Freshman Year 101: Dorm Room Basics

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Once you have opened up (and freaked out over) all of your college acceptance letters and made your final decision on where to go next year, you feel like your work here is done. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but your pre-collegiette efforts have only just begun! As you finish your senior year and prepare to bid high school adieu, it’s time to start checking things off of your Freshman Year To-Do List.  Item number one on that list? Dorm shopping!

In the whirlwind of anxiety you may experience as you try to cover all the bases you might not think of throughout this process, make sure that you don’t forget the basics! The following are the five things that you absolutely must remember on move-in day—everything else is optimal, but these you absolutely need.

1. Bedding

One thing you’ll definitely need once you get to college is a LOT of sleep! Thanks to the frustratingly abnormal length of dorm room beds, the bedding size  “Twin-XL” will be burned into your memory forever. No matter how cute the Pottery Barn quilt or comfy the Anthropologie sheets may be on your bed in your room at home, chances are that you don’t currently sleep on a Twin Extra Long sized bed, so you’re probably going to need to invest in a new bedding set.

While you’re more than welcome to visit your local department store to scour the shelves separately for an appropriately sized (and matching!) set of fitted sheets, flat sheets, pillowcases, and a comforter… It’s probably easier just to go to RHL Dorm Room Bedding to cross off all of your college bedding needs at once and be done with it. Shipping is free, and some of the Value Paks even come with an egg-crate mattress pad and fluffy pillows for your new home away from home!

2. Shower Supplies

Ideally you’ll be showering pretty often (despite how scary communal bathrooms may seem), and you’ll need a few things to keep you clean!

First and foremost, of course, are towels, and maybe even a bath robe to cover yourself up on the walk to and from the bathroom. Then you’ll want a shower caddy so that you’re not juggling your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and whatever else you’ll need to freshen up. Finally, make sure that you have a pair of flip-flops or shower shoes to keep your feet protected from those communal-shower germs!

3. Storage Space

Dorms are generally pretty small, especially for freshmen, so it’s likely that you’re not going to have loads of space for all of the things that you might want to bring along with you on moving day.

Rather than trying to cram things all around, the best option is to buy bed risers to make some extra room under your bed, then get some storage bins to fill with all of your things, then stack on top of one another! That way your things will be organized but hidden, so you know where everything is but your room won’t seem quite so crowded.

While there are loads of other things that should be on your college checklist, these are the Top 3 that you should focus on as you first embark upon the seemingly never-ending process of dorm room shopping. Don’t stress too much! Stick to the list and by move-in day you’ll be golden. 

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About The Author

Alicia is the national Career Editor of Her Campus. She's a junior at Penn State with majors in journalism and Spanish and a minor in sociology. Alicia is currently interning at DoSomething.org in New York City for the summer. She is also the community manager of Penn State's blog, Onward State, the Marketing Chair for an annual conference called State of State, a volunteer for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, and will be studying at La Universidad de Sevilla in the spring. When she's not writing or plowing through 24-packs of Diet Coke, Alicia enjoys baking, dancing, jamming to Jack Johnson, hanging out with her Friends (you know-- Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe?), cheering on the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium, and city-hopping her way across the globe. 

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