sheets, get at least two sets, pillows, pillow cases, and covers. The college does require an emergency kit, which I found on amazon for I believe 25 to 40 dollars. We got him a small 2-gallon water jug, and an electric water dispenser once again I found on Amazon. What else, make sure they have toilet paper, paper towels, and of course detergent to wash clothes; we did this because he did not come home every weekend, so sometimes he washed on campus. Make sure he has cleaning supplies such as Windex, Lysol, Ajax, or something similar, they will need to clean or keep clean the kitchen after they use it. Oh, a long enough Ethernet cable, only because the Wi-Fi is good, but he connected directly with a cable and it was just a lot better; I believe the rooms come with these outlets, at least his did. Now of course if your child does not cook UC offers meal plans as well, and there are a lot of places around campus to go eat as well. Trying to think of the things he is taking right now since he is going back in a couple of weeks, he did ask us to go with him on move-in day to help him carry the stuff up since the last time moving out took him a while. The elevators did not work last year so he happen to be on the third floor, so be prepared to walk some stairs – possibly.
Oh yeah, a foldable hamper or duffle bag to keep his dirty clothes, and did I mention utensils, plates, cups, stuff to eat, we happen to find a bundle plate and utensil set for him, once again through Amazon. Shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, power strip protector, window fan, oh and I recommended getting a few of those Tide Pens, in case something spills on them, they come in handy for small spots.
Also, very important to reminded them that they may be far away but they are not alone, a simple text if they need something anytime day or night. Just remind them every time you can, it is important – trust me. Give them space, trust them, but a gentle reminder to be careful when they go out is ok, they like that you worry; it might not show, but they appreciate it. As for more stuff for the dorms, well just think of it as if they are moving into their own apartment, maybe not so extravagant, but the small things they will need, just think about the size of their room and things will start coming to mind. Now of course the Universities have a checklist on their websites of things to bring and not bring to college – linked here for UCI: What to bring.
Once again, thank you for reading and I hope this was somewhat helpful. I know there is a lot of information out there, plus the Universities do have lists you can refer to, just go to their website. With that, I leave you with this thought, “No matter how old your child gets, or how tough they or you are, let them know that you are always there for them – day or night, even as simple as a text – trust me they’ll appreciate it”.