Dorm life: Do I really need all this junk?


By Julianna Koballa


As I am returning home to Cleveland after moving in today to my first off-campus house, I can’t help but be reminded of the summer going into freshman year. “What do I need? What do I really need? What am I actually going to use? This actually might come in handy! I do not even know what this thing does.” These were all thoughts that were going through my head the days and weeks before move in day.

As sophomore year rolled around, I took advice from upperclassmen and I think it is safe to say I am a dorm-room-living professional now.

If you think you might need it, let the supply stick around for a month or so. If you don’t use it by then, take it home. If your neighbors down the hall aren’t looking for that one weird supply either, just take it home for your mom to use.

You don’t need big furniture in the dorms. In the next few weekends take back the dresser, and take home the oversized tote tubs. They take up an ample amount of space that you do not have in a small room. If you’re like me, and you are antsy about being organized with containers. Use the flat ones that easily fit under your bed. Ditch all the extra electrical stuff. If you fail to use your TV by the end of the first two weeks of school, it is most definitely not going to be used at all. Leave the candles in your “go back home box,” too. Not only are they not allowed to be lit in the dorms, candle warmers aren’t that great either. In my honest opinion, using wall flowers or scent plugins work so much better and are more practical for dorm life.

There were a couple things that I didn’t go into Fox hall with that I later learned are basic dorm room essentials. A mattress pad is a great idea. A ball of plastic shopping bags is always a good idea as well. It would be in your best interest to keep sandwich bags handy too- you never know when you will have to take cereal on the go. Since the showers are down the hall in most of the dorms, bring back a robe or a body wrap towel.

For some odd reason, when it came to cleaning supplies and first aid, I was prepared. Keep Neosporin handy. Rubbing alcohol, peroxide and nail polish remover were all supplies I used avidly. It isn’t a bad idea to keep some Clorox disinfecting wipes in your arsenal either. Once winter hits, it seems as if a plague spreads throughout resident life. Wipe your desk, chair, keys, keyboards and doorknobs down at least once a week. I got sick once last year so I’d say I did a decent job at warding off germs.

When it comes to decorating, hanging things on the brick walls is darn near impossible. Don’t waste time or ridiculous amounts of duct tape trying to put up wooden initials – it is a never-ending battle and you will probably always find them on the floor.

There is plenty to ditch, plenty to take home, and maybe some supplies (extra sheets) that you should have brought. Don’t be overwhelmed. You will figure out what you need and don’t need as you settle and time goes on.

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