Things to Buy for College

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

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lws
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby lws » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:03 pm UTC

Actually, I forgot to mention one thing... go out and grab a few nerf guns. (The Nerf NiteFinder is small, cheap, and fun.) Great for keeping your roommate/neighbour in line - also, Humans Vs. Zombies.

Alternately, this. :D (You're a CS major! Relevant!)
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Tenth Speed Writer
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Tenth Speed Writer » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:37 am UTC

Plenty of notebooks (composition books, just as in sixth grade, are still awesome). Also, more mechanical pencils than you think you need. They disappear.

A futon. It's a couch, it's a bed, it's a space-efficient place to crash. It takes all the effort of folding up a blanket to make it. It can be cleaned with nothing but a shop vac and, on occasion, some upholstery cleaner. In short, it takes exactly as much attention as you have to spare while pondering your next term paper.

A foot locker. Several, if you can.

Yes, you will need a printer. It doesn't matter if it's a hand-me-down dot matrix, you're shopping entirely for dependability.

A couple of those tacky-backed whiteboards. Put one by the bed to leave yourself notes, and put one outside your door (if you're in a dorm) for communication. Expect that the latter will be frequently covered in genitalia, profanity, and poorly-executed memes. This is normal. Erase as necessary. These are awesome for the occasion where residence hall staff or in-residence acquaintances need to tell you some bit of critical need-to-know information.

Beer. A few cases, if you can. Not necessarily to drink, mind you, but as currency. Just wait, you'll see.
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ian
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby ian » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:48 am UTC

I'd be surprised if there was room for a futon, given a bed is provided.

Also printer is definitely useful but not an absolute requirement. I've only used uni ones in the past year (that said I get my printer credit for free).

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Tenth Speed Writer » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:14 am UTC

I disagree. I've seen some very creative things done with institution-issued furniture.

For instance, it's very common at the U of A to take one's housing-provided bed and set it atop a table on one end and one's dresser on the other. The mattress is removed or relocated, and a futon, sofa, or (shorter) twin bed is put underneath. Not only can you consolidate your furniture, but you can use the bed frame (with or without mattress) as a storage space.


If you want to get really creative with that idea, I've seen everything from bunk beds, to desks, to ball pits placed into that particular bit of space.
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Steax
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Steax » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:43 pm UTC

Sorry for the late reply, been on vacation. Manado has excellent diving.

So what I did with my mac:
- I got used to putting contacts in address book. Very useful because it starts tying in to everything else.
- Likewise, get used to putting up a calendar. Keep in linked in. Schedules are absolutely crucial - you can use your whiteboard for momentary notes, but always move them to your laptop ASAP.
- I got Things which is awesome for organizing stuff you need to do, setting up projects, and preparing a to-do list. It's not free, though.
- Either bootcamp windows or setup a virtual machine. I personally prefer virtual box, because it can take easy snapshots and doesn't need rebooting, but it can't run everything smoothly (or so I've heard, never had trouble though).
- You'll want a good text editor. I use Smultron, but there are lots of editors. It's kinda like Notepad++ in terms of philosophy.
- You'll need a good backpack, one that fits. You'll be hauling it around everywhere, along with the charger. Macs can take some punishment, but you want to keep it clean and tidy as much as you can.
- An external hard drive for backing up.
- An encryption program like TrueCrypt.
- If you have a hobby in video editing, image editing etc, get their respective programs. If you need a lightweight image editor, Pixelmator is good.
- An office suite - NeoOffice (openoffice) is free, there's MS Office, but of course best is iWork.
- If you're a twitter user, get a client for that. There are lots.
- Use Spaces to the max. I'm a web developer, so I have 4x2 spaces. The top row is for: browser, text editor, Finder on the projects folder, gitX. Bottom row is: Messengers/Twitter client, iTunes, and 2 free spaces. Assign the programs accordingly.
- Learn the little mac tools. Digital Color Meter is awesome. Grab for screenshots. You can make new folders, assign icons, and drag them to places on the sidebar in finder.
- If you're doing web development, get the whole slew of browsers. Firefox, Safari, Chrome at least.

Firefox stuff:
- My favorite plugin is Pixlr Grabber. It takes shots of your screen, and you can one-click upload to imm.io (a lightweight photosharing site), or save to desktop as PNG. Much better than Grab which saves as TIFF.
- Scrapbook saves web pages, like bookmarks, but allows you to save them entirely offline. Really useful.
- I use DownThemAll as my download manager.
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby DorkRawk » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

lws wrote:Actually, I forgot to mention one thing... go out and grab a few nerf guns. (The Nerf NiteFinder is small, cheap, and fun.) Great for keeping your roommate/neighbour in line - also, Humans Vs. Zombies.

Alternately, this. :D (You're a CS major! Relevant!)


I'm a big fan of the Nerf Maverick ( ThinkGeek link). It's a great little side arm and is fun for playing Russian Roulette style drinking games.

You'll also want a hat for when you get up too late to shower, an umbrella for walking to class in the rain, a hooded sweatshirt (they don't let you onto campus without one), and a friend with a car.

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:05 pm UTC

Steax wrote:Mac stuff

Unless you have Windows, don't waste your money on MS Office.
If you have a bootcamp Windows partition set up, you can boot a VM from the raw partition. The details are hidden somewhere in Chapter 9, I believe, of the VBox user guide
Spaces are useful, but they poop their pants if you have multiple screens. That shouldn't be a problem, though.
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Ventanator » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:37 am UTC

- Either bootcamp windows or setup a virtual machine. I personally prefer virtual box, because it can take easy snapshots and doesn't need rebooting, but it can't run everything smoothly (or so I've heard, never had trouble though).


I won't be able to use school supplied computers for this? I think my roommate is bring a desktop too, of course I don't know how okay he'll be with me using it.

(In other words, a ~$150 OS I'll never use is rather expensive. I *do* have an old XP disc stashed somewhere, but I tried to get it to dual boot once before. Ended up having to call Apple and go through a big ordeal to fix everything I messed up...)

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby cryforhelp » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:20 am UTC

Am I the only one who immediately thought of condoms when he saw the title?
Seriously, they're a necessity to have, even if it takes long to get through your stash. Never get caught without them.

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Steax
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Steax » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:43 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
Steax wrote:Mac stuff

Unless you have Windows, don't waste your money on MS Office.
If you have a bootcamp Windows partition set up, you can boot a VM from the raw partition. The details are hidden somewhere in Chapter 9, I believe, of the VBox user guide
Spaces are useful, but they poop their pants if you have multiple screens. That shouldn't be a problem, though.


I wasn't aware of that, I'll check it out.

I never really had much need of an office suite, as for stuff like reports I use google docs, export to PDF, and just direct print. So I don't really know which is more suitable.

Ventanator wrote:I won't be able to use school supplied computers for this? I think my roommate is bring a desktop too, of course I don't know how okay he'll be with me using it.

(In other words, a ~$150 OS I'll never use is rather expensive. I *do* have an old XP disc stashed somewhere, but I tried to get it to dual boot once before. Ended up having to call Apple and go through a big ordeal to fix everything I messed up...)


It depends on how much you use windows apps which you can't get on OS X, so it varies. I think ubuntu or some other system also works- it's really just for when someone passes you an app that won't run on OS X.
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby sje46 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:09 am UTC

cryforhelp wrote:Am I the only one who immediately thought of condoms when he saw the title?
Seriously, they're a necessity to have, even if it takes long to get through your stash. Never get caught without them.
I've never heard of an RA *not* giving out free condoms. Also, vending machines and the nurses office (or whatever the equivalent is called in college) gives out free condoms.

It's a good idea to be careful, but it's not like many people go "Oh, dang, I forgot to bring condoms from home to school!" the same way they'd go "Dang, forgot my microwave!"
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby crayfish » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:05 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
cryforhelp wrote:Am I the only one who immediately thought of condoms when he saw the title?
Seriously, they're a necessity to have, even if it takes long to get through your stash. Never get caught without them.
I've never heard of an RA *not* giving out free condoms. Also, vending machines and the nurses office (or whatever the equivalent is called in college) gives out free condoms.

It's a good idea to be careful, but it's not like many people go "Oh, dang, I forgot to bring condoms from home to school!" the same way they'd go "Dang, forgot my microwave!"


I just gotta point out that the condoms you get for free are free for a reason, I used them for a while with my ex my freshman year and had them break on multiple occasions. Invest in some decent condoms, it'll save you money in the long run when you're not buying pregnancy tests/paying to raise a kid.(to clarify I don't have a kid)

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Dark567 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:I've never heard of an RA *not* giving out free condoms. Also, vending machines and the nurses office (or whatever the equivalent is called in college) gives out free condoms.

It's a good idea to be careful, but it's not like many people go "Oh, dang, I forgot to bring condoms from home to school!" the same way they'd go "Dang, forgot my microwave!"


Yeah, most schools are close enough to someplace you can buy some.

Three things that I think are important that haven't been mentioned:

Ice trays. No one will think of them and they are always useful.
Screwdrivers and a hammer. Tons of stuff needs these to be put together and everyone forgets.
Bathing suit. Again, you will probably want this, and people tend to forget it.
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Velict » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:02 am UTC

Ventanator wrote:
- Either bootcamp windows or setup a virtual machine. I personally prefer virtual box, because it can take easy snapshots and doesn't need rebooting, but it can't run everything smoothly (or so I've heard, never had trouble though).


I won't be able to use school supplied computers for this? I think my roommate is bring a desktop too, of course I don't know how okay he'll be with me using it.

(In other words, a ~$150 OS I'll never use is rather expensive. I *do* have an old XP disc stashed somewhere, but I tried to get it to dual boot once before. Ended up having to call Apple and go through a big ordeal to fix everything I messed up...)

Check with your school. Mine sells Windows 7 and MS Office for $15 each.

not good at these things
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby not good at these things » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

I don't think a printer is all that useful considering a lot of colleges have wireless printer hook ups and a large paper quota given to students (well, not given, it's just often taken out of your tuition). It seems like a waste of money on ink and paper.

I think a mac should be fine, any CS worth his salt should have no issue converting any school program they need.

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Low Caliber » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:47 am UTC

look into the printing situation at your college, some places it will be fairly expensive to print (my school charges ten cents a page Black and White, its wireless and you just pay for credit for your profile), so for me a printing is worthwhile. also it is just all around helpful to have one in the dorm with you so you don't have to go anywhere. but beware!: other people will want to use it as well!!!

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby sikyon » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:21 pm UTC

Honestly I never used half the stuff I brought from home and bought half the stuff I used in first year.

I suggest buying the little things as you need them. I assume you will be moving in with transportation (like a car) so this is the best opportunity for heavy items.

A minifridge is highly useful but not a necessity.
An extra desk light is always a good idea
At least 2 power bars
An ethernet cable (you never know)
Hangers
Storage containers
And honestly I would just get the rest as you need it, so that you don't overpurchase. I think, for me, that overpurchasing materials has cost me more money than paying more at the campus store.

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Diezilla » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:03 pm UTC

Have you considered lofting your bed and putting your desk / dresser or something underneath it for added space? Im starting college this year as well and my roommate and i have it set up so that our beds lofted in the corners with our desks underneath and we are thinking about bringing a futon to put between them and a TV on the opposite wall. If you cant loft your bed, consider getting little mini-risers so that you can store stuff in plastic bins and store them underneath the bed.

Also, in terms of long-term storage, i suggest bringing a trunk. I have one and im storing my winter clothes (going to school in Alabama, so not much cold weather) and mini toolkit, and then the trunk has a top divider where i can put other stuff. Im also putting my laptop in the top section and locking it in the trunk when i leave my dorm without it.

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:30 pm UTC

Just another nice thing to have that won't take up space is a water bottle. I consider mine to be necessary. The sink's usually a fair bit down the hall, so going and getting a drink every time you're thirsty is a bit annoying. While you could just get a glass of water, dorm rooms are small, and things get tipped over easily.

If you do loft your beds, or if you're provided with beds that are loft-able, do yourself a favor once you get to school and find some padding. The beds we have at our schools have a very sharp edge that is so easy to clonk your head on. I usually use a pool noodle, but plumbing insulation works pretty well too. You may also want to bring along some zip ties to attach said noodle. If you don't know the situation of your beds - whether you're going to loft them or not, what kind of edge the beds have - don't bother to get this before you know the situation.

Something you might forget is equipment for physical activities. If you have some that you love, certainly bring the equipment with you if possible. If you’re not so into physical stuff, bring at least a decent pair of tennis shoes and some exercise shorts (and sports bra if female). You might be surprised and be more active during college than you have before.

One last nice little thing is a thermos. I LOVE my thermos - mainly because I go to college in the great white north (not quite Canada, but might as well be). It gets cold and snowy, and I'm in the pep band. Therefore, I get to stand outside in the cold for at least 4 hours on the weekends. It's so nice to have the option of having hot cocoa (or coffee, I guess) with you when it's cold. I'd suggest one that doesn't leak - some travel mugs are always meant to be in an upright position and are just splash-proof. Leak-proof ones are more expensive, but you don't have to worry about chucking them in your backpack. (Here's the one I have - pricey, but I think worth it. I'm using it for ice water now as it’s so freaking hot!!)

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kitty
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby kitty » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:03 am UTC

Batteries and cigarettes; seriously, the only thing you'll ever need.

Besides, unlike general items, they have both a rarity value and a trade value greater than one.

But then again, I went to community college, for six years, and didn't graduate, so who am I to talk?

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Hefty One
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby Hefty One » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:01 pm UTC

Not sure if anyone's mentioned this or not:

If you're using a community washing machine (which you most likely will) bring along laundry detergent with bleach or bleach alternative to kill any nasty bacteria which can reside in those washing machines. You never know who might have jock itch and has used the same washing machine.

Just something you might want to think about.

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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby the.coding.eye » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

Following the same line of thought as Hefty One, I'm bring flip-flops for the "perfectly clean, spotless" shower floors that countless other fungi infested feet have trod on. Actually, I doubt it will be that bad. I just don't want Athletes Foot.
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby scienceroboticspunk » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:41 am UTC

If you go with the flip-flop idea remember to stand on one foot while cleaning the other foot. It can get really nasty when people do that but dont clean their feet. Just an idea.
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Re: Things to Buy for College

Postby mochafairy » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:01 am UTC

flipflops are always a good idea for showers. And yes, please wash your feet. :)
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