Moving away to college can be scary. You’re in an unfamiliar place, you might have a weird roommate, and you have to buy so many things. Living in a dorm means you have to start from scratch — there’s almost nothing in those rooms. You’re only provided a bed and maybe a desk or dresser. That’s not homey at all.
Making your dorm, your own space takes some shopping. Transforming a dorm into a comfortable, livable atmosphere means providing yourself with everything you need.
However, the best way to organize your thoughts is by making a checklist. Write down all the things you’ll need to make dorm life comfy. Having a list means you’re less likely to forget what you need and can avoid those inconvenient, last-minute shopping trips.
You might be thinking your list is already complete. You’ve got everything from bedding to ramen to a microwave. However, students who have experience living in the dorms know that’s not all you’ll need in the long run. Here are some items you might not think of but you’ll more than likely need while at college.
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1. Birth Control
Ensuring you are prepared for college life is crucial for student success. College life is fast-paced and full of change. Being sexually active and having periods are unpredictable things that can make life complicated. For some, birth control can provide peace of mind and certainty. Besides, it not only prevents pregnancy, but it also regulates your hormones and menstrual cycle.
If you don’t have time to visit your doctor, you can connect with a provider online. This allows you to obtain safe care without needing to leave campus. Taking birth control regularly means there’s no more trying to calculate when you can wear those cute, white shorts.
2. Microwave-Safe Containers
Enjoying a snack in the comfort of your own room is an activity enjoyed by most college students. There’s a reason why microwaves are so popular and on everyone’s college must-haves list. However, how can you expect to utilize the appliance if you have nothing to put your food in?
Not only are microwave-safe containers important for reheating purposes, but they’re also great for storing perishable snacks or leftovers. Some colleges put their to-go meals from the dining halls in styrofoam boxes, which are not safe for microwave use. Make your life easier by grabbing some bowls or storage containers that can be used in the microwave.
3. Wall-Safe Mounting Strips
Most people grab wall hooks for their dorms. They’re an easy way to organize your keys, purses, hats, or other hang-able objects. But, you might come into the problem that not everything can be mounted to a wall by a hook. Picture frames, dry erase boards, and the like usually require nails or screws, which are not allowed in dorms. Mounting strips are the answer.
Similar to wall-safe hooks, mounting strips leave no residue yet hold strong. You won’t have to worry about that picture falling off the wall. Some options come in a velcro-like format for easy hanging. Some varieties even have clear strips to limit visibility.
4. Drawer Organizers
One of the best ways to utilize your limited dorm space is by getting some drawer organizers. These are usually plastic or acrylic, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. You won’t need to worry about finding the right size for any drawer or ruining your aesthetic.
These insertable organizers have divided spaces, so you can keep your drawers less cluttered. There’s nothing more aggravating than trying to look through a drawer that’s just a big pile of stuff. If you’ve chosen to take a dreaded 8:00 a.m. class, you must make your mornings as smooth as possible. Organizers can make your life easier because you can see all your options.
5. Flip Flops / Shower Shoes
Many colleges have communal bathrooms where everyone from one hall uses the same facilities. Let’s face it, sharing a bathroom can be gross. If you’ve ever had siblings, you’ll know that to be true. Not to mention, you’ll be sharing it with someone you probably don’t know, which means you’ll be exposed to new germs.
One way to prevent bacterial infections and foot fungus is to wear shower shoes. These could be a designated pair of flip-flops. Once you choose a pair, don’t wear them outside; you don’t want to add more junk to the shower. Flip flops make washing your feet easy, too. You can slip one foot out at a time to scrub it.
6. Air Freshener
It’s no secret that every place and every person comes with a unique smell. Within such a small area, you notice smells more in a dorm than in a typical open room. Whether good or bad, sometimes it’s nice to have a comforting scent to liven up a dorm room.
Candles generally aren’t allowed in dorms, so getting a non-burning air freshener is key. The most popular are sprays and gel cones. A spray is easy to use at any moment, but the scent might not last long. Gel cones are easy to keep out of sight and keep releasing scent constantly. These types are relatively cheap, too.
Preparation is Key
Moving anywhere can bring stress. The packing, trying not to forget anything, and buying new supplies can feel like a lot at once. Fortunately, you can take steps to make your moving day seem less crazy. Remember to use your checklist, and add items as they come to mind. Ask friends and family for more suggestions if you run out of ideas. All in all, thinking ahead will get you far. And, don’t forget the above-mentioned items.