Finally, you get to call the shots – you are off to university with a place to call your own and you make all the rules, or at least most of them. Yes, you’ll need college backpacks (check out the OGIO Newt models designed to hold 13-inch and 15-inch laptops – they rock) and some hoodies and a great bed for lounging but still, your place can be tricked out exactly the way you want it and that’s pretty cool. The school will give you a list of what they provide – things like a desk and a chair, a chest of drawers and a bed with a mattress but that’s about it. There’s also a list of things that are prohibited or at least restricted so the super kegging system is probably not going to make the cut but you can still bring your beer pong table if you’re lucky.
The best place to look for ideas on how to get the coolest things for your dormitory room is online – Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Home Depot and others has an awesome section dedicated to college prep and it even has a campus checklist so you can make sure to get exactly what you need. If the school says no to extension cords but yes to power strips with surge protectors then you need to keep that in mind along with other things like any restrictions against halogen bulbs in desk or floor lamps or rules about coffee makers and hot pots. You can still brew up all the joe you want with a Melitta® 8-cup thermal stainless steel pour-over coffee maker that keeps coffee warm for hours without a hot plate – this model is approved for most every dorm.
The other cool thing is that when you plan ahead online about how to pull your dorm room together you can compare notes with your friends and future roommates – it’s an easy way to make sure you have all the equipment you need without any duplication. Plus if your parents have to weigh in on what you buy it’s easy to share on social media or by email or text.
Bedding is key and one thing you need to know is that the mattress will be a used one, and it’s an odd size too. Most dorms provide twin extra-long mattresses (also known as twin XL); the standard twin sheets you might be using at home will not fit. You will definitely want a mattress protector and probably need some kind of a mattress pad or enhancer so that the mattress feels like a brand new one. Extra pillows are a good idea too so you can hang in bed and be comfortable. Look for bedding and dorm stuff that is lightweight and easy to take care of because you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning and doing laundry when you can party and hang with your new friends.
Moving into a dorm is sort of like getting your own place, with training wheels. You don’t have to worry about the heat or the utilities, shovel snow or rake leaves but you can lounge and party all you want in your own place. The biggest worry is probably deciding what you want to do on Friday night – is it beer pong or hanging by the TV and watching the game – whatever! The important thing is to get all the gear you need ahead of time so that when you’re on campus you can focus on fun instead of shopping plus it’s even better if you buy stuff online and have it delivered direct to the dorm. There’s no need to haul stuff when it can be shipped to your dorm – let’s get the party started.