What To Bring To College — Dorm Room Essentials

by Martin

As September gets closer, you know what this means, right? You start hearing the back-to-school commercials on the radio. You start seeing them again as you watch TV. You can’t escape it. It’s time to go back to reality. It’s time to go back to school.

You’re likely thinking about what to bring to college and what are the dorm room essentials?

Once you decide where you’re going to live, you can look over the college dorm room checklist below…

The college dorm room will become your own pad and probably your first real taste of freedom. Once you complete high school the college dorm room experience will probably be the only thing you think about all summer.

Sure you will pick your courses and try to figure out how you will cover the tuition costs but the dorm room is what most young people think about.

You’ll probably hear more young people discussing what to bring to college than what courses to take. We’re here to ensure that you graduate college without being totally screwed financially.

Coffee maker. I rarely drank coffee myself until I started college. You know, sleeping 3 hours a night will definitely require a cup or two of coffee. Unless you feel like walking over to the coffee shop every time you get tired, a coffee maker is pretty much a must. This is number one on the list for a reason!

Hangers. Simple but effective. Get into the habit of hanging your clothes (not off your bed or your fridge) because you don’t want to walk around in wrinkled clothes.

Can opener. Your fantasy plan to cook a nice meal every single day will probably end by the second day of living in a college dorm or rental apartment.

Mini fridge. The dorm room fridge is the most popular item you will have. Store your beers for the evening and the water needed to hydrate yourself the next morning. Also great for storing food for the next few days so you don’t have to go shopping all the time.

Microwave. The college dorm room microwave is probably a close second most popular item and definitely a dorm must have.

Laptop. Do I really need to explain this one? For the nights you want to get away from your dorm room to read and work in peace. Also pretty effective for browsing Facebook during class.

Desk lamp. For all of those all nighters that you don’t think you’ll be pulling. Believe me you’ll pull many all night sessions. I told myself a million times I wouldn’t be up all night doing an assignment last minute. I never learned.

Television with DVD player. A college dorm necessity, for all of those nights you can’t fall asleep or rainy Sunday afternoons… or when you just don’t feel like studying (which is likely always).

Hard drive key chain. Sorry guys you can’t tell your professor that your laptop crashed or that you can’t retrieve that 20 page essay from your hard drive. With those excuses out the window it’s important that you own one of those easy to carry hard drive sticks as it’s a dorm room necessity.

Sandals. Don’t laugh at this because you’ll realize how important these are when you use the public bathroom.

There you go, the college dorm room checklist is probably shorter than you expected it to be but please have some fun and add more items to the list.

[UPDATE: I've written more on this topic since this post was originally released on 21/07/2009.. Check out More College Dorm Room Essentials.]

[Second update: Let's share some of the best comments, left by you guys!]

Roger wrote in with:

“Ah, the list of things to bring to college; one of those traditions for incoming freshmen to go over, carefully research and consider, and ultimately find something that wasn’t covered or that they forgot.

I’m going to assume that, in addition to all the listed items, everyone remembers to bring clothing, bedding and bathroom supplies, and silverware and flatware (even if all you eat is Ramen noodles and cafeteria food, having access to some forks and plates for when company comes over is a good thing).

My best suggestion is to have at least one nice suit/dress suit.

Even if you’re a freshman and years away from having to interview for a possible job, a good suit (with dress shirt, tie, and everything else you need to look fancy) is a must. You never know when a dance or other event that requires you to look sharp will arrive.”

Another reader wrote in with:

“I just want to re-emphasize the earplugs. Those can be a SERIOUS grade saver! Not in that hearing you roommates will keep you awake while you try to sleep (though that DOES happen), but also so that when you hear your roommates having fun, you don’t get up and join them.

I’d also add an eyecover thing (not sure what it’s called). The little pieces of fabric that you strap over your eyes to block out light, they hand them out on airplanes, but they work wonders if you have roommates studying in the same room!

Finally I would say bring your entire wardrobe… Or least the underwear and socks portion of it. I actually stocked up on those two things when I went to college, I knew I was not about to do a lot of laundry.”

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roger

Ah, the list of things to bring to college; one of those traditions for incoming freshmen to go over, carefully research and consider, and ultimately find something that wasn’t covered or that they forgot. I’m going to assume that, in addition to all the listed items, everyone remembers to bring clothing, bedding and bathroom supplies, and silverware and flatware (even if all you eat is Ramen noodles and cafeteria food, having access to some forks and plates for when company comes over is a good thing). My best suggestion is to have at least one nice suit/dress suit. Even if you’re a freshman and years away from having to interview for a possible job, a good suit (with dress shirt, tie, and everything else you need to look fancy) is a must. You never know when a dance or other event that requires you to look sharp will arrive. (Plus, if you join something like a public speaking team, as I did, having a suit (or suits) on hand will be a god send.)

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2 O'Reilly

Try to get cheap everything! Chances are, things will be “borrowed” and/or destroyed before you move on. Walmart’s the place for cheap. Even for that cell phone that’s gonna double as an alarm to get you to class on time. Check out the pre-paid TracFone w/ pretty decent Motorazr v3a and other models. For just $45 a month you can engage in UNLIMITED gab and text fests. No contract. No strings. No gouging. Leaves a little extra cash to trash the Ramen once in a while.

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