Five Freshman Dorm Essentials

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standard student dorm room

With back-to-school season right around the corner, I’m sure we’re all pretty excited to get back on campus for yet another year of disappointing our parents. But, for those incoming freshmen out there, you might be a little nervous about transitioning to college life. Living completely on your own can be very difficult at times, however, if you have the right guidance you’ll be perfectly fine in any dorm room – big or small. With that being said, here are my five freshman dorm essentials to make your first year at college as easy as possible:

1. Advil

If you could only pick a single medicine to bring to school with you, it would be Advil. Whether you’re incredibly hungover or have your first run-in with the “frat flu”, Advil is like the duck tape of medications in college; It will fix everything on a short-term basis. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to your campus health center if you start to cough up blood or spike a 104-degree fever, but I can guarantee you that taking two hours out of your day to take a strep test isn’t going to be something you want to do consistently. The best advice I ever got before my freshman year was to stock up on Advil and pray that every girl you swap saliva with won’t give you mono (this worked incredibly well since I never got with any females). I’d recommend doing the same. 

2. Extension Cords

Unless your insanely rich and your parents got you a single, you’re going to need to share a lot of things with your roommate. That includes the four outlets you have for an entire room. Extension cords are a must-have when it comes to dorm life. Otherwise, you’ll have to choose between having a refrigerator or a TV – both of which you’re going to want. Extension cords come particularly in handy if your bed is lofted. Sure, you could use one of those ten-foot chargers, but we all know that those things suck. All you need to do is hook an extension cord up by your bed and you’ll be set. 

3. Noise-Canceling Headphones

You might luck out and get an amazing random roommate. Or you might get a really bad one (the more likely outcome). So, in the event that you need to do a last-minute assignment in your dorm room, noise-canceling headphones will definitely come in handy. I don’t know about the rest of you, but trying to study to the sound of someone else’s TikTok For You Page is impossible. Regardless of trying to study, these headphones are still a pretty solid investment considering the fact that by November you probably won’t even want to acknowledge your roommate. As I said, maybe you’ll get a great roomie, but plan for the worst. 

4. PB&J Materials

Maybe your campus dining halls will be outstanding and serve super high-quality food. But, that’s not the case for most of us. Inevitably, you’ll have nights where you walk into the dining hall and immediately walk right out. You might be inclined to DoorDash something, but after examining your bank account you realize that $8.27 won’t even cover a tip. This is why you’ve always got to stay strapped with materials to make a PB&J. These sandwiches might make you feel like a sad broke college student –  but that’s exactly what you are. Slap two of these bad boys together with some stale pretzels and you’ve got yourself a meal

5. Paper Towels

This might seem like a pretty simple one, but you should never run out of paper towels. Every single day without fail there will be something you need to clean up with paper towels. Food, puke, unidentifiable bodily fluids – the list could go on and on. Besides cleaning things, paper towels can also act as a plate or makeshift bag if you get creative enough. Basically, paper towels can do everything that toilet paper can do but toilet paper can’t do everything that paper towels do. Don’t run out of paper towels. 

Honorable Mentions


Bean Bag Chairs

Vaseline (you know why)

Desk Fan


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