Whether you’re an undergrad headed to the dorm or just moving into your first place, you’re leaving the nest and need stuff.
For the college crowd, by now, you’ve not only had a few awkward Facebook conversations with your new roommate (look to see how many pictures he or she is tagged in that are added by others, not by themselves-that’s how you know they’re cool), but you’ve probably acquired your brand-new comforter and Twin-XL sheets and you’ve got your shower caddy and shower shoes safely packed away. You’ve spent the past few days tinkering with your new Macbook’s iSight camera and you think you’re prepared to face the great beyond of post-high school life.
Well, you’re not. You’ve almost certainly forgotten a few items that will make your college experience a whole lot better, but thankfully for you Blast Magazine has decided to help you out.
Depending on how cheap your university is, they may or may not provide desk drawers or a hutch/bookshelf. And as much as you think you won’t be studying, you’ll still need a place to store your unused hundred-dollar textbooks and to hide your solo cups and ping-pong balls from the wandering eyes of resident assistants. The best (and most flexible) option if you don’t want to actually buy any kind of quality shelving, is stackable cubes or bins-basically, you want them to be small enough to fit in the nooks-and-crannies of exposed space in your dorm room (on the window sill, under your bed, bottom of your closet, etc.) and you want to be able to configure them to fit your needs.
In college, you need water for everything. Whether you’re trekking to class, making a cup of tea at 3am in the morning, or you’ve run out of soda on Saturday nights, water is essential. And frankly, it’s not only expensive but incredibly wasteful to burn through 24-packs of Poland Spring. Instead, buy a filtering pitcher like a Brita pitcher to keep in your fridge. It’s also important to have a plastic bottle on hand, both to carry water around and to bring to dining halls so that you can liberate juice and milk.
Even if your dorm room has air conditioning (unlikely), a small fan is essential. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never slept with white noise before, a fan is ideal in order to block out your roommate’s snoring (or to block your snoring for your roommate) and it is also important to keep some air circulation going in your tiny room. Dorm rooms are small, compact places and frankly, it’s in both your interests to have a little breeze here and there. Your best option is probably an oscillating tower fan.
The thing about dorm life is that there are always people around. Once you make friends, there’s a good chance that someone besides yourself and your roommate will be hanging out with you. Where do they sit? Some people are uncomfortable either offering their beds or sitting on others’ beds, and so a chair of some kind is a definite plus. The coolest thing I’ve seen is actually a Yoga or Pilates ball that just rolls around your room“"not only are they really fun (and people fight over them!), but they offer a nice break from the monotony of sitting on your ass on a hard, uncomfortable chair (more on that later) and they’re really good for your posture.
6. Comfy clothes
The other thing about dorm life is that everyone sees everyone in their pajamas and ratty old field hockey shirts and so on and so forth. On wet days, you’ll come back to your dorm and get out of your soaked jeans as fast as possible and you’ll probably do your best not to leave your dorm room for the rest of the night. A good pair of sweatpants and a REALLY good pair of slippers are invaluable for times like these (especially if you actually go to your 8ams). You don’t want to walk around bare-footed because dorms are dirty places and no one wants to see your feet, anyway. Personally, I recommend L.L. Bean’s Wicked Good Moccasins (they have male and female versions) and your college bookstore will have a good selection of sweatpants.
I don’t care how studious you are, you won’t want to sit at your desk for hours and hours and hours on end. So you’ll move to your bed, bringing your laptop with you, and an hour later the fire alarm will go off thanks to your overheated computer bursting into flames. So a good-sized lap desk that holds your computer and a notebook or two is definitely a good investment.
“But I already bought two awesome posters,” you say. But what you probably bought was yet another Klimt “The Kiss” or Dali””Narcissus” that everybody and their mom already have tacked up on their wall. Go for something original; if you have a few unique posters on your wall your roommate and your dorm-mates might actually be interested in you. Don’t forget that the whole point of college (besides a degree and stuff) is to unashamedly be yourself. So if you’re an Apple fanboy, fly your true colors. If you’re a die-hard Bond fan, don’t be embarrassed of your Goldfinger movie poster reprint
You absolutely need a quality, comfortable back-pack. You might have a cool new shoulder bag or an adorable designer tote, but you’ll use it for one day and then realize that they make back-packs the way they do for a reason. You’ll need a bag big enough to hold your laptop (with sufficient padding for it, too), a notebook, a variety of extra pouches and so on for whatever you might need, and an easy way to carry your water bottle. If you sleep over someone’s room or take a weekend trip, a back-pack is honestly the best solution. Don’t hesitate to spend a significant amount on one, either, especially if it’s high-quality like a North Face or an L.L. Bean (which has a lifetime guarantee).
Obviously it depends on your studying methods, but personally I have music on all the time. And laptop speakers just don’t cut it. Whether it’s a weekend night or you’re watching a movie with a friend or studying, a subwoofer makes all situations more fun. There are a lot of good options out there, but you can get a very nice set of two satellites + 1 subwoofer from Logitech for a decent price.
I was lucky enough to get this advice before my freshman year and it was honestly one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. A proper rolling office chair lets you bring seating to others’ rooms easily, makes sitting on your ass for long, long hours much more comfortable, and is generally 12462343x better than the terrible hard, wooden chair that the college had mass-produced especially for you. Even though they might be expensive, a good chair is undoubtedly worth it. If you don’t believe me, just go to college and sit at your desk for a week. Then go buy a chair.
There you have it — my ten essential dorm room accessories. Now go forth and be educated.