When we are preparing for college dorm life, we think of all the essentials; books, pencils, paper, backpack, and tablet. On college move-in day, the most important things you will unpack are the ones that help you feel at home right away. That sweet new notebook with the adjustable thingamajig will be great in class, but on Day 1 in the dorm it will not be the first thing on your list. Here are a few items to add to your college dorm preparation checklist that will make your college experience a little nicer.
1 Linens – Good sleep makes good grades!
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. Since dorm beds are not always the most comfortable, invest in a good quality mattress topper. Next, buy sheets that fit. Most college dorms are equipped with a Twin XL size bed, and there are many companies that specialize in college bedding. You can even buy sheets that show off your school spirit! Don’t forget to bring at least one spare set to have on your bed while the other is in the wash. Finally, it is just fine to bring that old quilt or pillow that you’ve been toting around since you were in grade school. Sometimes you just need that familiar thing to get you through!
2 Laundry – Mom’s not here to do it for you anymore!
Speaking of linens, don’t forget to wash your sheets at least every other week! If you are sleeping 8 hours (ok, you’re sleeping less when you’re cramming for mid-terms) a night in bed, you are spending the night with a lot of bad stuff. In an average set of sheets, there are millions of dead skin cells, oils that will make you break out with acne, dried sweat, saliva, and let’s face it, you’ve dropped some fried rice while sitting up watching TV or texting your significant other. If washing your sheets is too much, you can even go with disposable sheets! Here are a few tips for doing your first load:
- Do not overload machines
- Do not overuse detergent
- Do use stain removers
- Unbutton shirts and pants before washing
- Place delicates in zippered mesh bags
- When possible, dry on low settings to prevent shrinkage
3 Toiletries – Smell good, Look good, Do good
Nobody wants to sit next to Pigpen, and nobody wants to be Pigpen. College life also often means sharing a bathroom with others, and a less private shower than you are used to. It means lugging your stuff to the bathroom and back again. It means shower shoes and long robes, and hoping that the last person cleaned their hair out of the drain. Personal toiletries will vary by preference, but a general rule with the smelly stuff (cologne, deodorant, perfume, et al.) is that less is more. Sitting next to the body spray king/queen can be just as distracting as the person with a rough case of BO. Use a tote to carry all your shower gear to make life simpler.
Preparing for college life is more than just buying your textbooks and making sure you have that $100 calculator. Linens, laundry, and toiletries are an oft-forgotten section of the checklist. Fortunately, many of these are readily available at a department store near campus. Plan and shop early, and use a checklist to make sure you have all the bases covered, and you’re not buying extras. A good night’s sleep, a crisp clean outfit, and a fresh shower can go a long way to making that first day less stressful.