Must Have Items for Freshman Year

It’s finally here. The time you’ve anxiously awaited for since receiving your Duke acceptance letter. You’ve finally moved in and conquered O-week. You spent the entire summer carefully picking out items for your dorm room to make it feel more like home (which is important because it is going to be your home for the next year) and now you think you’re finally done. When I first got settled in my freshmen dorm room, I thought I had everything I needed (after all, I’d triple-checked my packing list). However, a few weeks in, I realized that purchasing a couple of items could make my life a lot easier.

Mattress Pad

It only took a week of sleeping on the rock hard mattress to figure this one out. I kept waking up with aches and pains all over back. Luckily, after I purchased a mattress pad, my problems went away. I highly recommend buying one of these to get the best night’s sleep possible—you’ll need it to do your best on that killer midterm. 

Sleep Mask


At first, I felt like a diva when I bought a sleep mask, but it looks like it’s going to be one of my best investments all year. Whenever my roommate is up late studying and needed the light on, I can just slip on my mask and sleep peacefully. This not only allowed me to get my rest but also helped keep my roommate and I from having arguments.

Rain Boots

Back home, I never really needed a pair of rain boots because during storms, I either stayed inside or drove my car wherever I needed to go. At school though, I spend several days walking to class through puddles in shoes that were definitely not waterproof (nothing kills your mood like ruining your favorite pair on sandals). I quickly bought a pair of quality rain boots that kept my feet dry during those mad dashes to class. 

Storage Ottoman

I spent many nights having to climb awkwardly up the side of my bed to lie down for the night. It was such a pain, especially when I had to make a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Buying a stool that had a storage compartment was a great decision. I was able to avoid struggling to get into bed and also gained some storage space—always a plus in those tiny rooms.

I highly recommend purchasing these items for your room whenever you get the chance. They really helped me out. If you have the right supplies, you’ll be able to dominate your hectic freshman year.