As freshmen anxiously anticipate their first move-in day, and upperclassmen begin the countdown to the ultimate reunion with their college friends, once again a new semester and school year is upon us.
So before you begin to pack your life away, what are the dorm essentials for college success?
1) Mattress Topper/Added Bedding/ Pillows
When you first walk into your dorm room, besides the rush of excitement from seeing your new home for the first time, you might be slightly disappointed to see your room comes with only the bare necessities- meaning a bed with an very uncomfortable mattress, a dresser, and a desk. The rest is up to you. So do yourself a favor, and splurge at Bed and Bath for that added mattress topper, or extra foam for your bedding. It makes you much more comfortable for a better night's sleep, and your back will thank you. Plus, who doesn't enjoy buying cute pillows with inspirational quotes from Target? "Yes mom, this pillow that says "Chase your dreams" is necessary for my dorm."
2) Extra Storage Bins/ Cubes/ Clothes Hangers
The key to fitting everything in your dorm room is to condense. Bring a hanging shoe rack to put in your closet so the space under your bed is clear, or buy that storage ottoman to fit extra clothes, and give your friends somewhere to sit. It's all about working with the limited space you have, and by packing things away neatly with extra storage holders, not only will you save more space in your room, you will remember exactly where everything is.
3) Desk Essentials- Lamp, Organizers, Power Surge
Based on a student's studying habits, their ideal studying environment may by the silent floor of the library, the ever-bustling campus quad, the noisy dining hall, or simply their desk. Make sure to bring all desk essentials with you for studying success, like a lamp for late night cram sessions during finals, lots of pens, pencils and erasers, and it's not a bad idea to bring a power surge to plug your lamp, laptop, and straighter in all at once- hey you're busy, you need to multi-task! Also for my freshmen year, I think the best investment I made for myself was to buy a desk calendar. I was able to mark all of my assignments, and activities on the calendar so that I could keep organized, and stay on top of weekly and monthly responsibilities.
4) Bathroom Caddy
If you are one of the rare freshmen who are lucky enough to move into a dorm with it's own bathroom, I applaud you. You truly are one of the the chosen ones. But for the rest of us who have to endure communal bathrooms, your bathroom caddy is your new best friend. Make sure to keep all of your bathroom essentials in your caddy-including but not limited to, your toothpaste, toothbrush, face and bodywash, razors, loofa, and shower shoes. Communal bathrooms truly make you appreciate coming home to a clean and private bathroom.
5) Food/Snacks/ Drinks
Wake-up Call (literally): Breakfast Hours for the dining hall normally end around 11, which is not obscenely early, although for college students, this may as well be 7 a.m. It is safe to assume you won't always make it on time for breakfast, which is why having cereal, granola bars, or fruit in your room is an absolute essential. Not only will this serve as your breakfast on busy mornings, but late night snacking or sharing with friends is a must. Always keep your room packed with snacks and that mini fridge filled with cold drinks, your roommate and friends will thank you.
Happy packing, and best of luck in the school year!