Things I learned you’ll actually need for your dorm after one year of college that you probably won’t see on pinterest
So, I recently finished my first year at college (which was definitely an adventure, and probably one of the best years of my life so far) and I’ve made a few mistakes, but none that couldn’t be fixed. For example, I really didn’t do adequate research as to what I’ll actually need for my dorm room because I was too busy fantasizing how I was gonna diy decorate my dorm room into a pinterest masterpiece. Anyway, I quickly learned my lesson.
Basically, your dorm room isn’t just for display. You live there. It’s gonna get messy, it’s gonna have to store a lot of stuff, and you’re not always going to have time to keep it in pristine condition because life gets crazy. But you can deal with it, I promise, and for all the new freshman prepping for their first dorm experience, I want to give some advice on how you can be prepared for what college life actually hits you with.
Alright, so I actually ended up being in a triple (so I had two roommates) which meant I had even less space than the average broom-closet sized dorm room and I had two people I had to get along with. Thankfully, we all ended up being really close and very considerate of each other, and I am incredibly grateful for it. We learned our lessons together, and this is the list of stuff we came up with:
1. Vacuum: Get a real vacuum, maybe a cheap one (not like a crazy dyson), but a real one. Not just a handheld one (like we had) because it won’t be enough. Girls shed hair. A lot. (especially three long haired girls like us) People might accidentally spill a bag of powdered sugar on your rug, or you might rip open a bag of cereal a little too vigorously, or, more seriously, you might break something like glass and you don’t want anyone cutting open their foot on a shard.
2. Swiffer: If your floor was linoleum like ours (that’s why we needed a rug, which I’ll mention later), then it will get dusty and dirty. Having a swiffer is just nice to have because once you vacuum your rug clean, you don’t want the dirt on the linoleum getting on the rug. Plus, it’s gonna a rain and there’s gonna be mud. It’s gross.
3. Brita filter: So my dorm was actually the absolute best freshman dorm not just because the people were amazing, but because we had sinks. IN OUR ROOMS. It is just so CONVENIENT. Anyway, I am fully aware that not everyone is as lucky as us and the only sinks will be in the bathroom. A Brita filter pitcher is nice to keep in your fridge because you can have fresh clean in your room at any given moment.
4. Trash can: We had three in our room for each person but they kinda ended up being shared based on location in the room, but yeah. You need somewhere to throw away stuff.
5. Plastic bags or just garbage bags: And not only do you need a place to throw away stuff, you need plastic bags or garbage bags for clean disposal. And trash piles up real fast in your tiny room, so you’ll need to replenish these bags very often. I learned from my mom that you always have a place to store your plastic bags, and so we had a designated plastic bag drawer where we kept all the bags from our local campus convenience store, or the drug store, or wherever. Trust me, it’s saved lives. (as in, barf bags)
6. Command hooks: So we had to bunk two beds and loft another to have enough room and it’s kind of a pain in the ass to constantly climb down to throw something out so we had a trash bag hanging from a command hook on my roommate’s lofted bed and yeah. That bag has saved lives. (same situation as above) Plus, you can hang hats, bags, towels, little caddies for your toothbrush off of these hooks and it’s just so nice because you don’t lose things.
7. Clorox wipes: Again, stuff gets gross, and you’ll unfortunately need to clean things (ie your mom doesn’t clean everything for you anymore). Have two packs stored because you never know.
8. Dish soap: Real dishes need to be washed well, or else you’ll get sick.
9. Sponges: For the dish soap. And the dishes.
10. Windex: For our mirror, which we wrote on with washable marker, and I killed ants with it too.
11. Storage for food: Something airtight so bugs can’t get to it, like a trunk. We also had mice sometimes go into our vents. And then into people’s rooms. They’re looking for a warm place to hide, and food. Don’t leave food out is the lesson. But also have food in your room! Our room was well known to always have food and its really nice when you’re staying up late and everything is closed.
12. Tissues: Freshman plague is so real. You will most certainly get it, and probably several times too.
13. Vitamins and medicine: Your immune system is gonna get a work out in college. Help it out with some vitamin C tablets. Have some tylenol or advil for headaches and aches and pains. And side note, if you’re really sick, just go to the health center, you don’t have to suffer through it.
14. Slippers: Get a comfy, cheap pair (because sometimes dorm hallways are gross, especially on the weekends) that you can wear all around your building and still be comfy.
15. Power strip: So much stuff needs to be plugged in and you definitely won’t have enough outlets between you and your roommate(s).
16. Printer: Okay, this seems a little unreasonable, but we were lucky because my one roommate had a spare one at home (how though??) and I have frequently said it is my favorite thing in our room. It has come in clutch so many times. But if you have a campus printer near you, or if its too expensive, it’s fine not to have one. But if you do get one, I would recommend getting one that is NOT wireless. University wifi doesn’t like you using other wifi (ie it won’t work). Get a printer that has a cable.
17. Plastic plates and forks: We have real dishes and silverware too, but plastic stuff is just easier clean up.
18. Rug: I almost forgot about this one.The floor gets cold and a rug also makes a room feel homier. You and your friends are gonna sit there and bond all that fun stuff, and someone might even sleepover on it (if they have a sleeping bag).
19. Chairs: So we actually didn’t have any other chairs other than the ones that university gave us for our desks and those are okay and everything, but some of our friends had these amazing, foldable, springy chairs that were so comfortable and also a lot of fun, and I am definitely getting one for my room next year.
Other things you might need but might forget (maybe?):
Make up wipes
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, you’ll definitely need other things (like a fridge, microwave, sheets, pillows, decorations, etc), or see that you really don’t need some of the things I’ve mentioned. Honestly, do what you feel is best and good luck! I loved my first year at college! Like basically everyone, I had some trouble adjusting at first. I felt pretty lonely in the beginning too, but once you start going, things start to fall into place. I met some great people, had some great classes, and honestly, I’m going to miss my first year–even with all the excitement of being an upperclassman next semester.
I hope this helped and that you have just as great of an experience in your first year as I did–actually, even better!
My wee little brother is finally going to be a freshman in college (I’m so proud :’)) and was asking me for advice the other day. It occurred to me that most of the advice I heard going into uni was stuff like “you can’t live on ramen” and “don’t strangle your roommate in their sleep.”
Solid, but also fairly common sense. I felt that most “college guides” didn’t address the real challenges I ended up facing with school and academia my freshman year, and there was other important but overlooked advice one should keep in mind. So I wrote this for him, and might as well publish it here, as a guide to any incoming freshman on The Real Things You Need To Know For College.
- Go. To Fucking. Office Hours. Especially if you’re writing a paper. Be not afraid of professors, they are nerds who want to talk this one really specific thing they’ve been working on for a decade and want to help you. I used to be afraid of office hours but now I practically live in them, ending up in some office or another talking about research projects and readings at least twice a week. Most professors love engaged & interested undergrads, and will talk you to your grave if you let them. I’ve never regretted an office hour visit.
- If you plan to go to grad school, get involved in research early and stay involved. This is easier than you think - keep an eye out for opportunities and take chances on applying to things - and GO. TO. OFFICE. HOURS. Ask profs if they know any projects you can be involved in. Ask your advisor. Ask your T.A. Let people know you’re interested.
- If you’re not going to grad school, *get an internship.* Make sure you get course credit for it if it’s not paid. Unpaid internships suck esp on top of school and jobs, but they make a huge difference when it comes to experience, your resumé, and figuring out what you want to do.
- Sometimes college is going to suck. Sometimes it’s going to be 3am and you’re at the library too broke to afford coffee, considering sleeping on the chair. Sometimes you’ll be taking 18 hours, working two jobs, and running an organization and can’t remember the last time you called your mama. Those are the most important moments of college, if you ask me. They test if you really want to be doing what you’re doing, if you’re willing to push yourself to the brink for it, or are just doing it bc it’ll make you money or your parents said so.
- If you don’t want to be doing what you’re doing, it’s okay. Talk to people about it. Reach out to professors, classmates, people in your major, and counseling and career services. People want to help you, whether you’re changing paths or turning down a side road, and their guidance will be a blessing in a troubled time.
- Don’t skip class. Just don’t. Go to even the most boring, read-off-slide-doesn’t-take-attendance class. Don’t let people tell you skipping your whole semester’s worth of classes is normal, because it’s not. You’re paying for these courses. I have anxiety, I know what it’s like to be so paralyzed you can’t even get out of bed, but make yourself at least show up, even if you’re in sweatpants-sweatshirt-no-bra spending the whole class writing on your computer. At least you’re there.
Skipping one “mental health break” class isn’t terrible but it’s a slippery slope that I’ve seen more people fall down than not. Do what’s healthy for you, and talk to student counseling if you really are having trouble wanting to go to class, but try your very best to attend every single one.
- And beyond all this, the biggest advice I could give is to have a life outside of college. If you’re taking 15+ hours and working in labs or on campus, your whole life becomes the university. It can quickly start to get overwhelming, like you can’t escape. Do something for yourself - I knit and listen to audiobooks or podcasts for at least four hours a week, as well as blog, and honestly that’s what keeps me sane. Take up ice skating at the local rink every week or plan dinner and movie dates with friends. Join a church group or start crafting or fishing or something equally quirky. Give yourself something that’s not school (and not drinking/partying) to look forward to, and it’ll make all the difference in the world.
hey, whats up, hello! so you’re gonna be a freshman and you’re probably moving in real soon, and you might be excited but also nervous, not to worry i got you! here are some tips and tricks and general advice based on my own experience.
okay so step by step:
okay so this is easily the most stressful thing about the first week of school. you gotta get all of your stuff into a tiny dorm if it’s a big room i am literally so jealous my dorm was like a prison so don’t freak out, stay cool and pack efficiently!
try not to overpack, it’s really easy to believe you’ll need everything you’re bringing but trust me you won’t even look at half of it
a good tip for this is, if you don’t use it at home, don’t bring it to school! (plus it’s really easy to just buy stuff you need on amazon so don’t forget that that’s an option too)
if you’re going to a school that deals in snow, DON’T bring that stuff (jackets/hats/boots/etc) with you when you move in. if you know you’re going to go home for a weekend before the snow sets in, definitely leave it at home and bring it with you later!
let your parents/guardians/friends/family help you move in. it might not seem like a big deal, but letting them help you will make them feel better. and if you don’t like how they arrange things, let it be! you have all semester to rearrange and settle in, they only have this one day, so just let them have it! also don’t forget to thank them when they leave!
ah yes, the wonderful concepts of roommates. i was lucky my freshman year, but some people aren’t
try and connect with them via facebook/school emails/phone, settling things like are you gonna share a mini fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and how you’re gonna decorate (if you’re into that) will help when you finally settle into your room
definitely go over ground rules once you’re all unpacked and settled in. my dorm had us go over a list of questions, come to an agreement, and sign it in case there were any future conflicts. cover things like:
is it okay to have my friends sit at your desk or on your bed when you aren’t there?
how should we handle overnight guests?
do you want me to give you a heads up if i have friends coming over?
100% agree to give each other a heads up on parents coming to your room
definitely definitely give each other a copy of your class schedule, and if you have classes at the same time maybe you can agree to make sure you’re both awake at the right time!
you don’t have to be bff’s with your roommate, sometimes it turns out that way and sometimes it doesn’t. what you do need to be is open and honest with your roommate. your year will be miserable (especially if you can’t switch roommates) if you don’t communicate with each other. don’t be afraid to tell them if something is bothering you. if you’re to nervous to do that or don’t like confrontation, talk to your RA or RD
so now that we got all that out of the way, here are some general tips about social things:
that whole keep your door open and people will come talk to you think is a load of bs. me and my roommate did that for weeks and no one came in. everyone is just waiting for someone else to take that chance. so go into peoples rooms and ask them if they wanna grab lunch/dinner! walk around and poke your head in their room! it might be awkward as hell but at least you’re trying :)
go to all (or as many) dorm activities as you can! this allows you to meet more people too even if the event is really dumb, at least show up. you always have the option to leave!
go to club meetings! even if you aren’t sure you want to stay in the club. it’s much harder or maybe just more awkward to join when you’re an upperclassmen, so try and get those roots down as soon as you can
that being said, you can always leave a group without any hard feelings. people do it all the time, so don’t be scared that once you go to one meeting you’re stuck in the group forever
don’t let anyone tell you that as a freshman you can’t get involved. if you want to, you can. there is absolutely nothing stopping you. you might have to work a bit harder but i know you can do it!
sometimes freshman year can suck, or at least have it’s moments. don’t give up. everything gets infinitely better as time goes one, i promise. if you’re having a tough time or feel isolated or overwhelmed, reach out to someone, a parent, friends from home, an old teacher, anyone really! don’t give up, things might get tough, but you ARE strong and you WILL get through it
i keep seeing this post going around that is directed at incoming college freshman and it seems kind of like?? really negative so here you go:
1. the freshman fifteen is a real thing, it is true, but it is preventable. most of the freshman fifteen comes from drinking ridiculous amounts if alcohol and then eating crappy food. if you drink responsibly (most of the time) and eat like you normally would at home youre all set
2. there is always pizza in the dining hall. dont eat pizza all the time.
3. if youre going to take a nap just set an alarm before class, then you wont have to run. naps are nice and you deserve them.
4. a lot of classes offer cool one credit classes that involve going to the gym. these are really cool and help motivate you to get out and exercise.
5. the homework level is manageable as long as you stay on top of it. most classes dont meet every day so if youre not feeling doing homework right after the class ends you can do it the next day and still have time.
6. just dont let it all pile up
7. finals arent that bad if youre not cramming. just study the week before in small increments.
8. sometimes your roommates do things you dont like. talk to them about it, dont be passive aggressive. it solves nothing
9. college can be really hard and scary at first but it gets so much better. just remember that everybody is as nervous as you are and dont be afraid to approach new people.
10. a grade does not define you. sometimes you work your ass off and fail. you can get back from this. you are not and never will be a failure because youre struggling.
11. professors are friends and office hours are best friends.
it is so worth it guys. i had a hard time first semester (i called my mom crying like every weekend for a month) but you settle in and get in the swing it things and it DOES get better.
second semester is here and im having the time of my life
I’m sure you have already had questions about college, what you want to do with your life, and how you want to make money. For some reason people find it necessary to talk about it excessively which is really stressful, to say the least. Society (especially in the U.S) pushes the idea that you HAVE to go to college in order to be successful. That you have to immediately go to college after you graduate high school. And that you NEED to graduate high school.
This is bullshit.
The pressure to go to college is insane. Trust me, I know. During my senior year of high school that’s all I ever heard. I couldn’t have a conversation without talking about college. Not only did it get annoying, but I felt a shit ton of guilt when I suddenly started having doubts about going to college at all. I had already decided a school and declared a major, meaning there was no going back, right? Well, kinda.
In all honesty, I wasn’t ready. I felt obligated to go because my family kept pushing it onto me over and over and over again. So I tried to convince myself I was ready, when in reality I was anything but. My mental health was so poor at the time but I tried to push it away, hoping that the whole “college is so much better” myth was true (Newsflash: it’s not true). Instead I found myself skipping classes for weeks on end, getting even more depressed and anxious, and ultimately had to take a medical leave because I wasn’t doing anything but hiding in my room. And I suppose that was kind of my fault. But here’s my point:
Going to college is up to you. Not up to anyone else. It’s okay to wait a few years, or not go at all. There is no right time to go to college! Hell, I know people who still go to college in their late 30′s and 40′s.
This is your life, not someone else’s. I know that society makes it seem like you have to go, but please be reassured when I say that you do not have to go to school to be successful. My best friend’s mom is a really successful makeup supplier and she didn’t go to college at all. I know a high school drop out who makes a perfect living. I’m not saying education isn’t important, because it is, but don’t do something you aren’t ready for. That only hurts more than helps.
Take care of yourself first! College or not, just do what you love and do it the best you can!
You’ve just transitioned from middle school to high school!
There’s going to be a lot of terminology and schedule changes you’re not
familiar with. Here’s a quick breakdown of terms and other things you need to
1. AP Exams (Advanced Placement exams). These are
college-level tests that are administered after you complete an AP course.
Depending on the college, you may be able to use these credits to skip classes
2. “Double mod” or “Double period lunch”. Chances
are, you’re going to have a day in the week where your lunch is used as a lab
period. These are usually for bio, chem, envi-sci, physics, and sometimes comp
sci. Other classes may do this as well!
3. Digital Notes- You may be allowed to use your
laptop/tablet to take notes!
4. SAT/ACT- Standardized tests that you should start preparing for in
freshman year! More on that later.
5. SAT Subject Tests-More specific standardized
tests that will also be discussed later.
These are kind of the big ones that I didn’t know about when
I was a freshman. Honestly, I’m compiling a list of things I WISH I KNEW when I
was a freshman.
1. Grades matter!!! People will tell you that
grades don’t really matter in your first year, especially the first quarter.
DON’T LISTEN TO THEM, THAT IS A LIE. Don’t completely disregard your social
life and definitely don’t forget to take care of your mental health, but do put
some effort into your freshman year grades.
2. It’s okay to be thinking about college during
your first year. Actually, I highly recommend it. Try to narrow down your
potential college interest to a subject (science, math, arts) so you can slowly
stack up classes in that area!
3. Keep your notes! You don’t know when you’re
going to need them down the line!
4.Start making good relationships with your
teachers 😊 Chances are, during senior year when you
need hundreds of recommendations, your freshman teachers will have a nostalgic
and fun time writing you one!
5. Slowly start studying for the SAT and ACT exams!
These are very important if you want to get into college/university. ACT has a
science section (along with math and English/reading) while SAT does without
science. Buy a practice book for both the SAT and ACT and fiddle around with
both until you find which test you prefer. Then focus on that specific one and
6. Try to make your GPA great from the beginning 😊
If you’re aiming for competitive colleges, they want to see good grades
(coupled with challenging courses!)
7. Do LOTS of activities. Don’t let go of all the
hobbies/sports you enjoy doing! Not only will you be happy, you will have a
great application for colleges to see.
8. Start volunteering to not only make your application
beautiful, but also to become a better person!
9. Don’t be afraid to aim high. It’s okay to be the
different student and have goals while being a freshman. Don’t let other
people make you think otherwise.
10. Become great friends
with the other staff people (office ladies, secretaries, etc.) You will feel
so much more comfortable in a school surrounded by people who greet you in a
I hope this helps! I certainly wish I had something like this when I first started high school. I’ll be making sophomore, junior, and senior spinoffs, so get ready! I hope everyone is having a great April so far! Shoutout to my sister for making this header for me!!!