Oberlin Blogs

What You Should Bring to College

April 12, 2020

Tim Martin ’22

When I was admitted into Oberlin one of the first things that was on my mind was what I should bring to college. I spent a lot of time sifting through Youtube video after Youtube video for ideas on how I should design my room. To tell you the truth, the videos weren’t that helpful as they focused too much on the material things and not enough on what I actually needed. With that said, I am here to tell you the essentials that you need to bring to college.

I know the first thing a lot of people are going to do is purchase a gaming system and television for their dorm. I am here to say I completely disagree with this decision. I haven’t had a gaming system or a television in my room either of my two years at Oberlin and not once have I ever thought that I should get one. On top of that, the people I know with gaming systems do significantly worse in school than the people I know without them. For some people, the temptation of turning on the PS4 is greater than the need to study. If you know you are one of those people I would suggest leaving your console at home. Now that I got that PSA out of the way I can get to the list of things you will want to bring.

One of the assumptions I had about living in Ohio is that it was going to be cold all the time. When I got to Oberlin I was surprised at how warm it was. The fall heat caused my dorm room to be very warm and I am the type of person that likes to sleep in the cold, so it quickly became a problem. My solution was surrounding my bed in fans. I had five fans and slept in the eye of a homemade tornado every night. While I surely went a little over the top, trust me, you will want a fan or two to keep your room cool. I suggest getting one that you can put in your window as they seem to be the most effective!

Another nice thing to bring for your dorm is a rug. The floors of the dorms at Oberlin are tile and while there’s nothing wrong with tile it isn’t the coziest flooring. All of the dorms I go into that have a nice rug seem much more put together than the ones that don’t. Getting a rug for your dorm will make it feel more like a home and allow you to adjust to living away from your parents' home sooner. While the rug is optional, I feel like it is vital to bring a trashcan for your dorm. Cleanliness is a virtue, and trust me you are not going to want to walk to the hallway every time you have to throw something away.

Next up on the list is shower slides. The bathrooms at Oberlin are communal, which means everyone uses them. When you go to shower you will want to have a pair of shower shoes you can slip on, so your feet don’t have to touch the ground of the shower that everyone else in your dorm showered in. You can order a good pair of slides for $15 online or pick up a pair from the local Walmart. There is no substitute for shower slides, and in my eyes, they are a necessity.

One thing I guarantee is that at some point you are going to get hungry and not want to leave your dorm to get food. That is why I recommend having some snacks in your room. An Oberlin life hack for all the incoming students is that our meal plan comes with flex points which are a form of payment for food at the dining areas. So for all the incoming first years, I suggest going to Decafe and buying snacks for your dorm with your flex points. Trust me, you are not going to be able to spend all of them in a semester. If you have the money you should also purchase a mini-fridge. That way when you go out to eat with your friends and have leftovers you can put them in your fridge and not have to worry about someone taking your food from the communal fridge.

Now, this next item is not going to go inside your dorm room, but you should still consider bringing one or purchasing one when you arrive on campus. The item I’m talking about is a bike. A bike will save you when you are running late to class. You simply get everywhere faster with a bike, and it will create more free time for you as it limits the time it takes to get from place to place. Oberlin has a great bike store and also a bike co-op so there are definitely plenty of options to acquire one if you are looking to bike on a budget!

I hope this list was useful in helping to decide what you want to bring to college with you! If you are a current student reading this and have any suggestions make sure to drop them in the comment section. I can’t wait to see everyone in the fall!

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