Furnishing the freshman dorm room

by Grace

Julie at the Family CEO has some wise words of advice for parents who are shopping for a college freshman going away to school.

1. Err on the side of less. Let them live at school for a while and figure out what they need.

2. Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons. Save them all (they accept expired coupons) and let the cashier help you figure out the best ones to use.

I wholeheartedly agree, based on my limited experience sending one child away to dorm life.

We went shopping at the crowded Bed, Bath, & Beyond store closest to my son’s campus the day before he moved into his dorm room for the first time.  Among the other shoppers, I found I could tell which families had daughters and which ones had sons even before I saw the students who were accompanying their parents.  A shopping cart overflowing with color-coordinated supplies invariably belonged to a girl, while the boys’ carts held fewer items with seemingly little color coordination.

Here’s Julie’s exchange with her son:

Reason #458 why boys are different to raise than girls:

Me: Do you want this laundry bag of Lindsey’s? We bought it for her when she went to college.

Grant: Why do I need a laundry bag?

Me: To carry your clothes back and forth when you do laundry at school.

Grant: I figured I’d just use a trash bag or something.

That sounds very similar to conversations I had with my son.  It’s not uncommon for female college roommates to coordinate the decor of their shared space well in advance of move-in day. I’ve never heard of boys doing this.  If boys agree that one of them will bring the fridge and the other will supply the rug,, neither is likely to ask about their room’s color scheme.  In fact, they’ll probably not even think about a rug unless mom suggests it.

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3 Comments to “Furnishing the freshman dorm room”

  1. I plan to let my kids do their own shopping, and spend their own money, outfitting their freshman dorm rooms. That will decrease our EFC for subsequent years more than me buying the stuff for them.

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  2. That makes sense. You could start that strategy even earlier during their junior year of high school if there are items you know they’ll need later, like a computer or car.

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  3. I had one roommate who wanted to coordinate decor. We didn’t last long as roommates!!!

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