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10 Things You Don't Want To Forget When You Go To College - Freshman Year Dorm Room Necessities

Updated on October 5, 2011

High school gets all the hype about being the "best four years of your life." I had a decent time in high school, but I certainly hoped that this was not as good as it was going to get! And, when I got to college, my hopes were fulfilled.

I was pretty shy my first semester, and spent most of my time with my roommate. But after that first semester, I quickly adapted to college life, and loved it.

As a college graduate, I want to share my pearls of wisdom with you. So, here's some tips that will make college life a bit easier and more fun!

Tip #1: Duct Tape

Buy duct tape. For real. Buy it. Lots of it.

I bought 5 rolls of different colored duct tape my freshman year, and we had 1 roll by the end of the year. Now, when I say buy duct tape, I don't mean for you to use it for any questionable activities (that's right...I'm talking to you!). Get creative!

Its great for sticking posters to walls, taping up boxes at the end of the year, or making sweet duct tape wallets. Mostly, it's for everything you can't think of. Trust me, so worth it.

Tip #2: Coffee Pot

After 3 full years of term papers, final projects, and exams, I still cannot bring myself to drink a cup of coffee. Call me crazy right? But, for everyone that is not me, I strongly recommend getting a small coffee maker for your dorm room.

Coffee has gotten most, if not all of my friends through tough all nighters and early morning classes. My roommate has a coffee pot, and even though I do not drink coffee, I welcome the smell in the morning, as does the rest of our hall.

Tip #3: Tools

Before you get dropped off, go out and get yourself some tools. Even though you don't have a house, and you aren't building anything, they WILL come in handy. I bought some tools that were sold in a set that came with the essentials: a hammer, phillips screwdriver, flat head screwdriver, wire cutter, pliers, and box cutter.

My parents suggested buying these things, and I though they were over thinking things just a bit, as you are probably thinking of me now. However, within the first 2 weeks of my college career, my computer crashed. I called up tech support and they told me that I needed to remove the casing that protects my hard drive so that I could read them the serial number. Luckily, I had a screwdriver to remove the backing. Thank you parents.

Tip #4: Travel Sewing Kit

The washer and dryers at your university will most likely not be the friendliest to your clothes. I have a spaghetti strap top that was a victim of one of these dryers. Notice that I said "I have" not "I had" a spaghetti strap top. When I shut the door to the dryer after loading all my clothes in, I didn't notice that one strap of this shirt got caught in the door, and was spun around and around for 60 minutes like this.

Poor shirt right? Anyway, I realized what happened, and almost threw the shirt with the now extra long strap away. But instead, I cut off the stretched out fabric so that it matched the length of the other strap, and was able to sew the end back to the shirt.

You should know that I am NOT sewing savvy (I could not sew fabric in a straight line for a tablecloth one time with a sewing machine!). But I could do this. All with my handy dandy travel sewing kit. Who knows what kind of horrors are awaiting your clothes out there...

Tip #5: Clear Plastic Tubs

These are great for storing winter clothes when the weather hasn't cooled off enough for them. Same goes for summer clothes in winter months. They are great for taking stuff to school, bringing it all home at the end of the year, or storing your things in a storage unit (which is what I opted for). The tubs are also water resistant, as opposed to cardboard boxes (This is important if you store your stuff in a storage unit over the summer).

During the year, they can be used for storage, extra shelves in your closet (if you stack them), or small tables (just get some fabric to cover up the box). But, most importantly, if you go to a school that gets all four seasons, the lids make for great sleds in the snow (I know this from personal experience...)! Super multifunctional, these tubs are awesome.

Tip # 6: Shower Caddy

I don't know why this one always goes unnoticed, but it always does, until you go to take a shower on your first day of classes. Before you get to campus, buy a shower caddy! And once you do, put it somewhere where you can easily access it! Don't pack it away in a box with all your random stuff you bring! Because you will sure want it before your first day of classes.

They are super cheap, and will last you all four years (and it beats trying to carry all your shower stuff in your hands or in a plastic bag). This brings me to my next tip...

Tip #7: Shower shoes!

Before you even THINK about setting one toe in your dorm showers, slip on some flip flops! I have a designated pair of cheap, plain, rubber flip flops that I only wear in the shower (or if I forget to take them off before going to class, which has happened more than once).

You don't know what has been on the floors of those showers, nor do you want your feet to come in contact with any of it! So, save your feeties some aggravation, and wear some shower shoes.

Tip #8: Bank account

You probably all have a checking account by now at some bank in your city. Make sure that you have access to an ATM on or around your college that is owned by your bank. If there is an ATM on campus, but it does not belong to your bank, you get charged every time you make a withdrawal. And college students need every dollar we get! So, check into the matter.

If your bank does not have an ATM on your campus, I recommend opening up an account with the bank that does have an ATM on your campus. This way, you don't have to drive around town, or bum a ride from your friends to get money out of your bank.

Tip #9: Bike

Most colleges and universities don't allow freshmen to bring their cars to school with them, mostly because of lack of parking for every student. I am lucky enough to go to a university that allows any student to have their car with them at school. But, if you do not have a car, do not want to bring your car, or are not allowed to bring your car, I strongly recommend getting a bike. They are cheaper, you don't have to buy gas, and they let you have some freedom.

If your campus is large, you will definitely need a bike to make it to classes that are located in rooms far apart from each other. If you go to a small university in a small town (like I do), bikes are great to take into town for groceries or for a snack run. They are also great exercise. If you don't have a bike, check out garage sales or craigslist.

Tip #10: Passport

Get yourself a passport. As a matter of fact, make it a family event. The world's getting smaller, travel is becoming more common, blah blah blah, you get the idea. You may not have any immediate plans to travel abroad, but you may in the next few years. Colleges and universities offer tons of travel abroad programs and semesters at sea, all that good stuff.

Already having a passport makes all that trip planning go much more smoothly. Since passports can take months to get, now is a good time to finally get one, while you aren't on a time crunch for an upcoming trip.


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    • TimArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 3 years ago from Chicago Region

      I agree about shower shoes. I got athletes foot by stepping into a filthy shower at my college. I didn't even think of wearing sandals! I avoided it the hard way by scrubbing out the shower with Comet cleanser before I took my shower!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 6 years ago

      I never brought duct tape with me to college, but I can see where it ca come in handy! The plastic storage boxes are a good idea, although IMO I would recommend the thin, plastic drawers which can fit under the bed. A couple other major things I would say to make sure you bring are a first aid kit and bed risers!

    • puddingicecream profile image

      puddingicecream 7 years ago from United States

      The duct tape is definitely a great idea. I've found it to be really helpful when it comes to moving out at the end of the year. Blue tape is another item I would add to my list because it's safer to hang up fliers on walls (so the paint doesn't peel) to avoid fines.

    • profile image

      sahnov 8 years ago

      Nice hub, I am really appreciated it, especially always prepare for coffee time :)

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 8 years ago

      Twin XL: Thanks so much! I take it with me everywhere. I have some in my car, in my room at school, house of course, and even when I travel. You never know when it will come in handy, and many times it has.

      Kea: Sounds like you already have this all covered! I, too, am a big fan of energy drinks now. Thanks for your feedback!

      Chris1]2: Great suggestions! I do have those things, but I didn't mention them in my article! I'm a fool...haha. Yes, a fridge is a must!

    • Chris1|Chris2 profile image

      Chris1|Chris2 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great hub! I'm starting my third year of college and still have yet to use shower-shoes :p but I have faith in our cleaning staff...

      I must suggest a couple more things that are essential for college: a mirror, a fridge (like Kea suggested), and a few extension cords (you never know when you're going to need them).

    • kea profile image

      kea 9 years ago

      Very informative hub! Too bad I've finished college. I never thought to get a shower caddy, but that would have been very useful! I was one of the students with the coffee makers...they have redbull now just need a fridge! Clear plastic tubs are also my friend now. I practically use them for all my hobbies - I can see my stuff in them and they are waterproof (well, not if submerged!).

    • profile image

      Twin XL 9 years ago

      I LOVE the duct tape ideas! Fantastic


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