What to Expect: Dorm Room Shopping

If you haven't already received your housing assignments (which residential hall you'll be living in and who your roommates are) you will very soon. The thought of living in a tiny dorm room for a year may not be very appealing, but the interior designer in you doesn't care how big or small your new space will be and he/she is just waiting to be released in the middle of Bed, Bath and Beyond. Here's what to expect while dorm room shopping.

You receive your roommate and housing assignments and the episode of Facebook stalking that's bound to take place either goes like this:

Or like this:

Either way, you need to throw all feelings of roommate jitters aside for the time being and concentrate on one thing [insert "dun, dun, dun" sound effect here] dorm room shopping list.

Here's what you'll need, no matter who you are:

Bedding in the wonderous size of twin extra long. Don't let the "extra long" fool you - it's tiny.

Shower shoes or flip-flops are probably the next most important step if you're assigned to a residential hall with a communal bathroom. Right now you're probably thinking hair balls and some mold in the corner:

But really, that's the least of your worries. You should be thinking foot fungus and cockroaches. So, how about those shower shoes?

Storage containers, shelves and drawers are essential to dorm life. Your dorm room is much smaller than what the virtual blueprints look like. You'll want to eliminate clutter and storage boxes help you do so. Before you know it you'll have so much room for:

Here's what you won't admit you'll need:

Rain gear is an absolute must, especially in Indiana where the weather is as unpredictable as your girlfriend's mood. Without an umbrella and/or rain boots you'll be running from tree to tree on campus looking like this:

While every (smart) Hoosier with rain gear is strutting through the tsunami-esque weather with this attitude:

Cleaning supplies is also something that your mother will secretly pack for you. You WILL have to clean eventually because you WILL NOT be able to handle the smell anymore. Mold is a very real thing and cleaning it will neither fun nor easy. So, mold at first sight and you'll look something like this:

But then, when your eyes begin to water and you'd rather study in the community bathroom than your room, you'll pick up the cleaning supplies. At first your attitude will be something of this sort:

However, because you're a Hoosier now and everything's a party in BTown, your cleaning routine will become easier and easier.

By the end of the year you'll be Mr. Clean and your chores will go something like this:

Here's what you'll need that you might forget:

Bloomington's residential building have seen some great improvement; however, not all halls include the luxury of air conditioning. You will need fans. Yes, that's plural. When you walk across campus and back for classes during the heat wave you'll want to come back to your room and look more like this:

than this:

Speaking of long hikes through campus, you will definitely want to pack some quality walking shoes. We all know that fashion standards are raised from high school to college, but that doesn't mean you have to wear heels everyday to lecture. If you do choose to go this route you will look like this and people will laugh at you.

Your brain is also a key ingredient to success at IU. Even though this is a really exciting time in your life, it's also to remember why you're here. So, after syllabus week and when your workload begins to pile up you may think to yourself:

And by midterms you'll sit in lecture starring at your professor like:

But when you meet with your adviser and he/she tells you you're on a path to graduate in four years instead of six, or eight or more, you'll want to throw yourself a party:

And you'll go home and look in your dorm room mirror and thank yourself for packing your brain:

And finally, here's what all incoming Hoosiers want for their dorms:

Poster sales are always at an all-time high during Welcome Week:

And everyone eventually falls into the dorm norm by hanging some lights:

Although dorm life is a required experience at IU, you shouldn't look at it merely as a requirement. Moving from home to the dorm typically comes with an unforgettable experience. From choosing classes at orientation to getting along with your new roommate and building ever-lasting friendships, your first year in the dorms is an exciting time, to say the least.

About The Author
Kelsey RoadruckJournalism major, Class of 2016


  • Journalism major
  • Informatics second concentration
  • Class of 2016


  • Contributing writer for HerCampus
  • Contributing columnist for Uloop
  • Writer intern for College Lifestyles
  • Style Guru for CollegeFashionista

On-Campus Activities/Interests:

  • Volunteer usher at the IU Auditorium
  • Proud supporter of Hoosier athletics
  • Loyal Starbucker