As college students prepare for their Freshman year and move into their dorms, here is a list of must-haves and tips for a successful transition:
- Whenever possible, order textbooks online (often cheaper than the bookstore) and don’t buy the book until you attend the first class; make sure the book is the correct edition and the same title on the syllabus.
- Box or standing fans to keep air circulating in your dorm; this is especially important for aging dormitories where central A/C may not be an option. Many dorm rooms do not have windows that open.
- A first aid kit and a small toolbox with the essentials.
- Enjoy meeting new people and having new experiences, but always keep an eye on your drink and never accept a beverage from someone.
- Ear plugs. You never know how thin the walls are in the dormitories, or how loudly your roommate might snore.
- A power strip. There are never enough outlets in dorm rooms.
- A coffee machine. You can do so much more than make coffee: cook ramen, boil eggs, rice packets, etc.
- Mattress topper. Some dorm beds are not all that comfortable and a mattress topper can make a world of difference for a quality sleep experience.
- Mounting putty to hang things on the walls without damaging the paint.
- Mini fridge and microwave if the dorm isn’t already furnished with them.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Always try to coordinate with your roommate/s so that you don’t double or triple up on items. Be sure to introduce yourself to your RA and find out what resources are available in your dorm (vacuums for cleanups, computer labs for printing, etc.). Dorm rooms are often smaller than you think and space is at a premium. Less is more when it comes to decorating and furnishing your new space. It’s tempting to buy too much, so just get the essentials and you can always fill your needs as they come.
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