Ahh, the dorm room — a student’s first taste of independence.
Living away from home is usually one of the first steps to being your own man/woman, and as you might expect, it requires a lot of preparation. Moving out of the house and stepping into a living space where you don’t coexist with people you’ve known your entire life is a big step, so don’t be ashamed to admit that you don’t know where to start.
Freedom is at last yours! Depending on your taste in movies, you could either be preparing for the worst (see: Leighton Meester in The Roommate) or gearing up for moving day because you can’t wait to meet new people (see: almost every college RomCom in existence). Hyperbolic movie expectations aside, you also have to remember that freedom comes with taking on more “adult” responsibilities like getting groceries, paying the bills, and cleaning up after yourself.
The thought may seem daunting at first, but hoarding a bunch of the bare essentials would be a great start. Young STAR compiles a list of the basic things that are guaranteed to keep your sanity in check within your first few months of #dormlyf.
Toiletry kit and medical supplies
Living in a dorm room will most likely mean having to share a communal bathroom, so it’ll be much easier to have all your bath things in one place. You wouldn’t want one of your floormates accidentally using your roll-on deodorant, would you? Stock up on medicine too, especially since it could be a hassle to have to make a trip to a drugstore when you’re already down with the flu. It’s always best to be prepared for any situation, otherwise you might have to end up improvising. (Are we the only ones thinking of Channing Tatum and the nosebleed/tampon situation in She’s The Man?)
In college, you’re bound to spend lots of late nights working on papers and projects. Though the pre-study procrastination session that you spent ogling photos of bacon/pizza combo recipes makes it seem like you’re full, you’re going to need way more sustenance to keep you going through the wee hours of the morning. Few restaurants/cafeterias are open late, so having a couple of ready-to-eat snacks like chips, crackers, and instant noodles will go a long way.
Basic school supplies and appliances
As much as possible, try to have your own paper, pens and other school supplies. No one likes a freeloader. It might be okay to share some of these things once in while, but making it a habit could become a burden. If you have a roommate, it might be good to consider splitting the costs when it comes to big appliances like a printer, refrigerator, microwave or television, especially since you don’t need two of everything in your room anyway.
Lock box, storage boxes and file folders
To keep everything organized and tidy, it won’t hurt to invest in a few storage boxes where you can dump all of your stuff and maintain some kind of order. With this, it also helps to establish a cleaning routine. “Clean as you go” isn’t just a motto for your school’s cafeteria. A lock box might also be a good idea — no matter how much you trust your roommates, they have quick access to your valuables so it’s better to be safe.
Simple, wrinkle-proof clothes
Unless you’re super neat and prefer to iron all of your clothes, it would be way more convenient to bring clothes that don’t easily wrinkle. You’ll also most likely have limited space to store your clothes, so you have to be sure of what you decide to take from home. If you’re picky about being called a — gasp — outfit repeater like Lizzie McGuire, it would help to take simple, solid colored pieces with you so it’ll be easier to mix and match.