A recommended list of necessities to survive in a communal dorm

Hello new Mustangs and welcome to SMU! I’m sure that you’ll enjoy our gorgeous campus along with all of its facilities.

One topic I’d like to discuss is the residential facilities – more specifically, how I can help you make the transition of moving into your residence halls easier.

As you may know, SMU Residence Life & Student Housing requires students to live on-campus for two years.

For the next two years of your life, you will no longer enjoy the comfort of your own room, decorated tastefully with a king-sized bed, matching dresser and armoire along with your own bathroom. Instead, you will learn how to live in significantly confined corners with a roommate and use a communal bathroom.

The sad truth about living in college is that you have to give up a certain amount of personal space. However, the memories and experiences you make from sharing close quarters with your roommate, befriending your hall mates, and living in the residential commons are some of the most vital college experiences you’ll have.

In order to make the transition easier, I’ve assembled a list of items that’ll help you adjust to your communal dorm.

1. Noise-canceling headphones

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Whether it’s Beats by Dr. Dre or the Bose Quiet Comfort 15, a pair of sound-reducing headphones will help you immensely. Dorms are loud at times, especially at night, so for times you need sleep or concentration to study, I highly recommend purchasing a pair.

2. Shower apparel

In college, you can’t simply roll out of bed in the morning, get naked and have a perfect-temperature shower available with all your products on the shelves. Instead, you’ll need three essential bathroom products: a robe, caddy and shower shoes. A robe covers you when you have to walk down the hall without fear that your towel will fall off. A shower caddy holds all of your essential beauty and health products, and shower shoes protect your feet from the tiled communal bathroom floors. Use these items, bring your towel and don’t forget your room key.

3. Mattress topper

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 Sleeping for eight hours a day is difficult to do in college, especially when you have to climb a lofted bed to reach a XL twin sized mattress. Purchasing a mattress topper adds cushion and comfort to the standard beds distributed to students. Recommended mattress toppers include Tempur-Pedic or any other memory foam or plush material.

4. Storage bins

Sharing a room is hard enough with having to adjust to your roommate’s habits and splitting space with a relative stranger. Have one less problem to deal with during move-in day by buying plastic, clear storage bins. You’ll be able to store things that may not fit in your closet or the three drawers in your dresser. Also, by buying clear storage bins, you will be able to quickly identify what’s in them. Storage bins are simple to store under lofted beds or at the top shelf of your closet.

5. Printer

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It is absolutely crucial that either you or your roommate has a printer in your room. You will be constantly printing out lecture notes, syllabuses and essays throughout your time in college, and a printer, paper and ink are investments that should be made.

There are a plethora of other items you’ll need in college, including a lamp, clothes hangers, notebooks and textbooks. The list I’ve compiled is based off the tools that I found most helpful, time-saving and useful, and I hope these things provide you the same efficiency as they did for me.

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