Welcome to the Scot’s Declassified: Dorm Survival Guide. We all know that our dorms are our homes away from home, but sometimes it can be hard to picture the perfect dorm room when faced with a blank canvas. I have some beginner tips to help you start off the year with the comfiest room on campus. For starters, bedding is essential. Try to keep an extra blanket in your room for guests so that everyone can sit comfortably during movie nights or just to hang out! Lighting is also always a necessity; some buildings have fewer light sources per room than others. A regular desk lamp or even a salt lamp adds some extra brightness to your room. I bought a large salt lamp last year and I use it as a nightlight.
Organizational additions for your room are helpful if you have things you need to store like contacts, glasses, extra cords, or even textbooks. I purchased a 3-drawer storage bin to keep cords out from under my feet. It’s also nice to return to a room that reflects your personality. I have a sign on my wall, a light-up speaker, and a wall cling, all of which are colorful and cheerful. I also keep things that remind me of home – pictures of my family, my lovely cat, and my friends from home, as well as stuffed animals that I kept as a child.
Onto the true must-haves: emergency equipment. I always keep super glue, duct tape, and band-aids in my room in case of emergencies. Now seems like a good time to remind you that there isn’t a nurse on campus, so you have to keep yourself stocked with general first-aid supplies, like Neosporin, bandages, Benadryl, and aspirin. In case you don’t have these things, a neighbor likely does. Plan ahead for your medication refills and try to keep a spare of the essentials so you don’t have to skip on your medicine. Keep extra pens, notebooks, highlighters, and index cards in a drawer in case you run out. The shuttle can take you to Galesburg if you need to pick up any of these things. I also recommend keeping extra toiletries because you may run out before a break.
Snacks are less essential because hopefully, we’re all using our meal plans, but the best snacks in my experience are things you can take to class if need be, like granola bars, juice, and protein shakes. In case you haven’t bought these, try getting plastic hooks for your walls. I find that having one of these for my keys comes in handy so that I’m not digging for them just before leaving for class. I hope this advice helps you settle into your new home away from home. Good luck and have fun!
Caroline King – Contributing Writer