Fridge, check. Bedding, check. Clothes, check. “What else do I need, mom?”
In today’s post, I’m sharing some things that I found essential to dorm life that you may not think of packing off the top of your head. My hope is that you will become aware of some essential but easy-to-overlook items you should pack for your freshman year of college.
I cannot recommend bed risers enough. Not only will it afford you a large storage area underneath your bed, but I really enjoyed having my bed raised up higher because it gave me less empty wall space. Before you buy bed risers, make sure you know what types of beds are included in your dorm. For example, Printy beds are not self-rising.
As it says in the student handbook, it is often difficult to find bed risers that work well with the beds, so you may want to wait until you get to school to purchase them, or try to buy them off of an upperclassman who has used those bed risers on a bed in your dorm.Bed risers must be no more than 36 inches tall.
I would suggest buying taller bed risers so you can fit at least a few storage bins underneath. When I lived in Printy, my dad cut large PVC pipes to size so I could fit storage drawers and bins underneath my bed.
This past year, I lived in McKinney (as pictured) where the beds are self-rising and are very easy to adjust. If you have received an email from your Resident Assistant, ask him or her what the beds are like in your dorm so you can know how to plan for your room layout.
When it comes to dorm rooms, command hooks are a lifesaver. In Cedarville’s dorm rooms, as in most other on-campus university housing, students are not allowed to make holes in the walls, meaning you cannot use nails, hooks, tacks, and the like. Adhesives like tape and sticky tack often do not stay on the walls for very long, especially cinder block dorm room walls.
Command hooks, on the other hand, are allowed. Available at stores like Target and Walmart, they are very easy to use and will last for a long time. Command hooks come with sticky Velcro strips that attach easily to the wall. To avoid peeling paint off when you remove them, pull the plastic piece on the bottom of the command strip down in a quick, vertical motion. The sticky Velcro piece will easily slide off the wall and the hook, allowing you to save the hook for later use with a new pack of Velcro strips.
Most Cedarville dorms have fluorescent lighting that can be hard on your eyes as you are studying late at night or too bright for waking up for your 8 a.m. class. To solve this issue, bring a desk lamp and maybe another lamp or two to brighten your space, as well as a strand of string lights. In my freshman year dorm, I used a string of bulb lights, and this past year, my roommate and I put up fairy lights (purchased on Amazon) all around the space where the wall meets the ceiling. This changed the ambience of our room and made it very warm and inviting.
Most Cedarville dorm rooms have mirrors on the back of the doors, but try fixing your hair or makeup in that mirror for a few weeks and you’ll see why I’m glad I had a small personal mirror on my desk. Yes, the bathroom mirror may be all you need, but I found it so helpful to have a small mirror on my desk, especially as a girl who likes to put on a little mascara in the morning.
Something I forgot freshman year and always had to borrow from my roommate (big shoutout to her) was a pair of scissors. You won’t use them on a daily basis, but they will come in handy for things like removing price tags off clothes, cutting open packages, and a host of other things you wouldn’t have thought of. Do yourself a favor and bring a pair along with you.
Jackets, Hats, and Gloves
I cannot express how important it is that you bring several different types of jackets and coats with you to school at Cedarville. Midwest weather can get crazy, so you must be prepared for all the elements. For the chilly mornings in early fall and late spring, make sure you have a few light coats that will go with your outfits. My corduroy coat is one of my favorite clothing items, and I wore it all the time last year. Be sure not to forget a raincoat, too!
I wore hats every single day throughout the past winter. Don’t forget to pack some; they are essential. You will also thank yourself if you bring a pair of gloves or mittens to wear when you’re walking to class on a snowy November morning.
This is up to how much you think you’ll be playing in the snow. If you’re interested in going skiing at Mad River Mountain (or be crazy and go to Winterplace in WV like my friends and I did one weekend as pictured above), you will need to keep that in mind as you’re packing in August. Along with that, you may want to pack some waterproof gloves. I didn’t think to pack these items, but one week this past February, we had a snow day, and I wished I had packed some waterproof gloves and maybe even some snow pants for building igloos and sledding. (Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on that fun.)
As you pack up, remember that you don’t have to have everything together on move-in day in order to have a good freshman year. College is a period of so much growth, so give yourself some grace as you prepare to live away from home for the first time. If you forget to pack something you need, you can always go to the store or order it on Amazon. My hope is that this post helps you to pack some things that are easy to overlook.
Student Life Blog Manager
Majoring in Professional Writing and Information Design, Class of 2022
Where I’m From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Favorite Class: Theology I with Dr. Bennett
Go-To Rinnova Order: Boston with almond milk & brown sugar