By Hannah Margaret, ISONN Editor
It’s that time, seniors in high school and freshmen in college. Time to step up to the plate and move into the fabulous life of a dorm room resident. My aim is to help you discover some tricks of the trade. It’ll help you with the cool-factor, saving the good ole buckaroos and, of course, practicality.
Here’s what I have to offer:
First rule of thumb, don’t spend too much money, even if you think it’ll be an investment. This is seriously the most change-filled time in your life, so what you like today you probably won’t like three months from now. Consequently, seek the common discount stores for basics.
Second, don’t panic if you don’t get it all right when you move in. With time it’ll all fall into place. Getting everything before you get to the school leads to an overfilled car and extra stuff you don’t need.
Third, remember the follow:
- Microwave and Mini-Fridge, if not provided by the residence hall
- Shower caddy with soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower flip-flops, you get the idea. It also may be a good idea to get a bathmat for the floor.
- Plastic drawers that fit both in your closet and under your bed, utilizing all the space possible is crucial.
- Hangers. They make thrifty hangers that can hang multiple articles of clothing on one hanger, so if you are a fashionista look into that.
- Desk organizing stuff, smaller the space the more organization needed.
- School supplies: binders, paper, pens, pencils, scissors and planner are your minimum. Try and stay as close to the minimum as possible, and you can get what you need after school starts.
- Toiletries. When I went to college I forgot cotton balls. Also, if you are a toilet paper snob bring/buy your own. One ply is about all you’ll get.
- Fan, temperature regulation is always funky.
- Extra-long sheets (do not forget a mattress pad. Yikes.)
- Good smelling things (not including candles, they are usually banned)
- Extension Cords and power strips. Sometimes extra plugs aren’t allowed, but they are desperately needed, so bring them just in case.
- Cleaning supplies. Anti-bacterial wipes will save the day.
- Laundry supplies: detergent, dryer sheets, quarters and basket.
- If you are feeling over-zealous, bring a first aid kit, tool box, television, futon and the list could go on.
Fourth, an idea of where to get it:
Target: Always always always has the best looking and most affordable dorm décor (I know, guys, you really want the cute stuff). Without a doubt, my best purchases freshman year where made here. I also would recommend keeping the “cutesy” or extra items to a minimum (I know, once again guys, it’ll be a struggle). Clutter is the bane of dorm room existence.
Bed, Bath and Beyond: Literally, BB&B is the heaven for all college life. Anything you could ever want for your shoebox can be found under this roof. The best part of all is that they have a list of things you need to get.
Parental Hand-me-downs: Best financial decision you could ever made is to see what you have in A.) the hidden nooks of your house or B.) the attic or C.) other family member’s possession. Some of my favorite pieces of furniture are unwanted by the parental unit. Perfect.
Goodwill: For those of you feeling thrifty.
Finally, go into this change with an open mind, aware that living with someone can sometimes be treacherous. To avoid any unnecessary conflict, keep your side of the room clean, turn your alarm off when it goes off, ask before eating their food and be upfront and honest as much as possible. Dorm life, while cramped, is one of the cherished parts of my college years. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow in ways that you may have never experienced, and I wish the best for you.