Morning Buzz

Dorm Room Decorations and Other College Must-Haves

Abby Cohan
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Rachel Abreu

Rachel Abreu thoroughly enjoyed outfitting her dorm room on freshman move-in day.

Decorating your bare dorm room is often startling for incoming freshmen. Where does one begin: the naked walls, dull carpet or empty desk? How will you get all of your toiletries to the bathroom? What about prepping for warm-weather or cold-weather climates, especially for us Texans? As a rising freshman, it is both daunting and exciting to prepare to pack for room decorating and, in my case, cold weather. It’s time to pack my parka and leave my cowgirl boots. So I asked some experts, current college students, for their advice.

Rachel Abreu, an incoming sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington and graduate of The Emery/Weiner School, said her top three dorm-essentials included bed risers with USB ports, storage to fit under your bed and an alarm clock. As far as surviving the negative Fahrenheit temperature, Abreu recommended having snow boots to walk around campus and to invest in a warm parka.

Rob Sanford, a rising junior at American University and graduate of Episcopal High School, noted that coffeemakers and water boilers for tea helps you get the day started and is cheaper than buying coffee at a place such as Starbucks. These necessities are also really helpful for cold months. Sanford said guys usually hang up flags around their room. He also found it nice to put up a lot of pictures of friends and family during freshman year because people cycle in and out of each other’s rooms pretty often, and they serve as icebreakers. Pictures help people get to know you.

Will Bazarsky

Will Bazarsky shows his Texas pride while moving into his dorm. 

Will Bazarsky, a rising sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin and a graduate of The Emery/Weiner School, said, "Make sure you have a window covering that blocks out the sun." 

An incoming senior at New York University and graduate of St. John’s School, Sophie Gershenwald, said fuzzy socks and slippers are really nice to wear around your dorm room, especially when your feet get cold in the winter. Layers are also super important because you’ll have days where you need a parka in the morning and just a light jacket at night. In terms of general dorm decorations, Gershenwald could go on and on. One necessity is definitely a water bottle to fill up throughout the day and stay hydrated. Additionally, mattress toppers, egg crates and mattress protectors are also really helpful. Mattress protectors are great because they’re waterproof and protect against bed begs. Tempur-Pedic makes a mattress topper. Both mattress protectors and toppers can be bought at Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon, according to Gershenwald.

Emma Danziger

Emma Danziger loved sleeping in her warm sheets, comforter and quilt during the cold DC winter.

She further said there are so many items that you’ll discover you need throughout the year, but she finds it is better to travel with less and not bring an excess. You also never know what your roommate is going to bring. Amazon Prime is an efficient way to quickly get essential items shipped to you, Gershenwald said.

Ayala Porat, an incoming sophomore at Southwestern University and graduate of The Emery/Weiner School, said, “Fairy lights and a lamp are essential for when your roommate is already sleeping, but you still need to finish your reading assignments.” She added that extension cords are also really helpful, so you can charge your phone from afar. Also, “make sure you have organizers for your toiletries,” Porat advised. When asked how to survive the Texas heat, she suggested to “keep popsicles and ice trays in your freezer.”

Emma Danziger, rising sophomore at George Washington University and graduate of The Emery/Weiner School, found that wearing layers, coats, sweaters, shirts, warm shoes, gloves, hats, earmuffs and a parka help conquer the cold. Additionally, having bedding that will keep you warm such as sheets, a quilt and a comforter is key. Danziger said, “I didn’t always need all of them, but it was comforting to have just in case.” She further suggested: “Design a room that you will be excited to sleep in; personalize it with pictures because they tell a lot about who you are.

Ayala Porat's room

Ayala Porat added pictures and lights to beautify the walls.

How do you plan to decorate your dorm room? Be sure to start packing about a month before you move in so you have enough time to get organized!

See more back-to-college shopping tips from Haley Kurisky here.

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