Back to School Dorm Room Essentials


Whether you are a freshman moving into the dorms for the first time or an upperclassman who just loves the dorm life, everyone will be moving into a new dorm this fall. That means it’s time to do a little back to school shopping to spruce up your new space! Don’t be fooled though, just because you see a comfy desk chair that would look perfect in your dorm doesn’t mean you should go ahead and buy it. All dorm rooms are different depending on your school and could include different items and different pieces of furniture. In this list, we break down exactly what you should go ahead and splurge on now and what you should wait to purchase until you have more information!

Buy These Now:


Bedding: While your school will provide the bed and mattress, you will definitely need to bring your own sheets, pillows and blankets. Many dorm beds are extra-long twin sized so be careful when selecting sheet sizes. Extra-long twin is typically represented as Twin XL on the packaging. If you aren’t sure what size the beds are in your particular dorm, check with your school’s Housing Department before purchasing. Girls, go for the funky look with yellow and gray chevron. Guys, you should keep it simple with solid colors.


Shower Supplies: Communal bathrooms are always tricky so you will probably need a bathrobe or shower wrap to avoid any indecent exposure when traveling back and forth to the showers. You will also need a shower tote to keep all your bath products together and make carrying them to the shower easier. Also, shower shoes are a must. Regular flips-flops will do the trick in a pinch but you should check out other options like these AquaFlops. They have a slip-resistant sole and have holes to let the water drain through your shoes.


Laundry: Most colleges have a laundry room in each dorm for its residents to use so be sure to pick up some laundry detergent and fabric softener. We love Tide Pods because there is no measuring or messy powder to deal with. Just throw in your dirty clothes and toss in a pod for fresh, clean clothes. Don’t forget a cute laundry bag for those times when you go home to have Mom do your laundry! Febreze is another must-have product for those times when you’ve already worn something once but are too lazy to do laundry. Check out all the new scents here.

Pro Tip: You should pick up a pack of Shout Wipes and keep them with you at all times. You will inevitably spill things on yourself and these wipes will prevent you from walking around with a ketchup stain on your shirt all day.


Cleaning Supplies: Newsflash! Now that you are in college, no one is going to clean up after you. If you want to keep things neat and tidy, it’s up to you. Ditch the traditional cleaning products and pick up plenty of easy-to-use cleaning products so that you can quickly clean up a mess. We recommend Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for cleaning up spills and killing germs at the same time, Windex Glass & Surface Wipes for keeping mirrors and windows squeaky clean and Windex Electronics Wipes for getting Cheetos dust off your laptop keyboard.


Textbooks: You should get your textbooks as soon as your professors release their class information. Textbook companies have the largest selection of textbooks in late July with some of the cheapest prices. Getting ahead of the back to school rush ensures that you will get all the textbooks you need at a lower cost. Having your textbooks in hand when you move to campus will give you one less thing to stress about as the semester gets started. Whether you are renting or buying your textbooks this semester or if you are more of an ebook kind of student, check out for the best deals this semester.

Wait To Buy These:

Furniture and Desk Chairs: Many colleges will provide you with all the furniture you need, including a desk, desk chair and dresser. It’s best to wait before making large furniture purchases to see exactly what comes in your dorm room and to see how much extra space you are going to have once you and your roommate move all of your stuff in. You might decide that you actually don’t have room for that leopard print bean bag after all.

Appliances: Before buying a fridge, coffeemaker, microwave, etc. you should check with the Housing Department at your school to see what their rules are on small appliances. Some schools may have restrictions on what type of appliances you can have in your room or there may be a common room in your building that has these items available for everyone to use. If that’s the case you could save money by skipping over these items and just using the community appliances. If you can have a coffeemaker, check out this Mini Keurig. It comes in a ton of fun colors. (We love this yellow one!)


Decorations & Wall Décor: You will more than likely have a roommate that you will be sharing your new tiny dorm room with, so it may be best to buy decorations after you have had the chance to meet your roommate and get a feel for his/her style. This could also be a great way to bond with your new roommate by shopping for room decorations together. Check out our Awesome Dorm Room board on Pinterest for decoration inspiration!

The Basics of Being a Good Roommate


20100407students4663Almost every college student has their fair share of roommate horror stories. What most people don’t realize, however, is that they probably have some not so great roommate qualities themselves. But don’t fear, it’s not difficult to be a good roommate! Here’s a list of roommate stereotypes, and some tips on how not to be labeled as one of them.

Pig Pen: This is almost exclusively applicable to guys. This gross person can usually be found eating in bed, or right behind his giant trash pile on the floor. Be considerate of your roommate and throw your trash in the trash can. Also, take the trash out. Otherwise, the garbage will overflow the and inevitably attract bugs….believe me, it happens all the time.

Music Show-off: Every dorm floor will have at least one of these. You can usually find them in their room bragging about their powerful sub-woofer that can shake the building, or showing off their brand new album. Please, for the love of God, be considerate of everyone else on the planet. Whether it’s quiet hours or not, there is no reason that everyone in the building needs to know what song you’re listening to. Only play music loud enough for you to hear, and if your roommate’s trying to work, or just relax, turn the volume down.

The “Borrower”: I get that it’s OUR room, but unless you ask to use something that isn’t yours, it’s not cool to use it. This rule can be completely disregarded if you’re very good friends with your roommate, in which case, do whatever you want. However, if you’re really just roommates, or acquaintances, take the time to ask before you borrow. It’s really just common courtesy.

Just remember, people aren’t always going to be exactly who you want them to be. So just relax, go with the flow and try to accept your roommate for who they are. Unless of course they’re all three of these examples in one. In which case, you should probably go ahead and move out. Have any awful roommate stories? Share them in the comments section below!

Entering The Housing Selection Process by Yourself?


Entering housing as an individual is a tough thing to do. It builds anxiety as you wait to see who you will be paired up with. Will you have one roommate, or will you have 2 roommates? Will you have to share rooms, will you have bunk beds? Will you have to share a shower with the whole floor, or just with your roommates? These are the things incoming students, or even transfer students think about as they get ready for a semester at their new school. For some schools, you are given your assignment early in the summer along with who your roommates will be as well. I know for returning students in my college, housing assignments along with who you are paired up with are not given out until the middle of August. This brings major anxiety to individual students. It just simply does not give much time for roommates to communicate on what is needed for the dorm, who will bring what accessories, and not enough time to even get to know each other.

I heard a statistic once that 75 percent of first year roommates that were randomly paired up end up staying together. That truly is an amazing statistic to know that for the most part these schools are essentially doing the right thing when pairing roommates together. I know in my case as a transfer I was put together with two random roommates who had many similarities but they are not my roommates for the upcoming year. I did not have any problems living with them and that is a great thing.

Colleges pair people up by using surveys. In these surveys they ask questions about all types of things including, sleep schedule, favorite music genre, interest in sports, if you smoke, activities, hobbies, etc. A few of these things can easily be used to pair people together and create an instant connection. So, certainly do not fill in information that you think is “cool”. Do not fill information that is incorrect because then you will be paired incorrectly.

All the built up anxiety going into your freshman year, or just simply as an individual will hopefully lead up to roommates that you will enjoy and won’t have a problem with. I sure know I had anxiety to find out who I would be rooming with. I knew I would immediately Facebook them, message them, and see who was bringing what. It’s an interesting thing the housing selection process and apparently it’s decently accurate. As I said before, I won’t be rooming with the roommates that I was randomly selected with for this most recent year and it certainly isn’t because we didn’t connect, I just found kids that I consider my best friends now and I couldn’t turn down rooming with them.

Don’t panic individuals! The statistics prove that MOST of you should be fine. Those of you that do not like your roommates, well, you must have bad luck. There is always next year. Good Luck!

How to Resolve Conflict with a Roommate


Odds are, in college, you’re going to find yourself bickering with a roommate. Two people can only be around each other for so long before they begin to argue. The best thing to do is to understand that these arguments are going to happen before they actually happen. Here’s how to be prepared.

A fight can cause a lot of drama between two people that have to live in the same room. Arguments may spark from the tiniest things. My roommates used to argue over the dishwasher.  One of them didn’t like how the other one placed their dishes to be cleaned. She would take the dirty dishes out and rearrange them to her content instead of yelling. This is a great plan, because if you’re the one being picky, you must also be the one to compromise.

I once got into a debate with my roommate over noise. She thought I was too loud and I thought she was too sensitive. This debate lasted all year long. She would go to bed at 10 o clock on a Saturday and then expect me to be quiet when I returned home. She would also sleep away most of her afternoon and expect me to be dead silent in the middle of the day. This fight could have ended sooner if we had communicated and formed compromises.

What happens if you have a fight with a roommate that isn’t over something as simple as your living habits? I mean a REAL fight. The best thing to do in this situation is to give each other space for a while to cool off. After you cool off, try talking it out. Place yourself in their shoes and try and see their point of view. Sometimes role playing can help you understand the other person better. If they don’t want to resolve anything, then it is out of your control.  Best advice then is to find a new roomie.

In conclusion, you’re most likely going to find yourself in conflict with a roommate at some point in the year. The answer to the problem is usually just communication and compromise. Try and stay calm and speak rationally, try to understand each other. Hopefully, your conflict can be resolved and you can live peacefully once again.

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology

10 Benefits of Living Off Campus


In all of my six years in college (be nice I am working on my third degree) I have never lived in a dorm.  I never saw the appeal of living in the dorms.  I just saw them as small, generally smelly spaces that hundreds of people have slept in prior to me arriving.  So I always chose to live off campus.

Sure there were some drawbacks including parking passes and paying rent, but there were also a lot of perks.  I have my own space, my own room, and my own bathroom.  I had a roommate in my first apartment, but at least I got to choose who they were.  I believe that the biggest perk of living off campus was that it taught me how to be responsibile.  I had to work to pay my rent and bills, so I quickly learned how to multi-task.  This also taught me about the art of money management and budgeting.  Trust me, living in Florida and having your electric shut off in the middle of summer will really teach you to pay your bills on time!  Here are some of the reasons that I think it is better to live off-campus while in college:

Reason #1 – You are in charge of every aspect of your living situation.  If you want to leave dishes in the sink and come home drunk at 3am you can.

Reason #2 – It teaches you economic responsibility.  You are in charge of paying rent, bills and all the other expenses.

Reason #3 – You get to have pets (If your landlord allows it).

Reason #4 – If you need to, or choose to, have roommates you are the one selecting them not a college admission counselor.

Reason #5 – You get your own kitchen and bathroom.

Reason #6 – If you have odd living tendencies (like needing to mop your floors three times a day) then you are free to do it without judgment in your own space.

Reason #7 – You are always accountable, again teaching you even more responsibility.  It is your job to get up and head to class, there is not a friend down the hall who will bang on your door to make sure you are awake.

Reason #8 – FREEDOM! There is no RA overseeing your behavior and there is no need to sign in or out.

Reason #9 – You learn the reality of how much things cost.  Buying dishes, towels, curtains, etc. gets SUPER expensive quickly and it is better to learn that lesson sooner than later.

Reason #10 – You get to have a car that you don’t have to walk a mile to get to.

Can you think of any other benefits of living off campus? Sound off in the comments below!



I’m reading Human Resource Management