Any freshman college experience is always an adjustment, but the right dorm room essentials will at least elevate your barebones new digs, so you’re not feeling homesick or claustrophobic in your shared space. Maybe the walls will be a little thinner than you expected. Maybe the AC or heat will turn off and on at inopportune times, or your random roommate isn’t exactly your chosen company. Will that encourage you to go to the library to hit the books? Perhaps. But even a few homey upgrades (a cushy mattress protector, some tasteful art that isn’t Klimt or John Belushi, mood lighting, a solid pair of noise-cancelling headphones) can make your dorm feel that much more like home. Optimistically, even like a cool studio in that major metropolitan area you’ve been imagining. Here, we’ve compiled a packing list of some of our favorite dorm room essentials to gussy up your space and keep it clean. Because we’re talking cash-strapped students, we’ve also ensured that the bulk of these bedding, tech, and home accessories are at least somewhat affordable.
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