As you’re moving into a dorm with your shower caddy and your extra long twin bed sheets, you might think you have everything you could possibly need. Then a week into the semester you fall down a staircase and realize you forgot bandaids. Hopefully this list of dorm room essentials will help you avoid such realizations, but remember everybody is different and has different needs, so even if you get everything on this list, your roommate might start snoring like a t-rex, and you’ll find yourself looking up deluxe earplugs on Amazon.
Fan: Those first few weeks of the semester will be spent in the throes of summer heat, unless you’ve spectacularly landed yourself in Peter J. Werth Tower with their fancy air conditioning. A fan isn’t a luxury so much as a necessity to make your room habitable.
SHOWER FLIP FLOPS: Please please please, for your sake, DO NOT SHOWER WITHOUT SHOWER SHOES. Communal showers aren’t as bad as movies might make them out to be, but that doesn’t mean they’re clean. If you value your health and safety, wear shoes in the shower.
Travel mug: Travel mugs are great because you can make coffee, tea or hot chocolate in your dorm with a microwave or a hot water heater, but you could also take hot drinks out of the dining hall. Bonus if the mug itself is microwaveable. If not, you might also want a microwaveable bowl. Silverware is also an unexpected necessity. Whether you need a fork for your leftover takeout food or a spoon for the carton of ice cream you bought, you’ll find a use for them.
Dish soap: If you have dishes, no matter how few, you want dish soap, otherwise you’ll find yourself wondering if hand soap would work. You can find really small travel size bottles which have enough for a semester as long as you don’t use your dishes excessively. Alternatively, you can forget dish soap and buy plastic silverware and plates.
Command hooks: Dorm rooms are different all over campus, so you may have no clue ahead of time if your room will have a mirror, hooks for jackets and towels or cork board strips to hang decorations. Command hooks and strips help you hang all kinds of things on the walls without doing any damage.
Pencil sharpener: It doesn’t matter if you prefer pens. At some point in your college career, you’ll probably end up using a pencil, especially if you take math classes. You don’t want to be stuck searching all over campus for a place to sharpen your pencils, so even a little plastic manual sharpener can save your homework.
Headphones: This seems like a no-brainer, but whether you want to watch Netflix in your room without being a jerk to your studying roommate, walk to class with your jams playing or drown out the sound of somebody getting it on in the room above you, you’re going to need headphones. When it comes to ignoring people, sleep masks are also nifty if your roommate likes staying up at all hours of the night with the lights on.
Drying rack: If you have clothes you don’t want to dry for whatever reason: too delicate, don’t want them to shrink, don’t want stains to set- you should find yourself a drying rack. Hanging clothes haphazardly on hangers, the backs of chairs and the beams of your bed makes hanging clothes, which is already absurdly annoying, that much more obnoxious of a task.
Safety pins: In a pinch they can be used for patch-up repairs on clothes or shoes. Duct tape and paper clips also have tons of makeshift uses when it comes to fixing things.
Air freshener: Maybe your roommate smells and you don’t want to tell them, maybe your week-old pizza left a funky smell or the laundry you refuse to do until you’ve worn all your underwear inside out has a strange odor. It never hurts to have some air fresheners.
Alex Houdeshell is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.