Best and worst items to bring to dorm


By Fatima Farha

Summer seems really long until you realize you have nearly a month until you’re back in school, and if you’re an incoming freshman, these last few weeks of summer mean one thing: dorm shopping.

Living in a dorm for the first time is a new experience; after years of having your own room (or sharing with your brother or sister) you have to share a 12 feet by 12 feet room with someone you probably don’t even know. This means there is a limited amount of items you can bring with you, and you might even have to compromise some of these items.

However, it’s very easy to bring too much or too little. The following is a list of the best (and the worst) items to bring with you to your dorm for your first year of college:

Must Haves

Microwave: It’s absolutely essential. You will have the dining halls available to you for food, but after 6:30 in the evening when you’re not up for late night at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall, you may want to warm up some of your leftovers from the lunch outing with your friends, or from dinner the night before.

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    Refrigerator: To store all of your leftovers from those lunch and dinner outings, to keep your water and other drinks cold and to have a place to store some ice cream for those late night movie sessions. A refrigerator also comes in handy if your parents send some home cooked meals with you on your way back to campus and you want to avoid the dining halls for a few days.

    When it comes to the refrigerator and microwave, it’s wise to split it up with your roommate so you don’t have to spend on both. Also, your room won’t have space for two sets. 

    Shower caddies: The walk to and from the bathroom can be a struggle when you have your shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair products, face creams, toothbrush and, well, the list goes on. Shower caddies are a must for these essential products.

    Desk lamp: There will be times when you’re sitting at your desk reading a book or doing homework, and your roommate will be sleeping. Having a desk lamp allows you to close the lights in the room but have sufficient lighting for your work.

    Full-length mirror: Most dorms come equipped with one mirror, plastered to one door, and only showing you what you look like from your head to your chest. After a while, this becomes frustrating, and a full-length mirror becomes very necessary when you want to make sure your shoes match the rest of your outfit.

    Stepping stool: The need for a stepping stool won’t come to mind until you realize you have items you would rather store on the high shelves, but you have to clutter the floor with because you can’t reach that high on your tip-toes.

    Not worth it

    Coffee maker: This may seem like a smart choice, but after a while you realize you won’t have the energy to make yourself coffee. Instead, you will end up drinking Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Espresso Royale or your favorite from one of the dining halls. Save your coffee maker for an apartment you might want to move into in the following years.

    Unseasonal clothes/shoes: Unless you’re absolutely sure you will need your winter jackets and boots in September, don’t bring them with you. Take a trip home in late October for your necessary fall or winter items, and for the time being, just keep a sweater and some nice fall shoes.

    Books for fun: It’s nice to have a mini book shelf lined up with your favorite books, but you’ll realize these books are taking up too much room on your shelves, where you could store more useful items. Reading for fun, unfortunately, becomes a burden with so many other responsibilities, so bringing more than a couple books could become inconvenient.

    Abundance of photos and frames: We all love our family and friends, but photos can cause clutter when the frames take up too much room on the limited shelves in the room. To avoid the mess, but also have your favorite pictures, bring no more than a few frames for your desk.

    Snacks from home: Unless they’re home cooked meals, it’s best to not bring food from home. Boxes of granola bars, cookies, chips and soda are useless and take up way too much room. Instead, use your meal credits to buy all of these snacks from the dining hall a la carte locations.

    Fatima is a sophomore in Media.
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