Backpack? U-Haul! College Students' School Supplies List Can Be Endless

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Freiberg Daily Herald Staff Writer

Pack an elementary school kid's backpack with some pens, pencils, folders and paper, and he's good to go for the rest of the year.

But getting a college kid ready for classes?

That can require a U-Haul and a small two-state convoy, said Jamie Hilton of Elgin, who will start her sophomore year at Indiana University in Bloomington in a few weeks.

"One of my roommates is from Valparaiso, Ind. So we are going to make a stop at her house to put all the stuff in the U-Haul," Hilton said.

"Then our families are going to follow each other down to school."

Chris Lausche of Crystal Lake, who will be a junior at IU, will have substantially less to worry about moving by living in a scholarship house on campus.

"It's got some furnishings, so I'll just be bringing my TV, microwave, and some signs and pictures," he said. "Plus I can keep a lot of stuff there during the summer."

Indiana University - and most other colleges - recommends that new students bring linens, an alarm clock, telephone, and extension cords as basic college necessities, but some students have very different ideas about what they really need.

"Some people have brought full-sized refrigerators then get mad when it doesn't fit in their room," said Abby Kraus, a receptionist for IU's housing office. "Other people have brought ferrets, or try to catch squirrels and keep them as pets."

Hilton is trying to keep the cost of furnishing her townhouse down by going with old furniture from relatives.

"The furniture we are using in our living room is hand-me-down stuff," she said. "So far we have done a good job of getting the furniture for free. A family friend of mine has a sectional couch that they are giving us, and my family has extra end tables we are using."

Hilton has found kitchen items to be the most costly, but is taking advantage of sales to get many items.

"My mom has done a really good job finding things on sale just about wherever she shops," Hilton said.

"We are trying to keep everything kind of low-budget just because we are college kids, but it is important to us that most things match."

But the absolute, most important item for the incoming college kid is a computer.

Both Hilton and Lausche suggest going with a laptop over a tower and monitor combo. …