Figuring out what to bring to college and what to leave at home can seem like an impossible task for first-year students and returning upperclassmen alike. But don’t be concerned, here are some tips to ease the transition to pseudo adulthood.
For students in traditional housing:
For first-year students in traditional housing, a kitchen is not provided and you are required to remain on a meal plan. However, it is definitely worth bringing a few essentials, such as a microwave to warm up leftovers or quickly cook microwavable meals, at least one full set of dishes (dish, plate, spoon, fork, knife, mug) and a sponge, dish soap and plastic gloves to clean them off in your sink. Coordinate with your roommates to see who should bring the bigger appliances like microwaves and mini fridges.
For students in apartment-style housing:
If you are living in apartment-style housing, you either have your own kitchen or a communal one — whichever is the case, you are not required to remain on a meal plan. If you plan to frequent the dining halls, maybe opt with the basic appliances listed before. But if you plan on cooking, the NYU kitchen has a basic setup of an oven with a stovetop, a full-size refrigerator, a sink and limited cabinet space. Again, coordinate to decide who should bring the microwave. There is no dishwasher (except at Gramercy Green Residence Hall), so it wouldn’t hurt to bring dish soap, a sponge and plastic gloves.
For basic cooking, bring at least one large pot for dishes that need to be boiled, a frying pan, a casserole dish, a baking tray, a cutting board and a colander. Also, pack a basic set of kitchen tools such as wooden spoons, a ladle and a pasta scooper. Based on personal experience, plastic is usually easier to clean than stainless steel, so I would go for those if possible. Do not forget about basics such as oven mitts, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, plastic containers and plastic bags to store your leftovers. For a dish set, you’ll want to pick up biodegradable plates and silverware to minimize the amount of dishwashing. For a more sustainable alternative, bring a few sets of dishes, bowls and silverware so you don’t have to repeatedly wash the same one.
For more advanced cooking, a blender might be useful for making smoothies. Smoothies are a quick and healthy on-the-go breakfast, essential for any college students. A rice cooker might also be an investment to consider.
If you are a coffee person, it might even be worth it to bring your own coffee maker. Although a seemingly pricy purchase, in the long run it will save you money on daily Starbucks runs. Some non essential but useful kitchen supplies to bring would be a smaller pot for hot chocolate or old-fashioned popcorn and a Brita bottle with a filter, for trips to the gym and to keep hydrated during class.
Whatever you decide to bring, make sure it’s something you are going to use because these four years go by quickly and the vacancy of kitchen space is just as fleeting.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 9 print edition. Email Beth Sattur at [email protected].