When I was preparing to move into my dorm last August, I scoured the internet for lists of things to bring and not to bring with me. Now, as I am nearing the end of my first year of college and I am beginning to pack up, I am looking back on everything that I brought with me. The following is a list of things that either no one will tell you to bring, or people will tell you not to bring, but you definitely should bring to college.
1. A Water Bottle
In college you will spend most of your day outside of your dorm room. Staying hydrated in class and before a big night out is really important. It’s easier than you think to completely forget about drinking water so bring your favorite water bottle with you!
2. Brita Water Filter
Trust me when I tell you that you NEED a Brita Water Filter Pitcher or water bottle. Whether you’re in a traditional dorm or an apartment, will determine which one you should choose. If you’re in a traditional dorm, definitely go with the water bottle. It will fit perfectly in your mini refrigerator, and save you so much money when you don’t have to constantly restock your plastic water bottle supply. If you live in an apartment with a full refrigerator, a pitcher can come in handy.
You’re not allowed a lot of appliances in your freshman dorm but a mini blender is perfect for an after workout protein shake or a healthy fruit smoothie. Grab fruits and yogurt from the cafeteria to store in your mini fridge and you’ll have everything you need when you feel like eating a healthy snack!
3. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Forget about earplugs, noise cancelling headphones are the way to go. They work wonders when the people across the hall think that it’s appropriate to scream bloody murder and run down the hall at four in the morning, and they totally block out your roommates (I swear, I don’t) snores. Bonus points if your headphones are Bluetooth.
A lot of people will tell you to leave your stuffed animals at home. I’m not telling you to bring your entire childhood collection, but having something comforting from home can help you cope with homesickness and stress. I have my favorite stuffed elephant sitting on my bed, and it brings a homey feel to my bedroom. And when I’m missing my family, or my classes are slowly killing me inside, it offers some necessary comfort.
You need your phone close by at all times. If you decide to bunk your beds, keep in mind that the closest plug might be behind your desk! Make sure to bring an EXTRA LONG phone charger or lightning cable so you can charge your phone and use it at the same time.
5. Medication and a first aid kit
I cannot stress enough the importance of having medication readily available. You need to have painkillers, allergy medication, cold medication, stomach ache relievers etc. Stock up before you move in. You never know when a killer migraine is going to hit you hard. When I got a really bad cold, I was so grateful that my mom had told me to take cold medication with me; when I woke up at three in the morning throwing up, have something in my dorm to settle my stomach was a lifesaver.
As a freshman, the only cooking appliance you have access to is typically a microwave, whether it is in your dorm room or in a shared lounge. There will be nights when you come back starving (after a night or drinking or a night of studying, either or). This microwave ramen cooker might save your life.
if you are committed to eating healthy freshman year, check out this steam case from Lekue, which lets you cook anything from veggies to chicken all steamed in the microwave. It even comes with a mini cookbook!
7. A tiny steamer for your clothes
There is no way in hell you will be ironing anything in your dorm, but after bringing all of your clothes from home in a packed suitcase, a lot of them will be wrinkled. This mini steamer takes all the wrinkles off your clothes in less than 5 minutes! Perfect if you have a sorority recruitment event or a job interview.
Dorm decor is an essential. Some websites, family members, and sad, unhappy people will tell you not to bring things to decorate your dorm. The thing they don’t take into consideration is that your dorm is going to be your home for the entire year; it is the place that you will be spending the majority of your time when you are not in class or in the library. You are not going to want to spend your time in a room that has bland white stone walls and nothing that makes it yours. I loved decorating my dorm. Having a space that was all my own and decorated to my tastes, made it fun to spend time in my dorm room. My roommates and I live in a suite style/apartment style dorm and have a shared kitchen and living room. We bought a cute rug, throw pillows and a tapestry to decorate our shared spaces to make them more inviting. Bring things to decorate that make you happy. Talk to your roommates and see what their plans are as well. You’ll be happier in the long run.
Whether it be a random dance party with your roomie(s), or you have the room to yourself and you just want to jam, a Bluetooth speaker is going to come in handy. My roommates and I like to use ours when we’re cooking or studying together. It really helps boost your moral and music is always fun to share, rather than just tuning the world out with your headphones.
10. Ice breaker games
The first few nights in your dorm room can be a bit awkward. No one really knows each other and you haven’t figured out where to get booze yet… Bring a few games to break the ice with your new roommates like a deck of cards, cards against humanity, or catchphrase.
11. The Warmest, Softest, Fuzziest Blanket You Own
Whether I’m curled up on the couch, my bed or in my desk chair, you will always find me wrapped in a fluffy blanket. Having a blanket to wrap around you is such a blessing. Your dorm room will very likely fluctuate in temperature quite often; having a comfy blanket will help you battle your roommate who is always hot and never lets you turn the thermostat above 65 degrees. When you don’t feel good, wrapping yourself up like a burrito is sure to make you feel a little better. When your stress is eating you alive, huddling under a blanket and just taking a break is the perfect medicine. On top of having a super fuzzy blanket, a really comfortable sweatshirt or sweater is a must have. So, when you inevitably have to leave your blanket nest, you can remain cozy all day.
Let’s be honest, your dorm is not always going to smell very pleasant. One time, my neighbor thought it would be a good idea to leave a pot of garlic and water boiling for two hours. The entire floor reeked. No matter how many windows we all opened, we couldn’t get rid of that horrid smell. Luckily, we had some febreze on hand, and while it didn’t make the smell disappear, it greatly decreased my need to vomit. Regardless of what is making your room smell, you are going to want something to help diffuse it. Make sure you buy a smell that you can stand though, because combining two bad smells is going to make you miserable.
13. A Clip on Fan
As I mentioned earlier, the temperature in your room is sure to fluctuate. Having a fan, especially if you don’t have an AC, or if it goes out, is going to be so important. You can always add on more layers when you’re cold, but when it gets hot in your room, there’s only so much you can strip down. Having a fan in your room will at least cool you off when you sit in front of it, and most likely, it will cool your room down as well.
Having a full length mirror is essential. You need to make sure you are looking fly before leaving your dorm room, and a full length mirror is the only way to ensure that that happens. My full length mirror hangs on the back of my door, and I never leave my room without checking my outfit in it. They are really inexpensive and truly are an essential.
Definitely something you MUST have on you when you go out to make sure your phone never dies on you.
Are there any other things you should bring to college that aren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.