I will be in England until August 12, so my updates will be sparse. I will try to update as much as possible, and you might get a few updates that are just about Cambridge, but just know they will be sparse.
So even if you’re broke, I still suggest making your money earn you some money. There are a few options out there. You can keep it in a savings account and earn about .000000000001% interest (come on, you know it’s a lame interest rate) or another option is to get a checking account that earns interest. I think one of the best ideas is to open a money market account. The best one by the way, with absolutely no minimum is Paypal. I am earning 2.38% as of the writing of this blog. Not great, but better than my savings account.
I was earning 5+% but since the fed lowered rates, that number dropped. The great thing about paypal is it takes about 3-4 days to get your money into it, same amount of time to get it out, and there is no minimum (you need at least $1 to earn interest though) I put in extra money when I have it, and pull it out when I need it. You can even keep all your money in there, and use a paypal debit card (although I don’t recommend this; I have no experience with this card, so I can’t speak as to it’s quality)
There are other options, but just remember, even if you don’t have thousands of dollars, you can still earn better returns on your money. I would love to say more, but I’m very busy getting ready to go to England in 5 days.
Ok, so here’s a few quick tips (it’s late, so I can’t type long) Do not over pack for school. I see so many people (myself included) get there for their Freshman year and they have WAY too much stuff, mostly clothes. Here’s a hint: you can do laundry every week. On the other hand, you can never have enough storage, mainly, vertical storage.
Dorm rooms are notoriously small, but they have some height. In a 12x14x12 room, there is 2016 cubic feet of storage. If you use storage only 3 feet tall (which is a rare height, usually it’s closer to 1 to 2 feet) you are utilizing 504 cubic feet, that’s only 25% of your storage. I suggest getting some tall shelving units, and where you can (wherever you do not have walking/living area) put SOMETHING tall. I suggest taking care of small things, they add up. One thing that took up lots of space in my room was photo frames, so I began making these:
I can hang them on the wall, and then I simply place the photos in there, and voila, instant vertical storage, that takes up MUCH less horizontal space (100% less actually) You can buy these pre-made at my webstore: dorm-gear.com I think they are really nice to use.
As for packing, pack everything you KNOW you need, then get rid of half of it. This rule is very true for those who are going to school within driving distance of school. If it is a hassle to get stuff to school, it is easier to bring to school then take away. I took too much stuff, so I brought some home when I went home for Christmas. Just remember, if you bring it to school, you have to do something with it in the summer, and no one (besides family) stores stuff for free. If you live near home, take very little, and if you need more, tell your parents, they will be happy to have a reason to come visit you (make sure they buy you some fresh groceries while they are there) It is much easier to add if you are within driving distance. Just remember, very very few people will bring just enough stuff. You will have more flexibility if you have enough storage space.