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20 Things You Need In Your First-Year Dorm At Kenyon College

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kenyon chapter.

I love shopping. So, naturally, I expected that shopping for my new dorm room would be a piece of cake. But, soon enough, I found myself drowning in Amazon packages and unnecessarily long receipts from Target. Looking back on it, it seemed that shopping for my dorm room meant more to me than just shopping for my dorm room. It was my chance to get started on the right foot, to make the transition into college as smooth as possible, to prove to myself that I was ready for the next step in my life. So when I still felt unprepared after my hours of researching, Pinterest board making, and online ordering, I panicked. I wish I could’ve had a packing list that went beyond the basics: shower shoes, cold medicine, mattress topper. In the hopes of easing future Owls’ orientation anxieties, I’ve created a list of 20 things I wish I knew I would end up needing in my first year dorm at Kenyon College:

1: First aid kit – Stuff happens.
2: Bed lofting tools – Kenyon partners with a service that will loft your bed to its maximum height before you arrive on campus. If your room is relatively small, this may be a good option so you can store a couch, a fridge, a desk, etc. under your bed. But, if you would prefer a low or mid-lofted bed, you will need your own risers and/or a mallet to manually raise the bed yourself.
3: A sewing kit – For stuffed animal surgery and last-minute clothing repairs.
4: Stain remover – For early morning coffee spills and light night snack stains. I definitely would recommend a Tide Pen for quick fixes and small stains.

5: “Frat” shoes – Shoes designated for the NCAs, fraternity lounges and Old Kenyon.
6: A drying mat or rack A waterproof or water-resistant place to put your shower caddy and wet shoes.
7: Febreze or Poo-Pourri – For yourself and others.
8: Hickey remedies – Green concealer, a whisk, the list goes on…
9: A phone wallet – For easy access to your K-card.
10: A pot/pan – Two reasons for these: 1) Most nights the dining hall closes at 8 (or earlier) so a pot or a pan is handy if you are craving a late-night meal. 2) For when the walk from the Freshman quad to the dining hall seems extra long.
11: An air purifier and/or diffuser – To combat smells, dust, and germs.
12: Additional lighting – The freshman dorms tend to have limited overhead lighting.
Get creative with LEDs, neon signs, lamps, etc.
13: Dry shampoo – For when you’re too lazy to shower before an 8 AM class.
14: Fans – For noise cancellation and cool air. Also consider an AC unit if you’re in Gund, Lewis or Norton.
15: Wrinkle treatments – Wrinkle-release sprays or portable steamers.

16. Key accessories – Such as a door knob combination box, so you can lock your room without having to carry around your key, and a tracker for your key. I learned the hard way that there’s a fine for losing your key!
17. Tums and Pepto Bismol – For anxiety-induced stomach aches or when you eat too many breadsticks from Peirce.
18. A high quality laundry basket – Even though it looks dorky, laundry baskets with wheels or with backpack straps have been life-changing.
19. Vacuum – A. MUST.
20. An extra pair of sheets – So if you need a sheet change you don’t have to wait 2 hours for your laundry to be done to make your bed again.

Kate is a member of the class of 2027 at Kenyon College.