Today’s post comes to us from Jordan, a YAB member who just started her freshman year of college, and stocked up on supplies to get ready for the new school year. She explains what her process was like in pre-shopping, purchasing, and why she chose the items she did.
Like many Millennials, Jordan searched for the best prices by browsing different stores. Her habits reflect a Gen Y approach of high-low budgeting, which many young people are adopting since they want quality items that will last, yet they need to balance their budget. She also highlights the increasing importance of dorm décor among her generation since Millennials want their personal space (even a tiny college room) to reflect their style.
A Millennial’s Take On Back-To-School Shopping
This is the first year I am going to college, so when deciding to decorate my room, I made the executive decision to get quality items that would last me throughout college and would work for my post-grad years, wherever I may be. I went through a local interior design boutique to buy all of my dorm essentials: comforter, custom headboard, and four different throw pillows, but sheets and towels were items I picked up at Costco. Storage was also very important due to the fact that you have a small closet in college and limited drawer space. To solve this problem, I picked up four containers at my local Target. I also got a horizontal shoe organizer and extra plastic bins for my shoes to store them in my (cramped) closet. Bed Bath and Beyond was also really helpful because you can shop at your local store and have everything ready for pick up at the store closest to your new campus home. Overall, in getting all the items for my room, I shopped at both mass merchandisers and small, independent stores.
For the past two years, I have been a HUGE fan of Five Star composition notebooks, so I bought five (one for each class) in a different color, and I really like the fabric covered spine guard that protects the notebook coils from any unwiring or snags. Of course, pencils, pens, notebook paper, staples, tape, and paper clips were necessary, and you can’t forget a computer! Since I’m starting college, it was time for a new laptop, which I consider one of the most important items, if not the most important purchase. I am a huge Apple fan, like most of my peers, and decided to go with the 13″ MacBook Pro. I was in between the 13″ and the 15″, but ultimately, realizing that my desk space would be pretty small and those two extra inches add quite a bit of cost, I went with the 13″.
This year, I did a lot of pre-shopping before I bought anything to compare selection and prices. My mom and I visited a few stores before making our purchases, but I could see why people use online shopping as a pre-shopping method. We, however, preferred going to physical stores so we could see the quality of the items and get help if needed. Plus, for a lot of the decisions about decor, I wanted to have a wide selection in front of me to choose from.
Overall, I was surprised at the enormous cost of preparing for college. It’s a major strain both in terms of time and money, but luckily my purchases will last me a while and I had fun while preparing for this big transition! My advice for others is to compare prices first because costs quickly add up, look for discounts, deals, or coupons, and see what stores offer convenient services like picking up items closer to your college.
Jordan, 18, is a determined freshman at Auburn University in Alabama, where she is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, emphasizing Marketing, Journalism, and Spanish, with a minor in Leadership and Ethics. She hopes to combine her studies with her interests in politics and writing someday, and could see herself working anywhere from Seventeen magazine to The White House. In high school, Jordan was active in Speech and Debate, Class Government, and community service. She founded GVoice, the school’s first online literary publication, which receives hundreds of international hits per day, and continues to be a creative outlet for literary expression at her high school.