Going out on your own is never easy, whether it be as a freshman in your first dorm, or leaving your folks’ home for your first apartment. There are a number of consumer goods out there to make your life a bit easier.

We are supposed to spend eight hours a day getting sleep in order to be at our healthiest. IKEA specializes in beds that are designed for close quarters. Some of their models have drawers under the mattress so that you can store clothing and other items.

The hardest adjustment for a lot of young (and not so young!) folks is finding ways of keeping your habitat clean. Dyson and Bissell both make durable vacuum cleaners that you don’t have to be an MIT grad in order to be able to remove debris. Both Ecos and Ecover make chemical-free cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom as well as “green” laundry detergents. Speaking of detergents, Tide-To-Go, is a pen-like dispenser that allows you to instantly treat stains while still wearing your clothes.

Black & Decker now manufactures the George Foreman Indoor Grill that claims to eliminate at least forty per cent of the fat in hamburgers. Hamilton Beach also makes a low price point indoor grill as well.

If you are tight on time and still want to eat healthy, Kettle Cuisine’s Three Bean and Roasted Vegetable Soup, are quite satisfying. If you want to try lighter, more esoteric soups, Pacific Natural Foods makes pho, a Vietnamese broth that comes in vegetarian, beef and chicken stock.

These days everyone is on a tight budget so going out to eat anywhere has become a luxury, particularly for college students. McDonald’s, to its immense credit, has a line of satisfying salads. Starbucks has fresh sandwiches and very healthy hot oatmeal. Even Dunkin’ Donuts offers a tuna salad or chicken salad on a bagel for less than three bucks.

By the way, just because you are away from your parents doesn’t mean that you can neglect your dental needs. Fortunately Sonicare’s Air Floss is an easy way to clean and massage your gums.

Getting around campus or off of it is not easy without a car but having a Schwinn or Cannondale bicycle generally gets the job done as long as the weather is not too wet or cold and you get some exercise in the process.

The cost of laptop computers has dropped dramatically over the last couple of years. Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo and Acer all make durable computers that come loaded with popular software for under $600. H-P also makes several lines of ergonomically correct keyboards for under $50. Apple’s iPad has quickly become the biggest-selling device in portable computing but both Samsung and Motorola have launched their own tablet devices that are less expensive than the Apple version.

The Ipad’s smaller sibling, the iPhone, has become one of the most popular cellular devices. The problem is that it is easy to drop and very costly to replace. I highly recommend covering your iPhone with Ribbz, a rubbery protective case that fits snugly over your phone.

Guys, listen up. It’s easy to get into a jeans and t-shirt rut. Armani Exchange, Akoo, Eddie Bauer, American Eagle Outfitters, Stetson and Lands End all make great looking shirts, pants and jackets that are ideal for both socializing, business meetings and job interviews. Auri Footwear makes fashionable soft leather shoes that feel sneakers.

Yes, study and work are important to success, but so is exercise. Spira’s Stinger XLT is an incredibly light running shoe that makes it easier to go long distances. K-Swiss’s Tubes line of athletic shoes, with their wave-like soles, are fine for pickup basketball games.

Now go out and get “A’s” if you are a student or that promotion if you are now in the “real world.”