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10 Things You Should Bring To College That You Haven't Thought About


Dorm shopping for freshman year is arguably one of the most stressful experiences in the college process (you know, besides the whole application process). There are so many things you need to make a dorm room feel like home, and you can only take so many trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond before you start to go insane. Everyone knows that you need some comfy sheets and storage bins for under your bed, but there are also a million little things that won’t originally come to mind when you’re building your master shopping list. So we’ve put together a list of important items to have in your dorm that you may have originally forgotten about, because let's face it, we all want the transition into college to be as stress free as possible. 

1. A robe and slippers 

It’s so important that you feel comfortable while walking around your dorm, whether that is just in your own room or around the floor in general. Having a robe means that you don’t have to get dressed the second you get out of the shower, and it will definitely be less awkward in case you have some unexpected visitors in your room (it also makes the walk down the hall after a shower much less stressful). Having a cozy pair of slippers to throw on if you need to go down the hallway to the bathroom or another room will also be super convenient. You won’t be tracking dirt and germs into bed with you, and it also allows you to take off your shoes when you get back to the room without having to walk around barefoot or root around for some clean shoes.

2. Batteries

It may seem a little obvious, but chances are you’ll get so caught up in buying the big, important dorm necessities that you’ll forget all about buying everyday items. “I’ve forgotten batteries every semester,” says Kerry Torpey, a junior at Providence College. “And I need them for everything: lights, TV remotes, etc…” Stock up on a jumbo pack of different kinds of batteries so that you’re prepared for whatever need arises. There’s nothing worse than setting up your beautiful new fairy lights just the way you want them and then realizing you need batteries to use them, leaving them useless.

3. Band-Aids

Band-Aids are something you never think about needing until a really crucial moment. Whether you nicked yourself while shaving or tripped and scraped a knee, you’re going to feel so relieved to have some Band-Aids on hand. Sure, you could probably hunt them down from someone else on your hall, but save yourself the embarrassment of bleeding all over the dorm and explaining your injury and stock up with a box or two.  

4. Cleaning supplies

When you’re sharing spaces with other people, it can start to feel real grimy real fast. Dust seems to accumulate at an alarmingly fast rate in a dorm room, and there are bound to be everyday spills and pieces of dirt that wind up everywhere. Invest in some Lysol wipes, a little dustpan and broom, some paper towels and cleaning spray so that you can keep your space clean and give you one less thing to stress about.

5. A portable speaker

Everything is a little less awkward with a killer playlist, and everyone is going to be dying to get access to your portable speaker. Having a little one that you can throw in your back during a chill study session or an impromptu pre-game will make sure you and your friends are always able to keep the mood light and fun. Most people are fine just playing from the speaker on a laptop, but a portable speaker will give you a little better quality and is generally a little less of a hassle than lugging your laptop everywhere.

Related: What To Bring To College: The Best College Packing List EVER 

6. A set of dishes 

Chances are you’re going to be eating some rushed meals in your room, and trying to maneuver your microwaved meal on a paper towel with your hands is no way to live. Invest a set of plastic dishes that includes a bowl, a plate and a cup, as well as a cheap set of metal cutlery. The plate will give you something sturdy to eat off of, the bowl will allow you to measure out snacks from a bigger bag without making a mess, and the cup will come in handy more than you think it will. Metal cutlery is a lot more effective than trying to cut things with plastic knives and forks, and will also allow you to produce a little less waste.

7. A tool kit 

For many people going away to college is the first time they are responsible for fixing all the little things that break and go wrong, and you need to make sure you have the tools to handle whatever goes wrong. “I got a tool kit (like with a hammer, screwdriver, wrench, all that kind of stuff) for a grad present and I was literally the most popular person on my floor because everyone had to borrow it all the time!” says Hannah, a junior at the University of Michigan. You never know when the random need for a screwdriver will pop up (it’s more often than you think), and like Hannah said, lots of people will likely come to you knowing you have one to lend out.

8. A printer

Most colleges offer some kind of printing service in their library or throughout campus. Whether you pay per page or pay a flat rate for unlimited printing, there’s nothing worse than finishing a paper late at night in your room and realizing you’ll have to wake up fifteen minutes earlier to go print it out. Simply put, having a printer in your room is just really convenient. It saves you an extra step when you’re trying to complete a worksheet or fill out a form, and if you prefer to do your homework in your room or in the local coffee shop it will save you a bonus trip to the library.

9. Nail polish and remover

This is one I personally found myself wishing for all year, even though I managed to forget it every time I went home. Painting your nails is a really simple self-care action that doesn’t take very long and can leave you feeling like a new person. Like a tool kit, if girls on your floor know that you have an abundance of nail polish and remover some of them are bound to trickle in and ask to borrow it. There’s not much you can do if you don’t have nail polish remover, so it’s a great emergency item to have tucked away for when you need it.

10. Duct tape 

Duct tape is useful for literally everything. You can use it to tape down long extension cords, hold together a backpack that is falling apart, even to tape in your boobs in order to maneuver a tricky shirt. It’s also super useful when it comes time to pack up your things for breaks or at the end of the year. It’s not something you’ll use often, but when you need it you’ll be so grateful it’s there.

Of course, there are hundreds of different items you may decide you want for your dorm. Talk to your friends and see what they are bringing; they may have some great ideas about unique items that you never thought about. If you start to get overwhelmed, make a list of all the things you’ve used or looked for in the past couple of days. Don’t just think of the everyday necessities but also the things you pull out once a week or once a month. And most of all, remember that Amazon Prime pretty much ships everything and they have a student discount. Happy shopping!

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