Thursday, August 11, 2011

What you need for your new dorm

This post is for students, primarily incoming college freshmen, who are looking into what they need for their first dorm room. This will not cover apartments in which there is a kitchen area/private bathroom. Most of these lists I looked at when I was a freshman were written by adults, usually posted on some college website that sells everything they list. I'm going to cut the dumb stuff and just make a general list-- if you need something else, trust me, it'll be easily available when you get there.

  • Clothes: Bring some summer/spring stuff, but bring a lot more winter/fall stuff. Pack shoes that you can walk through rivers in, if you have to, because some schools have problems with water draining slow on campus, in which case you will in fact be walking through rivers. If you're a girl, bring a TON of hairbands. You'll need them for the spring and early fall, if at no other time, and they're occasionally a lifesaver. Bring Clothespins, too, for wardrobe malfunctions and minor backpack repairs.
  • A Lamp: Do not buy a lamp with that silly little organizer at the bottom. You won't use that. Buy one that'll stay cool and light a surface. If it's colored, fine, but you're not going to impress anyone with your lamp, this is just a functional item. If it is really cheap, it'll get hot and heat up your room. With two computers running, your room may already be too hot in early fall or early spring, so you really want to minimize heat at all times. 
  • Two Fans: One desk fan and one box fan. Dorms are different everywhere, but most don't have air conditioning. That means they get really hot really fast. Also, if your dorm is in a building in which each room is heated the same amount you'll really want the fans for the winter, as it'll probably get hot then, too.
  • A Mini-Fridge: The biggest is the best, but don't bring a full sized fridge, as you'll get in trouble for it. Don't bother with the expensive ones with all the bells and whistles, but try to get one with a freezer if you can. The freezer does not have to be big.
  • General First Aid: Band aids, Neosporin, hydrogen peroxide, eye drops (if you use them), LOTS of pain relievers, anti histimines that don't make you drowsy, multi vitamins (late nights will kill your immune system), Vitamin C tablets (great for when you get a cold), cough drops (in bulk!), Ice pack (if your fridge has a freezer).
  • Bathroom Stuff: If your dorm requires you to clean your own bathroom, you're going to need windex, toilet bowl scrubber, scrubbing bubbles, a sponge, toilet paper, paper towels (or regular hand towels), soap for your hands, FLIP FLOPS (trust me on this one). You also need all the stuff you would need for a shower at home: A loofah, body soap, shampoo and conditioner, razors, shaving cream (though using it in a tiny shower is rather hard), and anything else you use in the shower at home, including towels.
  • Little stuff: If you're a girl, you'll need your makeup, nail polish, lip gloss, moisturizer, jewelry and hand lotion. For everyone else, you'll need your toothbrush, toothpaste, acne stuff (if you use it), Hair gel (if you use it), Lots of chapstick, A can opener, A rubber thing to open jars, flashlight, extra lightbulbs for your lamp, and anything that can keep you prepared for an everyday situation.
  • Office Supplies: You'll need: one subject spirals. 12 of them to be safe (this should cover two semesters). Pens and pencils, pencil sharpeners if your pencils are wooden, one big extra eraser, lined paper, a lap desk (for when you're in bed sitting up working), a stapler, a three hole punch, scotch tape, duct tape, masking tape (Woof and i use this to put stuff on the walls to avoid pin holes. In most cases, pins are ok.).Markers, colored pencils, or both. At least one posterboard (for projects in which you need one, just watch for a sale). Post-its. A dry erase board for your door (even if you're the only one who uses it). Scissors (two pairs, because they're always breaking). A flathead and phillips screwdriver and a hammer.
  • Microwave: Only if you can have it. Size doesn't really matter, the RAs aren't trained to know the difference between the one that takes less power and the one that takes more. 
  • Food: If you can have a microwave, go for stuff that can be microwaved. If you can't have one, you may have to resort to only having snack foods around. See if you can get in contact with someone at your school who lived in the building you're going to live in and see if there's a community microwave that you'll have access to.
  • Shelves: If you plan on bringing movies, video games, or really anything, you'll want a set of shelves. A popular way to do this is to go out the day you get into your dorm, after you measure the top of your dresser, and get a set that will fit on there. Also, get drawers for underneath your bed. As many sets as you can fit. Trust me.
  • TV: Most colleges have free cable, but even if you want to watch a movie or something, you should have a tv to do it on. Also, some professors ask you to watch something on tv for extra credit, and you should be able to do that.
  • Electronics: Don't forget all your chargers, your DVD player (or game system that can play DVDs), lots of AA and AAA batteries, cords for ALL your stuff, hair straighteners, blow dryers, curling irons, computer keyboards and mice, usb drives, computer, etc.

I know I've missed things, so this is where you come in. Take a notebook around with you for a few days and write down every last item you use during the day. Add what you feel like you need to your list. I can't know everything you need. Hopefully I've brought to mind some things you weren't thinking of before! Enjoy your first year, and let me know what else you added to your list!


No comments:

Post a Comment