Getting ready to head off to college for the first time? Or maybe it's the first time living in a dorm? Don't forget these simple things that will make you look like a pro.

Living in a college dorm, you'll pick up a few ins and outs over the years that will make dorm life a lot easier.

With this list, you can skip learning the hard way and be much more prepared than most of the students on your floor. Don't show up on move-in day without these:

Lights & Extra Bulbs

Your dorm will most likely have one ceiling light that's too bright or not bright enough. A small lamp or two will give you a much nicer atmosphere. Extra light bulbs save you a trip to the off-campus stores.

Power Strip & Extension Cord/s

Dorms will undoubtedly have a few outlets in each room, but what if one is behind your bed and the others are full?

Winter Boots & Clothing

If you're headed to a school in the Northeast, you don't want to get caught in a blizzard with only sneakers and no warm jacket/hat. Stuff them in the back of your closet in September and they'll be waiting when the snow flies.

Dress Clothes

Don't forget this is college. You're going to have to give a presentation/speech at some point and dressing the part matters. You'll also probably go on a date or two so make sure your wardrobe is ready.

First Aid Kit & Basics

Cut your finger? Have a cold? Upset stomach? if you bring your own first aid kit and some basic things like ibuprofen and Tums, it'll save you a trip to the medical center all the way across campus.

Flashlight & Batteries

The power goes out in dorms a lot more than you think. When I was at SUNY Oswego it happened something like 3 times in one semester. You're going to need a flashlight. Oh and those 4 a.m. fire drills are a good time to have one too.

Full-Length Mirror

Most dorms may have a small mirror or one in the bathroom, but to make sure you look good bring your own full-length mirror. Just be careful of your roommates hogging it because they didn't bring their own.


Whether it's hanging pictures high on the wall, dusting the corners of the room or just getting into your stilted bed, a step-stool will get used a lot more than you think.

Basic Tools

Pack a couple screw drivers, duct tape and a good utility knife. Things always break, and now you will be prepared to fix them.

A Printer

This may seem unnecessary but imagine it's 1 a.m. and you just finished a paper you have to print that's due at your 8 a.m. class. It's also another great way to help out your roommates. My roommates always asked to use my printer and they kept me in ink and paper as a 'printer fee.'

Heading to college is a fantastic experience that can be even better when you're prepared. Good luck Freshmen!

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