Let’s be honest: summer flies way too quickly! We feel like we just had our Memorial Day picnic yesterday, yet here we are at the footstep of Autumn. While the younger kids may or may not be looking forward to getting back to their classrooms, college students around the country are flocking back to campus in droves. And if they’re anything like we were in college, they can’t wait to be back! There is something special that makes the hair on the back of our neck stand on end when we think about those warm fall days and cool nights in college. The anticipation of new classes, new friends, new love (or rekindled love!)...all of it is a truly special and unlike just about anything else in life.
Those “Dorm Days” can be tough, though, especially for newly-minted freshmen students, most of whom are away from home for the first significant stretch of time. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that they’re comfortable and have everything they need to feel as “at home” as possible in their new digs. So in the spirit of Back to School, we’ve come up with a list of essentials and must-haves for the dorms!
Bathroom Essentials...Don’t Skimp!
Alright, let’s jump right in. Before we even start on dorm room essentials, let’s talk about those college bathrooms. Lots of colleges and universities still have common bathrooms with shared showers for an entire floor. That means a trip walking down a hallway whenever the need for a shower arises. The best way to bring all of the necessities from Point A to Point B is with a shower caddy to haul all of your shampoos, conditioners, soap, razors, lotions, and everything else you need to be your beautiful self! Having your favorite soaps and hair product is one way to feel at home while in college...just be careful or else your new roommate may start “borrowing” your hair products!
For those trips down the hallway from your room, consider covering up in a stylish bathrobe. This eliminates the need of lugging a new outfit into the bathroom where it then is at risk of getting soaked! Via Seven’s Mia Mandala bath robe is the perfect balance of style and function. Made from 100% luxurious Turkish cotton, Bamboo Chic is light and super-absorbent, and will take up hardly any space in a dorm room, a plus when storage is limited!
When it is time to towel off, opt for one Via Seven’s many eye-catching and space-saving peshtemal bath towels. Unlike other towels that are bulky, take forever to dry, and leave a mildewy smell, peshtemal towels are made from the highest quality Turkish cotton and wick the moisture right off your skin, and the super-soft texture becomes softer after every wash. Choose from one of the many styles available and stand out among your peers! These towels also make for a great seat cushion at the next home football game and make a great towel to lay out on the quad on a sunny day!
The last essential on our bathroom list cannot be overstated...flip flops! Shower sandals. Whatever you call them, you need them. Don’t go walking around the dorm hallways and bathrooms in your barefeet, because...gross! Those wet environments are ripe for germs and you don’t want your feet getting some nasty fungal infection. Do yourself a favor and find a cheap pair of flip flops (or two!) and thank us later!
Make it Feel Like Home
One of the best ways to stave off the feeling of homesickness is to make your dorm room comfortable and to put your stamp on it. Hopefully you and your roommate have similar taste, but even if you have to compromise on some decorations, find those pieces that make you feel home. At Via Seven, we’re huge proponents of finding ways to feel at home, no matter where you are. That’s why we believe that “home is where the soul breathes.” With that said, we’ve mixed in some no-brainer items with more “Oh! I should have thought of that!” ideas.
Set the Mood
Dorm room lighting leaves a lot to be desired. Most dorm room lights are blinding halogen lights that give anyone a headache. Ditch the built-in lights in favor of a stylish floor lamp that provides a softer light. Not only will this add some character to your room, but it also gives your room a cozier look, which goes a long way to feeling “at home.”
Speaking of light, find a desk lamp that you like and that fits nicely on your desk. No matter how soft the floor lamp light is, there will be at least a few very long nights of studying where you’ll need a study lamp, and your roommate will be thankful that you’ve got a dedicated light just for studying so she can sleep.
Dorm rooms are not just a place to study and sleep. They’re also living rooms, makeshift kitchens, and yes, impromptu night clubs! But when it does come time to get some shut eye, you want to make sure you’re getting some quality sleep. One of the best ways to make your bed yours is to add a memory foam mattress pad. These are available just about everywhere bedding is sold, and they turn an ordinary college mattress into a cloud made for sleep.
Depending on where you go to college, you may or may not need several types of sheets for your bed. Light, soft sheets for the fall and spring, and heavier, warm sheets for those long winter months. Find a style that suits you and that reminds you of comfort. Most people won’t see your sheets (as long as you’re making your bed!) so just make sure you’re happy with the comfort and warmth they provide.
Pillows! Don’t forget pillows. Have you ever stayed in a hotel or a friend’s house and had a lousy night's sleep because the pillow was either too fluffy or not fluffy enough? It can make or break your nighttime experience, so find a pillow or two that you know you will sleep well with.
Speaking of pillows, throw pillows are another way in which you can add flair and style to your room. They’re also practical when you have friends over, since they can be moved against the wall to transform your bed into a makeshift couch.
Your bedspread is where you can really show some character and taste. Since your bed takes up a significant part of your dorm room, your bedspread can really be a functional statement piece. It can match the other accessories in your room, or it can stand alone and be a WOW factor. It is completely up to you, so go wild!
Picture Perfect Accessories
College should be a place filled with memories-in-the-making. In today’s super plugged-in world, we take more photos than any other time in history, but we’re not printing them out! That’s okay, but for those special photos that you want to cherish or show off, print them out and find an adorable frame for them. Put them around your room to remind you of your besties from high school, and your new friends at college.
While you and your friends are making those memories, you’ll need to have a killer soundtrack! Make sure you’ve got a bluetooth speaker for those late night dance parties and all-nighter study sessions.
After a long night of studying or partying, being able to roll out of bed and pour a strong cup of coffee is critical! No one wants to have to slog down to the dining hall before they get a get a little caffeine boost. Single-serving coffee pots are easy and no fuss. Find a reusable cup and use your own coffee grounds. Not only can you get way better beans than the store-bought cups, but you’ll also reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Pat yourself on the back and pour another cup!
Lastly, forgo the microwave (you can always use someone else’s) since it will just smell like burnt popcorn anyway. Just make sure that you’ve got a refrigerator that can hold the essentials like yogurt, milk, sparkling water, juice, and whatever else needs to stay cold (wink wink).
At Via Seven, we have no doubt that your dorm room decor will be as unique as you. No matter what “things” you fill it with, make the most of the time and have fun with it. And if you can, get your homework done, too.