I can only speak from the dorm experience where I went to college but they were tile floors and it was UNLIVABLE unless you brought a carpet. The best way to store stuff was "up" to avoid taking up precious floor space. We hung milk crates from hooks and used them for our sweaters/sweatshirts stacked in piles. One year a roomate had a loft bed and that gave us room for a chair and desk underneath that we otherwise wouldn't have had room for. Coordinate with your roomate on things you only need one of (tv, rug, etc.)
Send her with flip flops, a basket for shower stuff, definitely coordinate with the roommate so as not to duplicate things unnecessarily, give them a gift card to Target, and then probably the less detail Mom and Dad know about the dorms, the happier you'll be :-). I spent my first two years of college in them, and loved every minute - it was a terrific experience in how to live with people of all sorts.
Storage. Dorm rooms often don't have a lot of places to store things, so anything that can go under the bed is good. Also, some colleges (like mine) don't have loftable beds. You have to get creative on furniture arrangement, but you can maximize living space. Coordinate with the roommate on who brings the TV or refrigerator. And have them set good ground rules when they first move in so they can avoid a lot of issues later.
Storage. She will probably not be allowed to loft the beds. She should probably loft them anyway- the annoyance of taking the tupperwares out from under the bed and hiding the risers during room checks is worth the extra storage space. Hanging storage is great. Pack a billion of those 3M picture-hanging and hook-hanging wall strips. Invest in flip flops, a rug, slippers, and a good pair of headphones.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I'm not in college anymore, but research for my graduate program as me living in Hungary for 5 months in the dorms at a university, so I'm currently experiencing the pros and cons of dorm life once more!
- have healthy snacks available
- mattress topper
- if a light sleeper, earplugs are a must have
- you really don't need a tv - if you really want to watch a dvd/tv show you can probably find it on your computer
- make sure you and your roommate are similar in terms of how noisy you each prefer to be (or agree that you can be respectful of each other's sleeping hours, etc.)
- make rules and sign them with regards to parties in the room, overnight guests, etc.
Ear plugs and a sound machine saved me in college. I also agree with flip flops for the shower, those 3M sticky hooks, and bed risers if the beds aren't bunk beds. Anything you can come up with to make storage easier is also helpful. I'd also recommend sending her with some Tums or the like - college food can be rough.
Also, I really loved receiving care packages from home - my mom would bake cookies and send them along with some of my favorite snacks, and sometimes photos of my pets. That meant a lot, and snack food/homemade food is highly valued in college!
Great ideas. We used to loft beds using dressers then the other bed went in an L. I can see how college wouldnt want that but I dont remember anyone getting smashed by a falling bed, one college rents the legs for 100 or so but I havent heard about this one,
Hmm we were always allowed to loft beds or use risers. The risers were awesome since they allowed for more storage! (I would NOT loft, personally).
The mattress topper idea is crucial. I wouldn't have survived without mine.
Care packages were the best. My mom would send tons of random stuff--tooth paste, bagels from the best place at home, film containers of quarters, TP, disposable cameras, etc etc. My mom would also send stuff for my roomie, which was really nice.
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
Make sure to check the college rules as far as banned items. We were only allowed certain appliances, and if you wanted a microwave you had to rent a combination microwave/fridge from the school. Also check on whether things can be hung on the walls and such. My dorm was an older renovated building and we were only allowed to attach things to these tack strips on the wall, so hanging storage items or sticky hooks there wouldn't have worked.
Find out the size for sheets/bedding (colleges often require XL twin). Check if there are overhead lights, or lamps are necessary. We had to provide all lamps. I got an additional one that clipped to my headboard for reading or studying in bed.
We could not loft beds, but did have the option to bunk them. Underbed boxes are good for storage, as well as those sets of stackable plastic drawers which can double as a nightstand.
I brought way too much my freshman year. Limit the items taken up initially to what is necessary. More can always be brought from home later during a weekend visit (unless home is really far away). Tons of stuff will accumulate anyway. At the end of the year, it helps to start taking non-essentials home a few weeks early.
Since her roommate is a friend, I strongly suggest that they make sure to have activities away from each other. I have seen a number of close friendships end horribly because of living together. Giving each other space, compromise, and mutual respect seems to be key for the ones that end well. My roommate and I lofted our beds and that gave a lot more room, but that was back in the late 90s, so I don't know what is allowed now. Living in the dorm was fun, I hope your daughter has a good time!
At one time Target had dorm size sheet/comforter sets. Take your own bed pillow. Will the showers be in the room or down the hall? If the shower is in the room, then a spring rod and cloth shower curtain are nice. For underbed of out of season stuff, or just extra anything the big, plastic underbed containers are nice, or space bags if one of the kids has a vacuum cleaner (the real space bags, not the cheaper knock offs). A plastic laundry basket, and the thinner, velvety hangers are good, or the shirt, skirt or pants hangers that hold several pair on one hanger. For shower mats (we had the inner shower, outer alcove, and the curtain hung outside of that) get real cheapies that go in the outer alcove to prevent slipping. Then toss them every semester and replace. If you have to get curtains, then spring load rods work very well, and really cheap curtains. Don't take too many clothes, because it's college and not a fashion show. You need a really good combination lock for the closets when you go away for the weekend or between semesters, and lock everything valuable in there. The small coffee hot pots (metal) can be used to cook almost anything (if they still make them). One skillet to use in the dorm kitchen is nice. One broom, dust pan and sponge mop for the floors. Cleaner for the shower and bathrooms, or sinks. Plastic drinking glasses, plastic plates, and really cheap silver ware (the cheap stuff from Walmart works). A small sewing, and a good first aid kit also.