Items You Need for Your Dorm Room
What Should I Buy for My College Dorm?
If you're going off to college in the Fall, you're probably wondering what you will need to buy to live comfortably and efficiently. There are a couple of things that you will need in order to survive and thrive while living the dorms.
Here is a guide that will help you decide what items you will need to bring with you.
Tips For Picking A Quality Computer
- Get the newest operating system (currently for PC's is Windows 8) so that your computer is fast, is supported, and will last you all four years without being too outdated.
- 11" laptops are great for carrying to lecture halls, but terrible for typing 20 page papers. By getting a larger 14" or 15," the keyboard and the position of your neck will be more ergonomic.
- RAM makes a computer faster and allows the computer to multitask. Hard drive space allows you to store files. 4-6 GB of RAM is on the lower end, while 8GB is pretty typical of modern laptops. If you plan on gaming or video editing, then you might want to consider paying extra for 10-16 GB of RAM. 250 GB to 500 GB of harddrive space is on the moderate to lower end of the spectrum. For a larger hard drive, aim for 750 GB to 1 Terabit. If you plan on using cloud storage, then hard drive space isn't a huge factor.
- The Intel i Core chips are very fast and efficient. You can get an older i3 for very cheap, but with technology changing as fast as it is, your already outdated computer might not be fast enough in 4 years for high end software. With the super fast i7's on the market, getting an i5 for under $600 bucks is becoming increasingly common.
- Buy a quality brand like Dell, Asus, Apple, or Acer. Getting a cheap off-brand netbook might make it seem like you are saving money, but you're really not saving anything if it is so slow you want to tear your hair out or doesn't last and you end up buying two.
1. A Good Laptop
Why do I need a computer?
In the modern school system having a personal computer is an absolute must. You will find that almost nothing is handwritten anymore, and that most of your papers and tests will be completed on a computer and turned in online. Additionally, most Universities now have online courses that can count towards your degree. Yes, now you can attend school in your PJ's.
If you do not have money for a computer, most schools have a computers for rent in the library or in a media room. However, the hours may be limited and it can be terrible inconvenient.
Why type of computer is best?
Unless you're a film major and plan on rendering your feature length films in your dorm room, a laptop is the most convenient and space efficient option for a personal computer. Having a laptop will allow you to study in coffee shops, work remotely on group projects, and type your lecture notes during class.
For the Artist
The MacBook Pro has a super fast i7 processor, 16 GB of memory, and 512 GB of storage.
If you plan on working with music recording software, video rendering software, or the entire Adobe Suite, this computer is for you!
For the Business Major
If you aren't studying a discipline of the arts, you only need a computer that will efficiently run Microsoft Office. You need something that will create your powerpoint presentations for business statistics, and that will help you type up 20 page papers for business communications. Occasionally you might have to open photoshop to create a mock product advertisement for marketing 400. You need something fast, but not overkill.
The Lenovo Flex has 8GB of RAM, a 1 terabyte hard drive, an i7 processor, Dolby theatre stereo surround sound, converts into a tent and a tablet, and utilizes touchscreen technology. At .85" thick it is ultra portable.
For the Starving Student
That $60,000 a year tuition is eat up all of your money and now you need a laptop that you don't need to work a third job in order to pay off the credit card bill.
If you're looking for something under $500, this Acer Aspire is a great choice. With Windows 8.1, an i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB of storage, you'll have a laptop that will perform beautifully for your late night term papers and OFFICE products.
What Do You Think?
What Type of Computer Do You Feel Comfortable Writing a 20 Page Paper on?
2. A Mini Fridge
For keeping frozen pizzas, leftovers, and cold drinks, having a min fridge is a dorm room must. Getting a model with 1-3 cubic feet is pretty typical and won't take up an obnoxious amount of space. If you plan on keeping tons of food in the room, or splitting a fridge with your room mate, getting the 3 cubic feet size is best.
Space is Limited
If you read my article How to Survive Living in a College Dorm Room, you will understand just how precious space is for your possessions.
With space being a limited commodity, bringing a full sized dresser isn't an option. Instead, using a smaller and more portable plastic bin tower will give you room for your socks and running shorts.
A hanging organizer will help organize your shoes and other accessories. With tons of little pouches, you are sure to find space for all of your little accessories like belts, scarves, and mittens.
4. A Shower Tote and Sandals
Unlike at home, you can't keep all of your cosmetics, shampoos, and creams in a shared bathroom. In true cattle housing dormitories, the bathroom is shared with everyone on your floor, which may mean 50 other people showering in the same place. You will keep your personal items in your room and carry them to the bathroom when you need them.
With that many people, bathroom cleanliness will be rough. With athletes foot, yucky bacteria, and other hazards, for your own safety you should wear a cheap pair of shower shoes when you bathe.
5. A Laundry Basket
With limited closet space and a generous hike to the laundry room, having a laundry bag or basket is a dorm room necessity.
Laundry bags take up very little space, but the rigidity of a basket is convenient for throwing your dirty clothes into in the morning. The basket is also a nice accessory to move your clothes and books with.
Other Important Items to Consider
- A flashlight
- A printer
- Desk supplies
- A sheet and comforter set
- A water purifier
- A microwave