College, and the way of life that comes with it, is a big adjustment for many people. It is a radical departure from growing up and living at home for the first 18 years of their lives. Going away from home on your own is a big adventure, sure, but those freedoms come with a price. Students are expected to readily take on an increased level of both personal and academic responsibility and accountability, and concurrently learn how to adapt to a new set of living circumstances. There’s less space and privacy than normal, an entire campus full of new, unfamiliar faces and names, very little structure or oversight when compared to their lives before, and just generally being tasked with organizing and taking care of themselves in a way that is not expected prior to college.

With all of this being said, there are certainly steps people can take to mitigate this initial learning curve and make thriving within the parameters of this new life as easy as possible. One of these steps can be ensuring that one stays organized and makes the most of the limited space they have. With this in mind, consider the following list of essential items for college students to help make the transition as smooth and painless as possible:

Power Strips & Extension Cords

Whichever genius invented the power strip is an unsung world hero and deserves the Nobel Peace Prize because this invention has likely stopped countless conflicts over the course of its existence. Ever since there have been electrical outlets, there have been misgivings and deliberations about how they ought to be rationed. Difficult decisions had to be made about where to place things, who got to use what, when, etc, and more than one fight has been started over this scarce, valuable resource. 

Luckily, this is 2020, and we don’t have to deal with such primitive technological hang-ups. A power strip can easily turn any one outlet into as many as you could ever need or want. An essential for dorm rooms. 

Hanging Hooks

A lot of apartment and student housing communities explicitly forbid the use of nails, thumbtacks, or heavy adhesive tape because of the damage it inflicts on the walls and the paint job of the room. Because most dorm rooms (and apartments for that matter) contain an extremely limited amount of space to work with, not taking advantage of all of the open wall space because of the rules is a travesty.

Good thing for Command hooks. They don’t make holes or ruin paint in any way and allow for another storage option that doesn’t take up much usable space. Plus, they can always come with you to your next living arrangement. 

Laundry Basket

Speaking of limited floor space, do you know what’s a huge pain in the butt? Dirty clothes strewn about a room. They take away space, look messy, make it difficult to keep track of whose clothes are whose, etc. Even having a pile of dirty clothes straight on the floor leaves them susceptible to these issues. Get a basket or a hamper – it’s life changing and makes taking your stuff down to the washer and dryer SIGNIFICANTLY easier. 

HDMI Cords

There are a number of things that are super-duper awesome about the internet, and one of the most popular aspects is the ability to watch pretty much anything whenever you want. But not every room has a TV with internet capabilities or an Xbox, and watching a movie on a laptop screen can get pretty old pretty fast. Luckily, a single HDMI cord can translate anything you would normally have to play on your computer onto a larger TV screen. 

Fan & Space Heater

These are essential ESPECIALLY if you live in an older dorm building. The AC and heating units in those older buildings are notoriously poor and fiddling with the thermostat might not do much of anything at all. Space heaters and fans supplement this problem perfectly. 

Tide Stain Remover Pens

Most college students don’t keep bleach or stain remover readily available because it’d be pretty inconvenient to store and not all that necessary day in and day out. However, there will be times when something spills and you don’t want your favorite shirt or pair of pants ruined forever. Tide makes these little stain remover sticks that work just as well and are much easier to use/store.