The most exciting part about college is the aspect of finally having your own space! Well, somewhat. You still have to adapt to having a roommate, but at least they won’t be telling you to constantly clean your room or to, “Put that phone down!” If they are, well that’s a problem for another blog.
I’m here to give you some tips on what to bring for your dorm room, as well as inform you of WBU’s dorm room policies. This way you won’t have to stress about what is and is not allowed in the dorms. I suggest leaving your pet cat at home for now. (I’m quite sad about this, too.)(Oh, and the campus housing policy considers this more than a “suggestion.”)
The dorms here at WBU include a bed, desk, chair, and dresser. Most rooms house two people and have a bathroom that is shared with the room next to you. The newer dorms have two small closets while the older dorms have one large closet with two hanging racks. As someone that adores clothes, I have never had a problem fitting my entire wardrobe into my closet! (And I’ve lived in both dorms before.)
The dresser has three large drawers that you can use for whatever you want. I suggest bringing a few of your storage bins to store bathroom necessities, school supplies, food, etc. The possibilities are endless! You can also find storage bins pretty cheap almost anywhere. I bought mine at a retail store, but there are a bunch of options online, too. My storage bins have lasted me my entire four years at Williams, so buying a couple is worth it!
Most of the desks included in the dorm rooms have three drawers on the side as well as the option to put a shelf on top of the desk for extra storage. Because not every desk has an extra shelf, I went ahead and bought one online my freshmen year. Again, it’s lasted me all four years here. (So, very worth it in my opinion!) Having the extra shelf space allows you to fit more books and other cute knickknacks on your desk. It really does make your room feel homier when you add your own personal touches!
Now to the most important part…food. You will definitely need a refrigerator for your dorm. I highly suggest a mini-fridge in order to take up less space. Due to fire safety codes, cooking in the residence hall rooms is not allowed. Restricted items include toasters, hot plates, microwaves, and similar cooking items. This way the building won’t catch on fire when you leave your nuggets in the microwave too long. Don’t worry though, there is most definitely a way to get your nuggets cooked. Each dorm provides a microwave and toaster in the lobby that is accessible to everyone at any time. Make sure to stock up on enough snacks to last you a few weeks too. Snacks are what will get you through your freshman year. (And every year after that.)
The second most important part of moving into the dorms… the bathroom situation. Fortunately, you will only have to share a bathroom with four people. Not too bad in my opinion. Before moving in, I suggest getting in touch with your roommate and suitemates to decide on who will get the bathmats and shower curtain. Will there be a color scheme? Do you want a furry bathmat or one that is more absorbent? Do you want to buy a shower caddy to hang in the shower? These are very important questions, people!
Finally, if you’re worried about how everything will fit into your dorm, worry no more! Luckily, the beds at Williams are adjustable, which means you can raise them as high as you want. I raised mine enough to put my fridge underneath my bed. This helps a lot with making the room seem bigger than it is. The only drawback is you may pull a muscle trying to get onto your bed, so I suggest using a stool if you’re on the shorter side. ☺
Now that you don’t have to worry about what to bring, you can focus on the fun part: decorating! Here are some quick ideas to help you get started:
- Hang lights from the ceiling to make your room feel cozier. (I use white Christmas lights.)
- Put pictures or banners on your walls to add a bit of a personal touch. It’s super easy to do with command strips.
- Bring lots of pillows for your bed. Get creative and don’t be afraid of using different colors and textures. The more pillows the better. Plus it’s super comfy.
- Get a carpet or rug. This will help bring the whole room together, and since the floor is tile, a rug will feel nice and warm on your feet!
Having your own room to personalize and decorate is super exciting. (At least, it is to me.) Because you will most likely be spending a lot of time in your room studying, eating, sleeping, etc, you want to make it as cozy and inviting as possible. At the end of the day, you want to come back to a room you actually enjoy being in!