Kid going to College - What do I buy

What types are things are must have, highly suggested and/or don’t bother

What do you wish you had, could be a new product that was not available when you went

Any other tips?

It may depend on what they might study, but I highly recommend a secondary monitor if they will be using a laptop. It has been super helpful for me!

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Animal biology, biology, possibly zoology

Great idea for the monitor - to plug your laptop into, right? Are you using it as a larger screen or so you have duel screen? What size do you recommend?

Phone cards… Super handy when you need to call home.

Why they have cell phones


Ask the kid for a list, and then post it here. It will get “vetted”.


party supplies for when the nest is finally empty



Small microwave or electric kettle

Stun gun or pepper spray (if legal, wink wink) for the gals

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Road kill for dissection?

@no1 waiting for Woot to offer a subzero freezer to put said roadkill in - then have it delivered to the dorm as a care package

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Really great ideas. I got her some of these: anti drink spiking scrunchies

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@romellex I can always count on my fellow Wooters - great idea

I remember those!

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Also check the college’s Housing website for what NOT to bring… so you don’t waste any money on disallowable items

Stun guns prolly

Edit: something about forgiveness vs. permission. jumbled word order so I sound as wise as yoda.

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“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission” - and i totally agree.

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Dorms are regularly inspected for safety violations… so ask forgiveness all you want… just trying to keep move-in and out lighter and prevent wasted funds… so… um… thanks for your input… ?

Thinking about this and the age of quick delivery, I am considering making lists of things that can be ordered and delivered

I realize this question is very college dependent, but was wondering if anyone has any current info on this - how are packages delivered? If ordered say via Woot/Mothership you are not sure how they are going to be shipped USPS, UPS, Amazon delivery so how do the students get the items? Back in the day, we did not have all these delivery options and we had mailboxes (I know archaic)

Depending on Style of Residence


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Business centric laptop with > 15" screen. and SSD storage >500GB High end resolution image but purposely awful for gaming. especially if student is male. No discrete video card. Temptations will no longer have you as a barrier. 23" secondary screen for hook up in dorm to laptop at higher resolution and poor gaming speed.

No speech recorder for class. Read before classes. Review same night and read ahead. Review in 3 to 4 days. Rinse, Repeat. Do not even think about transcribing what could have been mis-stated. Vouch for this from own professional school studying, dozens of articles on the topic, own kiddo’s professional school studies.

Meal plan - highest end you can afford to save kiddo time because as a pre-vet s/he will be stressed. If in a great school, time will be what s/he needs most.

Speed reading course - because s/he will be competing with the top 5% of her college class and the top 2% equivalent of her high school …in every class. Some will get C’s for the first time in their life. More than 90% will see their hopes and dreams melt with their grades. Some of the competition will have taken the courses as AP or IB and get A’s with less work. It will be grinding, relentless, and in some schools cutthroat in sabotaging other students success. But they can do OK, even excel if they remain flexible in their aspirations and find their calling. Our society takes all kinds of talents and one can find joy and fulfilment in other occupations.

Cellphone of course, but alas do not expect kiddo to call you or even SMS you back - as many dismayed parents find out within 6 months. It’s a common thing that high school counselors even warn about. It ideally improves with time. In some it takes years later for them to realize they should for their own careers and social contracts.

Journal for why s/he is happy - maybe. Vet or Med school will be literally 4 to 5x more information per day in greater depth. Few understand how demanding is this process and why the college gauntlet is just a glimpse and pretest of whether they can handle the requisite study. The competition is brutal for Vet and Med school. In many cases 5000 applicants for each offering. > 90% of those who aspire will not get in because you do want the best and brightest responsible for saving your life.

Encourage him or her to volunteer substantively in a compassionate activity relevant to professional school desired. Very good for application and to save his or her humanity.