Whether your child is an incoming college freshman or a returning upperclassman, it’s helpful to have a well-stocked dorm room. We asked our summer intern Zoe Stitzer, who is preparing to return to college for her sophomore year, to share some dorm room essentials. The following are her personal recommendations.
A Supportive Pillow
These supportive pillows will help you study in comfort. You might think you won’t ever study in your dorm room, but there will definitely be many inclimate days when the library just seems too far of a walk for a late night study session. These will also come in handy when your friends come over and have to make their own seating arrangements.
Noise Canceling Earphones and a Sleep Mask
Possibly for the first time in your life, you will not have any space that is truly 100 percent yours. I learned that alone time is very hard to come by in college, and also kind of essential to your sanity. From time to time, you will want to block everything out, and these will help you do it.
A Mini Steamer
College is full of amazing opportunities, often with no warning. I was invited to a scholarship awards banquet that I was being honored at only two days before it happened. Whether the occasion is meeting your favorite author on campus, or a last minute invite to a date-party, having a mini steamer will enable you to look your best with minimal effort.
You are about to be confined to a literal box with people you may have never met before. Once the first day, getting-to-know-you questions start to wind down, it’s good to have something you can do with the people on your floor that first weekend. It could be a deck of cards, the game Twister, a craft, or a group activity.
Folding Storage Bins
Space is at a premium in any dorm room. These little folding storage bins can slide right under an unlofted dorm bed, and fold if you’re not using them. I kept all of the supplies I would usually keep under or on my sink in them, such as lotions and cosmetics, as well as extra school supplies that wouldn’t fit in my desk. They were such a space saver and still very easily accessible.
Health and Safety Items
College can be a dirty, germy, disgusting place. Some things to help keep yourself germ-free are shower shoes, a mattress casing and a supply of medication for when living in very public places catches up with you. I took a first aid kit with me, and definitely put it to good use. It is surprising how many injuries you can incur in such a little space.
Something That Reminds You of Home
When everything is different, it is always nice to have something reminiscent of home. I brought a personalized blanket with pictures of all of my friends and family on it. You are starting an exciting new adventure at college, but you will miss the last 18 years of your life, and all of the familiarity of home.