You’re itching for it all—packing everything into your parents car, the drive through campus, and the first steps into your very own dorm room. Well, you probably have a roommate or two. High school was a blast, but you’re ready for the next chapter of your life. It was only three years ago, now, that I was in your shoes. That first day comes a lot faster than you’d think, so even though you should absolutely enjoy your last summer before college, try your very best to be prepared. To help you figure out the ten most essential things to have for your new dorm room home, I’ve listed ten things I found to be most important for me!
10 Must-Haves for Dorm Living
So, this may be provided by your school or something you can buy from the university. Otherwise, they’re fairly inexpensive online. I list this here, because for me, the cafeteria was a big hike away. If you have 8 am classes (and you’re not a morning person) the mini-fridge will be your safe haven for easy, on the go breakfast foods. I always had cereal and milk while getting ready in the comfort of my own room. Having the mini-fridge also makes it much easier to eat healthy. The cafeteria will have salad, but I have no doubt that it will also have pizza, hot dogs, ice cream—all that nasty, good stuff that will ruin any diet you’re on. Click here to see an example of the one I used for my dorm room!
2.COFFEE MACHINE — KEURIG IS THE EASIEST!
This coincides with the mini-fridge, in my opinion. There are some that you can buy for under $20. My roommate had brought a Keurig for our first dorm room. Personally, I found the Keurig to be the easiest method for my daily caffeine fix. The Keurig, though, doesn’t allow for a whole pot to be made. So, if you’re trying to save a dime and know you’ll drink a whole pot during midterms and finals, get a cheap, traditional coffee maker!
3.BATHROOM CADDY, SHOWER FLOPS AND A BATH ROBE
Unless you have a private bathroom, these three are paramount for dorm living. Leave everything that you’d use in the shower and bathroom in the caddy. Don’t buy expensive or nice flip flops, as you’ll need these for your feet. I remember how poorly people treated the bathrooms in my university, so you’d better take care of your feet! My floor was co-ed, so I found it was much more comfortable to walk back to my room in a bath robe as opposed to a standard towel.
4.COLLEGE BED ESSENTIALS
Stepping into your dorm room for the first time is definitely exciting, but that first night’s sleep won’t be. The mattress will be lumpy and bumpy in all the wrong places. Two college bed essentials that I could not have survived without were my mattress topper (otherwise known as an egg crate) and my backrest pillow. The mattress topper will even out all those bumps, making it much easier to get a good night’s rest. When you have friends over, or want to study in bed that backrest pillow will come in handy.
You wake up and look out your window. Expecting a sun rising in the distance, but you are greeted with torrential downpour instead. Your class is on the other side of campus… This was my experience with living in a dorm. Classes couldn’t be cancelled just because I didn’t want to get wet. Rain gear became my best friend. Make sure to have a hat, a rain jacket, umbrella, and some rain boots. You won’t regret it!
Treat your room like a blank canvas. The walls are bare as could be, so without your decorating skills, they’ll be quite the drag. You don’t need much! I had a corkboard that I tacked pictures to and two small tapestries. These three things brought my room together, but find decorations that fit your style. Music posters, crazy artwork, knick-knacks and more can make your dorm room feel more like home.
Every dorm comes pretty standard. You have your bed, desk and desk chair; and of course a closet or dresser. My roommate and I had an open door policy during the day, so that anyone could stop in to say hello or to hang out with us. She and I quickly realized, we need more seating with all these new friends coming in. Whether it be a bean-bag chair or a folding lounge chair, having another place for friends to sit will create a better ambiance in your dorm room.
Not everyone is going to have the same schedule as you. I had Friday classes, but they were rare at my school and so, the majority of people were running the halls partying on Thursday nights. To focus on my homework, noise-cancelling headphones helped tremendously. They not only blocked out people in the building, but blocked out the TV my roommate would watch every night. I highly recommend packing those if you can, as you will find that you’ll want them.
Your mom, unfortunately, cannot clean up after you in college. If you leave the room go, dust will collect in corners, your sheets and clothes will need changing, (it might even start to smell). Get a Swiffer duster to help with the floors. Definitely don’t forget the Febreze and laundry detergent. No one likes living in filth!
10.A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND AN OPEN MIND
Truly, the most important things to have for dorm living are a positive attitude and an open mind. Life is not always going to go exactly as you plan, but positivity gets you far. Sometimes, life even gets a bit weird. Don’t approach new experiences with expectations, but rather leave your mind open to be changed. My roommate and I didn’t always get along or agree, however, our open mindedness allowed us to compromise. College is what you make it and if you are negative, your experience will be negative!
Have a great year at college!
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