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dorm room

In gift guide, Lifestyle on
May 5, 2018

7 Creative Gift Set Ideas For Incoming Freshmen Living In Dorms

Happy Saturday lovelies!

I know that I said I would likely only be posting on Tuesday/Thursday for the foreseeable future, but I love surprising y’all with some interesting post ideas. So many people are graduating high school and college this week, so I figured I would give you a gift guide for any incoming freshman you know who will be living in dorms.

I want to do other gift guides throughout the summer so you can give your friends and family the perfect going away gift!

I have seven themes listed below. Feel free to buy them as sets, or just get individual pieces. I am sharing a ton of ideas below, and I hope you like these. Let me know in the comments below which idea is your favorite!

*This post contains affiliate links, y’all!

 7 Creative Gift Set Ideas For Incoming Freshmen Living In Dorms | Do you have any friends or family members who will be staying in a dorm soon? Check out my gift set guide so you can add some joy and practicality to their first year living the dorm life. #GiftGuide #GiftsForCollegeStudents #DormGiftIdeas #DormGiftGuide

1. The Laundry Starter Kit

Hear me out. Laundry is expensive AF, and not all dorms have free laundry. I was so fortunate my freshman year that my dorm didn’t make us pay for laundry, but your incoming freshman may not be as lucky. Seeing as how NO ONE has cash on them, get them a:

  • Jar full of quarters
  • Tide Pods (or another laundry detergent)
  • Dryer sheets
  • Laundry basket with handles
  • Tide To Go Pen (because sometimes, you just need some easy stain removal, y’all)

You can get as creative as you want with this starter kit. Just make sure that you are wary of the space that college students have in their dorm room. Don’t go too overboard!

Here is some inspiration for the Laundry Starter Kit Set:

2. The Drown Out The Dorm Life Set

What I learned while living in the dorms: dorm life is loud AF and a tad bit smelly. I decided to create this set so your incoming freshman can drown out dorm life and act as though they are living at home, even if they aren’t. In this set you should get them a:

  • Pair of headphones
  • Sleeping mask
  • White noise machine
  • Small dehumidifier
  • Fan
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Essential oil starter kit

All in all, you just want to make dorm living as comfortable for them as possible through the use of items that make them feel at home.

Here is some inspiration for the Drown Out The Dorm Life Set:

3. The I need Coffee, Or I’ll Die Set

Coffee on any college campus is expensive. Most college campuses have Starbucks or some other large coffee chains and daily visits can add up. When I was in college/graduate school, I always went to Starbucks or Einstein Bros Bagels for my coffee fix, and I don’t even want to look at what a bill for all that would look like! Here are some ideas to help your college student out. Get them a:

  • Keurig K15 Brewer
  • Good set of starter K-Cups
  • Reusable KCup Pod
  • Cute coffee mug (or six)
  • Creamer/sugar set

This set will help them drink more coffee at home. They may still go out for those specialty coffees they can’t brew in their dorm. Overall, though, they will be happy with what they can save when they don’t have to go to Starbucks for everything.

Here is some inspiration for the I Need Coffee Or I’ll Die Set:

4. The Dorm Room Makeover Set

My favorite part of the dorm room process was deciding what to bring to decorate it. If the incoming freshman in your life is really picky, you may want to skip this set and just them a gift card to a place like Pottery Barn. If they are less picky, you know their style, or at least their color palette you could consider getting them stuff like:

  • Wall Tapestries
  • Canvas Paintings
  • Throw Pillows
  • Curtains
  • Posters
  • Loctite Fun-Tak Mounting Putty (sounds boring, hella helpful for adding decor to dorm walls without damage)
  • String Lights
  • Felt Letter Board

All these excellent decor pieces combined will give them a Tumblr/Pinterest dorm room for sure! Make sure everything matches, though!

Here is some inspiration for the Dorm Room Makeover Set:

5. The Get Your Academic Shit together Set

Your incoming freshman will likely spend a ton of time burning the midnight oil at their desk. Get them some items to help them make their desk feel more comfortable and easy to use such as a:

  • Laptop cooling pad
  • Desk organizers
  • Notebooks
  • Pencils, pens, markers, etc
  • Planner (We love Erin Condren in these happy parts)
  • Seat cushions
  • Ergonomic keyboards/mouse pads

Your incoming freshman will likely already have a desk and chair on campus, but they might not be the most comfortable. Purchase some extra goodies to help them feel better while studying.

Here is some inspiration for the Get Your Academic Shit Together Set:

6. The I Don’t Want To Use the Dorm Bathroom Set

Dorm bathrooms are kinda icky AF. Your incoming freshman needs to be prepared for dorm life, and I hope that this set of products will help them be prepared for the shared dorm bathroom life. It’s really not that bad, I promise, as long as your dorm-dwelling freshman has some essentials like a:

  • Bathrobe
  • Shower caddy
  • Dorm shoes aka flip flops aka flippity flops (You can likely get these cheaper at Old Navy or Walmart, but adding some links to Amazon in case you want to get them there.)
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Shaving supplies
  • Towel Set

Dorm bathroom life is so much better when you have the supplies to survive it. If your freshman doesn’t share a bathroom with an entire floor, make sure they have some bathroom cleaning supplies. They don’t want to be the suitemate who never cleans up!

Here is some inspiration for the I Don’t Want To Use The Dorm Bathroom set:

7. The What Is Cooking And How Do I Do It Set

Sometimes you won’t feel like going to the cafeteria or going out to eat. For the times your incoming freshmen just wants to stay in, get them a few items to keep around their dorm for easy cooking such as a:

  • Mini-fridge (if they can, rent this from campus or share this cost with their roommate)
  • Tupperware set
  • Set of cookware (if they have room for it, otherwise, get individual pieces like a skillet and a pot)
  • Plastic dish set (don’t think these are automatically microwave safe, not all plastic dishes are!)
  • Metal cutlery (don’t go plastic on cutlery)
  • Kitchen utensils

To finish out this set add some ramen noodles, pasta, mug cakes (did you know Duncan Hines sells mug cake mix?!), and other goodies for the perfect gift set. You could also add a gift card to Walmart or another grocery store as well.

Here is some inspiration for the What Is Cooking And How Do I Do It set:


Dorm life can be fun again with all the products I showed you today! These gifts may not make your incoming freshman squeal like money or a new car, BUT they are super practical.

One of the best gifts I ever received when I was headed to college was a laundry basket and a bunch of supplies I could use in my dorm! At the time when I was getting gifts I was most excited about the monetary ones, but over time I realized I needed all the stuff I got in that basket.

You should strive to get your incoming freshman gifts that keep on giving. A lot of those gifts I got my freshman year followed me all throughout college. So, choose gifts wisely and make them practical, y’all.

In college on
January 10, 2018

14 Tips To Help You Secure Your Dorm Or Apartment

During the first week of my Sophomore year, something that I never thought would happen, happened to me. Usually, I was very cautious about keeping the places I lived secure, but one night I slipped. That night happened to be the night that my apartment got broken into.

While strange people (that we never caught, by the way) were rummaging through the apartment I lived in with two of my friends; we were all in our rooms fast asleep. That was until one of my roommate’s dogs heard the commotion and barked until she woke up. All she saw was a glimpse of one of their hands and arms as they turned off the light and closed the door.

I didn’t get a ton of stuff taken. They only got a few things like the singles packets you can put in your water and some college food staples like ramen from me. Nothing significant, nothing that couldn’t physically be replaced. They were able to get something pretty big from one of my roommates, though, one of her DVD cases filled to the brim with DVDs she’d collected over the years. That was one of the most significant items, worth hundreds of dollars

It was icky. We called the police, they took down what was stolen, but it was either so small that it wasn’t genuinely worth mentioning or it was big but hard to trace down in the end. We went to our apartment, but they were zero help. Then we thought about trying to go through the insurance plan we were made to get through our apartment, but it turns out the plan that they picked only looked out for them. It was liability insurance to cover their property, not ours. Not only that, but even if it did cover our stuff the deductible was so high that it wouldn’t have made sense to claim anything on the insurance anyway.

At the end of the day, though, it wasn’t the stuff. It was the strange people we never caught who managed to enter our apartment on a one-off day that we forgot to lock the front door. The fact that those unknown people were mere feet away from me because they managed to take laundry detergent from the laundry room that was right beside my bedroom. If they were bold, and I hadn’t locked my bedroom door, they could have easily gone into my bedroom too. You better believe I never once forgot to lock the front door ever again. I also never forgot to lock my bedroom door. I didn’t want to ever feel that vulnerable again.

Now that I have told you my story let’s chat about how you can secure your apartment or dorm.

 14 Tips To Help You Secure Your Dorm Or Apartment | At the beginning of my Sophomore year I made a mistake. My roommates and I forgot to lock our front door one night, and that same night someone broke into our house. They didn't get a lot, but it was the fact that strange people we never caught were in our apartment without our consent. Since then I have been a security junkie. Today on the blog I am sharing fourteen of my best tips to keep your dorm or apartment secure.

1. Talk With Your Roommates About Securing Your Dorm Or Apartment

I had a LOT of random roommates in college and graduate school. I never lived with the same person more than a year besides one person that I lived with part of my freshman and all of my sophomore year. Other than that, I had different roommates all years of my college career.

One of the hardest parts of apartment security that I faced after my sophomore year was that I no longer lived with the people I went through that incident with. My new roommates had no reason to be upset over leaving the door unlocked for extended periods of time. I found that annoying in some cases because I was wholly invested in locking the door all the time and keeping it that way, even if we were in the house.

In some situations, if I didn’t feel like my roommates were taking locking the door seriously enough, I just had to talk to them about it. You may have to have difficult conversations like that, but they are essential to have because not everyone is used to or cares about having to lock the door.

2. Always Lock The Door Behind You

After you have talked with your roommates about locking the door, it’s vital that you do the same. Always locking the door can be annoying, but it’s one of the easiest ways to make sure that you keep your dorm room safe and secure.

If you are leaving for any period, I say lock the door, especially if you are the last one to go or you don’t know if your roommates are home. If your roommates are home, make sure you tell them that you will be leaving the door unlocked.

Check the door before you go to bed at night. Make sure that it’s locked!

If you are worried about remembering your keys, put a sign by your bedroom door or by the main entrance to remind yourself to grab your keys before you leave.

3. Keep Your Valuables In A Personal Safe

If you have valuables that you want to protect like documents, jewelry, electronic devices, etc. you may want to consider getting a personal safe for your apartment or dorm. A safe is just a great thing to have in case you have some items that are valuable to you in your apartment or dorm room.

A safe is easy to get just make sure that your password is also hard to guess. Never use a password like 1234 or a password with too many repeating numbers like 1111. You also want to be careful about numbers like your birthday just in case the person who breaks into your apartment or dorm is a friend or someone who knows you from social media.

4. If You Live On Campus, Register Your Stuff With The Campus Or Get It Engraved

Many campuses offer ways for you to register your serial numbers with campus police as well as get your items engraved with your campus identification number.

This can help an awful lot if you have something like a MacBook Pro that EVERYONE owns at school. If you register a serial number with the police, it will help them immensely if it ever gets stolen at a later date.

If your stuff isn’t registered with the campus police department, it is almost impossible to secure lost or stolen goods after the fact.

5. Live On A Higher Floor If You Can

I loved living on the first floor, not going to lie. I lived on the third floor during graduate school, and I hated it. Being so high and having to take multiple flights of stairs is the opposite of fun. All four years of college, though, I lived on the first floor which also comes with its risks.

The higher up you live, the harder it is for unwanted people to steal your stuff. Obviously, people burgle and rob people who live higher up in an apartment complex, but the higher you go, the higher the chances you won’t get away with what you are doing. Burglars go for the low-hanging fruit. They jingle a few doors to see what’s open, and they usually do this on the first floor. Going upstairs requires more time and patience which is not what a burglar has most of the time.

Being on the first floor is great because you can avoid all the steps, but it also comes with its fair share of issues, and you may need to be more cautious because of that.

6. Be A Private Person On Social Media


Yes, I do want to know what you have been up to, but never post everything.

My advice? Wait until after you get home or even a few days after an event to post about it. You don’t want burglars to know your every move, when you are home, and when you are not home.

If you live in a big apartment complex, you may post the name, but never post your physical address to your social media profiles if possible.

If you want to invite someone over tell them the address via text message or a message on social media. Don’t post it publicly! People can look that information up and use it to stake out your dorm or apartment later.

Perform A Facebook Privacy Checkup

Facebook has a lot of information about us, and we let Facebook in on a lot of our lives. The best thing that you can do to protect yourself on Facebook is to perform a Facebook Privacy Checkup. You can get to this checkup by going to the Facebook website, clicking the question mark in a circle on the blue strip up top, and pressing Privacy checkup (click here for more instructions from Facebook if you are still unclear.) This checkup will help you see who sees your posts, what apps have access to your Facebook, and more.

7. Take Valuables Home With You If You Are Away For The Weekend

If you live close to home or you frequently travel for the weekend, take your valuables with you. This includes things like your laptop, tablets, and the like.

Obviously, you may have a huge valuable like a television, and that will be hard to take with you. Lock your bedroom door so that you don’t have to worry as much about that valuable being taken.

Don’t Bring Some Valuables To College At All

Some valuables like important pictures or documents don’t have to be taken to college at all, to be honest. Don’t bring things that are important to you that you can’t feasibly take on trips with you. Things like baby pictures have a lot of sentimental value and we wouldn’t want to lose them, but it would make no sense to bring them with us on a weekend trip. If something is valuable like that, don’t bring it to college. Leave it at home! I am sure your parents won’t mind.

8. Don’t Leave Stuff Like Cars Or Bikes Unattended For Long Periods Of Time

When you are on campus, sometimes you don’t need your car or bike for a long period, but you should never leave them unattended for too long. You may not care about a car sitting in the same place for a long time, but others around you may be counting the days until they think it’s appropriate to try and steal the thing (especially if it’s a bike!)

So, move your car and bike every few days. Ride them around school and park in a different location in the parking lot or bike rack. You don’t have to use them all the time; you just need to pretend as if you do. Yes, it might suck to give up that fantastic parking spot, but if that parking spot becomes the way people stake out your car or bike, you may not want to chance it.

9. Keep Your Windows Secure (Especially If You Live On The First Floor)

The higher up you live, the less likely this is as much of a risk. If you live on the first floor of an apartment building, always keep your windows secure and locked when you aren’t in the room, or you are not paying attention (such as being asleep.)

Windows are an easy target and way to get into an apartment or house. Most apartment or dorm windows have screens as well as the window itself that has a lock on it, but window screens can easily get cut. Instead of depending on the window screen, just make sure that the window is locked at night or that it’s only slightly up and locked in place at night.

10. Consider Getting A Dorm Or Apartment Friendly Alarm System

There are quite a few dorm and apartment friendly alarm systems out there that are easy to install and help protect your property. It depends on what you need as far as getting something that’s wireless and is monitored or something that is more of a deterrent.

If you are looking for something that is more of a deterrent, I love this security alarm kit from Sabre. It features a door stop alarm, a door/window alarm, and a personal alarm all for $24.99. This is not an internet connected or monitored kit. This will not alert authorities or anything, but it sounds an alarm that is loud and will ward off unsuspecting thieves.

If you are looking for a monitored system, I have been looking into Simplisafe, and it seems like a great and easy system to install for most apartments. Of course, you should always ask your landlord first before you install something like this. The systems start at $229.96 for the starter package plus system monitoring for your system begins at a $14.99 monthly fee.

11. Be Picky About Who You Bring To Your Dorm Or Apartment

It is crucial that you are picky about who you bring into your dorm or apartment. You are usually liable for what your guests do while at your dorm/apartment and that person can easily take things from you or the people around you.

Make sure that you know and trust the people you bring to your apartment. Don’t invite over strangers, and if you do, make sure that you watch them while they are there.

This advice goes for boyfriends/girlfriends but also random people you are working with for class projects, teammates on a sports team, or anything in between.

12. Be Even Pickier About Who You Lend Keys To

You may lend keys to a friend or significant other so they can hang out in your room while you are in class, but if you do that, make sure that you trust them completely. They may make copies of your key or use the time they are in your room alone to steal from you, and you don’t want either of those things.

13. Keep Up With Local News On Theft In Your Town

Being knowledgeable about what is happening in your neighborhood is important. To do this look at your local and campus newspapers to see what is happening around town. Look in the crimes section just to see if there have been crimes reported in your dorm or apartment. You may not necessarily get an alert from higher-ups who work in your dorm or apartment, so it’s always nice to take matters into your own hands every once in a while.

Don’t get paranoid or obsess over keeping up with things, but checking out the newspaper every once and a while will help you out.

14. Use Find My iPhone To Sound, Erase, And Locate Stolen Apple Products

If you have an iPhone or an iPad you can use the find feature on your devices to make your devices make a sound, track them if they are on, report them lost/stolen, or even erase them remotely.  This is great because it means that people can’t just use your devices without your permission and at best they would be able to scrap the device, not use it.


Safety is key when it comes to your products and your home. I hope that this article has provided a wealth of information for you. Security of your products and yourself on campus is crucial, and I hope that you liked this post.

If you want another post that is geared toward protecting yourself and not just your products, let me know. I would love to create a more in-depth post for protecting you too!