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Your lifestyle, your quirk
It’s the middle of July, and most of us graduates are getting ready to head back to school. For me, move-in day is August 17, and the first day of class is the 22. I haven’t gotten half of the items I need, and I’m starting to get a little nervous. It’s hard to get everything you’ll need for your dorm together in a short amount of time, but it’s down to the wire and I don’t really have many other options (I am the world’s best procrastinator).
Most of the things you need you probably already own, but bedding, towels, and decorations are usually a different story. For me, decoration is the biggest imperative, because I have bedding (mostly) and towels. Now I need pretty stuff to put in my room!
As I get closer to starting the new semester, I’ll share my experiences, advice, and general observations about college life. For now, join me on the quest for the best dorm room ever.
The best way to get started on getting the things you need is by checking out the lists provided by your school, other sources, and of course, your own brain.
The majority of universities offer “packing lists” for you to go by. Many even require certain items, so be sure you check your school’s list to know what you can and can’t bring! It works kind of like those elementary school lists you used to get: paper, pencils, book covers, etc. There may be other requirements on yours, such as lab fees, certain book costs, etc., so you need to keep up-to-date by calling your admissions officer, housing representative, or checking online.
You can also check lists online with stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or Linens & Things. Most of the time, they have college checklists that include products in their store to buy for your dorm. A word of caution: they often include unnecessary items, so make sure you’re careful not to buy things you don’t really need! Use these lists to help find specific items and use them in conjunction with the one your university offers.
Here is a link to Bed Bath and Beyond’s College listography and dorm items!
Seventeen has an entire website section devoted to college life. Check it out! Or grab this month’s issue to snag the tear-out mini mag full of college lists, tips, and ideas.
You’re going to want bedding, toiletries, decorations, a few office supplies, tech gear, living essentials, and some appliances. Depending on your dorm room, you may need quarters (for laundry and vending machines) or to bring your own detergent and fabric softener. If you’re living in a suite or on-campus apartment, you’ll need to outfit your own bathroom, so bring a shower curtain, rug, and any other showering tools you need.
Decoration is completely up to you, but can include picture frames, wall art, lamps, stickers, plants, globe/strings lights, lanterns, garlands, bead curtains … anything! This is how you make that little room feel more like home. I prefer DIY and crafty decorations, but don’t hesitate to spend more money if you need to. Each person is different!
Stay tuned for more college updates and tips on getting ready for your freshman year. You don’t have to learn from your own mistakes – you can learn from mine!