Freshman year of college: you’re out of your parents’ house, off away at college, and it’s your first time living on your own terms. While that may come with some awesome perks – think crazy parties, late-night food runs with friends and the freedom to go and come as you please – there are also pretty big responsibilities to handle. Without Mom and Dad around to take care of your laundry, force you to clean your room, or cook your meals, you may be a bit confused about how to best handle those everyday basics. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Take a look at these essential 5 college dorm room items that you need to have a worry-free freshman year!
Essential #1: Medicine
This may not be the first or most glamorous thing you think of when you imagine your awesome new dorm room, but trust us, medicine is an absolute must. Think about it: dorms are just jam-packed full of young people staying up late and partying, stressing over exams, and eating way worse than they did a few months earlier. That means it’s pretty much a potential hotbed for sickness and infection. If you’re hoping to be well enough for finals, here are some medicines you should probably keep around:
- Hand sanitizer
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen for headaches and other pain
- Diphenhydramine for allergies
- Vitamin C supplements
- Plenty of tissues
Hopefully, you stay well for most of your freshman year, but when sickness does strike (or strikes your roommate!), you’ll have what you need to feel better fast.
Essential #2: Exercise gear
One of the best perks of college is that you pretty much get a free gym subscription! (Okay, that $30k in debt probably means it’s not technically free, but you get the idea.) One of the best ways to reduce stress, build healthy habits, and improve your overall physical health is to head to the gym often. Luckily, in order to go a bit of cardio, some weight lifting, or a trendy HIIT workout, you just need a few simple supplies:
- Performance running shirts and tank tops
- Running shoes or lifting shoes (depending on your preferred workout)
- Lightweight gym shorts
- Protein bars or powder
Yep, it’s pretty much that easy! Just get into your gear and hit the gym a few times a week!
Essential #3: Laundry supplies
Yep, you knew it was coming. Mom’s not there to fold your socks and tell you the washer settings for your nice shirts anymore, which means it’s time for you to step it up and learn how to do these things yourself! Your dorm probably supplies a washer and drier, but other than that, you’ll need to bring your own things. Here are some of the necessary laundry items to pack as you get ready to move into the dorm:
- Stain-removing detergent for washing machines
- Fabric softener so your undies don’t rub
- Drier sheets to make your clothes smell fresh as flowers
- A drying rack for the stuff that can’t be tumble-dried
Laundry is one of those unexpected challenges in college, so be sure you ask for advice before you leave the nest!
Essential #4: Cleaning supplies
Pizza boxes piling up in the corner, used tissues scattered around the garbage bin, a warren of dust bunnies happily living in each corner: this is what you might face in your dorm room. If you want any chance of comfortably entertaining guests, you’re going to want to tidy up a bit. Here’s what you need:
- A basic all-purpose cleaning solution
- Paper towels
- A small hand vacuum
- Sanitizing wipes
- A broom
- A duster
Pro tip: Making a cleaning schedule that you share with your roommates every week is a great way to make sure everything gets done!
Essential #5: Personal expression
Hey, this list isn’t all chores! One thing that you absolutely must have in your dorm room is a way to show off your personal style. Whether that’s band posters, a mesmerizing mandala tapestry, plenty of your favorite books, or your enviable collection of vinyl, make the space your own! People will want to hang out in your room because it offers a unique personal style, and you’ll be more likely to make friends as people realize how much they have in common with you.
Make sure you pack each of these essentials as you get ready to head to the dorms, and have a great first year in college!
For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.