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Questions about furnishing a dorm room

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Jenny, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    They weren't allowed in my dorms, and in many dorms I've been to fridges wouldn't have even fit because of lack of space (yes, even the small fridges).

    IME, the best time to purchase non-essential dorm items like that is just after the student has moved into the dorm. Then you know exactly how much space there is, what the other roommate wants or doesn't want, what's provided, what's prohibited, etc. Dorm shopping just after moving can be quite the fun experience.

    For Xmas, I would think something like a computer and printer would be better. Those are expensive, but absolutely essential for college. So there would be the big present dynamic, but no worries about it not possibly being used.

    Finally, just to put it in perspective, dorm fridges cost all of $50, so they really aren't a big deal. Ditto with microwaves. Computers on the other hand...
  2. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Mini fridges actually run from around $90 to $200 at Best Buy and Target online depending on size and quality.

    Printers...I'm not sure about. A lot of students will submit assignments online in college now (usually to a database that checks for plagiarism) and may not need to print all that often. Someone in traditional college here could maybe speak to how big the need is for printing on campus these days.

    Depending on her intended major an ereader may be a good purchase. As a history major in grad school, most of my books are available as ebooks for a much lower price...but I can't afford an ereader. If she is going to be doing humanities that may be helpful. Other fields, not so much.

    A laptop is a definite need--but that's some serious money!
  3. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Just to add to this excellent idea, a basket or carry bag to bring along soap, shampoo, towels, etc. is also a great thing to have in such situations.
  4. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    Jenny, you're a very sweet aunt!

    Re: Printer - my campus had free printing up to some outrageous number of pages that nobody ever fully used up, so she might not actually need one. Again, depends on where she goes.

    In my experience, things were about 50/50 as far as electronic/paper submission. I definitely had one day where I printed out the paper, ran out the door late, and the day was so blustery that the paper blew right out of my hand. I didn't have time to go back and print another copy so I was literally running people down, pushing them out of my way, chasing this sheet of paper down the quad, yelling obscenities at my own stupidity, until it landed and got wedged in a bike rack :lol: Prof was kind enough not to comment on the mud on it.

    I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, but my campus had no air conditioning in the freshman dorms. It got up to 105 degrees in the summer - NOT fun. The first thing we bought after we saw the room was the biggest window box fan we could find - hell, the university even printed out sheets telling you which fans to buy and where :rofl: Then again, I just remembered you're in Canada, so YMMV. :)
  5. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    You can spend a lot on a fridge to be sure, but here's a brand new Hello Kitty fridge from Walmart for $59.00

    I work in a traditional university, and you're right that a lot of submissions are online nowadays. But not all profs allow this, so printers can be useful. Also printers provided by the university aren't usually available for use 24/7, so if a student needs to print something off in the middle of the night, they will often need their own printer. Plus a lot of readings can be downloaded, and students often like to have hard copies of required readings to mark and such.

    So in general I think having a printer is very helpful.
    Yes, absolutely. There's no single item more necessary for a college student than this!
  6. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    But printing from your room is SO much more convenient.
    The cost for printing at Fed Ex is so ridiculously low and I passed one each day, twice. I still got my own printer. It's just one of those things, I guess... Besides, if you get a nice one with scanner and copy function... Depending on the quality it might also last beyond college.
  7. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    The best kind of printer for a student is one that copies/faxes/prints, which seems to be most of them these days, by the way. I use my copier as much as the printer. Saves a lot of time.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Prancer

    Prancer Strong and stable Staff Member

    All of the dorms where I am already have those in every room and students are not allowed to replace them (they aren't all that great; when the microwave runs, the refrigerator doesn't).

    Dorms are really hard to predict. A hot pot is a good idea, but it's not exactly an exciting thing to open on Christmas. Neither are most of the other things I can think of that would probably go anywhere--collapsible laundry hampers, nice shower caddies, many rolls of quarters, underbed storage, etc.

    Most of my students don't have printers, whether they live in dorms or not. If they need to print something, they take a flash drive to a computer lab and print it. But it is more convenient to have a printer in your room, especially if your dorm is a hike from the main campus,

    Flash drives are good stocking stuffers for college students; we have boxes and boxes of lost flash drives in the library :shuffle:.

    She might also like a tablet. A lot of students love their iPads and carry those around to classes instead of laptops. iPads are lot lighter and smaller, and can be used for quick notes, checking the 'net and reading email; of course, they also aren't as useful as laptops and you can't write papers on them. Well, you can, but only technically.

    Christmas is a pretty good time for sales, though, and students usually don't need high-end laptops; they mostly use them for writing papers and surfing the 'net, which don't require a whole lot of computer. If she plans to major in something like art, though :yikes:.

    But some colleges now include computers in their tuition, too.

    Does she like coffee? She might like a good single cup coffeemaker. I sure would have loved one in college. But that also doesn't seem like something she would open and say "Oh, college stuff!"

  9. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    They must have bought cheap from the lowest bidder. :lol: The ones we had in Air Force dorms and TLFs worked great.
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Thanks for all the continued ideas!

    For computers etc I'm pretty sure she's got all the latest, and that has traditionally been something her father provides so I'm staying away from anything like that.

    I really like the shower caddy idea - perhaps filled with nice products, plus a bathrobe and flip flops, etc - this to me seems ideal as an "off you go" gift next summer, when she's starting to gather stuff and will likely just pack up what she already has around, so something new and suited to shared bathrooms would be welcome. I do have to remember that her mother lived in both residences and off campus during her university years, so at some point she is likely going to start gathering this stuff too though - perhaps at that point I will coordinate with her.

    Will think further on the fridge - not quite ready to let that idea go yet! The model I was thinking of (linked earlier) is about $225, so although compact has more space than a lot of models I've seen that are more like mini bars in hotels.
  11. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Debbie Downer checking in. Most unis advise students to wait for their roommate assignment before buying anything that will be shared in the room. That would apply to the fridge, microwave, TV, cooking supplies and dorm decor. It's not unusual for a roommate to have an older sib who has all the stuff already and will be handing it down.

    The only thing my niece needed was a storage bench (today's equivalent of the foot locker). Perhaps you could think along those lines?
  12. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

    If she is not going to be on a campus dining plan, a nice crockpot along with a simple crockpot recipe cookbook might be a good gift. Crockpots were allowed in dorms when I went to college (back in the dark ages) and mine really came in handy. It was so nice to get back to the room after a long day of classes and enjoy a hot, wholesome meal. Very economical, too.
  13. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    No problem Debbie ;) - you actually raise a good point. Getting along with roommates is so important, and that often starts with setting up house together.

    This is a really good idea. She does like to cook, and while I think most college kids don't go to that kind of trouble these days, it is a gift she would have for years and years. I still use the crockpot someone gave me as a housewarming gift way back in the 1980s, and I can't imagine I'll ever need to replace it. It's also a suitable gift from Aunt Jenny because as posters who participate in food threads know, I like to cook too :)
  14. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Would a nice "legal" 20-22" carry-on suitcase be a good choice? Given what airlines charge these days for checked luggage (Southwest excepted) having a bag you can legitimately carry on-board can be a big help. Some 22" bags don't actually fit in many of the overhead bins, which is why I said "legal". I got a very good Tumi one at Costco that has worked well. One in some color other than black would really be a treat. (Though you won't get that at Costco.)

    What a great aunt you are!

    D's college dorms, which were brand new when she moved in, absolutely prohibited anything but a dorm fridge and a small microwave. No crockpots, popcorn poppers, quesadilla makers, space heaters, ... allowed. No candles either, for obvious reasons. I'd guess dorms with older wiring would be even less amenable to other electrical devices being used.
  15. pat c

    pat c Well-Known Member

    When our daughter when to university, we bought her a small fridge. It comes in really handy for keeping milk and healthy snack foods. Most universities will allow them, or so we've found in Canada. But exnay on the microwave, toaster ovens, etc. There's been too many little fires and most universities won't allow them.

    Rather than outright buying a fridge right now, you could perhaps grab a box for one from a furniture store, wrap it, and put a note in it saying when the time comes you'll buy her one. That way, she knows and everyone else knows what your intentions are. And then if you can't buy it, you can find out what she needs then. :)
  16. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    That is also a good idea. I could also just do a picture of one in a card, and give her a smaller gift as well so she has something tangible.
  17. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Don't need to imagine. My uni didn't allow them. If you were living in the dorms that didn't have an in-suite kitchen, you could rent a fridge or a fridge/microwave combo from the approved supplier. You were NOT premitted to bring in your own appliances. It makes sense--that way they have one supplier, one company responsible for repairs/replacement, know exactly what large appliance is going into the buildings and what condition it's in.

    I'd go for a gift you know she can use (a new laptop, tablet, etc.) and/or hold off on things like cooking stuff until you know what the school she's attending allows.