10 Dorm Essentials For College Survival

22 July 2019

Taking a break from all the travel posts recently, I thought I'd talk about some of the things I brought to college with me, all of which proved to be most helpful in "surviving" the daunting dorm life in one's n years in university. Whether you're an incoming freshman, sophomore (like me), or even a senior, it's not too late to add these items on your list if you ever decide they're must-haves for you, too. 

 1. Rice Cooker 

I know what you're thinking. You're probably not gonna be a master chef while juggling endless (spoiler alert!) college workload any time soon, so you need not to worry about kitchenware right now, but... hear me out. If you're trying to get the most out of your student allowance and maybe even save some while you're at it, a good budgeting tip is to cook rice in your dorm and just buy your ulam (cooked meat or veggies) outside. Anyway, this is probably only applicable to my fellow Asians out there who can't live without their rice (because same 🙋🏻).

 2. Microwave 

Microwave cooking is not healthy, but let's face it. Sometimes Most of the time, you won't be able to cook meals no matter how much you crave your mom's home cooked specials. That is why you have to make do with canned goods which, in all fairness, actually taste quite better warm.

 3. Electric Kettle 

This turned out to be one of the most useful from my list. It can be used to:
  • prepare cup noodles
  • make coffee (both hot and iced)
  • prepare hot compress
  • sterilize lab glasswares and amber bottles (#PharmaIsLyf)
  • AND THE WINNER: soften the leftover rice in the rice cooker for easy washing

 4. Hot & Cold Compress Bag 

For my girls who have an especially hard time during that time of the month, a hot compress surely makes such a big difference! I also use it when I have a stubborn blind pimple that hurts a looot.

 5. Tumbler/s 

I actually have two of these. One comes with a straw while the other is insulated. The former is a Christmas gift from my sister and her boyfriend, and is the reason why I've stayed so much more hydrated as the second semester kicked in last school year. I like to keep it on my desk and just refill it again and again as I push through my study sessions. The latter is just another one of my impulsive buys. One day my sister talked me into getting my own insulated thermos because apparently it will encourage me to drink more water??? The logic is a little fuzzy there, but it actually makes sense. It's a hot day... you need ice cold water to cool off. Need I say more?

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

 6. Desk / Study Area 

This one's pretty self explanatory. You can't be studying on your bed or on the floor for the whole n years that you're in college. You will either sleep through the entire thing or get back pain like that of 70-year olds.

 7. Desk Lamp 

I love love love studying with good lighting. I like being able to clearly see what I'm about to highlight, so my book doesn't become a "colorful" mess. I like being able to know if I'm about to get my fingers cut off from using my paper trimmer. Blablabla the list goes on. A desk lamp is also going to be an extra thing to keep you awake because it's super bright, how can you possibly fall asleep still?

 8. Umbrella 

This is very random, I know. But having an umbrella at hand, either when you're on your way to class or when you're just going out to quickly grab some snacks from the nearest convenience store, is truly important. I cannot tell you how many times I've regretted not bringing one when I'm on my way home, and suddenly the rain starts pouring down. I'm thankful for my block mates who lend/share me theirs, but I knew I couldn't keep making them suffer for my laziness, so I decided to step up and bring my own umbrella since then.

 9. Printer 

It's such a hassle to have to find a computer shop just to get a few pages of homework and class notes printed out. By having my own printer in my dorm, I'm able to save time, energy, and money whenever I have to come up with hard copies of my school works. It's a plus if your printer comes with scanner and photocopier features, too.

Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

 10. iPad / Tablet 

I know that this is in no way an "essential" for college. I know a lot of people who live off of their phones and/or laptops throughout their entire school life (I actually used to be one of them back in high school). But I have to say, getting an iPad was the best decision I've made since entering university. I know tablets don't come cheap, but I'm lucky enough to be able to spend some of my scholarship stipend on things like this which can really help me with my studies. I use it to take down notes, browse my reviewers, write my papers, watch Netflix or YouTube (best perk, obviously–you're gonna love the bigger, more portable screen), and so much more. Pretty much, I only use my laptop when I have to print stuff occasionally. Right now, iPad Pros are selling like pancakes, but if you want a cheaper option that still does the job (and brilliantly so), I suggest getting the iPad 6th Generation like I did, or even an iPad mini if you don't mind the smaller screen. You can use some of the money you save to buy an Apple Pencil for taking down notes in class. This definitely "up-ed" my studying game.

And that's it for my college dorm must-haves. Thank you for stopping by on the blog! Good luck in college or in high school if you haven't graduated yet. You can do it.

Have a lovely day wherever you are in the world right now, take care always, and love lots!

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