College Survival

College Survival

by Greg Gottesman, Daniel Baer

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College Survival by Greg Gottesman, Daniel Baer

Totally updated by a fresh new team of student authors at colleges from Boston to Berkeley, here is a hip new guide to the joys and pitfalls of campus life. Illustrated.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780768909265
Publisher: Peterson's
Publication date: 05/15/2002
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

College Survival: A Crash Course for Students by Students - CH 3 - Packing and Sending

College Survival:
A Crash Course for Students by Students

- 3 -

Packing and Sending

It was the day before my flight, so I was forced into a packing frenzy. I placed my stereo in a box of clothes and taped the box shut. I then preceded to--get this!--throw the box around the room. I figured if the box could withstand my punishment it certainly could weather whatever the airlines were about to dish out. What in the world was I thinking?

When I opened the box, my stereo didn't work. How could it when it was in 100 pieces?

--Rico Alexander, Stanford University

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes . . . Start in the Attic

For those who have never been in their attic, now is a good time. Skip over dad'sold prom pictures and the broken transistor radios. You're looking for somethingelse: cardboard boxes. Big boxes. Small boxes. Any and all boxes.

If the attic leaves you empty-handed, try the back alley of a warehouse or askin a grocery or liquor store.

If you want to bypass the search altogether, purchase boxes from a packaging ormoving company. This can get pricey, but it may be convenient to have boxes thatare all the same size, and you can use them over and over again. Bicycle boxes canbe picked up at bike shops or department stores for a minimal charge. If you decideto have your bike shipped, make sure that you know how to put it back together whenyou get to school.

The Scoop on Delivery Service: Rules for Potential Packers

The procedure for using a delivery service (such as UPS, Federal Express, DHL,and Emery) is pretty standard: Call the service, give them the address where youwant the packages delivered, state the date you want it there, and estimate the weightof the packages involved. Then, pack your boxes and drop them at the local carrier.If cumbersome, the deliverer can pick up the goods at your house.

UPS provides a more complete set of guidelines, but these hints should take careof any "physical" packing problems.

1. Use cardboard boxes or a foot locker.

2. Protect items inside with crumpled grocery bags or special packing material (such as bubble wrap).

3. Place fragile items toward the middle of the box. The sides are more dangerous.

4. Close your boxes with tape two inches or greater in width. UPS recommends pressure-sensitive plastic or water-activated paper tape, but disapproves of string or rope.

5. Make sure to label the contents of your boxes. This way you can unpack in a systematic fashion. But avoid labels like "expensive electronics." These are always the first to get "lost in transit."

Psst . . . If you are sending your worldly goods via a delivery service, set aside sufficient cosmetics, a few wardrobe changes, and a set of sheets and towels. You will want to keep these items with you because belongings don't always arrive as planned.

Packing Tips for Drivers

Driving to school is difficult enough without having to worry about the packingelement. Follow these rules:


Don't be decapitated by the ski pole that couldn't fit in the back seat. Makesure your car has the space.

Laws forbid the obstruction of a driver's view with excess baggage. Keep the stuffin the back seat as low as possible.

When renting a car, ask for the largest size available. The difference in ratesis minimal. Count family members as extra baggage. A grandma and two sisters equalsabout four large boxes.


U-Haul trailers can turn small cars with no trunk space into all-purpose trucks,capable of lugging all your belongings to school.

Rates vary depending upon distance, time, and size of trailer. Mark, a managerof a U-Haul center, suggests a 4 x 8 trailer because it is more aerodynamic thanthe other sizes and therefore more fuel-efficient. A trip from Seattle to Chicagowill run approximately $150 and enable you to use the 4 x 8 trailer for nine days.

For a nominal fee, U-Haul will rent you trailer hitches, furniture pads, boxes,and protective locks.


You will not want to go searching through boxes every night at a motel, so packwhat you will need on the trip in a separate bag, and make sure that the bag is easilyaccessible.

Tips on Packing for Pl anes and Buses

When I go back and forth between college and home, the only luggage I take is two big army duffel bags. They are so huge that even I can easily fit inside them, and they seem to hold endless amounts of stuff. Sure it's a pain lugging them around the airport, but it's only twice a year, and having the big bags means that I never have to ship anything to school--I can bring it all with me. It ends up saving me a lot of money and more than a few headaches.

--Daniel Baer, Harvard University

If you are traveling by plane or train, remember to:


When selecting baggage, you want the bags that can hold the most stuff, not Mom'sset of matching luggage. If you don't already have a large duffel bag, you can pickone up at an army surplus store for about $25. If you are going to use more standardluggage, bags with wheels are nice, especially if you have to lug your stuff aroundcampus trying to find your dorm.


Most airlines allow you to check two bags and carry one on board. The charge foreach additional bag (or bicycle) is roughly $20.

Greyhound bus service allows two bags on-board and charges $10 for each additionalbag. Bus companies may impose a five-bag maximum.


Greyhound has a 50-pound weight limit, while most airlines have 70-pound limits.If your boxes exceed the limit, look into delivery services. Remember that this limitis per bag--you can take two 70-pound bags, but not one 20-pounder and one 80-pounder.


Some airlines and bus companies have special requirements with regard to packingcertain items. For example, many airlines require you to use their special bicycleboxes, while others ask that you obtain your own. In these cases, calling the airlineor bus company is your best bet.

What Are You Going to Do With All Your Stuff When the Year Ends?

The first day when we moved in, my roommate's entire clan spent nearly an hour putting together this elaborate bathroom rack system for everybody's toiletries. For the record, it actually was incredibly useful for all of us. At the end of the year, Mark, not realizing that you can store stuff over the summer, had to figure out how to pack it up. There are two important things to realize about this monstrosity: (1) It has very long poles and bulky shelves, and (2) it is painfully heavy.

After finally disassembling it, Mark had to cut apart six boxes and then literally create his own box by duct-taping the scraps together around the mess of poles and shelves. When he was done (an approximately two-hour procedure, meanwhile the rest of his belongings remained unpacked and his plane left in three hours), he had created a frightening cardboard-and-duct-tape behemoth that weighed over 60 pounds and rattled tremendously whenever moved. The Fed Ex guy looked at it, nudged it (resulting in more frightening crashes within what could no longer in any sense be called a "box"), said that he couldn't accept it, and promptly left.

Now, you'll recall that time was r unning short for poor old Mark, so he called his dad to ask what he should do. Turns out, if you pay enough money, a Fed Ex man must accept any package. So the same guy returned with his tail between his legs and carted out the rapidly deteriorating concoction. Morals of the story: check to see the storage policies of your school; be reasonable and frugal about what you ship back and forth; duct tape and money can solve most any tough situation.

--David Sivak, Harvard University

When the year is over you will have to move out of your room before heading home.This poses a major challenge, especially if you have acquired various pieces of furniture,new clothing, and so on throughout the year.

Basically you have two options: Store or ship.

1. Storage. Most schools will provide either free or low-cost storage to students who come from out of state. You should check into your school's policy, because there might be a limit on what you can store.

If your school doesn't provide storage, you can go to a public-storage facility and ask about rates for summer storage. You might want to think about teaming up with a couple friends in this case. The cost of storage will be less when divided up, and you probably won't need a ton of space anyway. Plus, if there's a group of you, then you can all help each other load and unload.

2. Ship. Shipping your stuff back and forth between school and home can get expensive, but for some people, who simply cannot live without their 200-CD collection and their entire wardrobe, shipping is a necessary luxury. If you decide to ship your stuff home, check out rates of different companies before the last day. Also, do you need your stuff the next day or next week? There might be a big difference in cost if you are willing to wait a few extra days for delivery.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.Clothing: What to Bring1
Chapter 2.Your Room: What to Bring7
Chapter 3.Packing and Sending15
Chapter 4.Planes: Flying the Collegiate Skies23
Chapter 5.Cars: Driving To and Around Campus31
Chapter 6.Orientation39
Chapter 7.Roommates45
Chapter 8.Choosing Classes57
Chapter 9.Time Management and Study Tactics65
Chapter 10.Setting Goals for Success77
Chapter 11.Getting Involved83
Chapter 12.Computers at College89
Chapter 13.The Internet99
Chapter 14.The Minority Experience117
Chapter 15.Greek versus Dorm Life125
Chapter 16.Laundry and Ironing137
Chapter 17.Athletics and Exercise: Varsity to Intramural149
Chapter 18.Dating157
Chapter 19.Partying and Alcohol165
Chapter 20.Get Ready to Be Sick: Medical, Dental, and Psychological Care171
Chapter 21.Nutrition: You Are What You Eat183
Chapter 22.Campus Safety189
Chapter 23.Banking at College199
Chapter 24.Community Colleges209
Chapter 25.Working at School215
Chapter 26.Commuting229
College Survival Tear-Out Checklist235
List of Contributors245

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