For most, college is the first time that you get to try out living on your own. Living on your own can be scary at first because of the responsibilities that you have, but it is pretty easy when you have the right tools to work with. These eight essentials are items that will help you customize your dorm/apartment, and make it look good so you can have all your friends over.

Mattress Pad

A mattress pad is essential as a college student. If you are living in dorm rooms, then the school will provide you with a mattress to sleep on. These mattresses are not great and can be very uncomfortable. Rather than buy a completely different mattress, you can buy a mattress pad. The pad is placed on top of the mattress, and when you place your sheets over the pad. This will provide a comfortable cushion for you to sleep on and allow you to sleep better at night.

Wall Art

Wall art is important to have to show who you are to those who visit your room. Things such as posters and lights can help cover the plain walls that are in your room. Wall art is not something that you need to have, but it would be smart to have. Especially if you are living with someone who you have never met before.

If you do not know your roommate, then having some posters hanging on the wall can help them get to know you. Your roommate will probably have some posters themselves, so you will get to see what kinds of things they are into.


A typical apartment should come with appliances such as a stove and a microwave, but if you are living in the dorms then this is a must-have. Your dorms will probably have a microwave in the community kitchens, but those are used by everyone and can get pretty gross. Having your own microwave will allow you to make some quick food before you get to class. In college, the cafeterias may only be open at certain times, so having a microwave can allow you to eat according to your schedule.


The need for a mini-fridge is similar to the need for a microwave. An apartment should come with a fridge, but the dorms do not and if you do not have one you will be forced to use the community fridge. Using the community fridge runs the risk of other residents taking your food.

You can also store things such as Gatorade and other drinks in your fridge, and it will be conveniently in your own room. So if you are up late doing homework and need something to drink, you will not have to leave your room.


A printer is a really nice thing to have in college because of the number of assignments that you will need to print out and turn in. Your school will have printers available to you, but this requires you to walk to the library in order to print.

Instead of having to make a long walk to the nearest library, you can just print out your assignments at your place. This can save you time when you are in a hurry to get to class. If you are a college student in Houston, then the UH apartments come with a computer lounge that has plenty of printers. If your apartment complex has a printer, then that is even better.

Power Strips/Extension Cords

These are a nice thing to have in case your apartment, or dorm room, does not have enough outlets. You will probably be faced with a time where you need to charge your phone or laptop, but all the appliances are using the outlets. These will allow you to charge your phone, or laptop, without having to unplug your appliances.

Comfortable Seating

This is nice to have in your apartment, or dorm room, to just relax and chill out. If you have people over, you will want to make sure that you have plenty of seating options available for your guests.


Television may not be a necessity, especially if you do not watch television. However, it is something nice to have to watch movies or play video games. It never hurts to have a bigger screen to plug your computer into if you are doing homework or want to watch YouTube videos.


There are plenty of other essential living items that you should have in your apartment. These are just the miscellaneous items that you may forget when you are packing, or buying, for your dorm/apartment.