Dorm Room Supply & Essentials

What to bring and how to adjust

It’s the big move. Not only are you leaving friends and family, but you are also leaving the friendly environment of your own room. Sure, it can be disorienting at first, but you can make the transition to dormitory life easier by creating a dorm room supply checklist and working to lay down some dorm room essential guidelines with your roommate.

Dorm Room Supply List

A little planning goes a long way. These sage words of advice certainly apply to the dorm room supply list. Good planning can save you a lot of woes. In fact, when you arrive to the dorms, you will quickly see who took the time to plan a dorm room supply list and who didn’t. The ones who didn’t will be the ones who show up with all of their clothes and school supplies, but no shampoo, linens, or plates. Or conversely, they’ll be the ones with two refrigerators, two toaster ovens, two televisions, and so on. Such is dormitory life, on occasion. You, however, are going to show up well-prepared with every dorm room supply you need and learn how to adjust well to dormitory life from day one.

Take a moment and grab a pen and paper. Okay, now start your dorm room supply list by writing down everything you absolutely cannot live without. List items of clothing, computer, shoes/boots, alarm clock, and other bare bones items. Once you have taken the time to do that, then indulge just a little bit and add some things you would like to bring, such as CDs, photos, or any other familiar comfort items that might make you feel more at home in your new surroundings. Finally, as far as personal items are concerned, think of the things you use everyday, but were likely not responsible for purchasing/replenishing in the past: soap, shampoo, towels, razors, laundry detergent, and the like. These make up part of your dorm room essential supply items which you should plan on bringing regardless of any other factors.

Dorm Room Supply: The Big Items

Now that you have identified the personal dorm room supply items for which you will always be reponsible, it’s time to start making a list of bigger items that you and your future roommate will likely be sharing. This list usually includes items like a television, a mini fridge, a microwave, a stereo, a video game system, a rug, and other big items. You may already have some of these bigger dorm room essential items. You may even have all of them. Regardless, if you think you will need it, put it on the list.

Most college and university housing offices will supply incoming freshmen with the contact information of their soon-to-be roommates. They do this for a reason: so you communicate with that person beforehand. And what better way to reach out than to start by discussing the bigger dorm room supply stuff. In most situations, you will have everything covered between the two of you. It’s just a matter of deciding who is going to bring what. Perhaps, you may also have to figure out who will have to buy certain items you both feel you need, but currently do not own. This type of bonding, sharing, and compromise is a good preview for much of what dormitory life – and life in general – is all about.

Dorm Room Essential Guidelines

Some colleges and universities actually require you and your roommate to sign a contract regarding guidelines and expectations for the room. These contracts relate to what will be acceptable behavior and what will not be. If your school of choice does not have this contract, you may still want to discuss the matter with your roommate to prevent any future problems that could snowball quickly. If the two of you worked on the dorm room supply list together, then you have an advantage here.

Still, the world takes all types of people. Some common differences that can cause problems include between:

  • smokers and non-smokers
  • early risers and night owls
  • neat freaks and clutterbugs

If you and your roommate fall into opposite categories on any of these, or similar issues, talk about it early and find a compromise. Issues are easier to resolve in September than they are in February.

Dormitory life can be unpredictable, but having a few rules, and being accountable for them, can give you something you can count on when things get stressful. And remember, like you, your roommate and fellow dorm dwellers are still growing up and still learning. When they make mistakes, show some patience. When they are down, show some encouragement. And when they succeed, show them praise. Dorm room essential guidelines, expectations, and support can be just as important to your success in college as test scores.

Dormitory Life: Know When to Get Out

You nailed the dorm room supply list. You agreed on some dorm room essential guidelines. And dormitory life is starting to feel like a new home. Now get out!

That’s right; get out of the dorm room. Supply yourself with something meaningful to do aside from academics. Visit your campus Student Activities or Student Organizations office. You will find campus groups that are locally involved in bettering the community, like Habitat for Humanity or some other volunteer organizations. And you will also find groups that are out to have some fun, like the ultimate Frisbee Club or the campus radio station. How about student government?

College, like life, is often what you make of it. Be sure to get out there and make something memorable.

College-Bound Student Information

Because college is about a lot more than the dorm room supply list, CollegeView offers an extensive amount of valuable information and resources for the college-bound student. Please follow these links to discover how our publishings can help you in your choice for an educational pathway:


This article was written by Jeff McGuire

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