For today’s Girl Boss Monday I decided to focus on “Back to School,” specifically those of you going to university in the fall.
With July flying by I am in a back to school mindset and I find myself anxiously looking back on all of my back to school shopping lists even though I am working full-time now in banking.
I had the absolute best time picking out items for my dorm room at UNC-Chapel Hill and then moving off-campus when I was a bit older. I am a huge planner and knowing that I was prepared for the start of a new semester was refreshing and motivating.
If you are going to school out-of-state or if this is just the first time that you will be away from home for an extended period of time, it can be a bit daunting to decide what to pack, how to pack it, how to transport it and if you will have everything you will need for the semester after your parents leave you at school.
I decided to curate a list of the top twenty or so items I found the most useful when I was living in a dorm during my undergraduate studies.
A hamper is self-explanatory but even so I can’t stress how useful this item is going to be for you, and if you can find one or order one online you should also pick up a big laundry bag in order to carry laundry home with you to your parent’s when you are home for the weekend or on break. The quality of the washing machines and dryers in your dormitory may be questionable so it’s best to have a tote that can fit a lot of clothes in it for those inevitable trips home.
2- Shower Caddy
If you share a bathroom with other students buy a large shower caddy in order to transport your shampoo, conditioner and other toiletries to and from the bathroom, just like the hamper, the bigger shower caddy the better, you might find you want to be able to use more than just the basic items when you are getting ready in the bathroom.
3- Extra Set of Sheets
Again, laundry might be questionable in your dormitory so a fresh pair of sheets will be a lovely change when you decide to change your bedding.
4- Case for Laptop
Every student is normally required to purchase a laptop and you will be taking it everywhere: class, the library, to study at a friend’s house, etc. so a sturdy case on the actual laptop and maybe a sleeve to put it in to protect this expensive investment is a no-brainer.
You can pick up cute and practical plastic shelving from Target, Bed Bath & Beyond or other retailer in order to have more storage space in a tiny dorm room – the storage can especially be used for storing snacks and non-perishable food for when you get hungry and would like a snack.
6- Mini Fridge
For soft drinks, yogurt in the morning when you are in a rush to class, frozen dinners when you have an exam and need to quickly make dinner, etc.
For those nights or mornings when you want something quick and easy and the dining hall or cafeteria is all the way across campus
A date? A formal? An interview on-campus? A steamer is a quick hit to make your clothes look beautiful and presentable.
9- Personal Touches
Pictures of friends, initials hanging on the wall, twinkly Christmas lights, don’t forget to bring a few memories from home as you head off to school
10- Area Rug
If your dorm room is concrete it might be a nice and easy touch to add an area rug to your room, your room will feel warm and cozy and you can pick up a carpet remnant very cheaply from some home stores or outlets if you don’t want to pay full price at Target or other big-box retailer.
11- Flash Drive
For quickly transporting a research paper or project and handing it in, preserving a copy of it or printing at the library, you need a flash drive.
12- External Hardrive
An external hard drive is a little expensive but if your life is on your computer as mine is you might want to think about backing up your data to another hard drive.
13- Febreeze / Clorox Wipes / ETC.
For freshening up your dorm room and keeping things reasonably clean.
14- Command Strips and Adhesives
You can’t drill holes or put nails in the wall of your dormitory but you can hang things with command strips or adhesives.
15- Ethernet Cord
Even though WiFi seems like it is everywhere nowadays it is possible that your dorm room does not have wifi and even if it does an ethernet cord is a hard wired connection and will be much faster – completely necessary.
16- Shower Shoes
Keep your feet clean from the germs in a bathroom that will be used by countless other people – pick up a couple of pairs from Old Navy or Target
17- First Aid Kit
Tylenol, Band Aids, Neosporin, etc.
Plastic Storage Containers // Bins // Shelving to store under the bed or on the shelving I mentioned earlier – it will make moving out easier later and will give you more floor space to actually live in.
19- Weekend Bag
For a trip home or to the beach with friends keep a cute bag stashed in your closet.
20- Business Casual Clothing
For the inevitable interview, group project, presentation, etc. make sure you have something professional and respectable tucked away in your wardrobe.
You can find two other #GirlBossMonday Posts related to college here:
What are your must-haves for your college packing list? Is there anything I left out? What was your favorite thing about living in a dormitory if you’ve already graduated from college?