Going away to college for the first time is a really scary thought. It’s been 6 years since I’ve been a college freshman, but it really doesn’t feel like that long ago. I still remember the moment when I arrived on campus in August of 2007. I remember the song I was listening to, the butterflies in my stomach, and how excited I was to have a brand new start.
Right now, you’re probably wondering about what the experience will be like too. Laundry, bedding, and other necessities probably aren’t the first things on your mind, but they’re incredibly important. I’m sure your college has sent you a checklist by now, but based on my own personal experience, I’ve come up with a few of my own “must-haves” that might not be so obvious, along with reasons why you’ll need them. Even if you’re not a freshman, you can still benefit from my suggestions or check out other items that Bed Bath & Beyond has to offer.
Dorm rooms aren’t known for their generous size. You’ll want to do everything you possibly can to turn each crevice into some sort of storage space — especially when it comes to your clothing. This 6-shelf organizer hangs right from your closet and is surprisingly sturdy. Although it was designed for sweaters, it can easily hold t-shirts, jeans, shoes, and purses as well. Two years after having graduated college, I still have mine and think it’s one of the best space-saving inventions I’ve ever come across.
Before you arrive in your dorm room, or anywhere near your college, you’re going to have to fit everything into your car first. It’s not going to be easy. You’ll have to use some crazy Tetris techniques to get everything to fit inside. This pop-up hamper is one example of an amazing way to save some room in the car. On campus, the pop-up feature will also come in handy. Once you’re ready to do your first load, you can fold the hamper back up as you climb back up the stairs back to your room (laundry machines are rarely going to be on your floor). It has a strap that will help you hold up the load, which is very important, because you’re most likely going to put off laundry for as long as possible.
As a freshman, you’re either going to be sharing a bathroom with multiple roommates or using a communal one. In both situations, you’ll need a plastic caddy for your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, razor, and other necessities. If you’re sharing with roommates, you’re probably not going to have much counter space to leave your things there permanently. You’ll want to place them under your bed when they’re not in use. If you’re using a communal bathroom, you definitely won’t want your stuff touching the floor. Make sure that you remember to pack the flip flops!
This is another glorious example of something that I bought for college and ended up falling in love with for life. I’ve seen these pillows before, but once I purchased my own, I couldn’t live without it. When I’d come home for short college breaks, I’d absolutely hate relaxing in my bed because I didn’t have my beloved backrest. After a while, I’d end up bringing it home with me! This particular backrest has a rating of 4.9 stars — it’s comfortable and even has special pockets for remotes, eyeglasses, and more!
I can’t speak for all colleges, but most of the dorms on my campus did not have air conditioning. Even when they did, they’d often hold off as long as possible before actually turning it on. They’d also blast the heat in the winter, so I’d still keep my fan on in the winter. So, even if your future roommate plans on bringing a fan, still bring your own. The more the merrier. Trust me.