I am getting an apartment for my Senior year of high school with one of my best friends on the entire planet. I am poor but I decided that I’d need some inspiration on how to make it cozy & cute (hopefully with things that I already have).
My first year at University I overpacked. SUV completely full, every pair of shoes I owned, every piece of clothing, all of the school supplies and decorations I could find. Over the past three years at school, I have figured out what the “essentials” are (at least for me)
- I highly recommend a mattress pad, the college mattresses are NOT comfortable.
- Twin XL sheets, I promise the normal Twin sheets will be too small (no matter how hard you pull)
- Comforter or Quilt, I recommend a quilt because the dorms never get cold. Unless you go to a school where the dorms have AC, you will sweat at night, even in the winter. Cheap dorm comforters are way easier to find though (especially at Target)
- My first dorm was tile so I highly recommend a dust pan. But if you have a carpet also think about a cheap vacuum.
- Laundry Detergent & Dryer Sheets. If you’re anything like me, go for the mini sizes. You won’t go through as much as you think.
- Hamper, I found that a foldable hamper is easier to squeeze in tight places but a solid hamper is way easier to carry up and down the stairs.
- Hangers. At home, I never took advantage of my closet space but in college, it is a blessing.
- Rain Jacket. I go to a big school so walking to a class that is 10-15 minutes away in the rain is not enjoyable. I recommend a jacket over an umbrella bc it’s easier to store in class, and easier to get on the bus with.
- Rain boots!!!!!!!!! I went with LL Bean’s Bean Boots so they could multitask as snow and rain boots. Nothing is more uncomfortable than walking in wet weather and being stuck with wet canvas shoes all day.
- Headphones. Headphones are really important when you’re walking to class and want to listen to music or when you’re studying in the library, watching Netflix at night, eating meals alone and you want to watch funny videos.
- Desk Lamp. Not all desks in school come with a built-in light, and some of the overhead lighting is the ugliest lighting on the planet. I recommend a desk lamp for when you don’t want to go blind when doing homework, or hanging in your room at night.
- Clorox Wipes. Trust me, you’ll need them to clean off your desk, to clean up spills on your floor.
- Paper towels which are also needed for college spills and if your nose starts running when you’re eating ramen.
- Clock, I really hate looking at my phone when I wake up at night and want to know the time, or when I’m studying or getting ready & am trying to be productive and avoid my phone.
- Bath Sheets, these are way better than Bath towels because they are much bigger and cover way more of your body. When you need to walk down the hall to the shower you’ll feel way more comfortable.
- Shower Caddy & Sandals. Just makes everything about showering easier and more sanitary
- Febreze. Honestly, dorms start to smell after awhile. Two college kids are trying to share a small space while they do their laundry and take the trash out as little as possible.
- Trash Bags. Why take out the entire trash can if you don’t need to? Also, someone will puke and no one wants to clean out that trash can.
- Backpack. I never understand the people who walk into class with just a tote bag or nothing at all. There is no way I can fit all of my stuff in a tote bag, especially without killing my shoulder.
- Keychain. I promise you, you will lose your key without one.
- Under-bed storage. I used the vertical container with the three drawers. My bed was high but I stored nonperishable snacks, trash bags, laundry stuff, underwear, socks, and bras. I’m not sure stuffing all of that in there was the best idea but it worked for me.
- Fan. Dorms are really fucking hot.
- If you’re like me you will NEED makeup storage. I had the mini three drawer container on one of my desk shelves and then kept my everyday makeup in my top drawer of my desk in a clear tray.
- Duffle Bag. This is very important if you do weekend trips or go home a lot during the weekend
I did most of my school shopping at Target, Walmart, and on Amazon.
Any questions or if you think I’m missing anything, just comment:)
You’re a sophomore in high school & your guidance counselor is advising you to start looking into colleges. You can’t even drive and you’re trying to decide where you should spend the four most important years of your life (at least that’s what it feels like). There’s approximately 1,800 4-year universities in the United States, what are the chances you choose the “right one”. When you’re 16 you probably don’t even know what major you’ll end up studying. That is why it’s important to take advantage of websites like collegeboard.org. These websites usually have lists of college majors, what they entail, and what you can do with them after college. Here are some tips on how to choose a college….
- Do you want to be close or far from home? For instance, I wanted to be close to home so I only looked in New England, mostly Massachusetts
- Do you want to go to a large campus or a smaller campus? I go to UMass Amherst and the class of 2018 has around 4,000 kids where Keeene State only has that many students total. It takes me 15 minutes to walk across campus and it takes my sister (Keene) about 5.
- Are you looking for co-ed or not? I’ve noticed that a lot of Catholic colleges segregate dorm floors by gender but their classes are co-ed. Or there’s Smith in Northampton that is only girls
- Are you looking to be in an urban area or more of a rural area? UMass is Western, MA which is much different than a school in Boston. When I didn’t have a car I’d either take a Peter Pan bus home (or if you’re not from MA or New York, the airport) or my dad would have to come get me.
- Do they guarantee housing all four years? I know the dorms in Boston are often cheaper than living in an apartment or your own, especially one close to school.
- Do they have a variety of majors? You want to be able to explore alol sorta of subjects and classes while you’re in school to see what you really enjoy studying and doing.
- Will you need a car? Not all schools allow their students to have cars
- Remember: every school can be a party school if you want it to be. Or if you want to be more low key then you can totally find that at any school too.
- Make a list of 5-10 schools
- Visit them. while you’re walking around the campus, sitting in the classrooms, a looking at the dorm rooms think about if you could genuinely see yourself going to the school. Would you be over or underwhelmed?
- Narrow down your list, apply for scholarships, look into financial aid.
- I think it’s important to have one reach school & one safety school. A safety school doesn’t need to be a school you loved but more a school that you’re almost guaranteeed to get into.
- Apply, even if you’re questioning financial aid because you could be pleasantly surprised.
- Don’t stress too much, you can always transfer if you don’t end up liking the one you choose.
**I applied to Boston University, Emerson College, Keene State, Worcester State, and UMass Amherst. BU was my reach school and Worcester State was my safety school. I chose two Boston schools and two more rural schools just so I had the options. I ended up going to UMass because of the variety of majors, and it was much cheaper than a school is Boston. I didn’t end up going to Keene because I realized that I didn’t want to go to a college where I knew everyone, I wanted to have my privacy. If you have any questions or comments I’d be more than happy to chat!