This article appeared in the Fresh Start issue of the Collegian, sent to new Penn State students.
Clothes, food, bedding, laptop, TV, school supplies -- the list goes on when it comes to what you'll need for your dorm. There's so much that it's easy to feel overwhelmed by where to even begin. If you have an idea of what you want your room to look like, picking furniture and supplies can actually be fun. For starters, this list will cover the basic necessities:
Sometimes the room may pick up an odd smell, especially if your roommate isn't the cleanest person around, and you'll want to get rid of it.
You won't want to oversleep and miss that exam worth 20 percent of your grade.
Not everyone uses them, but they help create additional storage space when the room sizes are so limited.
Book Light/Overhead Lamp
There will be nights when your roommate is asleep and you'll want a light to finish some late-night studying.
With no air conditioning, the rooms can feel sweltering the first few weeks in fall and last few weeks in spring.
Don't think you're packing too many t-shirts and sweats. That'll most likely be the majority of your wardrobe when you're going to class. Get comfortable shoes because you'll be doing A LOT of walking.
It's perfect for early morning classes or late-night study sessions.
It's the easiest way to keep your school supplies in order.
The dorm rooms don't have Wifi, so you'll be using Ethernet all the time. The longer the cord, the better, because you may have to stretch it across the room to reach your desk. A 25' cord should be fine.
Filtered Water Bottle
Any type of water filter will work: It's easier and cheaper than buying cases of plastic water bottles.
For those worried about gaining the "Freshman 15," bring your own supply of food.
Full Length Mirror
It makes things a lot easier when you're getting ready to go somewhere, especially for girls.
It helps to get one that's foldable to make carrying it to and from the laundry room easier. Also look for one with outside pockets for a place to hold detergent.
Always have a bottle of Ibuprofen somewhere in the room. You may also want allergy medicine, cough drops, or any other OTC drug.
Whether you're doing it to decorate or just to have something covering the floor, it's nice to help keep the room looking clean.
Your room will have a limited supply of outlets and there might not be enough for the amount of electronics you and your roommate have.
Also for those worried about gaining the "Freshman 15."
It's always good to have plenty of pens, pencils, a few highlighters, notebooks, binders, Post-It notes, index cards, scissors, tape and a stapler handy.
They come in all different shapes and sizes, but there are some built specially to hang over your closet door.
It'll make carrying your soap and shampoo a breeze -- pretty much a must-have.
You won't want to shower barefoot. Seriously.
You'll get plenty of use out of them when you're hanging out with friends in your room and want to listen to music.
They're perfect for keeping miscellaneous items and can be stacked to work like an extra set of shelves.
There are plenty of TVs scattered throughout commons rooms, but sometimes it's more convenient to have one in your own room. And the cable is already hooked up and ready to go.
Your room will automatically look nicer with your favorite posters or pictures of friends hanging up.