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August 28, 1987 - Image 47

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-28

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BACK TO SCHOOL

COLLEGE BOUND

I

Dormitory rooms are not known for their
charm or abundant storage space.
The following guide can help you
decide what to bring, and how
to make the place cheerier
'11 never forget when I first

walked into my dormitory room.
White plaster walls loomed and
the cold tile floor seemed ready
to swallow me. Staring at the
empty room, my spirits and I both
sank into one lumpy, twin mattress.
"So this is college. This is the
room I'm supposed to study in, party
in, live in ?" I could swear one of the
musty wood dressers nodded in
agreement.
If you are heading for your first
college experience this fall, your dor-
mitory room probably awaits you now
— bleak and institutional. But soon
it can seem like home, peitonalized by
adding the familiar items you bring
along. Deciding what to bring and
how to get it there, however, frightens
many freshmen. With some planning
and thought you can make the job
almost painless.
Start with the essentials. First,
clothes: What to take, how to pack
and where to put them. To begin with,
dormitory rooms are not famous for
large closets. Therefore, pack wisely
and leave out unnecessary items. For
example, it makes sense to leave your
mid-winter clothes behind until
Thanksgiving. Then again, always be
prepared for the surprises Mother
Nature springs — like snowy days in
mid-October. Here, a warm jacket
(such as a jean jacket) proves useful.
When winter comes — unless
you're bound for Arizona State or
Miami (not Ohio) — you'll need a
heavy down jacket to walk to classes.
In addition, hiking boots (such as
Timberland) are a surprisingly
popular item for treading around
campus in deep snow or mud. Of
course, a good pair of vinyl boots do
just as well.
As far as everyday wear, you may
dress rather casually for class. But
don't forget to pack nicer clothes for
dropping in at popular campus
hangouts, rushing a fraternity or
sorority, and attending parties.
Because you will be constantly
meeting people at your dorm, at par-
ties, and at classes, you should always
try to look nice.
Since you'll probably need a
magnifying glass to find your closet,
here are, some inventive ways to store

SHERI FINK

Special to The Jewish News

clothing. Invest in under-the-bed
sweater boxes or stackable drawers,
shelves, and milk crates. If you know
your room is small (and most are)
then sweater boxes and a few shelves
for your closet floor are the best
space-savers.
Of course, if you have scads of
clothes, getting them to school will be
half the battle. A tip for those driving
to school: Take your clothes on
hangers and cover them with plastic
dry cleaner bags for protection. This
avoids the trouble of folding and
rehanging. If you're flying to college,
look into shipping your clothes and
belongings ahead of you.
A last and most important note
about clothes — don't forget to have
mom teach you how to do the laundry.
Another essential in preparing for
school is deciding what toiletries to

bring and how to store them.
Remember to take your favorite
shampoo, toothpaste and contact lens
solutions. A hint — bring extras
because college-town drugstores can
be pricey. Keep spare toiletries in a
milk crate or a big ditty bag (like the
kind you used to bring to camp). You'll
also need a soap container. I like the
plastic containers with pull off tops.
They look like miniature Tupperware
containers and can be used to hold
everything from soap to change for
the laundry machine. And don't forget
a toothbrush holder.
The best way to transport soap,
shampoo and your shower radio from
room to bathroom is in a plastic
bucket. That way you won't have to
keep walking back and forth from the
bathroom to your room when getting
ready.

Now that you have your essen-
tials, it's time to look into items that
will make your college life easier.
Food heads this category. Unless you
have an iron stomach and lack of
tastebuds, you'll want a relief from
dormitory food in your room. You can
purchase milk, cereal, peanut butter,
jelly bread, chips, fruit and string
cheese, among other items; at the
small markets around most cam-
puses. In addition, either you or your
roommate should arrange to rent or
buy a small refrigerator for the room.
If possible, it's wise to contact
your roommate before school starts to
discuss who should bring what. Some
examples of things you won't want
two of: Stereo, toaster, popcorn popper,
scale, television, fan, hot pot,
microwave, silverware, and dishes.
This is also a good chance to get to
know your roommate. Talking to or
writing your roommate will relieve
some of your tension about what lies
ahead.
You may also want to discuss
room decorations. Very few room-
mates match comforters, but choosing
complementary carpet colors is a good
idea. You might try buying a carpet
in a neutral shade. For wall-to-wall
carpeting, remnants are usually less
expensive than buying from the roll.
You'll also need room dimensions, but
extra material can be cut off with a
carpet razor. Another alternative is to
buy area rugs.
Perhaps the best part of dorm liv-
ing is being able to decorate your
walls any way you like. Some ideas:
Bring your favorite posters from
home; make a collage of pictures of
your friends; cut out pictures from
magazines. Follow the fad by pasting
glow-in-the-dark stars all over your
ceiling. When you turn off the lights
and open the window, it's just like
sleeping outside. Beware of cold
winter nights, though. The bottom
line in decorating? Use your imag-
ination to personalize your room's
atmosphere.
Your college bookstore carries
items that help in decorating. For ex-
ample, write-on wipe-off boards for
your door allow your friends to leave
you messages when you're out. You'll

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

47

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