Did you see all the ALUAGOCCS (All Loaded Up and Going to College Cars) on the highway a few weeks ago?
You couldn’t miss `em, even if you were driving behind. They had new college stickers applied to their back windows, and they were so overstuffed with dorm stuff that whoever was driving couldn’t see out the back window. As you pulled out to pass, you caught a glimpse of a dorm fridge, floppy bags full of shoes and sweaters, a pole lamp, a leopard-print ottoman, and a huge stuffed animal that stared out the side window with wide, frightened eyes like the lady in Edward Munch’s painting “The Scream.”
If you are a StraighterLine student, you just saved a fortune, because you didn’t need to buy all that stuff before you started online classes. Here’s a quick rundown on the stuff you didn’t have to buy . . .
- A dorm fridge – Millions of them are sold to students every year. But if you already have a fridge at home, you won’t need to buy one. If you don’t have a fridge at home, where do you live – in a yurt?
- A wall or desk phone – Many colleges make students buy them and plug them into jacks in their dorm room walls. Then they never get used once. Apparently colleges are in collusion with companies that make outdated wall phones.
- A collapsible laundry bin – Nobody needs them, but everybody’s mom thinks they are dorm essentials. If you’re studying at home online, she won’t even think of buying you one.
- A poster – If you’re not going to live at college, nobody’s going to buy you a mortifying poster of Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga for your dorm wall.
- Bed risers – You use these injection-molded black cubes to lift your dorm bed four or five inches higher off the floor, so you can stuff more crap underneath. They’re manufactured from four cents worth of polyurethane, and you get to buy them for $19.95. But now you won’t need `em.
- Sleep specs – You might have been able to pike a free pair of these from an airline. They’re soft masks that shut out the light, and they come in handy when it’s 3:00 A.M. and you’re trying to sleep while your roommate is cramming for her sociology final while rocking back and forth in her desk chair and pulling out her hair. But if you don’t have a roommate, you don’t need sleep specs. Problem solved.
- Tacky college paraphernalia – You won’t need stuff that’s emblazoned with your college seal. So forget about a mouse pad, a soda can coddler, a hoodie, a college pennant, a doormat, a stuffed giraffe wearing a tiny college shirt, a campus map, a beer stein, or a foam butt pad to use at football games. You just saved a bunch.
- A high-tech mop – These are all the rage among moms who are shopping for college students. They are high-tech cleaning implements with changeable pads, special sprayers that squirt cleaning fluid onto the floor ahead of the mop, and headlights. Parents buy these in the deluded belief that their kids will find them so enchanting that they might actually clean their rooms. Forget about it.
- A lava lamp – Okay, you might actually want one of these at home too. Everybody knows they are cool. You can pick one up on the sale shelf a month after college starts.
- Bed linens in weird sizes that can’t be used anywhere else – There’s a conspiracy going on here between colleges and home furnishing stores, because dorm beds use sheets that never – no, not ever – will fit on any other kind of bed that you will ever own again once you have left college.
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