Now that I am going into my senior year at Fairfield U (eeeew how did that happen?!?) I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what is needed in order to be comfortable and settled in your dorm. I decided to make a little list of the items that I deem essential to have in college. I know that some of you have already headed off to school but for those still awaiting move in day check your lists and make sure these items are on them!
1. Body Pillow/Extra pillows
At most universities the beds are pushed up against the cold cinderblock walls. Just trust me on this one, a body pillow will become your best friend. It can be put up against the the wall, or my favorite use is wrapping it in a sort of donut shape and leaning against it on my bed while I study or write papers. Having extra pillows in general just makes the space feel so much more cozy and can even function as extra seating for people who come over to visit.
2. Shower Caddy
At most universities, freshman have to share communal bathrooms. While I really didnt mind it (it was sort of a social place haha) you couldn’t leave your stuff in the shower like most people do at home. The caddy kept everything organized and in one place. I personally liked the hard plastic bin caddies because they had little holes in the bottom in case they ever got wet and they are super easy to clean and hold so much stuff (This is what I have and I LOVE it. It is from Bed Bath and Beyond and is super reasonable) These mesh options from PB teen are so cute and very functional and I know several people that swear by them. Even though I am going to be a senior this year I still am going to use my caddy. It just keeps everything organized and in one place and keeps the shower clean without having 8 different bottles for me and each of my roommates 😉
3. Lap board
Now, this may sound weird and I am not proud to admit this but I am the type of person who tends to work the best while they are sitting on their bed. I am not a library person by any means. While I will occasional sit at my desk, my bed is my go-to study zone (sounds weird I know). To make this easier and more comfortable I would highly suggest a lap board for writing and typing. It can even be used for eating on your bed (hey, in a closet sized dorm room it is bound to happen at some point 😉 ) I probably use my lap board almost every single day. Definitely a must and comes in soo handy.
Options: here // here // here // here
4. Night stand
While this isn’t necessarily a necessity I found that it was nice to have. I didn’t have one freshman year, but did sophomore year and couldn’t fathom how I didn’t have one the year before. It is nice to put your phone onto at night and also to put pens or a cup of tea on while you are working. Plus they double as storage (A win win in my book!) They can be found at places like Target or Walmart for really cheap. ( I have this one in white but it comes in so many different color options and is only $20! You can’t beat it!)
5. Power strip/extension cords
If your dorm rooms were anything like mine, there are very limited power outlets that are in the most bizarre places in the room (like under the bed and behind the furniture) that are next to impossible to reach without an extension cord. Also it is great to have a power strip so you can add more plugs to the already limited power outlets.
(I have this one and it fits so many plugs!)
6. Command hooks/putty
Like I said before most dorms are cinderblock walls and cannot be drilled into. For that reason command hooks and putty will become your best friend. I wanted to feel at home in my room so hanging photos and prints was important to me and therefore command hooks and putty were a lifesaver! Just be sure to pick frames that aren’t too heavy so that the command hooks can hold them!
(Target has a great selection)
7. White noise machine/Sound machine
Living in a dorm may definitely come with some annoyances, especially those relating to noise. There will be times you will be trying to nap or even study and your next door neighbor decides to have a jam sesh at that exact moment. Trust me, I have been there. There is nothing worse than having a nap interrupted. To combat that I have enlisted my trusty white noise machine and I have never looked back. Guys, this thing is life changing. I brought it freshman year and my roommate (hey Jillian!) looked at me like I was crazy, but months later she actually admitted that she now finds it weird sleeping without it. I can’t imagine life without my white noise machine haha
At Fairfield, the University provides mini fridges and microwaves with each room, but if they weren’t provided I would say that those items would also be necessities!
I hope this helps those of you heading into college. Is there anything else I should add that I missed?!