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Dorm Cooking: Tips and Recipes


When I went to college, I was a bit on the shy side. I didn’t eat in the college cafeteria. I didn’t know anything about the dreaded freshmen 15 epidemic, which seems to worry students. I walked everywhere and ate moderately. I placed a video down below, called “Avoiding the Freshman 15” by Well Cast. I found it interesting, informative, and worth sharing.  I had canned tuna and the standard starving student meal, “Ramen Noodles.” Which can be quite delicious if you put a dash of good soy sauce and sesame seed oil. These flavors give this modest simple meal, a touch of gourmet.


Yes it’s true! Always go grocery shopping on a full stomach. I recently found a little gem, for those occasions when I want some cake and don’t want to make too much. It’s made in the microwave and in a mug. It’s called the Duncan Hines, Perfect Size for 1. There are many varieties of these single serving cake/muffin type of desserts to choose from. Don’t forget to buy mainly non processed foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. They will keep your mind sharp and alert. It’s better to stay healthy so that you can be mentally fit for your tests. I know that when my diet was weak, I felt weak, tired, and unfocused.  When in doubt, always make sure to always consult your doctor for a diet that is right for you.


Many dorms have a kitchen which you can reserve. You can easily prep a weeks worth of meals as well as snacks. I reserved the kitchen on several occasions. I would take advantage of being able to use a stove and I would boil a dozen eggs. I would have the protein that  I needed during the week. Bento boxes, also known as compartment containers make meal prepping convenient. You can find quite a variety of Bento boxes on Amazon. Make sure you get the right size for you and make sure it will fit your mini fridge properly.  Nonperishable foods can be stored in a cool dark place like your closet/pantry.  Below, I have added a YouTube video by Mind Over Matter called, “Bento Box Lunches 2.” You’ll find tons of healthy and very simple recipes to lunches that you can take with you. I put a link below for bento boxes on Amazon.


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Essential College Dorm Room Items


Many colleges and universities, require freshman to live on campus during their first year. In my own personal experience however, I lived on campus all four years of my undergraduate college life. To be specific, I lived in four different dorm halls; with eight different roommates (one at a time)! Having lived four years in a college dorm room, I am able to recommend some essential college dorm room items for you to bring.


Before purchasing any dorm room appliances, call your residence hall or look at their website. Check to see if there are any dorm room restrictions on appliances and other items. For example, many colleges will not allow George Forman grills, halogen lamps, or hot plates in dorm rooms. Some items pose safety issues, so it’s just a good idea to follow the rules.  Don’t bring any unapproved items. When in doubt, always check. In the long run, it will save you time and money.


Here’s another useful piece of advice, “Travel light!” Your dorm room space will be small and confined so choose your clothing and shoes carefully. Comfortable shoes are a must, depending on the size of your college, your classes may be located far apart. Consider purchasing plastic bin organizers for your closet or for under your bed. Organizers are an essential dorm room item for keeping your room uncluttered. When it comes to clothing use common sense, if it’s winter, take appropriate clothing. If it rains a lot, bring rain shoes and an umbrella. Don’t take every shoe or piece of clothing that you own. Learn to coordinate a few clothing items in your wardrobe.


Whatever you do, do not take expensive items or jewlery to school. You are just asking for trouble. Even if you know your roommate, you don’t always know the people that are invited into your room when you are away. Consider purchasing a safe box for your room. It is a great item for keeping your values, such as credit cards, money, or passport from being stolen.


Many people will suggest that you call your future roommates.  To introduce yourself and to discuss what appliances you will each agree to bring, so that you won’t have two of everything.  I will speak to you through my own college experiences and I say, “Bring your own appliances.”  What happens if your roommate decides to drop out of school or decides to move into another dorm? As I mentioned earlier, I spent four years living in a college dorm room and was glad that I had my own microwave, mini refrigerator, and tv.  Roommates came and went; I never had to go without any appliances.


I listed some of the most essential college dorm room items below. However, I did not list the more obvious items for you to bring, such as, makeup or hair supplies.  As I mentioned earlier, before making any purchases, check with your college/university for approved appliances.


APPLIANCES– Check with your Residence Hall

*Coffee Maker
*Microwave (Bowls, Cups, Plates, silverware, Water bottle)
*Mini Refrigerator


*Mattress protector
*Throw blanket


*Portable Batter Charger


*Alarm Clock
*Desk Lamp
*Laundry Basket
*Over the door mirror
*Organizational bins
*Safe (protect your valuables)
*Small Television
*Surge Protector Strip
*Trash Can


*Binders & Loose Leaf paper
*Calendar (desk and wall)
*Graph paper
*Index cards
*Paper clips
*Pencils (Refill & Sharpener)
*Sticky Notes
*Stapler and Staples
*White-Out Strip


*Shower shoes
*Shower caddy
*Towels – Body/Facial


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Dorm Room Makeovers


Dorm room makeovers are easy when you get great ideas. Sometimes it’s difficult to image all of the ways you can decorate your dorm room. Especially when you haven’t yet seen the layout or size of the room. Before moving into your dorm room, you can begin your purchases with the appliances (that are allowec), bedding, electronics,and shower items. Generally, dorm room beds are Twin XL (extra long) but always make sure to check with your residence hall. Better safe than sorry. Whatever you do, purchase a mattress protector. You might not have a clue where that bed has been or who has been on that bed.

When adding another piece of furinture, such as a bench for extra seating, take measurements of the space where it’s going to be placed. The last thing you want, is to bring a bulky piece of furniture to your extra small dorm room. You might end up with a very upset roommate.  So this is probably the best time to get a hold of your future roommate and ask what they are bringing to avoid future conflicts.

Dorm room walls are painted some type of white color. Nailing things to the wall are a no no. Make sure to bring Command (or similar product) no-damage hooks or strips, to avoid damaging the walls.  The right product can make it easier for you to hang anything from light weight tapestries to wire photo displays.  Anything that will make your room a little homier and comfortable.

Watch “Dorm Décor & Essentials – IKEA Home Tour.”  You can get great visual ideas about how you too, can decorate your room. has a wide selection of IKEA products. So click the link below to get started today.  


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