Dorm room essentials according to fellow Flyers

Freshman Kerry Kadel reports on upperclassman, alumni, and RA’s recommendations for dorm room essentials. Photo of a Marycrest dorm room courtesy of Kadel.

 Kerry Kadel | Contributing Writer 

A new school year comes with many new advantages, especially if it’s your first year attending college. One of these advantages is the creative outlet to decorate your dorm the way you and your roommate want to. But what are some essentials that can accommodate you and your roommate’s needs? Here’s a few tips I gathered from UD students themselves about the best dorm essentials that have improved their new home. 

Junior Paige Tincu said, “My mattress topper was my best purchase. It made my bed so comfortable! My rug has also made my room so much cozier. Something that I think [I] would bring is a cover for our couch. We also bought a TV stand since our TV wouldn’t fit on the table we have. We also use the blender we brought for smoothies and my roommates use it after they work out at the gym.” 

Junior Kelsey Saylor suggested, “I got one of those electric kettles. And so, if you want to make tea or Ramen or oatmeal you add the hot water to it and you don’t need to keep walking down the hallway. I also have a laptop tray because I like doing work on my bed rather than my desk and it’s handy to have everything up there with me. One thing I recently started doing was getting the Mr. Clean magic erasers–they’re a life saver! If you have light colored shoes and you spill something on your shoes or get marks on them, they will clean it all up. I also finally got a tapestry from Amazon. I looked up ‘obscure art tapestries’ to [find] funny ones. I also got a sunflower tapestry for my room. I have it framed in Christmas lights too. I also have LED lights around the bottom of my walls.”

Brian Kadel ’95, who lived in Stuart his freshmen year, brought with him a large box fan due to having no air conditioning in the building. He also recounts that his fellow students brought electric hot pots to heat up water and make Ramen Noodles. Before UD supplied students with their own mini refrigerators, Brian had to bring one for himself and his roommate. It’s interesting to see the progress UD has made within its residential buildings to accommodate its students.

Below are some of the essentials I discovered from reading The Strategist’s article on what college RA’s say to bring with you to make your dorm cozy.

Fairy Lights 

Fairy lights are a common but very decorative way to make your dorm feel welcoming. They emanate a soft and cozy light that makes your room feel warm and they add to the aesthetic of your dorm. Luckily, these lights won’t be deemed a fire hazard by your RA and sell for only $8 on Amazon.


Succulents bring a sense of nature in your dorm that you won’t be able to bring in when fall and winter hit. And don’t worry, succulents don’t take too much time to care for. In fact, they’re the least needy plants and are perfect for a new plant owner.  Succulents take in water every two to three weeks and can last without water even longer than that! They come in very small pots fit for their shape as to not take up too much of your workspace. You can find succulents at any Home Depot or click this link for hand-picked succulents just for you from Amazon.


Have a rug? Are crumbs and grass from outside starting to get stuck in between the bristles? The Strategist says to invest in a lightweight, bagless Bissell Featherweight Stick vacuum. It’s always a good idea to vacuum every once in a while to keep your space tidy and clean and to give yourself and your roommate a fresh space to think and feel comfortable in. The Bissell vacuum sells for $34 on Amazon! 


Bookbags are essential to campus life for obvious reasons like classes, but some of the bags may not match your style. Labeled as the most popular bookbag across college campuses is the Fjallraven Kanken Mini. This backpack is small but cute in design and style, coming in 29 different colors from navy to yellow to pink. The bag sells for $70 at Zappos and is sturdy enough for you to bring it with you all around campus! 

Hopefully these tips from current students, alumni and RAs give you ideas on how you can make your dorm — your new home away from home — homey.

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