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. While the pandemic left many students back home with their parents for the past two years, moving onto campus is back in full swing this August. That means 2022's high school grads (and, likely, many grads from the previous two years) will step onto campus for the first time and experience all that dorm life has to offer: springy twin beds, square-tiled communal bathrooms and late-night shenanigans, just to name a few.
This checklist could probably go on forever about what to pack into the '07 Camry you're taking with you to school and what to leave in your childhood bedroom, but we think there are some dorm room essentials that every student has to have in order to make their itty-bitty living space feel less like a supervision-free, Red Bull-littered bat cave and more like 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.
There's no denying it, this summer is hot. From the West Coast to East Coast and everywhere between, we're sweating it out this year. The Evapolar evaChill is a personal air conditioner that stays cool for up to 9 hours and can be powered with a laptop or power bank in addition to a wall charger.
Avoid constant plugging and unplugging by having a dedicated plug for everything you need powered up. This one features three separate USB ports for device charging and has ample space between plugs to easily charge multiple MacBooks or laptops.
One of our favorite reading chairs (and the most affordable on our list), this chair is small enough to fit in the tight confines of a dorm room while still providing a comfy place to read that isn't the bed.
Maybe you never get dressed for class, maybe you do. Either way, lounge shorts are a must. Nice Laundry's Pocket Lounge shorts get better with every wash, have handy side pockets, look great and and are supremely comfortable.
This low-footprint LED lamp from Ikea will keep your space lit for studying, gaming or just for avoiding bright overhead lighting. The Fully Beam has adjustable brightness and impressive maneuverability.
In a room with little storage, you may need this next to your bed for books, your phone or a remote control. This one is super affordable and easy to pick up on Amazon. Plus, it can double as a shower caddy.
8:00 AM classes still exist — don't sleep through them after you forgot to charge your phone while you were up late studying. This is one of our favorite alarm clocks — it has all the features you need, including a companion app for easy alarm setting.
Keep your desk comfortable, organized and protected with a desk mat. The Grovemade Desk Mat is topped with a durable fingerprint-resistant laminate and cushioned with a layer of cork for a comfortable workspace that keeps Cheeto-fingers and coffee spills at bay.
A college staple. The Bellroy Classic is one of our favorite backpacks for everyday use thanks to its minimal design and maximal features. It has a slew of pockets throughout and can easily your laptop.
Give them a nice wireless charger for their desk to make sure they never leave the room without a charge. The Base Station from Nomad is one of our favorite home-office upgrades thanks to its clean lines and powerful charging.
Noisy roommates and loud library whisperers are no match for quality noise-canceling headphones. The WH-1000XM5 is one of the best sets of headphones on the market right now, thanks to 30-hours of battery life, active noise-cancelation and crystal-clear audio.
Most dorm rooms are as bleak as they come, so get some wall art to spruce up the place. We love the chill vibes just oozing from this palm tree, but Society6 has thousands of options for any design style.
A nice travel mug to haul from class to class (and for late-night studies) is a must. Our pick for the best travel mug you can buy, the Yeti Rambler is dishwasher safe, reliable and is made by one of the biggest names in insulation.
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. This one is super affordable and grows quickly, meaning it'll keep fresh even if you neglect it for a couple of days.
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. Our pick for the best gooseneck kettle, the Fellow Stagg EKG has a clean design, boils water quicker than the competition and can hold your preferred temperature for up to an hour.
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). The Aeropress is super easy to use, cleans easily and really is the best way to make a simple cup of coffee.