I now have one full year of college dorm life under my belt so I think that makes me pretty qualified to write this article. Coming into college, I scoured tons of packing lists online to try to ensure I wouldn't be missing anything when I arrived at school. However, there were some things that I realized I could not live without and had to buy within the first few weeks of school.
1. Going-out Shoes
I didn't realize how dirty all my shoes would get from frat parties and bars but they get really gross. I recommend getting a cute but cheap pair of shoes and using them for all your night outs.
2. A blanket (and a fan)
I had zero control of the temperatures in my dorm room so it was never up to me whether it was too hot or too cold. Come prepared with fans and blankets especially if you don't know what types of temperatures your roommate likes.
3. Reusable Water Bottles
If you can't carry cases of water like me, reusable water bottles will become your best friend. I know my dorm had a water fountain on every floor and I was there all the time. Reusable bottles are great because they're good for the environment too!
4. A Printer
This one is not a total neccesity because colleges do have printers for student use. However, it does come in handy when it's really cold and you don't want to bundle up or if you're running late and need a quick print job.
Easy Mac, Ramen Noodles, etc.
I thought I would be eating all my meals in the dining hall but there are so many times where I was not feeling dining hall food or feeling walking to the dining hall. All these microwavable foods came in handy all the time and they are definitely something I would not have survived without.
6. An Ottoman
Ottomans come in all shapes and sizes and patterns and what not. They're also so useful because you can store so many things in them. Shoes, food, anything you want to hide all fit nicely in an ottoman.
7. A Dustbuster (and other cleaning supplies)
Just do it. You will thank yourself later.
8. A Trash Can
My dorm did not come with a trash can so it was something my roommate and I had to pick up right away. While you're at it, get trash bags that are appropriate for your can. I got little trash bags at target and they were a lifesaver. Without them, your garbage can will get gross.
9. Dry-Erase Board
Most people end up getting these and putting them on their doors. Before you do that, stop. I recommend hanging it on your fridge or just leaving it on your desk. It comes in handy when you're making a quick list or doing math problems. Before you hang it on your door and never look at it again, think about it.
10. Mini Steamer
These will come in handy when your shirt is wrinkled and you have a presentation or an interview. And it's a lot easier than an iron.
11. Cards (or board games or video games)
Whether it's playing cards or cards against humanity, these will come in handy when you're bored.
There will be a day when something breaks. Get prepared now.
13. Lysol Wipes
Your roommate will get sick. You will want to disinfect the whole room.
14. Febreze (or some other way to make your room smell good)
It's a dorm room, it will smell. Also it's a great way to block the smell of the people down the hall smoking. Febreeze is a quick fix, but I had an air diffuser that was constantly making the room smell good.
Shower shoes are a must that no one really forgets if you're in a communal bathroom. However, slippers are great for late night adventures to the bathroom or trips down the hall.