Out of all the memories I made my freshman year of college at Kansas State, nothing will beat my experience of living in the dorms. Although the move-in process was hectic, it was so much fun to decorate and make my new living area a home and a place where I would spend a lot of time in. Even though my time in the dorms was cut short this year, I learned a lot, especially when it comes to packing efficiently. Here are some dorm essentials and tips and tricks that I learned during my time in Haymaker Hall.
THE ROOM ESSENTIALS:
Bedside caddy: When I was first thinking about which things I would take back into my room in a heartbeat, it was my bedside caddy. This thing saves. It had so many pockets to put my glasses, phone, charger, scrunchies, or whatever I needed to have by my bed. I got mine for super cheap at Target, and it held up the entire year so I definitely recommend getting one. Mine just had velcro straps that I hung over the end of my bed, and oh you bet I am taking it with me when I move into Alpha Chi this fall.
Here is the link to the exact one I got from Target: https://www.target.com/p/bedside-caddy-storage-bag-blue-room-essentials-8482/-/A-75666429
Storage bins: Living in a suite with 3 other girls, I knew storage would be pretty limited, so that is why I got a TON of the long plastic storage bins that can slide under the bed. This is where I put my extra towels and sheets, and it was nice to have them tucked away but still easily accessible. I also got a few of the soft cube storage bins to put at the top of my closet, and I put my extra supplies and shoes in those to again get them out of the way but still have them in a spot where I could easily get to them.
Here is a link to the long storage bins and soft cube bins:
Hangers: I cannot stress this enough, bring an absolute absurd amount of hangers. My first week of college, I was bombarded with free shirts, and going through recruitment and joining a sorority, I was given shirts on shirts on shirts. While packing for college, I told myself to really cut back on how many clothes I was taking, which proved to be super beneficial as my closet slowly started to fill up. I also recommend getting a fun color of hangers, so you know which ones are yours when you inevitably have to go do your laundry. Also I would just get a cheap pack of them, as you are probably going to lose some and break some.
Here is a link to a pack of hangers:
Command strips: These are also a HUGE lifesaver. In the dorms, you are not allowed to put holes in the wall, so command strips will slowly become your best friend. When I was moving in, I was able to find a variety pack of all different sizes of hooks, which allowed me to hang things up ranging from fairy lights to a huge dry erase board above my desk. These are also nice to have in bulk so you can have them whenever you need them. If you and your roommate(s) decide to paint canvases to de-stress, or if you get door decorations from your sorority, these will definitely come in handy.
Here is a link to some command strips: https://www.target.com/p/command-designer-hook-value-pack/-/A-13679255
THE CLOSET ESSENTIALS:
Rain Boots: I can go on and on about just how much I valued having my rain boots at school with me. Having these with me not only helped in the rain, but in the weird Kansas snowstorms that for some reason happen in October (?). I will admit, they were a little big and clunky, but I just slid them under my bed when I wasn’t using them and I did not have to worry about them being in the way.
Tennis shoes: KSU’s campus is pretty compact and is easy to manage, but please girl get some good walking shoes. You will not regret this at all. In the first few days being on campus, I realized that I absolutely needed a good pair of tennis shoes, and actually had to go home to get a pair because I was walking around campus so much. You might want to find a neutral pair so that they can go with everything, especially your game day outfits because the walk to The Bill from the Derby complex where I was my freshman year was a HIKE.
Windbreaker: Listen, Manhattan is so windy sometimes that I thought I was going to fall over while walking to class. That is why I recommend having a super simple and lightweight windbreaker for those days when you don’t need a big jacket, but when you need some protection from the wind, especially in the morning when it can be a little chilly as you get closer to fall. Having a windbreaker was great because if I needed to I could also layer it up if I needed to be warmer.
Dressier outfits: I know there is a stereotype that most people wear leggings and an oversized t-shirt to class, and while I fed into that stereotype most days, there were some days where I had to look a little dressier for class. I’m not saying you should buy a blazer or a pantsuit, but I recommend having a nice pair of jeans or pants and a nice top or sweater to wear if you have a presentation or just have the need to dress for success. I am a big believer in the saying “if you look good, you feel good,” and having these nicer options made me feel more put together and nicer than on the average day.
Although I have given you material things to bring with you as you move into the dorms, the most important essentials you need to bring with you are an open mind, a good attitude, and a good work ethic. College for some of us is the first time we really get to spread our wings and find our own path, so it is important to take it all in and make the most of your college experience. Freshman year is a time for discovery, whether that be making new friends, learning about new topics or joining new clubs, so just remember to keep an open heart and if you're interested in doing something, then go for it! You never know until you try. It is also super important to constantly check up on yourself and ask yourself how you are doing. College is a big step, no two people have the same experience and it may be harder for some than others to make that adjustment, so do not be afraid to lean on people, talk a walk, or call your family when you need to. Know that we have all been there at some point, and that you are surrounded by a family here at KSU and within Greek life. I wish you the best of luck, and I can’t wait to see you in the fall! Go Cats!