College Students Offer Some Tips to Make Life Easier for 'Newbies'

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), August 15, 2000 | Go to article overview

College Students Offer Some Tips to Make Life Easier for 'Newbies'


Dear Neighbor,

In case you haven't noticed, back-to-school time is upon us once again.

Just take a look at the ads in every newspaper and sale flyer, and the aisles dedicated to school supplies in most every store. Parents, armed with lists and wallets, flock to the stores for pristine notebooks and folders, calculators and backpacks, glue sticks, pens and No. 2 pencils.

Thankfully, most schools have taken the guesswork out of school- supply shopping by mailing a checklist of required supplies to students' homes over the summer, so parents can plan ahead and students are well prepared for the first day of school.

But what about those college students going away to school for the first time? How do they prepare, not only for school, but also for what is perhaps their first experience of independent life away from home?

Sarah Malouf, a recent high-school graduate, will be living on the Lake Shore campus of Loyola University this fall, and is very excited about going away to college. She does admit, though, that she's a little anxious about the unknown.

"I expect the next four years to be a learning experience," she said. "At times it might feel like an endurance test, but in the long run it should be a good lesson in self-sufficiency."

Before you pack the car for the road trip to this newly found independence, area students and friends who have already spent some time away at college offer some helpful hints and suggest items that will make life away from home a little easier for college newbies.

Shower shoes are at the top of the list for Heather Oestman, who attends Purdue University.

"As weird as this seems, they can be used for many things," she explained. "Obviously for the shower, because you never know what is growing on the floor; to wear around the dorm; to throw on when you have to go downstairs to meet the pizza guy; to wear to the pool at the rec center; and to throw on when you are running late for class."

A dry-erase message board for their door helps students know who stopped by while they were at class, and microwaveable containers, glasses and silverware are a must for those late-night study snacks.

Ramen noodles, as well as a few canned goods, always make a quick, easy meal - but don't forget to pack a can opener.

Other popular suggestions are a water filter/pitcher for their room and lots of posters and photos of family and friends for the walls.

Don't forget the ever-versatile duct tape, which can be used for everything from holding down carpeting to hemming pants. …

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