1 Person Dead, over 100 Sick in College Dorm Carbon Monoxide Accident

*There was a carbon monoxide leak in a dorm* at Roanoke College in Virginia yesterday that has killed a resident. “*Read the Story.*”://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/14/monoxide.ap/index.html

The dorms were hosting conferences for the summer, so the residents were actually not students, however, it does raise the issue of whether or not college dorms should be required to have carbon monoxide detectors.

The risk of a carbon monoxide leak is slim, but installing a detector is as easy as plugging one in. It tests the air for traces of carbon monoxide, since you can’t see it or tell it’s there until symptoms begin to appear such as nausea or light-headedness.

*UChic’s advice? See if your dorm has a carbon monoxide detector.* If not, petition your campus housing department to purchase detectors. If that doesn’t work, buy your own. They are reasonably priced….especially if they save a life.

Destination Dorm Part 2: Avoid Everything Neon, Plastic or Fuzzy

Yesterday’s article inspired me to write a tell-all experience about my first year at school, specifically, what I bought to furnish my dorm room. Here is my advice if you want to buy stuff that will last:

*Avoid the following items at all costs:*
– lava lamps or those medusa-like lamps with multi-colored shades
– pointless appliances like a quesadilla maker or panini grill
– any kind of blow up or fuzzy piece of furniture
– those pillows with arms
– patterned sheets or comforters

*A lot of times incoming freshmen buy too much of what they don’t need. You can avoid this.* Talk to someone who’s been to your school, maybe even lived where you will live. Another way to avoid over-buying? Wait until you get there to buy most of your stuff. Believe it or not, you’re not going to be overwhelmed 24 hours a day with school. You’ll have plenty of time for late-night Walmart trips. But when it comes to buying the staples, bed sheets, pillows, dishes, chairs, art…skip Urban Outfitters and Ikea. Instead, splurge at Pottery Barn or Anthropologie. Spend more and buy less. You don’t need 20 picture frames to display all your photos of your friends and family. One beautiful scrapbook will do.

_You know what though?_ I have to say, it was a lot of fun to gobble up plastic crates, trunks by the dozens. It’s all part of the freshmen experience. *So nevermind! Go! Purchase as many cheap and furry dorm accessories as you can!* Agonize over the color of your laundry basket. Buy those care bear sheets…you’ll be the talk of the floor.

Just know that in four years, you’ll wish you’d used hand-me-downs and sunk that money into a designer handbag, or a down-payment on an apartment…whichever one you need most.

Destination Dorm: You’ll Hate It All In Four Years…

Here’s a good article on the must-have items for your dorm room this fall. There are also lots of time and space saving tips so you’re not completely overwhelmed at check-in.

As a recent college grad, I have to say, I look back at freshmen year with a lot of laughter. The brightly-colored, plastic chairs, containers and crates that I thought were so stylish at the time, are long gone now. I probably spent WAY too much money at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Linen’s ‘N Things…and I thought I knew what my personal tastes were, but guess what, those radically change while you’re in school. *I’m so inspired by this “issue” I feel inclined to write my own tip sheet* for how to avoid hating your neon purple mini-fridge & orange and green lava lamp four years from now. Yeah….I admit it.

*Read “their article”://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/07/11/back.to.school.packing.ap/index.htmland check back tomorrow for mine.*

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!