This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
When I began my freshman year of college, I think I spent more money than I really needed to. I didn’t know too much about what to expect when I walked onto campus and into my dorm room, and I was always getting mixed information about what I really needed for college life. Let’s not try to sugarcoat it — college is already expensive enough and students can’t go spending money left and right! Obviously, there are some items that truly are great investments for college that you should splurge on (a laptop, a really sturdy backpack, shower shoes, etc.) but there are also some items that will definitely come in handy that you don’t need to splurge on and have stare at you in the face for the rest of your life. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but still.
Renting items is ideal if you don’t think you’ll need something after you graduate or for more than a semester or two. You’d be surprised by how tiny your room back home really is when you come back with a ton of things you bought for college and have nowhere to put them. I know some people prefer to just purchase the item and hold onto it forever or sell it back, but renting saves so much money, and it’s actually easier to do than you might think. So without further ado, here are some things that you should definitely try to rent for college.
During my freshman year, I was studying health science and PURCHASED over $500 worth of textbooks. I’m now a JOURNALISM major and have no need for all those chemistry and biology textbooks taking up space under my desk at home. I could’ve saved hundreds of dollars if I had rented as many necessary books as possible, so that’s why I’m telling you to rent those back-breakers if you can. You could end up changing your major like I did and you won’t even need those books anymore. Also, there are some textbooks that are complete nonsense that you probably won’t ever need to refer back to for the rest of your life. In my three years of textbook experience, there has been ONE textbook that I actually could see myself using for the rest of my life.
If you have a sibling attending college who is studying the same thing as you, then buying your textbooks is a good option because you can just hand them down to your brother or sister. Be sure to check out my guide to buying textbooks for all of the sneaky textbook-buying tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years!
2. A car.
It’s no 10-pound chemistry textbook, so the decision to rent a car for college should be really carefully thought out. For the most part, it will depend on your personal circumstances. Will you travel back home often? Does going back home mean having to book a plane ticket? Do you have an off-campus job that’s kind of far away? A car definitely would have helped me out this past semester, because I had to travel to a lot of places to report on stories for my journalism class, but I simply can’t afford insurance right now so I just had to deal with it. Plus, if I’m being honest here, I don’t think I’d be fond of waking up early to shovel my car out of the snow in January. An alternative, however, would have been to rent a car (which I stupidly forgot that I could do until the semester was basically over). My campus offers a car rental service that gives students free membership for a year. Students don’t have to worry about gas money, and they just pay for the number of hours they plan to reserve the car for.
If you don’t want to have to bother your friends for rides and just need to be able to get around from time to time, consider renting a car for at least one year.
3. Any extra furniture.
We all probably lowkey lust after a Pinterest-esque room but that would probably burn holes in every pair of pants we own. Still, having a cozy place is nice for when you want to relax after a long day, or have a place for you and your friends to chill indoors when the weather is bad. Many off-campus apartments may not even come furnished, which can make things even more expensive. CORT Furniture Rental is a convenient service that helps students get what they want for their rooms and takes it off their hands when they no longer need it. This is perfect if you’re attending a college really far from home and need a few things without the hassle of flying them over and then back home again. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t have room in my parents’ house for furniture I only need during the semester. That’s why I have this storage ottoman that I bought freshman year serving as a little coffee table in the living room because I don’t have space for it in my bedroom!
Being able to rent furniture also comes in handy if you’ll be living in your first apartment (yay!) and don’t really have any furniture for it. CORT can help you turn a bland apartment into something that’s completely you by delivering rented sets. Plus, CORT is accessible to a large number of universities across the country, so you don’t have to worry about your school being left out! You can have a comfortable room with rented furniture from the day it arrives.
4. A storage unit.
If you’re attending a college that’s hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your home, a storage unit can really come in handy for the next four years. Moving bulky items and boxes back and forth is expensive and tedious. If you don’t have the means to keep doing so, you’re better off finding some storage space near your campus. I have had friends who come from states across the country and ended up renting a unit because going back and forth would have been way too much trouble. Plus, some storage companies even offer student discounts, so do your research to find one that fits your needs. Obviously, you don’t need a storage unit if you live literally 30 minutes or even two hours away from campus, but if you’re going to college in another state or country, definitely keep this in mind.
5. A mini fridge.
I know some people may say that you actually don’t need a mini fridge for college because you have meal points for campus dining on your ID card, but I say it depends on the person. Personally, I prefer eating my breakfast in my room, and that usually consists of yogurt or a smoothie, or cereal, which I definitely need to keep refrigerated. Buying my fridge was kind of stressful for me because I didn’t know how big of a fridge I needed, and sometimes they’d go on sale for a few days only to be expensive again. And thank goodness my dad drives an SUV with ample trunk space to carry ALL my move-in essentials (including the fridge) in one trip, because moving that thing from one place to another is HARD.
Now that I’m home for the summer, the fridge is chilling in my basement, unplugged until August. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it after college — sell it, perhaps, to someone willing to buy it with all the stickers I managed to paste on there over the years? If you can rent a mini fridge that’s compact, clean, and not super gross, definitely consider it. You won’t have to worry about what will happen to it after you graduate, and you won’t have to go through the hassle of driving it back and forth every year.
What do you recommend renting for college?