Living on Campus: Top Ten Items to Bring to College

Is this your Freshman year as a college student and you’re not sure what to bring to live there? Below are the staple items I found most enjoyable and helpful during my years in college.

1) A small refridgerator. Usually one will fit nicely in even the smaller dorm rooms and always provide you will the availability of refreshments, and food storage. This is especially perfect to keep yourself going during those late nights so many college students spend up studying the night before a big test. You also won’t have to rely soley on the community water fountain or vending machine down the hall.

2) A microwave. Restricting yourself to eating only during cafeteria hours is impossible. You need a way to heat up and make quick simple meals in your room. The most popular in-dorm made meals are easy-mac and ramen noodles, so stock up on plenty of those. They require only that you add water, they stay good for a long period of time on a shelf in your room, and don’t take up extra space in the fridge. By the time you graduate you may find yourself hating those two dinner items! Other things you may use your microwave for is oatmeal or soup. Make sure you always have some food accesible to you in your room at all times. It will just make your life easier.

3) Bedding set and pillows. You’ll need to bring your own set of sheets and quilt. Colleges automatically provide you with a mattress, but they are not fully made. It’s better to use your own bedding anyway because it may help you not feel as homesick the first few weeks. You have something familiar close to you as you try to sleep in an unfamiliar room for the first time, particularly if this is the first time you have ever been away from home for a long period of time. When you choose your sheets, call up the school first and ask what size the mattresses are. There are some colleges that carry extra long twin mattresses and bed sheets need to be specially made for those. This odd length would be indicated on the set when you buy it, and will probably say it is specific for college.

4) Computer – I would say this comes very close to being a very necesary item. Yes, you can use the computers on campus, however, the library isn’t open all hours of the night. You would need to be very self-disciplined to make sure you schedule yoru time such that you get to use the computer and hand in your assignments on time. Academically, computers offer the convenience of being able to do homework and research from your dorm room. Socially, it gives you a way to communicate with freinds from high school and even in the college through instant messanger or email. Email is also often used for contacting your professor if you need to. *If you’re thinking of bringing a computer, find out if the room offers a place to put it. Not every room has a desk. You may also need to bring a desk.

5) Printer – Again, this isn’t a completely necesary item, but it is very nice to have. Instead of waiting to use the printer at the library, you can prepare and print out your papers right from your room. Most colleges will have you writing a lot of papers. Writing papers is practically the essense of college academics, so expect that. Of course it does depend on the subject and your professor. If you’re a senior, having your own printer can assist you in preparing your resume and career portfolio before you head out into the professional work force for the first time. The computers and printers are worth your while to save up for if you don’t have the money right away, but do the research first before you buy. Make sure you get what your needs met and buy a quality piece of technology.

6) Area Rug – Your floor is probably going to be tile of some sort. They are usually hard and cold. Make sure to get a nice area rug to fit the size of your dorm so you have a nice comfortable place to walk around in barefoot. Take measuresments of the space before you go out looking. No one wants to be wearing their shoes constantly in their own living space. I would suggest to stay away from the plush rugs since dust collects deeper and they can be harder to keep clean.

7) Storage Units – There are a lot of different types of storage you can use for your dorm. Many stores sell long underbed storage containers, crates, collapsable cubes…etc. Look around and see what’s available. Everyone feels more comfortable with different ways to organize their things. Figure out what you think will work best for you and go from there. You most likely will need the extra storage space, unless you just keep piles of everything all over the floor.

8) TV / DVD Player / Playstation – You’ll definitely need to bring your own electronics in order to entertain yourself when you have nothing better to do, which hopefully isn’t that often. Most colleges do have basic cable hook ups you can plug your tv into. Most students tend to put their tv’s and other devices right on top of the dressers they are provided.

9) Window fan – During the spring and beginning of fall you may experience some hot days. Keep cool with a fan. You may have to unplug the microwave for it depending on how many outlets are available, but that’s not a big deal. I’m sure you’d rather deal with switching plugs then be sweltering.

10) Wall Art / Posters / Decoration – The cinderblock walls of the dorm rooms definitely needs some livening up. Make your room feel more like home with your own personal touch. Put up some light posters and wall art with adhesives meant specifically for walls. Display your favorite figurines, and give the room your sense of style. One of the more popular ways to do this is by doing door decoration. You’ll see tons of students with dry erase boards on the outside of their door where freinds can leave notes, as well as pictures and other decorative items veiwable to passersby.

Other needs you will have are: An alarm clock, utensils, cups, dishes, hygeine products (just like when you go stay anywhere overnight), flip flops for the showers, towels, a laundry basket, minor first aid kit, and the normal back to school supplies you bought every year before, only now you have to buy your books too. If you will be having a roomate, get together with him or her before school starts and discuss who is bringing what in regards to the larger more expensive items. You may be able to cut your expense list by sharing the cost. Hopefully you and your roomate will be able to cooperate well with eachother and get along great!

For additional ideas and information check out the links provided. You will be able to compare prices of these three companies and get more in depth information about what’s available to the college student.

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