- Mini Fridge
Quite possibly the most essential item you can have. Eating and drinking things that are warm is not always desirable. A mini fridge will also pay for itself with the money you save from not having to eat out or order in as often, since you can store food. Opting for one that has an attached freezer is a plus, a frozen meal can be a life saver when they are serving something in the dining hall that you are not a fan of.
Microwaves are another essential, and they go quite well with a mini fridge. Obviously they are necessary for heating up frozen meals, but they also come in handy when you want to heat up water for instant coffee or tea for those late study nights.
- Water Filter
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to have a water filter. Too many people living in the dorms don’t drink nearly enough water, which contributes to them getting sick and being tired often. Those that do drink enough water end up spending tons of money on bottled water and they also end up with half empty water bottles scattered throughout their room (or at least I did).
- Shower Sandals
This is purely a sanitary issue. If you are using communal showers then shower sandals are a must. You have no idea what kind of fungi grow on the floor of those showers, and depending on what school you are going to, they might only clean them once or twice a week. Do yourself a favor and pick up a pair of completely plastic or rubber flip-flops, you won’t regret it.
- Toaster Oven (if they are allowed)
Now if your residence hall allows you to have a toaster oven, then it is highly recommended that you get one. Microwaves are great on their own, but some things are better toasted. Bagels, toast, and English muffins are more obvious, but you can get more inventive by heating sandwiches and leftover pizza. This is a good way to help prevent from getting sick of the dining hall food.
- Electric Fan
Most dorms don’t have air conditioning, and even if they do it almost never works very well. A simple electric fan can solve this problem. It will also help circulate bad smells out of your room, just in case you don’t take your trash out as often as you should.
- Computer Lock
A simple computer lock that can be attached to your desk and then to your laptop should do fine. Computers are a very common theft among college campuses and it can’t hurt to protect yourself from theft.
- Noise Canceling Headphones
These are more optional, but they are still strongly recommended. When you are studying for that big exam and your hall mates are having a huge Mario-kart tournament, you will be glad that you brought these. They were a complete life saver to me.