How to get ready for college, dormitory life

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A projected 2.4 million students will begin their first year of college this fall, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics. And, many of these students will be living in a dormitory for the first time. Planning ahead for the upcoming move before the day arrives can make it easier for students to adapt to their new homes and less stressful for parents as they leave their children on moving day.

But what should be done to prepare?

Dorm Room Essentials

It’s normal for new students to feel anxious about moving to a new place. However, there are some steps incoming freshmen can take to reduce apprehensive feelings they might have about dorm life.

Arriving on move-in day fully prepared is the first step. Most schools provide new students with a list of what they’ll need to thrive in their dorm environment.

Here are the top 10 dorm room essentials incoming college-bound students will need. This list has been compiled from university admissions offices across the nation:

• pillows and pillowcases

• extra-long twin sheets

• long blanket

• comforter

• extra-long mattress pad

• towels and washcloths

• bathrobe and slippers

• storage containers

• area rug

• laundry hamper or bag

Student Bedding 101

With the limited space a dorm room provides, a bed becomes the key component of the living quarters. The bed serves as a table for late night pizzas, a couch for new friends, a cozy place to study, and when time permits, a place to catch up on sleep.

Many colleges use mattresses that are 80 inches long instead of the usual 75-inch twin mattress. Tugging and stretching sheets across their new beds, some students arrive unprepared for longer mattresses and are frustrated when sheets won’t fit.

“Choosing appropriately sized bedding is very important for students living in the dorm. We offer many bedding options for college students, including jersey knit, cotton percale and flannel sheets that are made to fit longer twin beds,” says Deborah Barney, vice president of Coming Home with Lands’ End.

Along with extra-long sheets and mattress pads, blankets that are 96 inches in length are also available and are perfect for longer collegiate beds.

Home Sweet Home

Once bedding basics for the dorm room are found, students should focus on finding the other fundamental items that will make their new room feel like home.

Towel sets are a must-have for college students. Options include Supima towel gift sets which, for about $65, include two bath towels, two hand towels and two washcloths. Or look for a combed cotton towel set which features longer and wider bath towels.

These items often can be monogrammed, which is great for students because it prevents laundry room confusion.

College students can personalize their rooms by incorporating items such as colorful laundry hampers and textured area rugs. Space-saving wicker storage units are great for holding clothing, towels and other personal items.

Although they may not have needed them at home, students should remember to bring a bath robe and slippers with them to college. Both are essential for morning walks to and from the shower.

Shop Conveniently Online

With the lazy days of summer quickly fading into the crazy days of back-to-school shopping, students and parents will head into frenzied malls and wait in long lines. Add that to the difficulty of finding collegiate essentials like extra-long sheets and blankets and that equals one frustrating shopping experience.

Avoid the stress and the hassle by shopping on the Internet.

- Courtesy ARA Content

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