Summer is ending, but there's a new life waiting. At college. And you have a dorm room to outfit.
As a former resident assistant for the University of Central Oklahoma, Jade Champion knows what it takes to make it living in a dorm.
"The dorms are designed to help you meet as many people as possible so if you're in your room, keep your door open, go to the events planned by the RAs, and take full advantage of the situation," Champion said about the dorms.
Besides a friendly personality, there are some basic items that every incoming freshman needs:
Comforter. Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond offer great deals to help bring more comfort in your dorm. Both offer great pattern designs to help show off your creativity for your side of the room. Target offers comforters between $19.99 - $34.99, but if you're looking to spend a little more, then Bed, Bath and Beyond is the place for you. Prices range between $69.99 - $99.99, but you'll be able to get a comforter, pillow case, and even a couple of throw pillows to go with your bed.
Storage Container/Organizer. When you begin to unpack, your half of the room is covered in clothes, and your closet won't be able to handle all that quantity, so making sure you have plenty of storage is key not just for your clothes, but also for food and jewelry. Spend around $50 at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Wal-Mart, and you'll have all the storage you need to stay organized.
Electronics. Laptop, iPad, TV, iPod, PS3 -- you'll need electronics not only to help you with your schoolwork, but also to keep you sane during the tough times of midterms. Microwaves and mini fridges are also key for those late night snacks you might crave well after the cafeteria is closed.
Shower Shoes. "Fungus is everywhere, and some people do pretty gross things in the showers, trust me," Champion said. The college website dormco.com offers great deals on different shower shoes with great prices ranging between $8-$15.
Mattress pads, along with the comforters, help make that stiff dorm room bed that much more comfortable, while shower caddies make the trip to the community shower a more manageable and pleasant one.
Most dorms don't allow extension cords, so protectors are a better option with their longer cord and multi-outlets.
The Vitamin C is only to help keep you in good health, while others are getting sick from interacting with the infected ones throughout the building.
And then there's the stuff you don't need. Furniture, cleaning supplies and the aforementioned clothes all fall into the less-is-more category. Most dorms have the furniture you need for your living space and supply many of your cleaning supplies.
Clothing can be tamed, but it can also become a hassle. Pack what you need. If you are able to go home some weekends take some back and switch it out. Do you really need every single concert t-shirt you picked up throughout high school? You're never going to wear that Nickelback shirt in public, so dude, don't pack it.
Enjoy Your Time, But Be Responsible
"College is definitely the best experience of your life, use your freshman year wisely, because when you're a junior/senior you're going to wish you were a freshman again," Champion said about the college experience.
These next four(ish) years of your life are supposed to be the best, but it's up to student to make sure that happens. Make friends in your dorms that first year so the next three, you have people to spend that time with, go to sporting and campus events with, and of course, study with.
After cramming your brain, unwind and have fun, because it is quite an experience.
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