Dorm Room
(Photo by Lee Ferris, Mount Saint Mary College)

by Laura Wetherbee

NEWBURGH—Ever wondered how to best survive living in a dorm room?

Mount Saint Mary students have their own ideas on dorm living and have resorted to certain storage methods due to space restrictions.

Students explained how utilizing the space under one’s bed is useful and by raising the bed, allow storage of large college trunks or storage bins full of personal belongings.

School supplies are important to students, who explain how to use small plastic storage drawers to hold their staplers, tape, scissors, paper clips, pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, folder, and paper.

Seniors Diana Gillette and Tom Fallon said big plastic tubs are great for storage and they both had at least one in their dorm room.

Fallon suggested using a shower caddy as many students face the challenge of sharing a bathroom with multiple people and cannot simply leave their toiletries out in the open.

Shower curtains, bath mats, hand soap, and flip-flops are also items that students found necessary for dorm bathrooms.

Sharing a common area is normal for students, who said foldable butterfly chairs, small futons, and coffee tables make great furniture for that living space.

Students agree there is not much closet space in dorms and suggest hanging storage for shoes and Gillette added that hangers are very important.

Gillette explained how she and many other students do not always use the dining service and she enjoys cooking pasta in her dorm kitchen.

Students who cannot make it to the dining hall to sit down and eat find it necessary to have snacks available in one’s dorm such as Ramen noodles, popcorn, granola bars, yogurt, Easy Mac, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Keeping bowls, plates, cups, and utensils around makes it easier to eat when the dining room is not an option.

Students also said they keep their refrigerators stocked with bottled water and other beverages to stay hydrated throughout the day while others reduce cost by using Brita filters that filter and purify the tap water.

Freshman Amanda Upright tries to keep healthy snacks in her dorm and keeps her fridge stocked with her favorite drink, iced tea.

Upright also knows a lot of students who purchased a mattress topper to make their bed more comfortable.

Students suggested using large laundry bags or hampers with handles and wheels that make it easy to transport clothes to the laundry room, while staying stocked on detergent and fabric sheets.

Cleaning one’s dorm space can be tedious for some students, who recommend using Swiffers, Clorox wipes, and small compact vacuums to keep the space tidy.

Keeping a bottle of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer on one’s desk is common for students, who also say they also keep a first-aid kit handy in case of any minor cuts or scratches.

“I definitely have a lot of posters,” said Gillette, who loves to decorate her walls with them. Students also hang personal photo collages and other wall decor to make their room more personalized.

Many students also said that dry-erase boards are essential to any door so friends can leave you messages when you are away and Fallon explained how some of his friends used their dry erase board as way to communicate if they needed some privacy while Gillette said she has one on the inside an outside of her door.

Modern technology demands many items such as printers, chargers, televisions, and cable splitters, with students also suggesting the use of surge protectors to easily access all of these devices. This is not to be mistaken with extension cords, which are not permitted in the dorms.

Students said having a set of speakers is great for entertaining friends with music, otherwise keeping a set of headphones around to use alone quietly.

Students agree that living in a small space can be difficult and overwhelming, but it is manageable by being prepared with the proper items to make your living situation more comfortable.