The summer is a time for new high school graduates to gear-up and prepare for college. College can be a very scary place; especially if one is not properly prepared. So how exactly do you ward some of the college jitters? Well, reading this article is a giant first step. All you need now is to get organized. That’s right; you have to plan for your college debut!
Make a checklist. Tear off a sheet of yellow legal pad, paper and create a list of everything that you will need/want in your dorm room. Several readers are now considering, “How am I supposed to know what I need/want in my dorm?” Begin with prioritizing your life. Make six boxes or sections on your paper- doing this will help to organize your thoughts and compartmentalize your needs and wants.
The first thing any first time college student should ask themselves is: what can I NOT live without? I do not mean air and water; rather, these things are your wants, but the wants that make your life easier. This could be a laptop, a personal desk fan, a clipboard or even a specific teddy bear- yes college students still love and have teddy bears! You should think of about three to five things. It is easier if you consider 3 to 5 things that you use daily. These three or five things- though the list could be longer- will go into a section called, What I Must Have. (Not very creative, I know!)
The next section on your list is School Supplies. Every student needs a few supplies to make studying easier. On this list, I would definitely include the following:
1. Loose leap paper- college ruled
2. 2 or 3 binders
3. 5 subject notebooks- preferably those with perforations
4. Binder clips
5. Note cards
7. Stapler/ staples/ staple remover
8. Hole punch
9. Pens and pencils with extra erasers
10. White- out
12. Day planner
13. High- lighter
14. Post- it notes and flags
All of the above items are essential for note- taking, completing assignments and studying. You will need to replenish your school supplies before the end of your first year. However, these things will get you started in the right direction.
The next section of your list is Shower, Laundry and Linens’ Necessities. With many dorm rooms, there are communal showers. Thus, you will need some shower shoes. These can be flip flops, or actual shower shoes which may be purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Likewise, you will need towels- wash cloths, bath sheets and hand towels for the hair. If you go to Wal- Mart in mid- July, they generally begin selling the packs of towels for $15 dollars. To further this section, you will also need a mattress cover, bed- in- a- bag or sheets and comforters, pillows and covers, clothing hamper and laundry necessities like: detergent, fabric softener and bleach; as well as, shower caps, shower gel/ soap, shampoo and conditioner. Some additional toiletries that may be useful include: lotion, deodorant, razors, toothpaste & tooth brush, hair and nail supplies.
Next on your list of dorm room essentials is Food and Miscellaneous Supplies. Several schools have restrictions on the kinds of electronics that are allowed. However, almost all schools will allow a mini- refrigerator. These compact marvels are great for keeping cold drinks and small snacks, handy. Believe me; you will want a snack for late night study sessions! I highly recommend the Frigidaire Lock and Safe model. This mini- fridge comes with a self- locking mechanism, to keep grimy hands off of your goodies. This fridge model can be purchased at Lowe’s, Home Depot or Target for about $75 dollars.
Depending on the type of regulations your dorm room is under, you may be able to have a small microwave as well. I would not recommend having a hotplate, as they are dangerous and can cause serious accidents with fatal endings. Microwaves, on the other hand, can heat and reheat food, as needed, and will not cause the same amounts of damage, as a hot plate. Lastly, you will want to pack as many snacks as you possibly can. Think about buying, small, 8 oz, bottles of water, one or two 2- Liters, lunchables, sandwich meat and bread, are great for mini- fridge, late night snacks that will not break your budget.
Now that you are stocked- up, where will you put all of these items? Stay tuned for the next installation of Dorm Room Essentials: What Every New College Student Needs, Part 2. It too will jam packed with crucial tips and advice!