8 College Dorm Room Essentials That Aren't So Obvious To Incoming Freshmen

8 College Dorm Room Essentials That Aren't So Obvious To Incoming Freshmen

As the second half of July begins, August approaches and back to school shopping begins. For incoming college freshmen, dorm shopping is also added to the list of things to shop for.

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Last summer while I shopped for my first year of college, I was all over the internet looking for lists of things to get and things not to get. I have learned quite a few things about college essentials in the past year. Here are just a few of the things you definitely need to put on your list.

1. Soft blanket

This is so, so important. You definitely want to make your bed every morning because you never know who will be over that day. (College is usually full of last minute decisions). So having a blanket to cuddle up in instead of using your duvet while doing homework or watching Netflix is essential. The softer the better.

2. Power strips

There are only so many outlets in a room and there are so many chords you will have. Your chargers and lamps and refrigerator and microwave all need an outlet. Power strips will save your life and offer a little more extension for your chords.

3. Shower shoes

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring these. Especially if you have communal bathrooms. The last thing you want is to stand in the shower with all the germs from all the other people on your floor in your room. Don't go barefoot, just don't ever do it.

4. Toothbrush cover

Getting a cap for your toothbrush will save you the stress of trying to keep your toothbrush clean when going to the bathroom. You can put the cap on when you are done or not using it and be able to set it down somewhere without the fear of germs while you finish getting ready.

5. Container for snacks

A messy dorm room can make the room feel even smaller, and dorms are small enough already. Snacks in the room are important for when you are on the go or in the middle of a study session. Having a container for all those snacks and keeping everything organized will help your room feel much more clean.

6. Reusable water bottle

Buying the plastic water bottles will get expensive and isn't good for the environment. Having a reusable water bottle is so much easier and convenient and you will always have it on you.

7. Under the bed storage

There are going to be many cleaning supplies, extra toiletries, and many other little things that you won't be using on the daily. In order to keep those things a little more organized, under the bed storage bins provide the space you need to keep those things hidden until you need to use them again.

8. Over the door hook rack

These hooks are easily hooked over your door so that you can hang scarves and coats and umbrellas and just about anything else you'd like to hang. This will also help your room feel less cluttered and give you a sense of being very organized.

Hope this helps all you incoming freshmen as you start your journey through college!

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10 Things You Will Learn During Your First Semester At College

Ramen for dinner... again...

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I am a freshman at Elon University in North Carolina and have just completed my first semester. It was a crazy couple of months, but I would not change them for the world. Below is a list of important lessons I have learned, and I hope that this helps incoming college students prepare for their next four years!

1.  You are never alone

Kate Tulenko

Seriously, never. Whether you are in class, in the dining hall, or hanging out in your room, you are always surrounded by people. Me being a people-person, I love the constant stimulation of people around me, and quite honestly, it was weird being alone in my room when I came home for breaks.

2.  Not spending money is hard

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Whether it's stopping at the local coffee shop or getting groceries, you will put a big hole in your spending account, so save up your summer job money while you still can!

3.  You'll find out who your real friends from home are

Kate Tulenko

Going to college is hard because all of your high school friends are all over the country. The people you called your best friends are now far, and only a few still keep in touch—These are the realest friends you could find.

4.  Your roommate will be your rock

Kate Tulenko

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful roommate this semester. We have been through a lot, and I am glad to have her in my life. Hopefully, you will be this lucky too (I'm not going to lie, some people are not as lucky) but try to make the best of the situation, whatever it ends up being. Your roommate will be there for you when you need them and will be there for every crazy story that happens, so get excited!

5.  There's no "Popular" group

Kate Tulenko

Sure, in high school there is that group of girls that seems to run the school and have everyone wrapped around their fingers. But in college it's different. There is no popular group—everyone just does their own thing and has a great time, and the best part is that no group judges another. Everyone is friends with everyone.

6.  Naps are IMPORTANT!

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I have said it once and I will say it again: College tired is a different kind of tired. And I think it's because you are always talking to people and doing things all day, and never really resting or doing nothing by yourself. It's honestly a blessing and a curse.

7.  Free food is a blessing

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PREACH! Whenever there is free food you know I'm there! You will get bored of dining hall food, so when you see a different type of food being offered on campus for free you should tap that.

8.  High School was nothing compared to college

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I love my high school friends and had a great time with them, yes, but nothing compares to the freedom and fun you have at college. You will have the best time because you can do whatever you want whenever you want—just remember that you are at college for the education, not the parties!

9.  Working out is a necessity

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It's no secret that your entire body changes when you get to college because of the change in diet and different daily schedule than what you are used to. So try to go to the gym or get some type of workout every day or so to stay in good shape. I was a swimmer, so one of my go-to workouts is to swim.

10.  Your new friends will be your new family

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You will form an unbreakable bond with your friends at college because you all are facing this new chapter in your life, and no one really knows what they are doing. You will figure out this path together, which is what brings everyone so close. Me and my new friends felt like a family not even two weeks into the semester, and now that bond is even stronger. I cannot wait to see what the next three years will be like with my new family by my side. So, get excited for college—I promise it's everything people hype it up to be!

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Visiting Your Friends At Different Colleges Is Worth The Drive

Learning about the lives my friends are living at other schools is extremely interesting.

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When I went to college, many of my friends went to different schools. Some of us went to the same college, some went to other in-state schools and some even went out-of-state. If you are ever bored and are thinking about spending the weekend with your friend at their college, I recommend doing it!

As a student at the University of Florida, I already know the best places to eat, party and relax in Gainesville. During my time here, I have met so many new people and have experienced so many new things. But, sometimes I forget that my friends are living their own lives at different schools, as well.

When I went to visit one of my best friends at the University of Central Florida, it was neat to see how she matured as a person. She took me to all the cool bars, introduced me to all of her new friends and gave me a tour of campus. Getting to see how she has evolved so much was so fascinating.

Visiting my friends at Florida State University was a whole experience in itself. I had many friends go to this school. Each of them lives their own lives, some still hang out, and some are even roommates. The culture at each university is so much different than the culture at my school. It was fun to meet all of their new classmates and sorority sisters. Getting to know the people that spend every day with the friends that I used to spend every day with is something I love to do.

If you ever have a break from studying, get a little bored, or even just miss your friends, give them a call and ask to stay with them for the weekend! I promise you will learn so much more about them and how they are taking on their new phase of life.

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