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  • Getting Ready for College
  • Written by Polly Berent
    Foreword by Princeton Review
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780812968965
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  • Getting Ready for College
  • Written by Polly Berent
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9781588363220
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Everything You Need to Know Before You Go From Bike Locks to Laundry Baskets, Financial Aid to Health Care

Written by Polly BerentAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Polly Berent
Foreword by Princeton ReviewAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Princeton Review


List Price: $11.99


On Sale: May 20, 2003
Pages: 0 | ISBN: 978-1-58836-322-0
Published by : Random House Random House Group
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Getting Ready for College is the ultimate easy-to-use guide to success for college-bound seniors, first-years, and their parents. Polly Berent answers the questions you didn’t know you would need to ask:

• What’s the deal on financial aid and cash management?
• Should I bring a flashlight to school? Do I really need a microwave and a vacuum
• Should I call Mom every time I’m homesick? Will my boyfriend/girlfriend wait for me?
• Will having a credit card help me? Do I need quarters for the laundry?
• When should I lock my room? Where can I fill my prescriptions in my new town?
• Should I take intro classes or harder classes? Should I join a frat/sorority?
• How could I possibly have time to figure all this out and keep in touch with my old

This essential manual includes day planners, notes on how to take notes, tips on how to make a “real life” file, and advice from scores of college students in the trenches as well as campus health-care professionals, college counselors, administrators, and financial-aid advisers. This is everything you need to know about getting ready for college, from students and parents just like you.


chapter 1

things to bring

Before you start packing your bags and loading the van, there are two things you should do. First, check to see if your college has mailed you a suggested list of things you will need to bring. If not, many schools provide this kind of information online. Pull up your school’s website and click on “residential” or “dormitory housing.” You may be able to take a tour of the rooms and check out dimensions. (Think small!) In addition to providing information such as whether you should bring regular or extra-long sheets for your bed, there may be helpful hints about leaving pets and power tools at home.

The second thing to do is to call university housing to find out who your roommate will be.

“It was good to get to know a little bit about him before we actually met. We decided in advance which of us would bring the big items—refrigerator, microwave, TV, fan. By avoiding duplication, we saved both money and valuable room space.”

Here’s a composite list of what twenty students we interviewed took with them to college.

Caution: In August, many discount and specialty stores feature aisles overflowing with items just for the dorm—all in bright colors, too. Don’t get carried away. Remember: Packing for college is an art, not a science. It depends on judgment.


•       clothes

•       lots of clothes hangers

•       socks and underwear

•       baseball cap for bad hair days

•       raincoat or parka/umbrella

•       boots (rain, snow)

•       laundry bag/basket and detergent

•       quarters (lots of them)

•       small drying rack

•       iron/tabletop ironing board (maybe)

•       regular (or extra-long) twin sheets and pillowcases

•       blanket

•       pillow and bedspread or comforter

•       egg-crate mattress pad made out of foam

•       alarm clock/clock radio

•       towels and washcloths

•       shower basket or caddy

•       robe and flip-flops (shower shoes)

•       toiletries of every description

•       hair and makeup stuff—dryer, curling iron, etc.

•       medicine-cabinet items

•       fan and extension cord*

•       desk light

•       3-prong adapter

•       small tool kit

•       flashlight and batteries

•       duct tape

•       backpack or book bag

•       dictionary/thesaurus

•       calculator, batteries, stapler, ruler

•       desk tray/divider (for neatniks)

•       stamps, stationery, envelopes, postcards (maybe)

•       small calendar planner for assignments

•       message board for outside dorm door

•       cork bulletin board for inside room

•       posters/pictures

•       funtack (gummy adhesive to attach posters and pictures to walls. If you pound nails into the walls or use something that removes paint, you could be fined.)

•       under-bed storage crates/stacking shelves or storage bins, with or without wheels

•       bike and industrial-strength lock

•       beanbag chair

•       carpet/floor mat

•       stereo/boom box/CDs/headphones*

•       TV/VCR/DVD player*

•       answering machine (Check to see if your school offers voice mail.)

•       camera and film

•       computer (All colleges have computers. Certain schools may require students to bring their own. If you do bring your own computer, take a 5-plug outlet strip and surge protector with you. See our section on computers.)*

•       microwave/toaster oven*

•       mini-refrigerator*

•       coffeemaker/filters/coffee*

•       can/bottle opener

•       dishwashing detergent

•       plastic plates, bowls, cups

•       silverware

•       large bowl for popcorn

•       chip clips

•       portable vacuum cleaner

•       deck of cards/board games

•       guitar

•       basketball

•       Rollerblades

•       tennis racket

•       Frisbee

•       sunscreen

•       pepper spray


"First-year students, in my experience as a dean, have an awfully hard time getting organized. Polly Berent has the answer: a readable and down-to-earth guide to help students organize everything from living space and wardrobes to time, priorities, finances, social life, and much more. Indispensable summer reading for the soon-to-be freshman." -Robert J. Gross, Dean of the College, Swarthmore College

Advice from those who have been there

“Deadlines matter! Returning your forms on time can mean the difference between getting money or not.”
“Time management is the key to making it through college.”
“Next year I’ll bring more underwear, eat better, and get some sleep.”
“What would I advise someone going through rush? It’s almost impossible to be too perky.”

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