The Dorm Must Haves You Never Knew You Needed

As a new sophomore, I can officially call myself a professional ex-freshman...more or less. While I may not be that cool, I did survive my first year of college and actually enjoyed the hell out of it! I lived in a dorm with three other girls and we shared one bathroom. I chose this option because I wanted the “full college” experience where I share a room and become best friends with some people living in my hall.

I loved college but specifically loved my room. It was a chance to start over, decorate how I wanted, and make me feel the most at home. My priority was comfort and I would describe my style as eclectic, cozy fun. I tried to incorporate color for vibrancy and textures for comfort. Everything in my room had a meaning behind it that held some type of dear memory.

I could sit here and tell you to buy Command strips, decorative lights or throw pillows. Instead, I’m going to tell you a list of dorm items you must have that you never knew you needed. As a freshman veteran (cue hair flip), I know a thing or two (LOL, do I though???) about decorating a dorm. I decided to ask some friends of mine what their dorm must haves were. Here is your new Holy Grail. Your new Bible. You might as well start calling me God.

  1. 1. A Brita Filter

    Who knew filtered water was so precious?! If you’ve ever had Tempe water,then you know it tastes like cement. I’m just saying...

  2. 2. The Jumex Strawberry Banana Nectar Juice

    To be quite honest, I’ve never even heard of it. But my boyfriend swears by it and insisted that I include it.

  3. 3. Chip clips

    ‘Cause you know damn well I’m not about to let my Cheetos go stale! I don’t know one person who disagrees with me on this fact.

  4. 4. Air Diffuser and Essential Oils

    Dorm’s naturally smell funky so just try to keep it fresh. Since candles are prohibited, do the next best thing (and frankly the better option). This was my go to because my room smelled delicious and it gave the room a zen atmosphere.

  5. 5. A 100 Top Movies List Poster

    Once you’ve popped your popcorn and become cozy with your girlfriends huddling on the blanket fort/mattress, you can pick a movie and scratch it off the poster. My sister loved this for her room because it was inclusive and eliminated the struggle of agreeing on a movie.

  6. 6. Honey and Tortillas

    Yes. Together. I was skeptical at first, but my roommate introduced this to me and guys… it changed my life. By far the better option than Ramen noodles. 

  7. 7. Saltine Crackers

    A little salty snack to cover with peanut butter on a late night of studying. My suitemate went crazy and insisted I eat them when I got sick. These suckers were life savers.

  8. 8. A Small, Attachable Nightstand Holder for the Side of your Bed

    My other sister insisted this was the best purchase of the year. You just place this next to your bed and boom: you got your phone, book, and water. Anything you need right at the tips of your fingers. 

  9. 9. Drying Rack

    Buy one that has a hanger and clips so you can hide it in your closet. There are a ton of versatile options to choose from. All those delicates you just washed and have to air dry no longer have to be scattered across your bed. You no longer have to awkwardly hide your old bra from 7th grade from your new friends across the hall.

  10. 10. Games: Cards Against Humanity and Uno specifically

    I had a group of friends over one weekend and we played What the Meme for about 2 hours. It was one of the best nights I can remember. So wholesome. Allowed us to still be kids.  

  11. 11. Cowboy Boots

    I don’t know… what if a friend needs them for a party? It’s Arizona, anything goes. 

  12. 12. Post it Notes

    Remind yourself to call your mom and dad every week to keep them updated. And give them a ring to tell them you need 12 more things for college. 

While some of these seem obvious, I hope the more obscure items change your life. Every dorm is different. Every college experience is different. Every must have is different. It’s all preferences but I hope at least one of these clicks with you. Dorms are what you make them. For me, it was a place to escape and relax. It was a place I decorated during Christmas and Halloween. It was the place where I met some of my greatest friends. It was a place I called home when I couldn’t be home. I hope it can be like that for you too. Good luck and welcome to ASU!