Dorm Room Essentials: Often Forgotten "Must Haves"

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It’s the time of year when a new generation of teenagers head off to college. As parents prepare to say goodbye to the kids that grew up so fast, they probably have gone over a checklist of dorm essentials.

New bedding (for the lumpy twin-sized mattress) and a desk lamp are among the more predictable choices to make the list.

However, there are some essentials that some students and parents alike might find themselves overlooking in the rush to be ready for college classes to begin.

Here are some items that every college kid should be absolutely certain to address BEFORE they head off to live on campus.


It’s amazing how many people forget about the fact that college students require sustenance for four years (minimum) of school.

Yes, you got your kid a laptop, a tablet, and two smartphones. But in case you didn’t know, none of those items are edible.

No student should live off of ramen noodles and cheap hot dogs if they don’t have to.

At the opposite end of the scale is that dreaded “freshman fifteen”. This is when teenagers are suddenly given seemingly endless access to a diet of cheeseburgers and pizza.

Parents, consider buying a small fridge and cabinet for your kids and encouraging them to stock these items with food. HEALTHY food.

Also help your son or daughter develop a budget specifically to address their food needs.

Pepper Spray

In a perfect world, you would not have to worry about college students being vulnerable to violent crime.

Unfortunately it is not a perfect world, and safety concerns are something you must take into consideration.

Statistics for assault and rape on college campuses are grim.

You may not want to think about the potential for your child to be a victim, but this is a discussion EVERY parent should have with their kids before they leave.

Find out what the laws are regarding the purchase and ownership of pepper spray in the state where your son or daughter will be attending school.

Students are also encouraged to own a whistle and/or an air horn.

Empty Water Jug

What use could a college student possibly have for a huge empty water jug?

Well, if you want a way to save extra money it makes perfect sense.

Whenever you have extra change you don’t need or left over from money spent, just put it in the empty jug.

When it fills you can start a new jug and or convert the bottle of spare change into cash.

It can be a source of extra money when you need it or a possible goal your child wants to fulfill (such as a trip to Paris during a “gap year”).

The act of saving money rather than spending it all on fast food can help him or her begin to appreciate the importance of holding on to extra cash rather than spending it needlessly.

What are other dorm and college essentials that go overlooked? Comment below with your suggestions!

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