Prepping for a dorm and prepping for an apartment can be two very different experiences. Dorm life doesn’t offer the space to bring your entire life with you and while an apartment might, you still want to be selective with what you do decide to bring.
Prepping for Dorm:
Be ready for cramped quarters and uncomfortable limitations on what you can bring. Okay, for real, you’re either stoked because you’re headed to an Ivy League school with fantastic living spaces, or you’re bummed because you caught a glimpse of the dorm and it is not your dream (…not even close). Long story short, the PB Dorm website is not a good indicator of what you will likely be encountering. But fear not! Here are some pointers for where to start and what to bring.
First of all, scout your school’s website for a list of what sorts of appliances are and are not allowed. For example, my school has a .PDF manual that details what is and is not allowed on campus. For me, things that are allowed include coffee pots, hot pots, and blenders. What’s NOT allowed are things like Crock Pots, hanging lights, and firearms (in case you hadn’t already guessed that). The list of “banned” items is, in reality, so much longer. Be sure to read over yours very carefully.
I might purchase a small Magic Bullet-esque blender for my room so I can make green smoothies as breakfast alternatives. I already own a Keurig, which I definitely recommend! I brew myself coffee to avoid stopping at Starbucks ($$ back in my wallet), and my roommate likes to make hot chocolate since she isn’t much of a caffeine drinker.
It’s also important to remember that you will likely have little to no surface area for leaving these devices out and about. You’ll have to store them somewhere! Keep in mind that you have to clean them after use, too, so if you don’t have a sink in-room, that could become a pain. It’s important to remain realistic! Prepare for the worst, and remember, it’s not the end of the world if you forget your hot pot. There’s food out there somewhere, you may just have to step out of your room.
Finally, most dorms will have some sort of microfridge built in, but check before you go because there’s a possibility you may have to bring your own! It’s smart to negotiate with your roommate (should you have one) before move-in day who will be bringing what; you could potentially say that you will bring the t.v. if they bring a fridge, etc.
Prepping for an Apartment:
If you are going to live in an apartment then congratulations and welcome to feeling like an adult. Living in an apartment will be a completely different story than living in a dorm. Most universities have apartments that are close to campus and affordable. You can still get a dorm feel by having 1-3 roommates but the amenities will be significantly greater. With amenities, however, comes the task of buying supplies for such. While most apartments won’t allow candles or certain decorative lights, you will still have the option to bring much more than you would if you were living on campus. You will additionally have to consider buying supplies for cooking, cleaning, and other more extensive tasks than an on-campus residence would require. Just today I started making a list of all the supplies I will need for my apartment (will share in a future post) and I feel like I’m taking my entire home with me.
You can decide for yourself what you want to bring and what you find is not a necessity. I love to drink fresh juice in the morning so bringing a juicer is a great investment for my time at school. If you end up having a roommate, it’s best to discuss with them what all you have before moving in. The two of you will most likely have come up with some similar ideas and you won’t need doubles of certain items (can opener, strainer, coffee pot, etc).
There will always be pros and cons to both living quarters listed above. While an apartment allows you to cook however you want, have your own washer/dryer, and have your own bathroom, it is not on campus like a dorm is. A major pro of living in a dorm room is being so close to campus.
Overall an apartment may mean more space than a dorm, but it can also mean more responsibility. Living away from home may be in itself challenging at times, but there will always be resources for you at your college or university to help you live a healthy lifestyle (nutritionist, gym, healthy cafe options, etc). It’s all about your own personal choice to stay clear of unhealthy decisions and to take the necessary steps to make your years at college both a healthy and positive time.