Ask The Swag Gal – May 11, 2001

Today’s Ask The Swag Gal comes from a recent High School graduate attempting to prepare for dorm life.

I’m going to be heading off to college in the fall, and I’m just wondering what your tips are for summer-time dorm shopping and maybe even the Swag Store has something for the dorms.

Well, I bet you must be super excited to start college!  You’re about to enter the best years of your life…are you ready for it?

Going into college life can definitely be overwhelming, but coming in prepared certainly makes the transition easier.  There are certain things that every first year college student needs, and I’m going to break them down for you.


You might think this is obvious, but there are definitely some items you might be leaving out!  Don’t forget to bring enough pairs of underwear and socks.  You’ll also want to bring a few sets of pajamas, and depending on where you’re going to school, a good number of sweat shirts.  Be sure to pack some dressier clothes, as you never know when you’ll have to give a presentation or attend a formal affair.


It is very easy to miss some of the most important health and beauty items.  Along with your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner, make sure to bring vitamins, medicines (pain relievers, cold remedies, Pepto Bismol), Bandaids, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, your razor and shaving cream, a hair dryer, cotton swabs, moisturizer, nail clippers, a shower caddy, and a cheap pair of shower shoes.

Dorm Room Needs

These items will help make your dorm room feel more like your bedroom.  You’ll need a bedside lamp, an alarm clock (to wake you up for those killer 8am classes), a trash can, a desk lamp, a fan (typically dorm rooms do not have air conditioning and can get very, very hot), a drying rack for your laundry, under-the-bed storage boxes, bed risers (so that you can, in fact, fit the under-the-bed storage boxes under the bed), a toolkit, a bulletin board and push-pins, and most importantly, pictures of your friends and family.  You can also spruce up your room with some fun posters.  Check out the posters section of the Swag Store to snag your favorites!

Linens and Laundry

One of my favorite items to shop for when I was going away to college was my dorm room bed spread.  Make sure to choose a blanket that suits you, as this is one of the few areas of your dorm room that you’ll be able to personalize and make your own.  Don’t forget to bring at least one extra set of sheets, and two of the most comfortable pillows!  Dorm room mattresses aren’t the most comfortable, so pick up a mattress pad.  Keep in mind that a lot of college dorms use extra long mattresses, so check with your school before making your purchase.  Bring at least 3 bath towels and 3 washcloths.  You’ll need lots of hangers, a laundry bag, laundry detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, a lint brush, and an emergency sewing kit.


Well, obviously, you’ll need a computer.  In addition, you’ll need a printer to print out all of those papers you’ll be writing.  You can snag an HP Photosmart Plus All-In-One Printer from the Swag Store!

Bring extension cords, an Ethernet cable, and a surge protector.

For the more exciting electronics, you’ll definitely want to bring a camera along.  You can snag the Canon PowerShot SD1300 Digital Camera from the Swag Store, or you can even enter in the Swagstakes for the Olympus Stylus Tough 6020 14MP Digital Camera!

You’ll also need a music player, which you can snag from the Swag Store, or enter to win one in the Swagstakes.

Apple iPod Shuffle – Swag Store

Apple iPod Shuffle – Swagstakes

Although it’s not necessary, a lot of kids like to bring a TV to college.  Impress your roommate with one of the three awesome TV’s we have in the Swag Store:

Panasonic 22-inch 720p LCD HDTV with iPod Dock

Samsung 32-inch 720p LCD HDTV

LG 32-inch 1080p LED LCD HDTV

Also not necessary, but often times preferred, are an iron, a coffee pot, microwave/toaster over (if allowed), and small refrigerator.  Snag the Black & Decker Light ‘N Easy Iron from the Swag Store for 2,349 Swag Bucks.

Household/Kitchen Items

After you’ve stocked up on Easy Mac and Cup of Noodles, make sure to get yourself paper towels, plastic-ware, paper goods, Tupperware, trash bags, tissues, light bulbs, and some good all-purpose cleaner!  You should be able to find some great coupons for a couple of these items in Swagbucks Coupons!

Office/Desk Supplies

In order to allow yourself to work and study to the best of your ability, you’ll need the supplies to go with it.  Stock up on printer paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, index cards, Post-It notes, folders, paper clips, rubber bands, scissors, highlighters (to enhance all of the reading you’ll be doing), and a handy-dandy dictionary.  You’ll also want to bring a bunch of blank CD’s and a USB flash drive.  You can get an awesome KISS Collector’s USB Thumb Drive from the Swag Store for only 1,599 Swag Bucks!

The last few things you’ll need might not be tangible, but they just might be the most important items on the list.

Go in with an open mind – College is going to be a brand new experience for you.  Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t come in with too many expectations.

Put on your thinking cap – Although many people view college as the best years of their life, remember that you are there to learn.  Work hard and let it pay off!  You will never regret getting your college degree.

Bring your smile – Get excited!  You’re going to be making a ton of new friends, learning new things, seeing new places, and experiencing things you’ve never experienced before.  Of course it is normal to feel nervous and anxious, but put on a happy face and get ready to embark on the next phase of your life!


P.S. – Send your questions to  If your question is chosen, your answer will be featured in the blog and you’ll be hooked up with 150 Swag Bucks!