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Last updated: August 7, 2023 • Education Advice

College dorms and what lies behind them

College dorms are a rite of passage for many students entering their first year of college. Dorm life is an exciting, nerve-wracking, and sometimes an overwhelming experience. Living in a dorm can be a great way to make friends, learn new things, and gain independence. However, living in a small, shared space can also present some challenges. As you prepare for your college dorm experience, it’s important to consider what to bring to your college dorm to make the most of your space and create a comfortable living environment. There are a lot of items to consider when packing for your new home. In this article, we will explore some of the best college dorms and what to bring to your college dorm to ensure a successful and enjoyable dorm life experience.

Here’s some food for thought! Have you ever considered spending the best years of your life in college towns that are hidden gems? You’ll enjoy various perks, such as more spacious dorms with the latest smart gadgets. Plus, you’ll get the chance to stand out from the crowd as the teacher-student ratio is more advantageous than in major colleges.

College dorm necessities

college move day stuff

Starting college is an exciting adventure, but it can also be daunting. Especially when it comes to efficient and time-saving packing for your college dorm. It’s important to bring only the essentials to your new living space, so you can maximize your limited space and create a comfortable home away from home. Remember, dorms can be roomier and cozier in little-known colleges with great potentials, such as Hendrix College in Conway, AR, or St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA! 

Knowing what to bring to college dorm can make a big difference in your dorm life experience. So, whether you’re a first-time college student or a veteran, let’s find out what you need to bring with you to make your experience better. 

Bedding

Your bed is where you’ll spend a lot of time in your dorm, so it’s important to have comfortable bedding. A comfortable and cozy bed is a must-have for a good night’s sleep. Bring along sheets, pillows, a comforter, and a mattress pad to make your bed as comfortable as possible. If you’re short on space, consider using storage bags that compress your bedding to save space. Did you know that you can improvise your own DIY bed? Moreover, a bedroom repaint is also a good idea if the college administration allows it!

Clothes 

clothes shop costume fashion dress code

When it comes to packing clothes, it’s best to bring a mix of comfortable and dressy outfits. You’ll need casual clothes for everyday wear, such as t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and sweatpants. Additionally, bring some nicer clothes for special occasions, such as a job interview or a formal event. Your overall appearance can be the key to success!

Don’t forget to pack some comfortable shoes as well, such as sneakers or sandals. It’s important to consider the weather when deciding what to bring to the college dorm. If you’re moving to a colder climate, pack warm clothes like jackets, scarves, and hats. If you’re moving to a warmer climate, pack lighter clothes like shorts, t-shirts, and sunhats. Most dorm rooms have limited closet and drawer space, so it’s best to bring clothes that can be easily folded or hung. Consider using vacuum-sealed bags to save space and keep your clothes fresh.

Toiletries

female hands cosmetics bag

Personal hygiene is essential, and it’s important to have all the necessary toiletries. Pack a shower caddy to make it easy to transport your toiletries to and from the communal bathroom. Bring all the basics such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and deodorant. Consider bringing a small mirror and a hairdryer, too. Don’t forget about the little things that make a big difference, like razors, shaving cream, and feminine hygiene products. If you wear contacts, pack your solution and a spare pair of glasses. And, of course, bring plenty of towels and washcloths.

Electronics

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to live without electronics. First and foremost, bring a laptop or tablet for your academic needs, your personal home office must-haves. Most colleges require students to complete assignments online, so having a reliable device is essential. Plus, they’re indispensable tools for acquiring knowledge and skills.

Don’t forget to pack your charger, too! If you’re a music lover, bring a portable speaker or headphones to enjoy your tunes without disturbing your roommates. Other essential electronics to consider include a power strip, surge protector, and extension cords. These items will help you keep all your devices charged and organized while also reducing clutter. However, be mindful of your dorm’s electronics policy. Some colleges have restrictions on certain devices, such as mini-fridges or space heaters. Be sure to check with your dorm administrator before packing.

Desk supplies

notebook laptop glasses

Knowing what to bring to a college dorm when it comes to desk supplies is essential for academic success. Bring a good quality desk lamp. This will not only help you study more efficiently but also create a comfortable and welcoming environment in your room. Additionally, a desk calendar or planner can help you stay on top of your assignments and schedule. Other essential desk supplies include pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, and erasers. Don’t forget to bring a stapler, tape, and paper clips as well. You may also want to consider investing in a printer or scanner for your academic needs. If you’re taking classes that require textbooks, bring bookends or a bookshelf to keep them organized and easily accessible. And, of course, don’t forget about your calculator and any other academic tools you may need.  Consider bringing some personal touches to your desk to make it feel like home. A small plant, picture frame, or inspirational quote can make a big difference in creating a comfortable and inviting workspace.

Storage solutions

Dorm rooms can be small, so it’s important to bring creative storage solutions to keep your space organized. One of the best ways to maximize space in your dorm room is by bringing storage containers. Consider investing in plastic bins or under-bed storage containers to keep your belongings organized on a budget and out of the way. You may also want to bring some hangers and a hanging organizer for your closet. 

Another great storage solution is a set of shelves or a bookcase. These items can help you keep your books, papers, and other belongings organized and easily accessible. Don’t forget to bring some decorative baskets or storage boxes to add some style to your room while keeping things tidy. If you’re sharing a dorm room with a roommate, it’s important to coordinate storage solutions and make sure everyone has their own designated space. You may want to consider bringing a room divider or curtain to create some separation and privacy.

Decorations

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Make your dorm feel like home. Firstly, consider bringing some posters or wall art to add some personality and color to your room. You can also bring some string lights or a lamp to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Plants are also a great way to add some life and vibrancy to your dorm room. You can choose a small plant that’s easy to care for, such as a succulent or cactus, or opt for a larger plant to make a statement. Other decorative items to consider bringing include a rug, curtains, and some framed photos or artwork. These items can help add warmth and comfort to your dorm room while also reflecting your personal style. Adding a dash of Hygge lifestyle elements could boost overall appearances.

When it comes to what to bring to college dorm, it’s important to remember that less is more. You won’t have a lot of space so only bring what you really need. Focus on essentials and bring only a few personal items to make your space feel like home.

Best college dorms

group of friends watching tv

College dorms are often depicted as cramped and dreary spaces. However, some universities, especially in the best US states for education, go above and beyond to create the best possible living spaces for their students. From spacious rooms to modern amenities, these top-tier dorms are sure to make you feel right at home. You might also want to look into the best hidden gems in American education for providing an extra cozy atmosphere. 

But even in the best college towns in 2023, it’s important to know what to bring to your college dorm to make your space your own. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best college dorms in the country.

University of Michigan’s North Quad

Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considered one of the mightiest college towns in the United States. It also hosts the renowned University of Michigan. Its North Quadrangle dorm is a popular choice for students who want a modern and well-equipped space. Each room comes with a private bathroom, air conditioning, and a mini-fridge. The dorm also boasts a café, fitness center, and a language lab. When packing for North Quad, make sure to bring your workout clothes, textbooks, and of course, some snacks to store in your mini-fridge.

University of California Los Angeles’ Hedrick Summit

los angeles october university

This dorm is perfect for students who want to be in the center of the action. Located near the campus’s dining hall and student center, you’ll never be far from anything you need. The rooms are spacious and come with an updated kitchenette, so you can prepare your own meals if you’d like. When packing for Hedrick Summit, make sure to bring your favorite cooking utensils, a few pots and pans, and plenty of non-perishable food items.

University of Texas at Austin’s Jester East 

Another popular dorm option. This dorm is known for its size, as it can house up to 3,000 students. But don’t let the size fool you; the rooms are spacious and well-maintained. Each room comes with a microwave and mini-fridge, so you can easily prepare small meals and snacks. When packing for Jester East, make sure to bring some easy-to-make meals like instant noodles or canned soup, as well as a few microwavable containers.

Arizona State University’s Tooker House

This dorm is a tech-lover’s dream come true. Each room is equipped with a voice-activated assistant, adjustable LED lighting, and high-speed Wi-Fi. In other words, it contains everything a smart home requires. The dorm also features a 3D printing lab, music practice rooms, and a gaming center. When packing for Tooker House, make sure to bring your favorite gaming console, a good pair of headphones, and plenty of snacks to keep you fueled during those marathon gaming sessions.

Conclusion

Living in a college dorm can be an exciting and memorable experience. It’s important to be prepared and know what to bring to a college dorm to make the most of your space. There are plenty of items that can help you feel at home in your new environment. And while every college dorm is different, some universities have truly exceptional living spaces that make the college experience even more enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for spacious rooms, modern amenities, or a tight-knit community, there’s a college dorm out there that’s perfect for you. So, start making your list of what to bring to a college dorm, and get ready for an unforgettable college experience in one of the best dorm colleges around!

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