We have all seen the lists of college dorm room must-haves littering the web, but what do you actually need in order to thrive in your eight by eleven square foot luxury hotel room of a dorm? In all honesty, I have no idea, but here I present you with a few of our well-reasoned essentials, and a few vetoes as well.
Power Strip. This one is a no-brainer, but a power strip is the only way to ensure you’re not slumped over in Lecture lamenting your dead laptop and phone. Just be careful about how many microfridges you choose to plug into it. I do not think anyone wants to be known as the suite that shot the power outlets in the first week.
Lamp. Speaking of outlets, this 6” x 7” lamp is the perfect size for a desk and includes USB and USB-C charging ports. Widener Library closes at ten, and, considering Cabot more closely resembles an episode of Love Island than a space for serious academia past eleven, a desk lamp is crucial for late-night cramming.
Liquid IV packets. These could be renamed to Liquid Gold in my opinion, and, luckily for us, we can order it in bulk! When the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle starts to make waking up without a headache a little too hard, pop one of these into a water bottle and experience sweet relief.
Extra Bedsheet. But not for your bed. While the Harvard party scene can be scarce, we nerds love a theme. You will find your dirty fitted sheet is not what you need for that one toga party that you want to turn up for.
First Aid Kit. It holds all of the essentials that you are bound to forget: band aids, tiny scissors, nail clippers, and anything you’d find in that messy kitchen drawer back home. Having some spare bandaids and disinfectant wipes is all well and good, but may I recommend adding another level of protection to a traditional first aid box?
Condoms. “Safe sex is great sex.” – Lil Wayne. Available wherever anything is sold.
MiO. There is nothing that says “college” like a BORG, and while we cannot recommend the first ingredient to anyone under 21, the second will come in clutch. While nasty on its own, MiO comes to life when mixed with water and a variety of other liquids. I love the fruit punch flavor, but finding your favorite MiO flavor is like finding your soulmate; date around and find your perfect match!
Flask. Felipe’s Rooftop is notoriously strict on IDs, so if you want to get buzzed while enjoying some delectable Mexican food, a flask is a must-have. Slip it in your pocket and swig away the pain of underage life in Massachusetts.
Trash Can. You can throw away approximately 5 solo cups before the dinky little trash can under your desk becomes full. If you aren’t a fan of taking out the trash every day, I recommend picking up a kitchen-sized trash can for your suite! They are especially helpful for tossing all of the flyers from the activities fair because the only thing there is to know is COMP THE INDY!
What five previous years of dorm living apparently did not teach me, but having to pack up a dorm room all on my own for the first time inevitably did, is that the less you bring with you the better! I cannot stress this enough, but a surplus of stuff is the last thing you want. Therefore, we have compiled some definite No’s for your first Harvard move-in.
White towels. One word: Makeup. Something you will soon learn is that neither you nor the HSA laundry service have the wondrous stain removing knowledge kept secret from the rest of us by the official organization of mothers. While your white towels at home may feel luxurious and clean, the ones hanging in your dorm room certainly will not. Might you consider the navy? This also goes for sheets and rugs, or anything you would rather not (although definitely should) wash. Unless you want it to collect every speck of dirt to ever grace your bedroom, I would not recommend any form of faux fur white rug. The wonderfully soft fluffiness will last for about 3 hours, until a pair of shoes or cup of coffee takes its stain virginity and initiates its transformation into a grayish matted mess.
Mini Fan. The heat of an early Cambridge fall is no joke, but the sun will surely be laughing at you if you show up with any sort of mini fan. Those tiny plastic blades will not cut through any Havard humidity; however, do not fret because sooner or later, the weather will flip to arctic temperatures.
Your Dignity. Although we would love to keep it intact, after running around trying to find your first class, losing the key to your suite, and standing in the longest line of your life at El Jefe’s, your dignity must be checked at the door. Let yourself be confused, and when an upperclassman looks at you from their high horse, just remember that they too once thought the Smith and the Science Center were the same thing.
High School Sweetheart. While they may have been the head cheerleader or the star quarterback, they simply are not worth the fuss. We all know it just doesn’t work.
All in all, you truly cannot go wrong that far, as Amazon will be there for you throughout the year; it will probably be your longest lasting college relationship! Moreover, rushing to buy everything you think you need will be a burden on space as well as your wallet, so take it slowly and pack light. Remember that any forgotten item is just an excuse to knock on the door of the cute suite next door and ask them if they have any condoms.
Maddy Tunnell ‘26 ([email protected]) violently overpacked both last year and this year.Power Strip LampLiquid IVExtra BedsheetFirst Aid KitCondomsMiOFlaskTrash CanWhite towels white rug.Mini Fan Your DignityHigh School Sweetheart