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5 Ways to Make Your Dorm Room a Home

Make your dorm room more like a home-away-from-home!The start of college is looming just a few months away. Many students will be moving out of their parents home, and leaving behind their childhood bedrooms. When I moved into the dorms at the University of Oklahoma, it was the first time I hadn’t gone to sleep in the same room my parents brought me home to from the hospital. It was sort of scary. But, I had brought a few things with me to make my dorm room feel more like home.

1. Pictures. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but having a family photo on your desk will make you feel better if you get homesick. Make a collage with photos of you and your friends. Even if your friends are going to the same school, the collage will let you show your college friends how popular you were in high school! Read the rest of this entry »

The Pros and Cons of Attending Community College before University

photo by Andrew Flavin

photo by Andrew Flavin

As a junior in my high school days, I knew I wanted a less traditional path into the intimidating world of college. Unlike many of my friends, I opted out of the cold Northeast and applied only to schools located in the warm California sunshine. But upon receipt of my first semester out-of-state tuition bill from University of California Santa Barbara, I chose to begin my college journey at Santa Barbara City College instead, making life a bit easier on my family’s pocketbook, and then to transfer to a four-year school. Choosing whether to attend community college or a university right out of high school is an option worth considering.

Here are some pros and cons: Read the rest of this entry »

Outfitting Your Digital Dorm Room

The amenities in today’s dorm rooms would make not only your parents’ jaws drop, but even those students in college just a decade ago. Technology has come so far, making a busy college students’ life easier, and making those electronic toys and gadgets even more affordable.

Video games, plasma TVs and Apple computers would have one time been quite a luxury for a college student, but these items are now priced within the reach of most students. Best Buy shows that they are primed to be a veritable one-stop-shop for students and their parents’ credit cards, with such necessities as alarm clocks with iPod docks, cell phones, microwaves, gaming consoles and they even match Apple’s 10% student discount.

This report shares more of what you might find in the dorms at the University of Washington. Is your dorm room this high tech?

20 Ways to Annoy Your College Roommate

Living in a small dorm room with a total stranger is a universally stressful experience.  Learning to be polite and considerate to each other is a must, as is mature, open communication about what the two of you expect from each other. But if you really want to get on your roommate’s nerves, here are 20 great strategies.


  1. Use your snooze button whenever possible.
  2. Avoid cleaning, especially things involving food and dirty underwear.
  3. Have an extra loud ring tone, and make sure it goes off in the middle of the night.
  4. Have an extra loud everything, for that matter. The noisier you are, the better.
  5. Make sure you have lots of company whenever your roommate has an exam.
  6. Buy a comforter that completely clashes with your roommate’s.
  7. Borrow your roommate’s things–no biggie, right?
  8. Break your roommate’s things–no biggie, right?
  9. Gossip about your roommate to everyone on the floor.
  10. Forget to mention that visitors have stopped by.
  11. Spill perfume or cologne in the room.
  12. Study in the room all the time.
  13. Eat your roommate’s food, and drink his or her milk right out of the carton.
  14. Make sure your guests are rude to your roommate.
  15. If you have a “special” guest, be sure to be be intimate in front of your roommate.
  16. Eat things in the room that gross your roommate out.
  17. Spill things on your roommate’s homework
  18. Be rude when your roommate’s parents visit (bonus points for being drunk).
  19. Put political and religious messages all over your side of the room that your roommate disagrees with.
  20. Flirt with your roommate’s ex–or current.

15 Things You’ll Actually Need in the Dorm

moving into dormsJust a couple of weeks from now, cars will be double-parked outside dormitories while parents and new college students haul most of their worldly belongings up to their new homes- a place with concrete floors, shared bathrooms and about 230 square feet to share with a perfect stranger. Sounds cozy, doesn’t it? Technically, only 115 square feet of that will belong to you- as your roommate will also bring all of her worldly possessions to occupy the other half.

You’re in college now. So be smart! Unless your parents are selling the house and skipping town as soon as you leave- your old bedroom or the attic will be the appropriate storage for off-season clothing, prom collectibles, your stuffed animal collection, and old band instruments.

Obviously, you need to bring your clothes with you. Outside of that, be resourceful and use the following list to help you downsize before you even approach the threshold of your new campus digs.

laundry bagClothing

1. One laundry basket. Sorry mom, there will be no room for sorting.

2. One laundry bag. The cliche is so true, and so affordable. You will take laundry home. (You could also ditch the basket and use only the bag.)

3. Laundry detergent. You’re not doing laundry for a family of five, so one decent sized jug of detergent should last a while.

4. Hangers. Again, pack away the off-season clothes. This is the furthest thing from a walk-in closet. Bring only what you need.

5. Table-top ironing board…. if you must. Who irons in college?

college dormElectronics
You should probably save your graduation money until you meet your new roomie- that way you don’t double-up on these items.

1. Microwave. It should be small enough to zap a burrito- not prepare Thanksgiving dinner.

2. TV. I don’t recall a single wall in my dorm that could support a 50″ plasma. Something small will do the job. You can’t afford cable anyway!

3. Mini Fridge. Mini is the key there and it will be necessary.

4. Video Games. Every guy’s dorm room will look like a Best Buy, so you can probably save space and use someone else’s.

5. Computer. It comes down to what you can afford, but a laptop makes the most sense for saving space and toting to class, study groups or home.

bath towelsBed, Bath, Kitchen and Beyond

1. Two full sets of towels is probably all you’ll need. You can only use one at a time. “Borrowing” them from home is free and acceptable.

2. One set of bedding. You can wash it while you’re not sleeping on it. Again, “borrow.”

3. A small hand-held tub to store toiletries.

4. Find out what your room/suite mates are bringing for bath mats, shower curtains, etc. before making the investment.

5. Dishes. There’s no one to tell you to do them here- so don’t! One set with a plate, bowl, cup and utensils should do it. Doing dishes in the bathroom sink is a pain. You’ll eat in the cafeteria or off of a pizza box most of the time anyway.

Your dorm room will come with plenty of light, a phone, a dresser and some shelving. By now you’ve hopefully been on a campus tour and know the size limitations of your dorm. By all means, take photos from home and your favorite blanket- just take into consideration the limited personal space of your roommate, and your own need to not be bogged down in clutter. Put it this way- imagine living in a hotel room with another person for a year.

An added bonus to less stuff? The elevators will be jam-packed with people, making the stairs a faster alternative!


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