The Essential Guide to Going Out of State for College

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband did it, and now my son is following in his footsteps. After high school graduation, he's packing up and moving thousands of miles away from home to attend college. There are a few reasons he’s decided that an out of state college is right for him and I have to agree that they outweigh the reasons to stay, but don't think for a second that I didn't try to talk him out of it! One of my biggest attempts to convincing my son to stay in state for school (or at least in driving distance) was how logistically easier it would be to live part time in two places. As a college student, you are a resident of the university for the majority of the year, but most kids wander back home to the comfort of their old bedroom and the posters they tacked up on their walls back in junior high for a few months as well.

In my head, it's far easier to pack up the minivan and take a few hours drive than it is to figure out how to pack your earthly treasures in a few suitcases. In my heart, I know that the school he's selected is by far the best option for him and even though we will be thousands of miles apart, those logistical details are easy enough to work through.

With my husband's past experience, and with us currently ironing out the details of what it looks like to move out of state for college, I've created an essential guide to moving out of state for college with six tips for you to help ease the stress of that transition.

high school graduation, how to pack for college, dorm living, first apartment

1. Sort out What You Want to Bring

If you are flying, you are limited in the amount of luggage that you can bring. You have to really pick and choose what is important to you. Start a list a few months before you move out with items that you think might be helpful to have with you. When you think of something, add it to the list. Writing this list gives you time to really think about the item and then decide if it's really worth the limited luggage space that you have or if it's something you can box up and keep at home. 

Once moving day nears, start a pile with those items and reevaluate. Ask yourself a few questions. Are they going to be useful to you in your new home? Will you use it more than one time? Will it cost more to replace than it will to bring? 

2. Coordinate with Your Roommate

Chances are you are going to be sharing a living space with someone while you are in college. Spend some time coordinating with them ahead of time about what items you plan on bringing or providing and which communal items you can share. 

3. Familiarize Yourself with Sites That Offer Free Shipping 

My husband tells the story about how he shipped a huge bottle of laundry detergent from his home to campus just before the start of classes. The bottle exploded en route and made a huge mess causing several hours of clean up. That's when he realized that he didn't have to ship everything from home! 
Ordering on-line is so easy and many sites offer free shipping. This is beneficial to those of you that don't have many transportation options.

4. Know Your Area

I grew up in the Midwest and spent my elementary years learning what to do in case of a tornado. Not even six months after moving to the west coast, we had a 6.8 earthquake. I had no idea what to do in an earthquake! A tornado, sure, earthquake, nope. My husband tells the story of watching his first tornado warning unfold on TV his freshman year. Again, he was caught off guard. Familiarize yourself with your area and know what to do in an emergency.

5.  Consider Furniture Rental

Calling two states home requires some flexibility. We don't have the luxury of storage space during the summer months. What our son can't fit in a suitcase under 50 pounds, just won't make the cut. That bed? Nope. A sofa? No way! But that doesn't mean we don't want him to be comfortable while he's living at school. CORT Furniture Rental provides furniture on-demand. It's there when he needs it, gone when he doesn't. CORT has student packages starting at $119/mo.

Trust me, I'm not against used furniture. Craigslist is one of my favorite buying sites, but when you have limited time as a student to get adjusted to a new living space, not to mention limited transportation options, this is a no brainer for me. Plus, at the end of the year, he can simply call them and have the furniture removed. That's one less thing he needs to worry about when he should be studying for finals. I'm all for exploring your options to rent furniture.

6. Work Smarter Not Harder

College kids have enough to worry about. The kids going to school out of state have an added layer of responsibility. They are learning to be independent in totally new territory.  Sign up for apps that can help organize and take on the burden of some of those new responsibilities. CORT has a partnership with SimpleBills that is pretty amazing! SimpleBills has an app and on-line feature that allows you to split and pay bills easily with roommates. SimpleBills receives the utility bill, can pay it and will invoice your roommates for their portion of the utility bill once a month. It's as easy as that!

This time of life is exciting! It's full of possibility and the future is bright. Best of luck to you on this next chapter.

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1 comment

Nicole said...

One suggestion I would have is for the summer, get a small storage matter if they are going to school in state or out of state. Let's face it, during the year, they will make purchases. And when they move out of the dorm, they are going to need to move it somewhere. And they may not need it at home during the summer (for example, you don't need your winter clothes!). We did that with our daughter every summer-got the smallest one, paid like 50.00/month. Best idea ever.

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