Shopping for your first dorm room can be overwhelming. Don’t wait until summer to get started! I have listed 20 different ideas you can add to your Christmas list that will be beneficial to any incoming freshman! I’ve also included 13 extra stocking stuffer ideas.
Set of 4 plates, cups, bowls, forks, spoons, and knives
Sure, eating dinner on a paper plate with plastic silverware is easier than doing dishes. But some takeout containers can’t fit in the microwave. And that Texas Roadhouse leftover steak needs a real fork to eat it with. Having four of each item is plenty, and won’t take up too much space in your dorm room. For a bonus, get a ramen cooker cup that you can put right in the microwave!
Microwave/ Mini Fridge
These are essentials for living in the dorms. If you don’t want to waste space on your Christmas list, or in your car, you can also rent them from SEMO and return them when you move out for the year.
TV with legs/ Roku Stick
You might already have this on your list, so if you do, make sure you ask for a free-standing television. Chances are, you’ll have it sitting on your desk or dresser. You can’t mount it to the wall in the dorms, so keep that in mind! To go with the TV, a Roku stick is useful and not too pricey.
Fairy lights/ LED lights/ Wax Melter
I HATE overhead lighting. Can’t stand it. Fairy lights are a game-changer for me. They make the room feel so much cozier. And, if you have them plugged in by your bed, there’s no need to get up to turn the lights off when you’re ready to sleep. Another option for soft lighting is wax melters. Since you can’t have candles in the dorm, it’s a good alternative. You can find ones that serve like a lamp or just a simple glow!
Dorm bedside shelf
In a lot of the rooms, your bed will have to be lofted in order to have space for everything. That means you can’t use a regular nightstand. Check into the bedside shelves that attach right to the side of your bed!
Often, your freshman-year classes are back-to-back. This means you are likely carrying your books for two or three classes with you at a time. Make sure you have a backpack that is big and sturdy enough to equip for that. I’ve used my backpack all four years, so pick a design you like that isn’t a micro trend that will be out of style in a year!
Waterproof shoes/ Umbrella/ Raincoat
You will be doing a lot of walking on campus for your freshman year. You don’t want to ruin those new sneakers! Ask for some stuff to keep yourself dry.
You don’t want to be scrambling for some SEMO gear for the first home football game! Ask for it for Christmas, and your family might even buy some for themselves.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you absolutely need some kind of device to do your homework on. There are computer labs available for you to use, but sometimes you’ll just want to do your homework in your pajamas from the comfort of your room. I recommend a laptop, but you can do some research into your major to see what would work best for the future.
Whether it’s a saucer, beanbag, futon, or even a lawn chair, you’re going to want something to sit on that’s not your bed or desk chair. Especially if you want your room to be the hangout spot, extra seating will be appreciated.
Desk Organizer/ Extra Storage/ Space Saving Hanger
I know for me, it was hard to adjust to the space of the dorm room. Anything that will give you extra storage and space will be a lifesaver for dorm living.
Decorations/ Extra-Long Twin Bedding
A tapestry or flag is the easiest way to decorate your space and make it feel like your own. All of the dorms at SEMO have extra-long twin beds, so it’s a good idea to get a blanket and sheet set that will match the decorations of your room.
Broom/ Mop/ Vacuum
I know, who wants to ask for cleaning supplies for Christmas? These can rack up expenses though! It’s better to start asking for things and buying them spread out so you don’t have to spend so much at once. Plus, these will help you keep your space clean and fresh.
Mirror/ Light up mirror
I have an over-the-door mirror that opens and has space for jewelry, and I LOVE it. It’s so convenient, and it doesn’t take up any floor space. For anyone that does makeup, I highly recommend a mirror that has different light settings. It doesn’t take up much room on my desk, and it neatly folds away when I don’t need it. Some of them also have a place to plug in a curling iron or straightener, so it doesn’t take up an extra outlet!
Apple Watch/ Fitbit
If you want to use the free recreation center, an Apple Watch or Fitbit are good ideas. I use my watch every day to track my movements. It’s also nice to be able to read texts from my watch with a quick glance.
College is all about making memories, and a polaroid is a great way to capture those. Bonus gift- ask for plenty of film so you never feel like you have to wait for the “perfect” picture.
There are limited windows in the dorms, so having a plant stand ensures that you can grow as many as you want!
As the winter months come, you’ll be searching for things to do indoors. A good option is a movie projector! There were a couple of times I crowded around the TV in my lounge to watch something with my floormates, so we would have benefited from a larger screen. You can also connect your laptop to most projectors, so you can show any streaming service or play interactive games.
Washable Rug and Mesh Laundry Bag
A lot of the dorms have hard flooring that isn’t too comfortable to sit on. When looking for a rug, make sure you get one that you can easily throw in the washer. It’ll make your life easier. Also, ask for a mesh laundry bag that you can put straight in the washing machine to keep all of your socks together. Without it, you’ll be wearing mismatched socks by week three.
Portable Charger That Plugs into the Wall
You will likely be spending lots of time away from your dorm room, so a portable charger for your phone is one of the best investments you can make. I have a charger that plugs straight into the wall, and it has a cord attached to it, so I never have to worry about bringing extra cords to wall boxes.
Extra Stocking Stuffers:
- Nice water bottle
- Gas gift cards!!
- Portable cable organizer
- Yoga mat
- Shower shoes
- Extra-long phone charger
- Scrub brush with soap inside
- Power strip
- Fun socks
- Blue light glasses
- Can opener
- HDMI cord
- Ear plugs