Preparing for College: Dorm Edition

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Preparing for College: Dorm Edition

Valerie Alcala, Editor in Chief

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If you want some new ideas, you can find inspiration for your dorm online. Image courtesy of Google Images.

As the year quickly wraps up, college-bound seniors are deciding on their school of choice. Whether it be out of state, or a handful of miles away, many of us are likely to dorm at our new schools. As someone who is making a nearly 3,000-mile move, I have thought about my dorm all too often, asking myself questions like: “What will I need?” and “How can I spend as little money as possible while still personalizing?” Well, if you find yourself asking the same questions, I am here to help.

First thing’s first: figure out what style you want to go for when decorating your new space. Do you want a pink and trendy vibe, or a minimalistic vibe? The possibilities are endless, but this is arguably the most crucial decision because it will decide where you shop and what you shop for. If you are stumped, check out @dormify on Instagram for some inspiration.

*If you want to coordinate with a roommate, make sure to reach out to them as soon as you are able.

After deciding what style you are trying to achieve, look around for the best deals. Urban Outfitters sometimes has hidden gems in their sale section where you can pick up a few decorative pieces for a good price. Other places to shop at are Target, TJ Maxx, and Bed Bath & Beyond. They often have discounted items at reasonable prices. Something to take note of is that coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond are often accepted beyond their expiration dates, so start saving them up!

*Also note that you may use more than one coupon in a single transaction at Bed Bath & Beyond.

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When packing, remember to roll clothing and use up every inch of space possible–while still staying within the weight requirement of course! Image courtesy of Google Images.

**If space for transporting dorm items is limited (i.e. you are flying to your college) plan ahead and make sure the stores you are interested in are available in the city you will be doing your shopping in.

So, besides personalizing according to your taste, there are some things you will absolutely need. Here are some of those crucial items:

Medications: This might be a no-brainer, but it is good to have a reminder. Bring any medicine that is essential to your everyday life. Some of these include Antihistamines/Epi-Pens, Advil, and any antibiotics you may be taking. Also, try to figure out a way to transfer your prescriptions to what will serve as your new pharmacy some time in advance so you will not have to stress about it when you are running low on medication.

Items that remind you of home: It is inevitable to avoid homesickness at all costs, so be sure to bring things that will remind you of home and provide you with comfort. Popular and easily transportable items are pictures, so try to print several photos of your family, pets, and friends to hang up in your dorm.

A variety of clothes: This one is tough because if you are flying to your school, you’ll have to meet certain luggage weight requirements and purchasing several pieces of luggage can get pricey, so you will have to make some big decisions. If you are anything like me, you want to bring your entire wardrobe to college, but it simply is impossible due to the lack of space provided to you. It would be a good idea to sort through your clothes ahead of time to figure out what will stay and what will go. Important things to consider are the type of clothing that will be most suitable for the weather, what you will actually make use of, and what type of clothing items are essential. Make sure to pack things like sweats and formal dresses and every type of clothing in between.

Hydro Flask makes great water bottles that will keep your water cool all day and reduce your use of plastic! Image courtesy of Google Images.

Snacks/Food items: Make sure to consider that you might be staying up late to study and miss the dining hall. Purchase some of your favorite snacks to keep in your dorm in case you ever need them. Also, make sure to bring a reusable water bottle to carry around so you can limit your use of plastic.

School Supplies: Some important items to have on your desk are pens & pencils, notebooks, a printer, and a laptop.

Again, the possibilities for your dorm are truly endless. The most important thing at the end of the day is that you feel comfortable in your home away from home because you will be spending a lot of time in there. This experience can be stressful, but remember that you aren’t the only one going through it, and if you ever need reassurance, your friends and family are one phone call away.

For a more specific list, visit:

P.S.: Keep in mind that although you would love to buy a vast amount of decorative items, you will be required to clean them out at the end of the school year, and unless you live a driving distance away, you will not have room for them in your suitcase and will most likely have to get rid of them.