It’s always a momentous occasion. But the most momentous school year of all is that first one away from home, the freshman year of college. I remember when my parents drove away, and it dawned on me I wasn’t at church camp, and I wouldn’t be going home in a week. There are tons of challenges in moving away from home for the first time. One of the biggest tasks is outfitting a dorm room with everything a student needs to live in the comfort of a small cinderblock room with community showers. Chances are your first home away from home won’t look like the Olsen twins’ penthouse or for that matter, any TV dorm room, so you’ll have to pick and choose what you bring to school.
Now that I have a home and I’m married, it amazes me that just a few short years ago, all my worldly possessions fit in the back of a small pick up truck. However, of all the items I could’ve packed for college, there were eight absolutely necessary ingredients for dorm or apartment living.
Of course, videogames and iPods are obvious essentials, but there may be a lot of items that are missed on that last trip to Wal-Mart before classes start. Today, I’m helping out our new college students with this handy dandy list of eight essential products for life after living with your parents.
Eight Totally Necessary Items for College Living
Febreeze is a miracle product. It came on the market just as I was entering college, much to my great satisfaction. Look, college students are extraordinarily busy and important people, always with places to go and…books to…read. Mundane tasks like cleaning your room or doing laundry have never been less important than they are now. However, you don’t want to have your girl or boyfriend over to visit and your room smells like old socks and sour milk. In the olden days, a few cleverly placed car fresheners would have to do the job, but today, a few spritzes covers a multitude of sins.
Five Laundry Baskets
There’s probably a washer and dryer somewhere on campus. But who has time to go on a wild goose chase trying to locate it? It’s probably way down in the basement of your dorm in a creepy, dimly lit, poorly ventilated room. Plus, there’s usually a line of people waiting to use one broken machine. Besides that, with you being away from home for the first time, it would really warm your mother’s heart to visit her on the weekend, with five baskets of laundry for her to wash and fold for you.
Remember those notches your parents put on the wall to mark how tall you had grown when you were a kid? Well now that your diet consists of cafeteria food and Easy Cheez, you’ve probably stopped growing, at least vertically. However, you can start a cool new growth chart. With the help of a Sharpie marker, you can keep track of just how high you can pile the milk jugs and McDonald’s wrappers in your wastebasket without it toppling over! It’s just like Jenga.
Living in a dorm is a little bit like being an animal in a zoo. You’re always on display, people always passing by, tapping on the glass. With piles of trash and laundry in your room, a little Febreeze may cover the smell, but there’s the little issue that your squalor is sort of in plain view. Not to worry, my friend. There’s no need to show of your mess with flourecent lamps or natural sunlight. Just shut the blinds and hang a few Christmas lights. Your room will look festive and inviting, while the light is dim enough that no one will be able to tell if they are sitting on a beanbag chair or your dirty boxer shorts.
Okay, so you’re rocking the Christmas lights and Febreeze, and now you’re having a modest little soiree in your room with a few friends. You’ve got some burgers cooking up on your George Foreman grill, which is knocking out the fat directly onto your record breaking four foot pile of trash, and everyone’s enjoying the virgin daquiris. Oh no! Someone’s annoying boyfriend spilled his drink. Party foul. Now you’ve got a big red splotch right in the middle of your room…Or do you? Just rotate the rug until it’s under the bed, and presto! Clean floor! Rugs are easily obtained from the dumpsters behind carpeting stores.
Like I said, college students are busy people, and it doesn’t pay to be tardy. You need a nice, loud alarm clock so you can be sure not to be late to your 2 pm class.
College professors are often reputed as being really smart, but a bit eccentric in their clothing choices. My dad had a professor who wore a suit and tie, even in summer time. But in order to not overheat himself, he had his suit pants hemmed into shorts. Nothing else about the ensemble changed, including the knee high socks and shoes. Deal with that for a moment.
As a man or woman of higher education, you are no longer in need of any footwear, except flip flops. Doesn’t matter if it’s summer or there’s ten inches of snow on the ground. Proper college footwear is flip flops. Flip flops are the only footwear that will give you the calloused, disgustingly filthy feet of a true scholar.
It’s inevitable that along the way, you will have a rival in your dorm. And when your rival steals your shower head or leaves a pack of wild ducks in your room, you will have to answer in kind. With a few pennies, you can trap your rival in his or her room, while they sleep. Just push really hard on their door, and shove the pennies into the door jamb. Bam. Punked.
Okay, help out the new college students out there. What was your first home after moving out of your parents’ place? What were the items you had to have when you first left home?