With July 4th barely behind us, it seems premature to being thinking about school. But as we careen into August, the start of the school year isn't far off. For many, it will mean heading off to college and living away from home for the first time. Ah yes, college dorms...seems like yesterday. Nostalgic for days when decorating meant posters plastered over a concrete block wall, I decided to create a shopping list of ten dorm room essentials for all you fabulous freshman.
While your laptop and your textbooks will have more impact on your academic success, the following list will make living in that cramped yet sterile dorm room just a wee bit easier:
1. Memo Board - Back in the olden days (i.e.; when I was in college...), we hung these outside our door as a nifty way to communicate. Friends stopping by while you were in class could jot a brief note or a roommate could advise you that while you were studying in the library, you missed a call on the communal hall phone from your boyfriend. This was life before cell phones, people! But even today a mini white board as a dorm room essential. In the age of the text message, there's something quaintly high-touch about this low-tech form of communication. And let's face it: a memo board is gonna run you a lot less than those text messages!
2. Bed-in-a-Bag - Nothing brightens up a generic dorm room faster than a colorful comforter. Invest in a coordinated set and save the hassle of finding matching sheets and shams.
3. Bed rest - Most dorm rooms provide you with a desk and chair, but let's face it--you'll be doing most of your studying sprawled out on your bed. A bed rest gives you the back support you need while you're researching your American Lit paper--or watching episodes of Family Guy on Hulu.
4. Booklight - Speaking of studying, if you're a night owl and your roomie is an early riser then a booklight will help you study in the wee hours while allowing him/her to sleep soundly.
5. Desk Organizer Set - For the times when you do actually use your desk, having a place for everything and everything in its place is a real time saver. Plus when the 'rents come to visit, it'll make you look studious and efficient. (We won't tell them you spend most of your time sprawled out in bed watching episodes of Family Guy!)
6. Alarm Clock - Since Mom will no longer be around to wake you up in time for your 8 am Econ class, you're gonna need something that will. Just make sure the alarm isn't too annoying for your roommate or he/she might retaliate by setting it to go off on that lazy Saturday you had planned to sleep in...
7. Laundry Bag - Something else you'll no longer be able to count on Mom for: laundry. Oh, you can try accumulating all your dirty clothes to take home at the mid-semester break, but chances are you're gonna have to break down and wash them yourself. Either way, you'll need a big, tough laundry bag to lug them to their destination.
8. Shower Tote/Caddy - Another toteable must-have is some kind of basket for all your shower essentials. Most dorms have large communal bathrooms and so you'll need a way to transport your shampoo, conditioner, razor, body wash, etc. from your dorm room to the bathroom.
9. Flip-flops - This handy-dandy slip on in an instant footwear is a must for trekking down the hall to take your morning shower. Heck, you might even want to wear them while you're IN the shower! No need to worry--I'm sure your Room and Board dollars are being well spent. Though you wouldn't know it from the cafeteria food...
10. Microwave - Did someone mention cafeteria food? Yikes! That's as good a reason as any to invest in a mini microwave. Whether it's nuking a frozen dinner or popping some popcorn (to eat while you're watching episodes of Family Guy on Hulu...), a microwave can be a true lifesaver when it comes to dorm life.
And there you have it: ten essential dorm room items! The best thing about this shopping list is that most if not all items can be found at discount retailers like Target or Kohl's--making getting ready for your freshman year that much easier.