Whether dorming in a campus residence that is located a reasonable drive away from home or in one that requires a plane ticket, making sure to get all the basic necessities can be a daunting task.The following are some tips to help ensure college freshmen adapt and are prepared for college life in their new homes: 1.)‚ÄàPerhaps the most important part of the dorm room is the bed considering that is where students will rest (when they are not up all night finishing a paper or taking accidental naps in the library). When buying bedding, make sure to get basics such as sheets, pillows, pillow cases, a comforter, a mattress pad, a thermal cotton blanket (especially if they're moving to the east coast where the winters are harsher), and an egg crate pad for extra comfort on those maybe not-so-comfy mattresses. Also, make sure you buy the right size bedding, which might be Twin-XL. 2.) In dorms, communal bathrooms in which everyone on one floor shares showers are common and may be a seemingly frightening experience. To prepare for this and make the experience as pleasant as possible, invest in a pair of sandals to shower with (you don't want to know what is on those tiles), a basket to carry your bathing essentials (this is a must-have item that makes carrying your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. much easier), and towels and/or bathrobe of course. 3.) Taking care of laundry is one of the easiest tasks. Buy a pop-up hamper that can be used to store and carry laundry. 4.) Storage may be one of the biggest obstacles considering most dorms are tiny. But thankfully, many solutions are available to maximize your space. Bed risers -- objects that can be put under all four legs of the dorm bed -- can add about six inches of space under your bed which can then be used to put an underbed storage box containing anything of your choice. Dormbuys.com and Bed Bath & Beyond are just some places that definitely sell bed risers and underbed storage boxes. Remember, every nook and cranny counts! 5.)‚ÄàOther important buys: Make sure to purchase a powerstrip or two (there are only so many outlets in a dorm), and an alarm clock and desk lamp if you do not already have them. 6.) Are you unsure whether to ship your purchases or buy on location? If you can easily drive to the university, buy all of your stuff back home at retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, etc. and take everything in your car. If you're not so close and require a plane ride, buy and ship things at home that you do not think you can easily buy while at the university because of transportation issues. Also, you may want to buy travel-sized toiletries to last the first few days that don't take up a lot of luggage space; normal-sized toiletries will be easily accessible on campus.
********** Published: August 5, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 16