It’s exciting, moving into a college or university dorm for the first time.  There are so many things to think about, especially what to pack and bring with you to school. 

Your introduction to dorm life presents you with a wealth of options, how to design and decorate your living space is one of those options.  But before you get started with hanging posters, pictures and art décor on the walls, make sure you take inventory of the important items that you’ll need as a college freshman.

Items You Need to Create a Satisfying Dorm Life

As you pack your college dorm room with items, think about the courses you’ll be taking, the numbers of years you’ll be staying on campus at college or university and the hobbies or passions you want to continue.  For example, if your passion is art, consider bringing an easel, paint brushes and canvas paper to your college or university dorm room.  If you plan on commuting via a bicycle or moped, be sure to bring the transportation equipment with you to school as well. 

Additional pertinent dorm room items needed for college freshmen are:

  • A three-drawer filing cabinet – Furniture, department and office stores sell wood and/or metal filing cabinets that you can lock with a key, keeping your personal documents and school papers private.
  • Reliable desktop computer or laptop – Check with the admissions counselor or school dean at the accredited college or university you’re attending to find out if they have specific computer requirements (e.g. computer with a modem, Ethernet connection), as some postsecondary schools do.
  • Bedding (e.g. comforter, pillow, sheets, blankets) – Bring year-round bedding, especially warm blankets, quilts and comforters if the accredited college or university you’re attending is located in an area that gets cold during winter months.
  • Desk or floor fan – Unless you’re going to college or university in Alaska, it’s likely to get warm during spring while you’re in school, making a fan a desirable dorm item.  Furthermore, if you plan on taking summer courses, you’ll definitely appreciate having a fan in your dorm as temperatures rise outside.
  • Compact refrigerator – This household item can save you hundreds of dollars a year in food expenses alone, helping you to regularly save going out money.  Having a refrigerator in your dorm room can also help you to eat healthily while you’re at college or university, helping you to get or remain at a healthy weight.
  • Desk lamp – There will likely be times when you’ll study for upcoming quizzes and examinations at night.  Having a desk lamp will make it easy for you to study on your side of the room without keeping your dorm mate up with a ceiling light.
  • Compact printer that can also serve as a copier, scanner and fax machine
  • Clothes, winter coat, jackets, shoes, etc.
  • Laundry basket and detergent
  • Alarm clock
  • Umbrella and/or raincoat

Also be sure to bring your personal items like deodorant, soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, razors and shavers, toothpaste, tooth brush, undergarments, shoes and clothes.  To give your dorm room a personal touch, consider bringing framed pictures of your family members and pets.  Place them on your dorm dresser or study desk, surrounding yourself with warm reminders of home.  One other item to bring before you head for college or university – lots of spiral notebooks and/or printing paper.

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