Packing for college

We checked in with the folks at moving.com to find out what they recommend when packing for college. What to pack for college is especially challenging when it’s your first time and you are moving into a shared dorm room or apartment.

Why it matters: You will be fitting a lot of stuff into a small space, so having a strategic college move-in list is essential.

Let’s take a look at the college packing tips from moving.com:

Make a college packing checklist of what to bring

If you just grab a bunch of random items out of your room to pack instead of preparing a dorm packing list, chances are high that you’ll end up with a lot of things that you don’t really need. Refer to our ultimate college packing list for a general outline of the essentials you’ll want when you’re in school, then make your own personalized list (and try to stick of it!).

Leave out-of-season items behind when packing for college

If you’re planning to visit home before the cold weather really sets in then you’re better off leaving behind bulky winter items like boots and your parka and grabbing them later. When the time comes, you’ll be able to swap them out with the shorts and sundresses that are currently going to remain front and center in your dorm room closet.

Keep your hanging clothes on their hangers

There’s no need to waste time taking clothes off hangers, folding them and packing them, and then rehanging them once you’re at school. Instead, group together hanging items and slip a large garbage bag over them, starting from the bottom. Secure the bag by closing it shut over the necks of the hangers. As an alternative, you could also hang them in a wardrobe box.

Pack only items that aren’t prohibited

Pretty much all colleges and/or student housing complexes have rules about what can and cannot be brought in. And unfortunately, things like your toaster, favorite candles, and yes, even string lights, might be on the forbidden list. Check before you pack so that you don’t end up bringing something along that you’re not actually allowed to have.

Have a conversation with your roommate

There are a lot of college essentials that you’ll only need one of in your room (i.e. mini-fridges, area rugs, window A/C units, and so on). If you’re going to have a roommate, coordinate with them on who will be packing what, lest you end up with any duplicates.

Pack plenty of toiletries

You never really know when you’ll have a chance to get to the store again, especially if you’re moving to a college town where you need a car to get to the shops. So plan ahead and stock up on the biggest bottles you can find of toiletry must-haves like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. You’ll definitely be glad that you did.

Bring a business-worthy outfit, even if you don’t know when you’ll need it

Colleges often bring in professionals from various industries to meet with students and even potentially interview them for positions. And in the event you get an opportunity to meet with one of these professionals, you’ll want to have a suit or other business-appropriate attire that you can wear to the meeting. You don’t have to go shopping, but you should bring at least one outfit from your wardrobe that will suffice.

Pack only clothes you have worn in the last year

If you haven’t worn a garment at home in over a year, you’re probably not going to wear it once you get to school either. A lot of students have aspirational ideas about how they’ll dress on campus, but for most students, their go-to staples from back home are also going to be their-go staples at school.

Throw in an extra pillow

When you live in student housing, your bed is usually not just the place you sleep but the place you study, hang out, and sometimes even eat. So even if you’re a one-pillow sleeper, you’ll still want to have an extra pillow to prop yourself up during the times you’re in bed for things other than catching z’s.

Pack plenty of towels

It’s pretty much an established fact that college students aren’t great about doing their laundry on a regular basis. We get it, a lot of other stuff gets in the way, but you should at least be prepared. Bring at least three bath towels with you so that you’re not forced to use an old and grody one until you make it to the laundry room again.

Use your storage items as packing boxes

Underbed storage and plastic dressers are excellent vessels for packing. Use them in lieu of boxes where you can, since they’re coming along anyway. Just be sure not to completely overstuff them since the plastic isn’t usually the most durable, and always tape them shut with plenty of packing tape.

Pack boxes and storage items instead of large suitcases unless you have a way to send them back home

You very likely will not have a place in your dorm room to store a suitcase, so unless you have a plan for getting it back to your home after move-in day stick to collapsible, recyclable boxes instead.

Use clothes, towels, and linens to keep fragile items safe

Save money on packing supplies by using things like your socks and towels to cushion packed items instead of packing paper. They need to come along anyway, so may as well use them as protection for breakable items such as your bedside lamp and your must-have coffee mug.

Add your favorite stuffed animal to your dorm packing list

Stuffed animals can be a real source of comfort when you’re living away from home. If you have one or two that you want to bring along, go for it! No one is going to pay much attention, and you’d be surprised how many other students brought their own stuffed animals along as well.

Bring a filtered water pitcher instead of plastic water bottles

Plastic water bottles are a big problem for the environment. Save the planet (and save yourself a lot of money) by opting for a reusable filtered water pitcher instead. You can buy a big one if your mini fridge has the space, or you can go for one that’s just the size of a standard water bottle.

Pack your shower shoes

You don’t want to go barefoot in dorm bathrooms. Bring along a cheap pair of shower shoes (flip flops will suffice) that you can throw on for bathroom trips and showers—your feet will thank you.

Pack an essentials bag

Set aside a gym bag that you fill with everything you will probably need in the first one to two days after moving in. This usually includes any medications you take, important documents, basic toiletries, your phone charger, and a couple of pairs of clothes (or at least a set of pajamas for your first night).

Label your boxes

Sure, all of your boxes are just going into one room, but it’s still a good idea to label them with a quick overview of what’s inside. That way, if you’re desperately searching for pens or pillow covers, you won’t have to open up a ton of boxes to find them.

Bring a small safe box

Pack a small safe that you can keep under your bed or in your closet for storing important documents, credit cards, and other small valuables. Thefts in dorms do happen, and while you can’t lock away every single thing that you own, you can at least make sure that your irreplaceable items are stowed somewhere no one can get to them.

Have your plan before you start packing up the car

You should have some sort of strategy in mind for your college move-in list before you start packing up your car, otherwise, you may end up having to take everything out and start from scratch. In general, large heavy stuff goes in first and is situated toward the center and sides of the car. Then you can fill in the space with everything else.

Ask your parents and friends for help

Hopefully, you already have someone on board to help you pack and load, but if you don’t, there is absolutely no shame in asking for assistance. Knowing what to pack for college is a big job, and it can help to have not just another set of hands, but also an objective point of view on what’s necessary to bring and what isn’t.

Questions? Please contact your Earn to Learn FL Near Peer Success Coach for assistance to answer any of the questions about college packing tips or ask other questions.

  • Stay informed: Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholars, Near Peer Success Coaches, and alumni, stay connected to our blog at earntolearnfl.org/blog.

 

 

Your Earn to Learn FL Pathway to College Success 

“My near peer coach, Ashley Williams, has been the absolute best. She has provided me with resources to help while I am still in high school and for college as well. Whether it is helping out with applications or providing assistance for test prep, she is always there and I appreciate that so much.” – Wharton High School Graduate and Earn to Learn FL Scholar

The Earn to Learn FL Near Peer Coach for Postsecondary Success team is with you every step of the way! We know you have questions and we have answers for you.

Why this matters: Getting answers to your questions will help you avoid costly mistakes and keep you on track to graduate from college on time, career ready, and free of student debt.

Remember, it’s normal to have questions and encounter speed bumps, but that’s why we made this blog– to help you get connected to the campus resources that can make navigating those speed bumps easier. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help figuring out where to turn! No question is too big or too small!

Here are some questions so that we can help you get the best start:

  • Have you prepared a budget for college expenses?
  • Do you have transportation to college?
  • Do you know what to pack if you are living on campus?
  • Do you have a meal plan set up?
  • Are you registered for classes?
  • Did you get all of the classes needed for the next semester?
  • Have you received your financial aid package information?
  • Do you know the payment deadline before your classes get dropped?

Questions? Contact your Earn to Learn FL Near Peer Success Coach for assistance to answer any of the questions above or ask other questions.

Stay informed: Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholars, Near Peer Success Coaches, and alumni, stay connected to our blog at www.earntolearnfl.org/blog.

Earn to Learn FL is here to help you be successful on your pathway to complete your education on time, career ready, and free of student debt.

Pratima Persaud Joins Earn to Learn FL as Chief Advancement Officer

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announced that Pratima Persaud has been named Chief Advancement Officer (CAO).  The CAO is responsible for all development, marketing, community, and public relations for the organization.

Earn to Learn FL is a revolutionary “savings to financial assistance” program utilizing matched savings, personal finance training, and success coaching.  Earn to Learn FL’s goal is for students to graduate on time, student debt-free, and career-ready.  Seed funds from a federal grant launched Earn to Learn FL.  The initiative has grown from an initial $100,000 grant to more than $1 million invested in educational attainment for hard-working but income-challenged students.  ETLFL began its work in Southwest Florida but has already expanded to the Central West part of the state.  The organization is prepared to grow to a $2.3M budget in the next three years as it expands throughout Florida.

Pratima’s record of creating and executing successful multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns proves that she has the experience and skills needed to hit the ground running,” said Brenda Tate, founder, and CEO of Earn to Learn FL.  “Pratima’s leadership will help us grow our team and reach our goal of assisting students statewide.”

Earn to Learn FL’s  mission is inspirational and resonates with me,” said Persaud.  “One of my favorite quotes is by Benjamin Perks: ‘What if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?’ These income-challenged students have so much promise, and our work will ensure that they are able to reach their potential.”

Persaud is a seasoned fundraising professional with more than 15 years of experience.   She most recently worked with the American Diabetes Association as the Florida Market Director.  She provided strategic leadership, creating and executing fundraising strategies to raise revenue from corporations and major gifts donors.   Her experience also includes working in fundraising capacities at the American Heart Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Persaud earned her Master of Science in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Strategic Leadership from Valparaiso University in Indiana.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from The University of South Florida in Tampa.  She also received her certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from The University of Florida.

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities. For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

About Earn to Learn FL

Earn to Learn FL (ETLFL), formed in 2011, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college.

ETLFL has developed based on three core tenets:

  1. Matched Savings for Education: Students and their families who income-qualify can deposit up to $500 into an ETLFL savings account each year. Their savings are then matched 8:1 by ETLFL. This brings the combined available funds for financial assistance paid directly to an academic institution up to $4,500 per academic year. The funds are used for tuition, books, fees, and other approved educational-related expenses.
  2. Near Peer Coaching for Postsecondary Success: ETLFL trains and deploys AmeriCorps members to coach income-challenged students in postsecondary access, personal finance training, and career planning. Coaches support student preparation and success strategies to pursue higher education successfully.
  3. Personal Finance Training: ETLFL provides a dynamic online personal finance training program to produce measurable and meaningful outcomes for students and coaches.

Ashley Gastel Joins Earn to Learn FL as Chief Program Officer

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announced that Ashley Gastel has been named Chief Program Officer.

Earn to Learn FL is a revolutionary “savings to financial assistance” program utilizing matched savings, personal finance training, and success coaching. Earn to Learn FL‘s goal is for students to graduate on time, student debt-free, and career-ready. Seed funds from a federal grant launched Earn to Learn FL. The initiative has grown from an initial $100,000 grant to more than $1 million invested in educational attainment for hard-working but income-challenged students. The organization is prepared to grow to a $2.3M budget in the next three years as it expands throughout Florida.

“ETLFL began in Southwest Florida. We have already expanded to the central west part of the state and have the framework to expand state-wide,” said Brenda Tate, founder, and CEO of Earn to Learn FL. “Ashley’s experience and enterprising spirit make her the perfect choice to expand our staff and programming.”

“I am excited to work building our capacity to improve student outcomes,” said Gastel. “Every student should have the opportunity to earn a postsecondary degree or credential regardless of the obstacles. I can’t wait to create partnerships and programming that meet our students where they are in their journey. We can change countless lives through education. My team and I will work to implement innovations that help students get on a path to a degree or certification and stay on that path until graduation.”

Gastel most recently worked as Associate Director of Take Stock in College, a nonprofit organization that assists students in Florida in preventing drop-out. Take Stock in College’s mission is to ensure low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students attain a postsecondary degree or credential. Before working at Take Stock, she worked for the School District of Osceola County, creating the strategic plan to grow the county’s career dual enrollment programming at their technical college.

Gastel earned her Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration at The University of Central Florida, Orlando.   She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Education from Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities. For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

About Earn to Learn FL

Earn to Learn FL (ETLFL), formed in 2011, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college.

ETLFL has developed based on three core tenets:

  1. Matched Savings for Education: Students and their families who income-qualify can deposit up to $500 into an ETLFL savings account each year. Their savings are then matched 8:1 by ETLFL. This brings the combined available funds for financial assistance paid directly to an academic institution up to $4,500 per academic year. The funds are used for tuition, books, fees, and other approved educational-related expenses.
  2. Near Peer Coaching for Postsecondary Success: ETLFL trains and deploys AmeriCorps members to coach income-challenged students in postsecondary access, personal finance training, and career planning. Coaches support student preparation and success strategies to pursue higher education successfully.
  3. Personal Finance Training: ETLFL provides a dynamic online personal finance training program to produce measurable and meaningful outcomes for students and coaches.

Earn to Learn FL Announces $1,000,000 in Scholarships for FGCU Students

Partnership with FGCU Foundation and Florida Prepaid College Foundation to Celebrate FGCU’s 25 th Anniversary

Earn to Learn FL (ETLFL), a 501(c)3 nonprofit who envisions a world without barriers to higher education, announces partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Florida Prepaid College Foundation to celebrate FGCU’s 25 th Anniversary. The celebration will
culminate in $1,000,000 Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholarships for FGCU students.

In partnership with FGCU Foundation, ETLFL will raise the funds to purchase Florida Prepaid College Foundation one-year scholarships for FGCU students. In turn, Florida Prepaid College Foundation will match the generosity of Southwest Florida dollar for dollar to leverage the community’s investment of $500,000 into $1,000,000 for scholarships to be awarded to deserving students who will attend FGCU.  Angelo Serrano is an ETLFL scholarship recipient who will graduate from FGCU this spring. “ETLFL’s innovative approach ensures that students are financially prepared for college,” said Serrano. “I couldn’t have gotten through college without all of tools they provide.”

“Approximately 1.4 million of Florida’s working-age adults have earned some college credit but never completed with a credential, often incurred student loan debt, and remained unemployable,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn FL. “We empower income challenged students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt. We do this through matched savings scholarships, personal finance training, and peer coaching. It’s a formula for student success that works.”

“Florida Prepaid College Foundation offers opportunities to change the lives of deserving Florida students through scholarship programs,” said Cynthia F. O’Connell, Director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. “The majority of our programs double the value of scholarship funds by receiving a dollar-for-dollar match from the Foundation, allowing organizations like Earn to Learn FL to have a greater impact on the community.”
“Florida Gulf Coast University is pleased to partner with Earn to Learn FL on this important initiative.  Earn to Learn FL is committed to student success, and that is also one of the five pillars of FGCU’s strategic plan,” said Dr. Michael Martin, president of Florida Gulf Coast University.  “We have made significant strides over the past five years, and our partnership with Earn to Learn FL means more students will graduate with little or no debt and will enhance the workforce and economic well-being of our state.”

For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at
Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

About Earn to Learn FL
Earn to Learn FL (ETLFL), formed in 2011, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income challenged students to successfully complete college.
ETLFL has developed based on three core tenets:
1. Matched Savings for Education: Students and their families who income-qualify are eligible to deposit up to $500 into an ETLFL savings account each year. Their savings are then matched 8:1 by ETLFL. This brings the combined available funds for financial assistance paid directly to an academic institution up to $4,500 per academic year. The funds are used for tuition, books, fees and other approved educational related expenses.
2. Near Peer Coaching for Postsecondary Success: ETLFL trains and deploys AmeriCorps members to coach income challenged students in the areas of postsecondary access, personal finance training, and career planning. Coaches support student preparation and success strategies to successfully pursue their higher education.
3. Personal Finance Training: ETLFL provides a dynamic online personal finance training program designed to produce measurable and meaningful outcomes for students and coaches.