Tips for Living in College Dorms

For many young students, moving into a dorm is their first taste of real “freedom.” Suddenly on their own, and with no parents or siblings in sight, dormers must learn to look after themselves. For many, it’s a rite of passage and part of growing up, but with newfound freedom come new responsibilities. Starting off on the right foot means showing up to school prepared. You’ll probably need some things you haven’t thought about, and your living space won’t be very big since you’ll share it with a roommate, so it’s important to narrow your belongings to the most important items before you arrive.

Use the following checklist as a point of reference!

Alarm Clock — Punctuality is important in college. You’ll have classes, discussion sections, and appointments. Don’t rely on your phone to wake you up. Bring along a real-deal, old-school alarm clock to be sure.

A Laptop Computer — Most professors assume you have your own computer. Many assignments, and some tests, are completed online. It’s best to have a laptop so you can take it with you to class.

Power Strips, Adapters and Extension Cords — You never know exactly how many gadgets you’re going to have around. Between you and your roommates, you may have quite a few. These supplies will keep you safe.

Appliances — Find out what appliances you’re allowed to have—like microwaves, TVs, and mini-fridges—and coordinate with your roommates so you don’t end up fighting over whose is better.

Desk Lamp — Your roomie may go to bed at 8:00, while you’d rather study into all hours of the night. Respect each other and use your own little lamp while your roommate counts sheep.

Hand Sanitizer — Germs are rampant everywhere, especially in dorm bathrooms, hallways, libraries, and your own living space. One of those little bottles in your school bag will do the trick.

Bed Linens — Obviously you need sheets, pillowcases, and a comforter. Bring along more than one of each, since most college students don’t tend to do laundry every weekend.

Towels & Shower Tote — Bring your own washcloths, towels, and a bathrobe. You’ll also want a shower tote to take your toiletries back and forth from the bathroom. Juggling odds and ends will get old, fast.

Shower shoes — It’s the classic mistake, new students show up to school without plastic shoes or flip-flops for the shower. Don’t take the risk. You never know what grows on your neighbors’ feet.

Laundry Basket or Hamper — Maybe at home you can get away with wrapping your laundry in a shirt or lugging it in garbage bags, but once you are living in a small dorm, hampers keep the room tidy.

Photo Albums — Yeah, sure, you can always look at Facebook but sometimes it’s nice to have a few real framed pictures when you’re feeling lonely and missing everyone back home.

Snacks — Dorms have dining halls and food plans that often include late-night options. But sometimes you’ll want some granola bars or other small things that are easy to keep around in large quantities and accessible 24/7.

Important documents — Obviously, you need an ID card or driver’s license with you at school. But you may want your passport too, just in case you need it when signing up for trips and activities.

Refer to the New Futuro College Section for more tips and advice!

Photo by technicolor76

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