Take a pass on these living (un)necessities


Animal House Poster? Check. Sixty-inch flat-screen? Check. Plunger? Umm…

In the midst of trying to deck out your new college apartment, it’s easy to forget about the essential things you need while getting wrapped up in things you don’t. Retail stores have back-to-school sales late in the summer and early in fall in an attempt to sell you lots of these totally pointless things. That’s their job. But yours is to distinguish between the things you absolutely need and the ones that you can live without. Here’s a list to help you out:

U-verse TV or any type of expensive cable TV packages

Chances are, you’ll never watch or need that Pro-Golfing channel or any of those annoying TV-Shopping Channels. Oftentimes, there are many useless channels packaged in high-end cable TV provider packages. But, in reality, you’ll only ever have a rotation of maybe 30 channels out of the 1,000 often featured in such packages.

Large speaker system

While blasting your music until the early morning hours may sound fun, it’s often an impractical, luxurious burden. Most apartment buildings have noise restrictions that are easily broken by any extensive speaker system. The odds are you won’t be able to play your music on your speakers full blast, and using smaller speakers may be the most practical and sensible thing to do.

Food processer or Silver Bullet

While it’d be great to pretend to be Emeril Lagasse and create the crazy concoctions often advertised on TV, food processers or Silver Bullets are devices that you will probably not be using all that much. College is a busy time, and cooking exhaustive meals really isn’t in the cards. Not to say that those Silver Bullet commercials aren’t tempting. The opportunity to make those two-minute omelettes sounds extremely enticing. So does the fact that you can make pesto with just a few pulses of the bullet. However, it’s just a luxury piece of kitchenware that you will likely only use to crush up ice. A standard $20 blender will do just fine.

Ping pong table

I’ve seen plenty of apartments with a ping pong table and all it really does is take up space. Sure, it’s cool to have a ping pong table for party games, but it often turns out to be an unnecessary, space-hoarding expense. You need more room for such activities.

Party laser lights

I know, when you first pictured your new apartment you were picturing a cool hangout hub so that you can host some weekend get-togethers. However, you’ll realize your apartment will never be the most happening place on campus. Sorry. Your cool, “Avicii-esque” party lights will be demoted to your own personal EDM-pairing gizmo when you’re home alone on a Friday night.


Most buildings on campus have printers you can use for a small charge per page, and in an increasingly digital world where most every assignment is submitted online, the $199 you paid for your printer to print out those six essays might not have been the smartest investment. That’s especially true when you consider the amount of money that you’ll spend on ink and toner throughout the year. When it comes to detailed print-outs, there will be hundreds of better printers on campus for such jobs, deeming your regular Target printer essentially unnecessary.

Funny novelty items

Sure, that mounted rubber fish on the wall that can sing Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or those several Seinfeld joke posters will buy a few laughs when visitors first see them, but they’ll soon turn into space-hogging annoyances once their funny factors are exhausted.

Eliseo is a sophomore in FAA. He can be reached at [email protected]