7 Must Haves For Your First Year Room

Interior closeup shot of Rowan residence hall.

Today we hear from Rachel Rumsby, a junior Communication Studies and Public Relations double major from Bergen County, NJ. She has lived on-campus in Mimosa Hall and the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. In this story, Rachel shares her must haves for first year residence hall living.

During my first year at Rowan, I lived on campus in a six-person suite with three bedrooms and one bathroom in Mimosa Hall. My bedroom was outfitted with a wardrobe, desk, desk chair and a bed. You can find out more about furniture for each residence hall here. Besides the essentials such as clothes, bedding, decor, a micro-fridge and toiletries, here are some must haves I found helpful during my time in a first year residence hall.

A double room in Mimosa.
A double room in Mimosa Hall

1. Fans. It gets very hot the first few weeks of school, especially in the traditional residence halls. I recommend getting a tower fan and a window fan. The tower fan will circulate the air and create a breeze, while the window fan can push cooler air inside or force hot air outside. This was 100% a must have for me as a first year student.

2. Lamps. In the traditional residence halls, there is no overhead lighting. In Holly Pointe Commons, there is overhead lighting, but not a lot. The best idea would be to get a standing lamp that will light up the room, and a desk lamp for studying. I personally had a standing lamp with multiple lights, so I was able to adjust the amount of lighting in the room.

A double room in Holly Pointe.
A double room in Holly Pointe Commons

3. A rug. Mimosa, Evergreen, and Mullica Halls do not have carpets. A rug will make the space more comfortable and be softer on your feet. Even if your space has carpet, a rug is still a nice piece of decor!

4. Quarters. Quarters are the way to go when doing your laundry. The washers and dryers in the residence halls do not take Rowan Bucks or Dining Dollars. In my personal experience, I have also noticed that when I use my debit card for laundry, the machine charges me more than what the price is when you use quarters, and the card reader is broken sometimes. That being said, I highly recommend bringing quarters for laundry.

A double room in Magnolia Hall.
A double room in Magnolia Hall

5. A tension rod and an extra shower curtain. At least in Mimosa, there is no privacy between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, but there is a space where you can put up this “privacy curtain” outside of the shower. Put this up to have a space where you can change outside of the shower and just a little extra privacy. That way, if someone wants to use the bathroom stall on the other side of the bathroom, or the sink, you don’t have to worry! You can get these items at the dollar store.

6. First aid kit. A first aid kit is definitely a must have. A good first aid kit has bandages, pain relievers, extra masks, alcohol wipes and any other items you may need if you get a headache or get hurt. I know I am clumsy and I have nicked myself with a razor on more than one occasion, so bandages are super helpful. I also get headaches sometimes, so pain relievers are a must have for me. You never know what may happen, so it’s always good to be prepared!

7. A mattress topper and/or mattress pad. The beds at school are not like your bed at home. A mattress topper and mattress pad will make sleeping a little more comfortable, with a little more support than the mattress provides.

Looking for more information on first year living? Check out our First Year Dorm Survival Kit story or see our University Housing playlist on YouTube for first year residence halls. Looking for more information about Rowan Housing or specific dorms? Check out the Residential Learning and University Housing website.

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, junior communication studies and public relations double major

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