July 2013
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What to bring: school supplies

From bedding to bathroom supplies, you’ll find yourself bringing a lot of stuff with you to college. It’s important too to bring the tools you need to have success in the classroom. You have the freedom to choose what items best meet your needs, but here are some things to consider:

Things for taking notes

Most students at McDaniel take notes by hand. A lot of people just don’t see the need to lug a laptop with them to every class, and in some cases, professors prefer that you not have laptops in class. I like to take notes for classes in my major in composition books; they’re compact with plenty of pages, and they’re perfect for saving notes, since the pages don’t fall out. Each semester, I devote one composition book to one class, and then I use the same composition book again each semester until it’s full–this way, I can refer to notes from previous semesters.

You’ve gone through years of schooling now, so you should know what system(s) of note taking work best for you.

Things for storing papers

You’ll find yourself receiving various handouts in all of your classes, but depending on how frequently you use them, you may not want to haul all of those papers around. Thus, if you’re not already using individual binders and loose leaf paper for taking notes, you may want to invest in some binders for storing your loose papers. I like to have a one-inch binder for each of my classes, which I generally keep in my room–I carry around only the papers I need in a two-pocket folder. At the end of each semester, I combine the papers I want to save into a smaller amount of binders and reuse the newly emptied ones. Other ideas for paper storage include accordion folders and small file boxes.

Something to carry everything in

By now, you probably know how you like to transport your books and things, be it a backpack or a large tote bag. I will however, mention that I like having a backpack with laptop storage so I can carry books and my computer all in one bag. Also, I think I’m currently the only person on campus who carries around a Riesenthel-style basket full of library books when I’m working on a research paper–it gets the job done and I don’t have to pick and choose between source books when I’m working on a paper outside of my dorm. (I use it for storing class books and notebooks that I’m not taking to class on a particular day when I’m not using it for research.)

Things for your new “home office”

Your dorm room will become your bedroom, your kitchen, and your office all in one. Stock your new home office according to your needs. I have lots of pens and pencils, dry erase markers for my whiteboard, sharpies, washable markers, construction paper, tape, glue sticks, sticky notes, small notepads, a stapler, staples, scissors, and so much more in my collection because I’m pretty into office supplies. I even have a paper cutter for all of my crafting needs. Generally, only bring something if you’ll probably use it. If you find yourself in need of something that you don’t have, chances are, someone on your floor has it and would be happy to lend it to you. Also, save money: bring things you have around your house instead of buying a ton of new things.

Things not to bring

Unless you plan on printing in color once a week, you really don’t need to bring a printer to McDaniel. It will take up valuable space in your room–especially when you run out of ink and realize you’re too poor to replace the cartridges. At McDaniel, you’ll receive a print allowance of $20 per semester, and at $0.05 per page ($1 per page in color), that gets you 200 pages a semester. For most people, this is more than enough money for printing each semester, but if you need more printing money, you can add it using your 1card.

Also, don’t bring anything you just won’t use. And at the end of your first semester, if you have a lot of unused items, bring them home with you so you don’t have to move them out with the rest of your stuff in May.

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