First year college student gives tips on dorm essentials

You spent the months after high school graduation preparing for this moment — college move-in day.

Even after talking with friends, listening to the advice of older siblings and watching dorm tours on TikTok, you will arrive on campus realizing you forgot something.

Jake McPhail, a Southington resident and second year student at Trinity College, said the most important thing is to bring is a fan.

“Specifically, Vornado fans are the best,” McPhail said.

Samantha Orisini, a first-year student at Quinnipiac University, also stressed the importance of a fan. Using space wisely is also essential, she added.

“Under the bed storage is definitely something you’ll want and need,” she said.

“Bed risers are great for extra space and storage,” said Sarah McAullife, who is beginning her second year at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She also recommends felt boxes for storage because they can be folded up when not in use.

“My dorm last year had only two plugs, so you need tons of extension cords,” McAullife added.

Another essential item is a second set of sheets.

“College laundry machines are often too small to fit both your weekly load and your sheets,” said Esme Levine, a third year student at Trinity College.

Often, sheets come in a fabric bag, perfect for storing other items like jewelry.

Another essential is a mattress pad. Mattress toppers, paired with a mattress pad, add an extra layer to often thin dorm mattresses.

“It’s important to get a good night’s sleep so you can perform your best,” said Jacqueline Carbone, a fourth year student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Carbone also stressed the importance giving dorm rooms a “homey” feeling.

“Plants are great because adding greenery to the room brings a lot of life to an otherwise boring looking room,” Carbone said.

Remembering essential items is key to starting a semester. While the transition may be hard, having items that make you feel comfortable and at home can make a great difference.

Sammi Bray is a first year student at Trinity College in Hartford. She is studying public policy and law, with a minor in rhetoric, writing and media studies. She has been freelancing for the Record-Journal since June. You can contact her at

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