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UAlbany Offers Guide for Back to School Essentials

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Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

Two UAlbany Students in a Residence Hall

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 15, 2007) -- Freshmen across the country for the first time will be packing their bags for college. Without fail, countless numbers of them will arrive at residence halls lugging massive boxes and suitcases for the occasion -- only to discover that they brought way too much. Overpacking is one of the most common mistakes among college-bound students. Before freshmen start packing up their U-Hauls, the University at Albany's Residential Life Office is offering tips on what to bring to college, and more importantly, what to leave at home.

"Students should bring what they need to feel at home, while remembering that there is at least one other person -- a roommate -- who will be doing the same thing," said Residential Life Director Laurie Garafola. "Before moving in, contact your new roommate and coordinate with them on who will bring some of the larger items."

It's a good idea to check what Internet services are provided before coming to campus. WiFi Internet access in residence halls is becoming more wide-spread, which means more students are toting their laptops to campus. UAlbany offers WiFi throughout the campus -- including all residence halls -- but either laptops or desktop computers will do.

Another residence hall room staple for most college students is a refrigerator or microfridge. Many colleges and universities, including UAlbany, even offer students an opportunity to rent them. Check with your college or university for rules and regulations.

Most colleges and universities also offer laundry facilities. And while washers and dryers are coinless on some campuses like UAlbany, many are not. So don't forget the spare change. It also doesn't hurt to know how to do your laundry. As Garafola points out, "Nobody at the university is going to do your laundry for you, so make a point of learning before you get here."

Be aware that not all residence halls have elevators, so pack smaller boxes versus big heavy containers. Freshmen are urged to look at residence hall rooms beforehand, like during summer orientations, to find out a room's size and accessories.

"Your parents' old furniture and that six-foot couch are not all going to fit, so pack smart and it will make for an easy transition during move-in day," said Garafola.

Here are some other suggested items to pack:

  • TV and/or DVD player
  • Crates/storage containers
  • Desk lamp
  • Surge protector
  • Alarm clock
  • iPod
  • Cell phone
  • Sports equipment (i.e. rollerblades, football, baseball mitt and/or Frisbee)
  • Dry-erase board
  • Accent rug
  • Poster putty or "fun-tack"
  • Twin, extra long sheets, bedding and pillows
  • Shower caddy, flip flops and robe
  • Pictures of family and friends
  • Plants

Before bringing some larger items, check university rules and regulations to see what's permissible. Some schools don't allow items like these: 

  • Candles/incense (most residence halls have strict fire hazard rules)
  • Halogen lamps
  • Microwaves
  • Hot plates and other appliances with open heating elements
  • Pets

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit theUniversity at Albany. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts.

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