My freshman year took place at the University of Southern Maine in the dorms. The year went very smoothly for the sole reason I am an organization freak and made sure I had every single thing I needed - right down to the Q-Tip.

So, I figured as a senior and also someone who has lived on very little while studying abroad, I could help out some incoming freshmen. If you're planning on living in the dorms, this is the college check list for you!

  • Amazon via Lantrix Inc.
    Amazon via Lantrix Inc.


    - Body Pillow & Cover (This is the greatest invention of all time and is 100% necessary!) 

    - Comforter 

    - Throw Blanket 

    - Stuffed Animal (You're not too old... just don't bring more than one!)

    - Sheet Set (Generally a size XL twin works best.) 

    - Mattress Pad or Foam Top 

    - Regular Sized Pillows

  • Amazon via Mayin LLC
    Amazon via Mayin LLC


    - Flip-Flops (Trust me... you will regret it if you forget these..) 

    - Razors & Shaving Cream

    - Shampoo & Conditioner 

    - Body & Face Wash

    - Toothbrush & Paste


    - Wash Cloths or Shower Poofy Thing 

    - Lotion

    - Towels (4 is a good number and now that you're in college you'll want to hang them to dry so you can re-use them... you won't want to do your laundry as often as it gets done back home!)

    - Something To Carry Everything In!

  • Amazon via Household Essentials
    Amazon via Household Essentials


    - Closet Organizer (For shoes, clothes and random stuff.)

    - Hangers

    - Laundry Basket

    - Storage Bins (Try to get a size that will be able to fit under your bed to save space!)

    - Wall & Door Hooks (These come in very handy for jackets and drying towels.)

    - Tacks, Tacks, Tacks! (Handy for any and everything!)

    - Bulletin Board or White Board

  • Amazon via O-Cedar
    Amazon via O-Cedar

    Paper, Plastic & Cleaning

    - Broom & Dust Pan

    - Laundry Detergent

    - Dryer Sheets

    - Disinfecting Wipes

    - Trash Can

    - Plastic Zip Lock Bags 

  • Amazon via Tripp Lite
    Amazon via Tripp Lite


    - Headphones

    - Laptop & Case

    - USB Drive

    - Jumper Cables (If you're bringing your own vehicle... I had to lend mine to my roommate countless times during the winter before she got a new battery.)

    - Cords & Power Strips

    - DVD Player

    - Phone Charger 

    - The Netflix Password (If you're not bringing a TV.)

    - TV (Although you should be having so much fun there's no time to watch!)

    [You could also bring a printer, but it is most schools allow you to print for a few cents per page.]

  • Amazon via Tapestry Home
    Amazon via Tapestry Home


    Generally speaking, dorm rooms tend to include a desk, desk chair, dresser, refrigerator, and more. Check in with your college to see what they provide! Other than the big ticket items, you may want to bring your own:

    - Area Rug

    - Tapestry! (These are a low cost item that can add a lot of decoration to your room and cover up a lot of that plain, boring white wall space.)

    - Desk Lamp

    - Hanging Door Mirror

    - Decorative Lights (I used white Christmas lights for my room and strung them all along the ceiling.)

    - Bed Side Table

    - Posters or Art

    - Fan (I don't know if you're a fan person, but bring one anyways! The dorms are not air conditioned and fans also help drown out noise from those rowdy dorm mates.)

    - Photos (You may not think they'd mean much now, but waking up and seeing photos of your dog or cat, high school friends, and family will make your room feel a lot more comfortable and homey. Print them out and pin them to your bulletin board or frame them and hang them, but definitely display them.)

  • Amazon via Ihickson
    Amazon via Ihickson

    Actual School....

    - Backpack

    - Calculator

    - Water Bottle (Don't be that awkward cougher in the room. Keep a water bottle with you to not only stay hydrated, but to make sure you don't end up being that one person with a frog in their throat coughing every few seconds through the entire hour and a half long lecture...)

    - Campus Map (It's not embarrassing to walk around with a campus map.. what is embarrassing is walking into class late because you forgot which hall you needed to go to and having the entire student body turn and stare as you awkwardly try to find an open seat...)

    - Pens & Pencils (Make sure to bring #2's for bubble sheet exams.)

    - HIGHLIGHTERS! (Yes, you will need a million of these!) 

    - Daily Planner (Deadlines are extremely important.. although there are plenty of excuses professors will let slide, you don't want to forget when assignments are due.)

    - Notebooks & Binders (Don't buy more than you need. A lot of the time I ended up taking notes on my laptop instead of in my notebooks and by my 4th year, I ended up buying one 3-section notebook used for all 5 classes.. If you do use binders, re-use them every semester and only keep the coursework you'll truly need in the future.)

    - NO Textbooks (Don't buy your textbooks before the class. Half of them you won't even open and the other half can be bought through a discount textbook store or can be found for way cheaper on Amazon or from students who took the class last semester! I've gotten textbooks sold at the campus store for $150 for $30 when you look in the right places. Wrong edition for $100 cheaper? Ask your professor. Most of the time from one edition to the next only the layout is changed and the older edition will suffice.)

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