By: Ricza Lopez (Buffalo State College)
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To the future class of 2014, congrats – you are about to emabrk on a journey that only comes once in a lifetime. To the rest of you that are about to leave anywhere after 2010, congrats to you as well, you are almost there. One thing that a lot of people dread is the living situation in dorms. Not only is your space restricted, but you have to be mindful of what you may want to bring. A lot of us unfortunately had to learn the hard way over some time by accumulating tons of things-some of it which we may not need or end up thowing out or even giving away. We are about presentation so with that said, if you really do not have a clue as to what to bring to college, here is the most essential list, our Top 10 must have items for your dorm.
1. Clothes – You are not trying to go out on campus butt naked or with the same clothing every single day. To ensure that you don’t bring a lot of clothes while at the same time not forgetting anything, look into what semester you are entering school at (most likely the fall season). Make sure you pack a suitecase worth of clothing that can adjust to the weather conditions of those days you are going to be in school, don’t forget your towels and washcloths! (Bring some hangers as well)
2. Toiletries – It is imperative that one maintains good hygiene. You do not want to be carrying a conversation with someone and have hot breath or BO. Items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc. are vital for cleanliness
3. Bedding – Not a lot of colleges provide “comfortable bedding” in the dorms and mattresses come in this weird size called Twin XL, please let it be know that you can purchase a Twin set and you will be just fine. Of course being that this is about necessities and not luxury, as long you you have a pillow, sheets for the mattress, and some blankets to cover yourself, you will be just fine.
4. Mini-fridge or Microfridge – Unless you are living in an apartment style dorm, dorms do not come with a refrigerator to store your food, drinks and snacks in. For mini-fridges in particular, certain colleges and universities allow a maximun dimension when it comes to size. Make sure you contact your school’s Office of Residence Life to make sure your fridge is not too big. Another thing you can do instead of buying a mini-fridge is rent one for a certain amount of money a year. Some companies are even nice enough to drop it off at your dorm and come pick them up at the end of the academic school year. On top of that, it would be better if you get a micro-fridge because it has a microwave on top of it and colleges give you leeway with it (being that microwaves are not usually allowed in dorm rooms).
5. School Supplies – It is obvious that you are going to be attending an academic institution. I hope you didn’t think that you were going to be taking mental notes. I’d hope you’d already know this since you have been going to school your whole life. You are better off bringing up your school supplies or buying them in places that is NOT your college bookstore because everything is much more expensive there.
6. Laundry Items – Hopefully you realize that you need to wash your clothes so things like a basket, fabric softerner and detergent is a must. While some colleges are still old school and require quarters, other colleges are revamping their style and are using coinless machines. There are also some colleges that do “free laundry” (meaning you are paying for it with your tuition). What this means is that you can press the buttons you need to press and do your laundry with ease.
7. First Aid Kit – You just never know what can happen to you, it doesn’t matter if it’s a paper cut or something as big as a bruise, that first aid kit will come in handy when you least expect it whether it is you you or your fellow roomates.
*(This may be random but since we are on the subject of kits, it would be wise to create a safety kit in the case of any emergency at your school, Some things you may want to put in there include a battery powered flaslight, water, a first aid kit, non perishable dry goods/food, water and a battery powered radio).
8. Extra Lighting – Unfortunately, even the best colleges have some horrible and dingy lighting. You would think you are in a dungeon with the way the way dorms are lit. This is because the dorms in the schools, were built so long ago. I would highly suggest to get lighting to illuminate that room of yours, it would only prove beneficial to you when it comes to your room looking a little too dark at night.
9. Food and Snacks – You are not always going to like the food “variety” that is offered on your school’s campus. Buy some of that food and snack you love to munch on when you do not feel like going to the vending machine or to the Student Union. A great tip would be to buy your stuff in bulk so that you will not have to waste money on a periodic basis.
10. Important Documents – Important documents are what represent you when you are out on the streets. Just like we can never predict the future, it is always good to be cautious and get ready for anything that may hit you. Passports, State ID, Medical Insurance Cards are some of the documents you should take with you to your dorm in case of anything that can range from an accident to a random road trip.
With these essentials, you cannot go wrong and say you forgot to pack what was most important. For you incoming freshman, you have your tools for survival, for you upperclassmen who learned the hard way, it is never too late to pack wisely.