Can you believe it is already the beginning of August? Where did summer go? In a week or so we will be heading to campus, many students for their first time. Before you head off, you need to finish all of your shopping. Shopping for college can be overwhelming. Every store has a list of hundreds of things they say you will need. But what are the essentials? What items should be on the top of your shopping list? Other than the must haves, here are some of my top picks that you can’t live without.
You Need a Lounge Chair
You will be spending a lot of time in your dorm room. It is not only your place to sleep, but also to hang out. Keeping your door open allows you to meet people in your hall. Having a lounge chair in your room allows more people to hang out in your room. You can have movie nights and get ready easier with a lounge chair. It just provides a little extra seating to make your room feel a little nicer.
Invest in a Mattress Topper
Your bed is probably the most important thing in your dorm room, so you want to make sure that it is as comfortable as possible. Investing in a mattress topper will make your old, hard, university-provided mattress much more pleasant for sleeping. Add some soft sheets on top and you will sleep easy at night.
3M Command Hooks are Everything
Check your dorms policy about command hooks. If they allow them, use them. These things will keep your room more organized. You can place them all over the place and hang things up like your purse, backpack and even your jacket. You can even get different sizes to hold different things. If your dorm does not allow them, try to find other ways to stay organized. Adding storage containers in your closet also can keep your room more organized throughout the year.
A Drying Rack is a Good Idea
College may be the first time that you have to do laundry by yourself. Be sure to check the label of your clothes before you wash them. Some clothes should not be dried because they will shrink. (Trust me, I know from experience.) Instead, bring a drying rack. Use one that folds up, and store it when you are done. A drying rack will keep your clothes looking nice.
Light-blocking Blinds Will Protect Your Sleep
If you have a window in your room, bring light-blocking blinds. These things will keep the light out of your room and make it easier to sleep once the sun comes up. They also keep the hot sun out of your dorm. And do not forget a rod to hang the blinds. Dorms are not equipped with these, and they really help the whole blind process.
Don’t Forget Water Bottles
Bringing a couple water bottles will make your life so much easier. Walking everywhere to class, especially in August, is hot and it is nice to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Plus there are bubblers, (sorry, I’m from Milwaukee, Wis.) I mean, drinking fountains all around campus. Having a water bottle will save you money because you will not have to buy plastic ones, and it is better for the environment. If you do not like how the water tastes from the fountain, invest in a water filter. Keep it filled in your dorm and fill up your bottle before you leave. Or you can even invest in a water bottle with a built-in filter.
And Coffee Mugs, Too
Having coffee mugs also is important. If you are lucky and have a coffee maker, they are a lifesaver. Even if you do not, you can use your mugs in other ways. You can always use a microwave and make some tea on the way to class in the winter. Plus, if you get sick tea is a great way to sooth your throat. And you also can take it with you on your trip to Starbucks. A well hidden secret, you get $0.10 cents off your order at Starbucks if you bring your own mug.
Of Course Pictures and Wall Decorations
Bring as many pictures and wall decorations as you can. The key to having a great dorm is making it feel very comfortable. Put pictures up of all of your friends back home and even leave some room for the new ones you are going to make. The more personal you make your dorm room, the more you will enjoy spending time in it. Wall stickers are a great invention, too. They just add a little something to your room.
This by no means is all the stuff that you need for college. You will still need to buy your bedspread, sheets, hampers ... and much more. These are just some essentials that can sometimes be overlooked on the shopping list but are very important. Shopping for your dorm should be fun. Just make sure you buy things to make it your own. It may be a small space, but just adding a few things will really make it a wonderful place to live.
By: Abby Kass