Before leaving for college, I was extremely anxious about having everything and anything I needed. Around this time last year I began my color-coded list, which hit around 5 pages and 2 full cars of stuff traveling to campus. Not only was this a pain to bring up the three flights of stairs that took me to my dorm, but it created an overall clutter in our room and really wasn't needed (just ask my roommates!). However, out of all of the random things I brought, here were a few that I actually found useful and will totally be bringing back next year.
1. Fairy lights
They seem like a lot of work and something you'd only see in a Tumblr dorm room, but they really do give the room a homey feel that contrasts the bright white dorm room lights. Besides, they were a nice way to keep my bed or desk space lit up when my roommates wanted to go to bed!
2. Reusable cups (multiple)
Carrying a case of water to your dorm doesn't seem that bad until it's ninety degrees and the air conditioning unit isn't working... Your life will be much easier if you bring something to fill up (most dorms have water fountains), and if you're lazy like me, bring a few bottles to minimize how many trips you have to take!
3. Rain boots/ umbrella
My dad made fun of me for being so over-prepared for the first rain storm, but I was certainly grateful for it when I had warm, dry feet on the 15 minute walk from my dorm room to my first class. Your rain gear might take up a lot of space, but you will definitely use it when walking around campus.
4. Throw pillows
The dorm beds are uncomfortable enough, and then on top of that, tend to be pushed up against a cold, concrete wall. Even with a mattress topper, I loved having pillows to lean on when I was sitting in bed doing work or watching a movie. You can always throw them on the floor if you end up not using them, but they are totally worth it!
5. Bed storage/ night stand
Having something to put your phone on when you charge it at night or a box of tissues when you're sick is more needed than one might think. Especially if you get stuck in a bunk bed like mine, you'll appreciate not having to get out of bed every time that you need something.
You might think that you'll hit the dining hall any time you want to eat, but sometimes that short walk from your dorm just seems like too much. Having snacks to enjoy is more helpful than you think, and I highly recommend them for your dorm.