The end of summer marks an important milestone for hundreds of thousands of recent high school grads across the country: It's the first semester of college. This summer, that's even more significant since many colleges last year did remote learning because of the pandemic. That means many students will be getting to experience dorm life — the land of twin beds, communal bathrooms and late-night shenanigans.
This checklist could go on and on about what to bring and what to leave behind, but we think there are some dorm room essentials that every student have in order to make their space feel less like a cave and more like a home. From shower shoes and a bathroom caddy to noise-canceling headphones for endless Zoom seminars and studying, you will be glad you brought these things along.
You probably won't have control over the thermostat, so keep yourself from overheating with this portable AC.
8:00 AM classes still exist — don't sleep through them after you forgot to charge your phone while you were up late studying.
Keep your desk comfortable, organized and protected with a desk mat.
You gotta have somewhere to sit beside your bed.
Avoid constant plugging and unplugging by having a dedicated plug for everything you need powered up.
This is our favorite air purifier for small rooms, making it the perfect option to clear that dorm room air.
Mask and vaccination requirements are unfortunately going to be part of campus life.
Okay, you could go any direction you want with this, but you'll need some wall art to find your zen during all-night cram sessions.
Give them a nice wireless charger for their desk to make sure they never leave the room without a charge.
These are our favorite sheets, and they come in Twin XL, perfect for a dorm bed.
An easy-to-take-care-of plant like a philodendron heartleaf is a pop of greenery for a dorm room that won't die if they neglect it a little bit.
In a room with little storage, you may need this next to your bed for books, your phone or a remote control.
Noisy roommates and loud library whisperers are no match for quality noise-canceling headphones.
Let's face it, a dorm room mattress just probably isn't that comfortable (or clean), so put something between it and your body when you sleep.
A nice travel mug to haul from class-to-class (and for late-night studies) is a must.
A college staple. This is our favorite backpack and is nice enough to last you all four years.
Keeping a gooseneck kettle around is a great idea for when you don't want to leave your dorm to make some fresh coffee or tea.
Maybe you never get dressed for class, maybe you do. Either way, lounge shorts are a must.
Just think of the floors in a shower used by a few or even dozens. You need some shoes.
This vacuum is one of our picks for the best stick vacuums you can buy. You know a dorm room will get dirty quickly, so keep it clean with a vacuum you can easily store.
For when you think you just can't stay up any longer and all of the stores on campus are already closed (or not open yet).
Don't let yourself end up sharing towels with your roommate. Yuck.
Communal bathrooms are no place to leave your shower stuff around — your loofa is YOUR loofa.
It is 2021, we know, but you still need paper in college.
A little more sturdy than a cheapo BIC pen, these will are refillable and are tough enough to be buried in your backpack (until you lose them, at least).
You can wash laundry, dishes, your hair or your body with this stuff. It seriously cleans anything.