One the most exciting elements of going to college can be living on-campus in a dorm room. For most teenagers college is the first time to get away from their families and be independent. Making the most out of living on-campus involves accepting your dorm room as your home for the academic year. Now there are plenty of articles out there on how to decorate your dorm room in order to make it feel more homely but there is more to know about dorm rooms if you want to make college feel like home.
Usually you will want to start your dorm room shopping by the middle of the summer. If you are entering your first year of college, your college should send you information about your roommate. Before doing any shopping contact your roommate and discuss what each of you plan to contribute to your dorm room. Dorm rooms are relatively small so there is no need for both of you to bring the same items. The last thing you want is a crowded dorm room. This will make living on-campus not so fun.
Once you have communicated with your college roommate you are ready to go shopping. A huge focus with dorm rooms is decorating but there is a more important issue to consider- functionality. Getting items which are useful will help enhance your college experience in the dormitories. Below you will find a few items you should heavily consider for living on-campus.
The most basic piece of equipment any college student will need is a computer. Having your own computer/printer will help make living on-campus less stressful. I’m sure your college will have multiple computer labs but why worry about having to leave your dorm room to use them? By having your own computer you will be living on-campus at your convenience. You will never have to worry about if there are any computers available in the computer lab or what time your college’s computer labs close.
Sure, computers can be expensive but their multi-purpose nature will prove them to be a worthy investment. Not only does your computer serve as a resource for doing homework but your computer can be your main source of entertainment in your dorm room, especially if you have a nice monitor. Getting hooked up in your school’s server is easy too; all it takes is an Ethernet cord. Ethernet cords are relatively cheap and can be found at any place that sells electronics like Best Buy. And unless you have a computer from the pre-historic period, you should be able to play CDs, watch DVDs, and stream media all from your CPU. This means there will be no reason to buy a stereo, DVD player, or even a television. Just make sure you get a good Ant-spy ware program to keep your computer protected. Spysweeper is one I would recommend.
Giant Eagle and/or CVS Card
A Giant Eagle/CVS card is not an item ordinarily found on a dorm room shop list. However a Giant Eagle/CVS card is a great asset to any college student. While living on-campus you will find times when you are hungry and there is nowhere on-campus to get a quality bite to eat. Therefore it is essential to keep your dorm room stocked with food. This isn’t always easy because the typical college student is on a tight budget. With a Giant Eagle/CVS card a college student saves money while keeping his or her stomach full.
I have no idea how I would have survived my four years of living on-campus if I didn’t have a mini-refrigerator. Keeping a mini-refrigerator in your dorm room will allow you access to cold drinks 24/7. Plus if you are going to be buying any perishable foods from Giant Eagle or CVS you will need someplace to store them. Mini-refrigerators come in all different sizes and can usually stack on top of each other in case your roommate brings one as well. If you are heading off to college, a mini-refrigerator is one dorm room item you should never leave home without.
Colleges will almost always provide the most basic furniture like beds, desks, and chairs. But if you want your dorm room to be the “hang out” for everyone living on-campus having plenty of seating is essential. Bean bag chairs and folding chairs are nice but nothing beats a loveseat (a two person couch). Loveseats are small enough to fit into most dorm rooms while providing a large amount of comfort. If you have a loveseat in your dorm room you can count on all your college friends coming down to hang out, trying to call dibs on the comfortable seats.
A computer, Giant Eagle/CVS card, mini-refrigerator, and loveseat will all help maximize your college life while living on-campus. Other items you will want to consider for your dorm room are:
Garbage can/garbage bags
Bedding (make sure you know what size to buy)
Hand soap/body wash/shampoo
Towels/hand towels/wash clothes
Power surge (outlet space can possibly be limited)
Calendar or planner (help keep your schedule organized)
School supplies (obviously)