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Back to School 101: Readiness, school shopping and dorm finds

You may have done your back-to-school shopping or may still be looking for products yet. Here are some tips from University of Alabama at Birmingham experts to help to get your kids': head-ready, up-to-speed, and interested in returning to school and gearing up.

Back to School 101: Taylor products-slide0

Review your budget:
Before the first day of classes even starts there are often several purchases to be made, from school supplies to new clothes and accessories. UAB Collat School of Business instructor Elizabeth Turnbull, MBA, suggests the following to help avoid breaking the bank:

• Use promotional products like pens and stationery and art supplies that are already lying around the house.
• Buy in bulk with other families and split the cost; if you have several kids, keep a school supply basket or closet to save bulk items.
• Involve the kids in purchasing attire and other needs; teach them budgeting now to set them up for an understanding of personal finances.

Emphasis on rest
Breaking bad summer-sleep habits like late nights and too few hours of slumber should happen ahead of the first day of school because a good night’s sleep improves overall performance, says Kristin Avis, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, adding:

• Kids should get nine hours of sleep nightly.
• Bedtime and rise time should be consistent seven days a week.
• Avoid sleeping in on the weekend; it can cause struggle when trying to get back on a sleep schedule come Monday.
This applies to children readying for college as well.

And speaking of college-aged students, here are two really cool products from Taylor for dorm rooms that will help your child in a couple different ways. Everyone has their basic list of necessities for heading off to college, but don’t forget the smaller items that will add the finishing touch to any dorm room or apartment. College is costly as is, but no need to worry about breaking the bank with these must-haves -- all under $25!

Taylor Glass Mini Bath Scale
Lifestyle Examiner received one of these to test out and think it’s the bomb. It is very deceptive as it is super compact making it great for small spaces and it should be a hit in dorm rooms as freshmen are wont to put on the “Freshmen 15”.

Features we like:

  • A large popup readout
  • Light enough to fit in a gym bag, backpack or shoulder bag
  • White or black, sleek and easy to keep clean
  • Has a 330 lb capacity
  • Store in a drawer or under the bed (It’s good-looking enough to keep out.)
  • Runs on a lithium battery

Retails for: about $19.99 at stores such as Target

Taylor Mini Digital Timer
What a little cutie this is but don’t discount its accuracy or ability to time things.
This would be great in dorm room to help students stay on track; to set an amount of time to study, to remind them of an event, to time themselves at track conditioning or any number of school-ready ideas.


  • Easy to set with both minutes and seconds
  • Up to 99 minutes and 59 second timing
  • Fits into a pocket
  • Comes in red, yellow and silver

Available at Gourmet stores for about $5.99
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About UAB
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama’s largest employer.. Learn more at


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